Wayne Hardy age 87 of Broken Bow, formerly of Anselmo, passed away June 23, 2017 at the Broken Bow Care and Rehabilitation Center in Broken Bow.
Memorial services will be held on Friday June 30th at 11:00 AM at the United Methodist Church in Broken Bow with Pastor Bill Williams officiating. A visitation will be held on Thursday evening 5PM to 7PM at the United Methodist Church in Broken Bow. Memorials are suggested to the Tehama Shrine, the Anselmo United Methodist Church, or the Custer County Fairgrounds. Govier Brothers Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences can be left at www.govierbrothers.com
Wayne was born on July 21, 1929 to Albert John “Bert” Hardy and Eva Clara (Wells) in Mullen, Nebraska. The second of 7 children he grew up in the sand hills around Seneca and Thedford. Wayne attended school in Thedford and loved attending as many of the school reunions as he could. He married the love of his life, Elizabeth “Bette” Lewis, on September 29, 1951 in North Platte, NE. To this union were born 5 children Daniel, Barbara, Crystal, Natalie and Evelyn.
After they were married Bette and Wayne made their home at Anselmo where Wayne worked for his father-in-law on the Lewis Brothers farm. In 1956 Wayne moved his family to Broken Bow where he tried his hand at owning-operating a Texaco station and working for Wenquists. After two years he returned to the job he loved, working on the farm. In the mid 70’s Wayne took a break from farming when a friend suggested he go to work for Perry Myers Construction. Wayne may have been an employee but Wayne and Perry formed a lifelong friendship. After the passing of his father-in-law Wayne returned to the farm. Wayne continued to ranch and raise cattle, working part time once again for Myers Construction for several more years. No one can come up with a date that he truly “retired”.
After their marriage Wayne joined the United Methodist Church in Anselmo. At the urging of his father-in-law Wayne joined the Masonic Lodge and Eastern star where he stayed active for 60 plus years. Wayne joined the Tehama Shrine where he found his true calling. He loved sponsoring eligible children and escorting them to the Shrine Hospital in Minnesota. Bette and Wayne spent their summers traveling to the many local celebrations with the Shrine club so Wayne could drive his 3 wheeled cycle in the parades promoting the Shriners and its hospital. Wayne was awarded Outstanding Shriner Award in 2005. He became a Master of the Royal Secret of the 32 Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1994. Wayne joined the Elks club, held all the offices, was once named Elk of the year and was Exalted Ruler in 1991. As a child Wayne loved 4-H, as an adult he was a true supporter of 4-H and along with Bette they started as club leaders with The Happy Hillbillies when his oldest joined 4-H in the early 60’s until the youngest graduated in 1980. They even continued helping when they had grandchildren and then great grandchildren joining 4-H. For years they helped during the Custer County fair with the beef, sheep, hog and horse shows but their favorite was the horse shows. In support they have continued to sponsor trophies for the young horse showmen. When they had kids involved in high school rodeo they even helped put on the high school rodeos in Broken Bow.
Wayne felt very strongly about doing his civic duty. He served on the Anselmo-Merna School board, the Fair Board and the County Board of Supervisors. He even ran for the Nebraska Senate! It was during his time on the Fair Board that the horse races came to Custer County. Having the racing in Broken Bow helped finance the building of the facilities for horses that are still used today.
In 1967, during the celebration for the Nebraska Centennial, Wayne rode one leg of the pony express reenactment. This was also the year that Wayne and Bette along with several of their friends formed The Big Sky Jubilee that is going strong today after 50 years. In the early days they helped with the horse show and the parade. Along with their friends they continued to help keep Big Sky going until one by one the organizers passed away and the responsibilities of running the activities were passed on to the younger generation.
For many years Wayne and Bette bowled on the Night Owls mixed doubles bowling league. They belonged to a card club that met on Sunday evenings to play pinochle. There was always a lot of laughter at both activities!
Wayne left this earth, to be with his beloved Bette, on June 23, 2017. He left behind to morn his passing Dan (Linda) Hardy of Wahoo, Barb (Rob) Pellor of Anselmo, Crystal Esch, Natalie (Kyle) Russell and Evelyn (Dave) Christen all of Broken Bow. An “adopted” son and daughter, Doug (Jessica) Williams of Largo, FL and Mary Lou (Mike) Watkins of Claytonia, NE. 23 grandchildren and 35 greatgrandchildren. 3 brothers and 2 sisters. 2 sisters-in-law and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bette, of 64 years, an infant brother Frankie, 1 granddaughter LaCosta Esch and a son-in-law Ted Esch. His parents and in-laws, 5 sisters-n-laws and 6 brothers-in-law.