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Shirley Hladky of Lusk, Wyoming passed away on November 10, 2023 at the Niobrara County Extended Care Facility in Lusk, Wyoming. She was 87 years old at the time of her death.
Shirley Adele (Seaman) Hladky was born on January 15, 1936 to Jasper Oliver “Ollie” and Lela Hazel (Whitman) Seaman at the Spencer Hospital in Lusk, Wyoming, the first born of twins with her sister Sylvia Aveline, who died at birth. She was raised and grew up on the Seaman Ranch north of Harrison, in Sioux County, Nebraska, and graduated from Sioux County High School in 1954. Shirley loved horses her entire life, and had a good eye for a quality Quarter Horse. When asked what she wanted as a graduation gift, Shirley said she wanted a really good horse, so she became the proud owner of a stallion named Hat Creek Rage, from the Coffee Ranch north of Harrison. She and her dad raised horses for several years out of Ollie’s ranch Quarter Horse mares and Rage. Shirley was crowned as the Sioux County Fair and Rodeo Queen in 1953. She competed at the 1954 National High School Rodeo Finals in New Underwood, South Dakota in barrel racing on her big palomino gelding Pardner. After high school, Shirley moved into Harrison to live with some girlfriends and she worked for a few years at Sioux National Bank, while continuing to raise horses and attend local rodeos. Her sisters Olita and Judy told her about a cowboy at one of these events who was trying to get introduced to her, and a 58-year love story began. Shirley married Robert G. Hladky on December 26, 1958 at the Methodist Church in Gillette, Wyoming, with Bob’s parents Lulu and Erman Hladky as their witnesses. Bob and Shirley lived at the Patrick Brothers Ranch north of Lingle, Wyoming on Rawhide Creek, where Bob was the ranch foreman. Four children were born to the couple during this time; Bobbi Jo, twins Tracy and Sheri, and Troy. After nearly twenty years at Patrick Brothers, in 1969 Bob went to work for Richard “Bucky” and Nila Barnette. He and Shirley moved the family farther up on Rawhide Creek to the historic Agnew Ranch and later on up the creek again to the Ord Ranch. Bob and Shirley purchased their own ranch south of Lusk in 1974, just inside the Goshen County line, where they ranched and lived until Bob’s death in 2017. Shirley stayed at the family ranch until June of 2018, when she decided to move into her hometown of Lusk. Shirley was a charter member of the Goshen County Cowbelles, and a member of the Lusk Congregational Church. She was always working at something on the ranch, whether it was cooking three meals a day for her family while keeping the household clean and functional, sewing, managing a garden and putting up food for winter, running to town for haying parts, going out with Bob to check water, feed the cattle, or doing whatever job needed to be done. In her younger years she could ride, rope, and do most anything on horseback. Though she put her riding on hold while she raised her family, she once again saddled up to work with Bob on the ranch, and rode some of the horses they raised later in their life together. She was a true sports fan and a dedicated supporter of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in all of their rodeo, school sports, and business endeavors. She was a timer at many ropings and local rodeos for years. She participated annually in The Legend of Rawhide Pageant from the time she was a young child. The Hladky family was honored at the Pageant for their many years of participation, support, and contributions.
Shirley is survived by her sister Olita Zimmerman of Harrison, Nebraska; her children Bobbi Jo Wade (James Meiring) of Pinedale Wyoming; Tracy Johnson (David) of Lingle, Wyoming; Sheri Hester (John) of Keeline, Wyoming; Troy (Cindy) Hladky of Casper, Wyoming; grandchildren June (Tommy) Mills and family; Kodi Johnson (Jason Buckley) and family; Amanda Stath (Dusty); Brock (Kacy) Hladky and family; Kelli Johnson; Lance (Jayde) Hladky and family; Drew Hester (Saydie Larson); Emily Wade (Will Stirn); Zane Hladky (Shaylee) and family; and Jenny Hester and family. Shirley truly loved her many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and they loved her. She is also survived by her only cousin, Dennis Gibbs (Beth) of Casper, Wyoming. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and her infant twin sister Sylvia; sister Judy McKelvey; her husband of 58+ years Robert G. “Bob” Hladky; grandson Hayden Hester, and son-in-law Michael Wade.
Memorial donations to the Niobrara County Extended Care Facility, the Lusk Ambulance Service, the Goshen County Cattlewomen, or Niobrara Senior Center are appreciated.
Special thanks to Wendy Lemons for being a compassionate caretaker to Shirley the past several months. The family expresses its deepest gratitude to all of the staff at the Niobrara County Hospital, Rawhide Medical Clinic and the Niobrara County Care Facility for all the kindness, care and concern for Shirley.
PIER FUNERAL HOME WOULD LIKE TO ADVISE YOU THAT THE MEMORIAL TREE PROGRAM DOES NOT PLANT A TREE IN THIS AREA, AND DOES NOT NOTIFY THE FAMILY OF YOUR GIFT
Niobrara Community Hospital Long Term Care
Lusk WY 82225
Niobrara County Senior Center
PO Box 928, Lusk WY 82225-0928
Lusk Ambulance Service
PO Box 390, Lusk WY 82225-0390
Goshen County Cattlewomen / c/o Marlisa Hall
5437 State Hwy 154, Veteran WY 82243