Funeral liturgy will be held for Glenn Eugene “Gene” Hardy, 90, at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at the Saint James Catholic Church in Douglas, Wyoming with Father Lucas Kazimiro Simango as the Celebrant. Interment will be in the Douglas Park Cemetery with military honors accorded by Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 and Wyoming Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors.
Gene Hardy was born in Douglas, Wyoming on Wednesday, February 19, 1930 and passed quietly in Casper, Wyoming at the Wyoming Medical Center on Friday, December 18, 2020 from a short and sudden illness. He was surrounded by his family and supported by all the well wishes of his many friends.
Gene was born to Marion Glenn “Mick” and Grace Virginia (Elbourne) Hardy of Bear Creek, Wyoming in 1930 and spent most of his upbringing on the ranch five miles northeast of Bear Creek or 45 miles northwest of Douglas. He rode his horse four miles to the North Point School, at a neighboring ranch, for the first few years of school before being farmed out for a short time to a family in Douglas, so he could attend school in town. He used to laugh at the fact that he was a little too wild for the family from town! It wasn't long before his folks bought a house in town in order for him to further his education. Gene graduated valedictorian of his class and received a full scholarship to play football at the University of Wyoming. However, football and schooling weren't to be for Gene. A horse wreck and injury inflicted upon his dad kept Gene at the family ranch to keep it going. A stint in the United States Army, serving his time in Germany and then the National Guard was something that Gene shared many memories and stories of. Gene was a fierce patriot and was proud to be an American.
When Gene returned from the Army, he began a seven-year courtship with his future wife, Joy Ann Falkenburg, of Douglas. Joy was from a ranching family herself, south of town, and was at the time nursing in Denver, Colorado. After their marriage, Joy moved to the Hardy Ranch and she and Gene began their life together raising their daughter, Michelle. As with most ranches, there was a generational change and the ranch continued to grow. Gene was truly proud of the family ranch and was known to have what would be considered a reputable herd of cattle and flock of sheep. If there was a livestock sale, you could count on the Hardy Ranch buying the top of the sale. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the ranch and Gene was truly proud of the fact that it had continued to the next generation.
Gene was to get more involved with what was to be his true love, Ag politics. Gene had always been proud of being involved as much as possible with the community such as Jaycees, American Legion, Moose Lodge, Farm Bureau, and local politics. However, when he became involved with Wyoming Stock Growers and Wyoming Wool Growers, he found his true calling. For the rest of his life, Gene was to be an industry leader in the movement of Wyoming Agriculture in all aspects. He became known as a staunch supporter of ranchers, farmers, veterinary medicine, the brand program, and his favorite, the predator program.
Gene served as vice-president of the Wyoming Stock Growers, president of the Wyoming Wool Growers, president of the Wyoming State Animal Damage Management Board, as well as multiple committees and chairman positions. He served on the Wyoming Board of Agriculture and the Wyoming Livestock Board, serving on many committees within them as well. Gene was voted into the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2012. He was influential as a lobbyist to a great number of politicians that he had met while serving in all these positions and served the Ag community well as a champion for them all.
While serving on the State Predator Board, he and the board fought long and hard against the federal government for the rights of the state of Wyoming to have control of the wolves within the state. To the very last day, he was still on the phone with officials trying to maintain the control that had been so fiercely fought for to acquire.
As a director on the board of the National High School Rodeo Association, Gene could be found at nearly all the high school rodeos within the state along with running the timer in the barrel racing event at the National High School Rodeo finals. He was glad to be helping the kids and was always there for them when needed.
An avid pilot, Gene was always eager to help someone out when they had lost something and needed to find it with an airplane: people, livestock, an occasional dog or just checking the ranch. He was a member of the Flying Farmers and won many trophies at various fly-ins with his great piloting skills. Gene could almost always be found in his plane. He could sit and mesmerize a crowd for hours with some of the hair-raising stories of how he survived with any one of his many airplanes.
As with all folks that grow up and live their entire life in the same area, Gene was a great historian. He could sit at a gathering of any sort and tell the history of the area and keep everyone in the room on the edge of their seat. He could tell you about your grandparents and then their parents as well. He had a great memory and was vivid in his descriptions as the story was told and if you closed your eyes it was as if you were there.
Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of his family. The fact that no one is perfect never crossed his mind as he would fondly reminisce of the people in his life.
He is survived by his daughter, Michelle Musselman and her husband, Shaun and their children, Hardy and Haley. His many nephews, nieces, in-laws, and friends were thought of and talked about regularly.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Joy, on December 27, 2003; father, Mick, on May 12, 1967; and mother, Grace, on September 21, 2003..
He will be sorely missed, as all of the old guard are and the torch will be passed down to the next generation to fill the shoes of the greatest generation. The shoes are big ones to fill and the trek is a long and arduous one to take. But, to respect and honor the generation before, reflections of where we come from is the first order. People leave us far too soon and Gene was no exception to the rule. He will be sorely missed by all of those that he touched.
Gene, God be with you.
A Gene and Joy Hardy Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Converse County Bank, P.O. Box 689, Douglas, Wyoming 82633.
Serving as pallbearers will be Hardy Musselman, Shannon Wheeler, Trae Gibson, Jeff Falkenburg, Mitch Falkenburg, and Garret Falkenburg.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be all his family and friends
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com
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