Longtime National Elk Refuge employee Gary Lee Hedges, 73, died Jan. 6. His family provided the following.
Gary Lee Hedges, devoted father and loving husband, left this earth suddenly but with his boots on.
Gary was born March 25, 1947, to Mervin Jasper and Rosalyn Hedges in Lander. He graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School in 1965 and attended Porterville horseshoeing school in California.
After being drafted into the U.S. Army, Gary left to serve his country for two years in the Vietnam War. Upon returning from the war he married his best friend, Linda Sue Moses, on Feb. 7, 1970, in Jackson Hole. Gary and Linda had four amazing children: Ryan, Brandy, Logan and Jessica.
Gary was an avid outdoorsman and rancher. He worked at the National Elk Refuge, feeding the elk by horse-drawn sleigh.
Gary considered himself lucky by being able to work numerous guiding and outfitting jobs, which was his passion. He was awarded Guide of the Year in 1971. He worked for several ranches over the years and was most at home on the back of a good horse. He loved what he did and was a hardworking man who never left a job undone.
All who knew Gary could easily say he was a quiet-spoken man, and therefore, when he did speak, everyone listened to what he had to say. More often than not it was a sarcastic remark that resulted in laughs, but he could also be very insightful and give great advice.
He spent his later years being an extraordinary grandpa, passing on his wisdom about fishing, hunting and work ethic to his grandkids. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, his older sister Kathleen Daniels and sister-in-law Sandra Hedges. He is survived by his wife, Linda, his brother James Hedges, son Ryan (Dawn) Hedges, daughter Brandy (Aaron) Taylor, son Logan (Kresta) Hedges, daughter Jessica Hedges, and 11 grandchildren.