On March 25, 2022, longtime Kirby, WY resident, Jack F. Hurley, 80, peacefully moved on to his next adventure.
Born on March 17, 1942, in Brigham City, Utah, Jack was the third of seven children born to Charley (Chuck) and Rita (Legere) Hurley. From birth, Jack traveled with his family until moving to Thermopolis in 1945, when he was 3 ½ years old.
As a kid, Jack was known to always be carrying a hammer or a tool. When he was 4 years old, he used a hammer to do what kids do, and broke a ceramic insulator- which ended in the loss of vision in his right eye. He never regained vision, but his ability to do great things was not a casualty of his injury.
Jack attended school in Hot Springs County, and in 1948, his dad bought land in Thermopolis. The family that traveled together worked together, which included sheep herding on Copper Mountain, where many adventures were had with his sisters- especially his older sister, Sis. In his youth, he would also travel and help with various jobs such as; potato harvesting, cherry picking and working on a chicken farm (often noting in later years that THAT was not his favorite.)
In 1952, Jack and his family moved to the Arapahoe, WY area, leasing land to raise animals. He helped take care of his siblings while Chuck continued to travel back to Thermopolis for work. He also attended school while living there from 1952-1953. Here he had earned several Track and Field medals as a Sixth Grade track star. In the later months of 1952, the Hurley family moved to Owl Creek, just West of Thermopolis. Jack continued his education in Thermopolis, before the family moved back into town, and later moved to Kirby, WY.
While living in Kirby, in the Summer of 1953, he would often be found with Sis, supporting the local general store. In 1954, the family moved closer to Thermopolis and resided in the Red Lane area. Jack would often help the neighbors with chores and daily tasks, particularly for Emma Brown. (We understand she was quite fond of our Dad.) During this time, he also helped build the family home, and helped his father with various carpenter projects throughout the town of Thermopolis. One of the highest attained projects that Chuck obtained was the responsibility of tearing-down the Maganon Inn, located in the Hot Springs State Park. Jack would haul the materials to the family property, where he would recycle and build structures and add onto the family home.
In 1960, Jack graduated from Hot Springs County High School.
Between 1960 and 1965, Jack met and married Irene “Dolly” Harvey. During this time he also began traveling and working for Gill Patrick Construction, often taking his family- just as his father had done- with him. Although they had divorced in 1968, Jack and Dolly re-married on November 9, 1970, which was to be forever known as the “only one that mattered.” From 1966 to 1970, they added 3 children to their family.
In 1970, Jack began working for R&S Well Service, and soon worked alongside brothers; John Mead, Doug Abbott and Harold Harvey.
In 1971, along came a fourth child and the excitement of purchasing property in Kirby, WY, where Jack and Dolly would eventually settle. The property he bought consisted of only a log shell, and he began working to make a house, a home, for his growing family of six. In 1972, Jack moved his family into the “still under construction” home, and completed it in 1975 after finishing interior walls, flooring, plumbing and electricity. Later, Jack decided to add a hand dug basement (with the help/behavior of his kids) and constructed a shop/garage with the help of family.
In 1981, Jack and Dolly expanded their family of six to seven.
He continued to work for R&S Well service until his retirement in 1996, completing more than 25 years of service with the company. After retiring from the oilfield, Jack took advantage of his free time by woodworking, and later tried his hand at lumberjacking. The Big Horn Mountains were one of his favorite places, and although his goal was to make a living, he wasn't in the business to make money. He took pride and joy helping others through his ability to provide for them anyway he could, including long days and hard labor, cutting logs. Dolly would eventually join him on the mountain, and together they enjoyed the great outdoors while working side by side.
Jack's other hobbies and interests included fishing, camping, hunting, and of course, telling great stories and sharing memories of his childhood (mostly of mischief.) He even took an interest in prospecting for gold alongside his brother(-in-law) Doug Abbott. Jack always had a passion for helping others without expectation. Any opportunity that a lesson could be taught to his kids or grandkids, Jack took advantage - from his woodworking, to automotive and everything in between.
From 2001 until present day, Jack enjoyed spending time with friends and family, constructing, woodworking and inventing ways to make life easier. He handcrafted clocks, wishing wells of various sizes, recipe boxes, lighthouses, dollhouses and his infamous wooden pump jacks, often selling them at local craft fairs. He was meticulous about his work and taught us to put pride in everything we did. Jack was preceded in death by: brothers (Jesse-1943) (Duane-2019)
parents (Rita-1979, Chuck-1992); wife, Dolly (2017) and daughter (Berta-2022). He is survived by his four sisters; Sis (John) Mead, Charlene Harvey, Hank Abbott, all of Thermopolis, and Dort Nettles, Riverton, WY. He is also survived by his children; Jim (Terri) Hurley, Littleton, CO; Matt (Melissa) Hurley, Thermopolis, WY; Tina Keasling, Kirby, WY and Jessie K (James) Slagle, Kirby WY, 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
Following Jack’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service is planned for Saturday April 9, 2022, at 10:00am at Mortimore Funeral Home, followed by graveside inurnment at Monument Hill Cemetery and reception for friends and family at the HSC Fair Building.
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