Another Wyoming native passes
By Dick Perue
Ten years ago, I wrote a “Postcard” tribute to a Wyoming native rancher, who has now passed away. The tribute is even more meaningful today. Complete details of the good, Christian life of Dick Barkhurst can be found in his obituary published in this week’s Roundup. Following is a repeat of the column published in 2011.
Even after 80 years, Dick Barkhurst still looks forward to ranch work every day, according to a feature article in the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering program.
This summer, the 83-year-old Carbon County native and Saratoga/Encampment valley rancher received the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering Outfit Pioneer Award, presented to those who have spent a lifetime promoting and preserving the cowboy and western way of life.
According to the article, “Dick has always loved ranching and agriculture. He has a God-given, natural ability and talent to read and work cattle, to see opportunity which affords and lends itself to the operation and an innate manner in which he encourages others, especially young folks, to keep going and forging ahead with their goals and dreams.”
“He doesn’t think of himself as a pioneer, but at 83 years young, is still going strong, ranching, running his Shorthorn/Angus cross cows, irrigating, haying, fixing fence and in the true pioneering spirit, is ‘keeping on keeping on.’ With Dick’s dedication, faithfulness and devotion to ranching and agriculture, the true pioneer spirit will remain alive and well as he passes this legacy on. He truly is an inspiration to his family and all who know him.”
Dick contends he hasn’t done it alone. His wife Marion, a Pioneer Award recipient two years ago, has worked at his side for 63 years, and his grandparents and parents passed along the good work ethic and pioneer spirit which has prevailed in the ranch family since 1886. Above all, he thanks the good Lord for the good fortune and many blessings he has received over the years.
Dick would spend several more years ranching and assisting family, friends and FFA and 4-H members in the pursuit of careers in agriculture before he had to slow down and eventually join his family and friends a decade later at the Rancher’s Camp meeting in, as his obituary relates, “his Heavenly home.”
Happy Trails, dear friend!