Edgar “Ed” Jess Boner, 94, a lifelong Niobrara County Wyoming rancher, passed away July 12, 2021, at the Niobrara Health and Life Center where he had been a resident since July 2016. In his own words, he stopped “plugging along”.
A Celebration of Life will be Sunday, August 1st, 3:00 pm at Lusk Congregational Church. Pastor Mark Lohr officiating, with eulogy by Randy Corley. Interment will follow at the Lusk Cemetery.
Ed was born in Edgemont, South Dakota on January 18, 1927, to Jess and Izetta (Renswold) Boner. For the next 85 years his home was the Boner Ranch, 35 miles NE of Lusk. Ed was later joined by brothers Jim and Bob to complete the family. After Jess Boner’s untimely death in 1945, Izetta and the brothers partnered to run the Boner Ranch until 1963 when Bob purchased a ranch in Converse County, WY. Izetta, Ed and Jim remained ranching partners until Jim’s death in September 1973 and Izetta’s in 1977. Ed continued operating the Boner Ranch until 2012 when the ranch sold. Over the decades he managed tens of thousands of cattle and many more sheep. Sheep were his favorite, primarily the Rambouillet and Columbia breeds. In 2012 he purchased a ranch property north of Lusk. Ed was known to outwork those half his age and was an active rancher into his late 80’s.
Ed was homeschooled by his mother through sixth grade. Grades seven and eight were at Buena Vista school in northern Niobrara County. Ed boarded in Lusk to attend high school, graduating with the class of 1945. He played football and was a proud member of the 1944 District Champion squad. After graduation he attended several quarters at the University of Wyoming, eventually returning to the ranch full time.
On December 19, 1951, Ed married Juanita Pauline “Polly” Green in a ceremony in Casper, WY at the same church where Ed’s parents were married. They made their life together on the Boner Ranch and to this union were born three daughters, Jessie, Charlene, Karen, and one son Edgar Jordan “Jordy”. The hardest challenge the Boner family faced was Jordy’s tragic death at the age of 18. The family considered Ed as their ‘Rock’.
Ed was very involved in his community and state, active on boards and organizations including: Niobrara County School Board; Niobrara Agriculture and Stabilization Board (Conservation Committee); Niobrara Predator Control Board; Soil and Water Conservation District (board member); Niobrara County 4-H Program; Masons (numerous offices); Order of Eastern Star (numerous offices); Jobs Daughters (Associate Guardian); Wyoming Wool Growers Association (Executive Committee); Wyoming Stock Growers Association (Mineral Committee); Wyoming Department of Agriculture Board (board member/President).
In addition to his family, one of Ed’s greatest loves was flying. He purchased a Piper Cub in the 1950’s and flew it his entire career! Starting lessons at age 16 he acquired his pilot’s license by the time he was 18. Ed used his plane to assist in daily ranch work, always amazing people with where he could take off and land. Many people flew with Ed, including five generations of family, ending with his great-grandchildren.
Ed is survived by his three daughters: Jessie Walduck, Lusk; Charlene Boner, Cheyenne; Karen Boner, Cheyenne; grandchildren: Shannon Lauer (Renea Flores), El Cajon, CA; Kirk (Stephanie) Haas, LaGrange; Kevin (Jamie) Haas, Crawford NE; Jess (Kelly) Ketcham, Cheyenne; great-grandchildren: Chloe, Luke, Liam Haas and Jace, Jack Ketcham; three nephews: Brad (Laurie) Boner, Glenrock; Rob (Ann) Boner, Orin Junction; Jeff (Tracey) Boner, Douglas.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents Jess and Izetta Boner, wife Polly Boner, son Jordy Boner, grandson Dustin Lauer, son-in-law Phillip Walduck, brother Jim Boner and sister-in-law Betty Boner, brother Bob Boner and sister-in-law Ann Boner.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ed may be made to donor’s choice. Ed Boner’s parting words were often, “Don’t drive over a hundred!”
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