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Henry L. Wasserburger, Jr. was born May 18, 1931, the first-born son to Henry L. Wasserburger and Anna Josephine (Pfister) Wasserburger in Lusk, Wyoming. Henry attended Fairview Rural School until the 8th grade. He then boarded in Lusk where he attended Lusk High School and graduated May 1949. During high school he was an outstanding football player and was selected as an All-State guard. He also played the saxophone and was a member of the band for the Legend of Rawhide Pageant. After graduation he attended Regis College in Denver for one year. His love of sports carried him to many Denver area football and basketball games during that year. After that first year of college, he returned home to the family ranch north of Lusk.
On September 12, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Opal Wilson. To this union 5 children were born: Henry L., the 3rd, Jolene Lorraine (Tom), Joel David (Laurie), Thomas Lee (Val), and William Jeffrey (Tracy). Henry worked with his father until his passing in 1983, at which time he took over as the active manager of the ranch. In 1978, JD returned to the ranch. In May 1979, Henry, Lorraine, and JD formed the Bootheel Seven Livestock partnership, which is in existence today. Lorraine passed away January 4, 1999.
Henry was a very lucky man and on August 11, 2000, he married the second love of his life, Yvonne (Bonnie) Baures in Casper, Wyoming. His love of travel continued as they traveled extensively to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and United States of America. He boasted that he had traveled to all 50 states. They enjoyed dancing, live music, theater, and just being together. In 2008, Henry fully retired and since that time has lived at Bonnie’s ranch west of Casper. His biggest joy was to return to the family ranch to look at the cattle and see the progress the new generation has made.
Henry loved watching any sports that involved a Lusk team. He especially loved watching family members, whether it be his kids or grandkids, competing or participating in any extracurricular activities.
Henry’s love of the ranch never ceased. He was extremely proud in 2016, when the ranch was honored at the Wyoming State Fair for its 100th year Anniversary. This past fall in 2022, Bootheel Seven Livestock was awarded and honored to receive the National Certified Angus Beef Award for Commercial Commitment to Excellence in Phoenix, Arizona. Henry and Bonnie, along with many other family members, went to Phoenix to receive the award.
Henry was a life time member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Lusk. He was also a 68-year member of the Elks Lodge 1797. He was active in community affairs. He served 12 years on the Niobrara County School Board and 12 years on the Niobrara County Hospital Board. Henry also served 9 years on the ASCS committee and 6 years on Farmers Home Board. He was especially proud in 1980 when the ranch was selected for the ASCS State Conservation Award. In that same year, he was chosen for the Outstanding Alumni from Niobrara County and was the honored speaker at the Alumni Banquet. 4-H was another of Henry’s passions and he was selected as the outstanding supporter of Niobrara County 4-H.
Henry had an infectious laugh and was always good for a story. His historical accuracy was spot on. He never met a stranger and was always welcoming and charming to those he met. His ability to communicate with others proved valuable in order to broker compromise between parties. These characteristics made Henry an important part of this community which he loved.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Lorraine; and his brother, John William.
Henry is survived by his wife, Bonnie, his 5 children, 16 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; and 5 stepchildren, Susan (Bob) Rowland, Diane (Doug) Witcher, Brian (Linda), Tracy (Tonya), and Todd Baures; and sister, Jean.
Services to be held:
Rosary – Sunday, January 22 at 5:00 pm held at St. Leo’s Catholic Church
Mass of Christian Burial –Monday, January 23 at 10:00 am at St. Leo’s Catholic Church
Internment at the Lusk Cemetery.
PIER FUNERAL HOME WOULD LIKE TO ADVISE YOU THAT THE MEMORIAL TREE PROGRAM DOES NOT PLANT A TREE IN THIS AREA, NOR DO THEY NOTIFY THE FAMILY OF YOUR MEMORIAL. THE TREES ARE PLANTED IN A NATIONAL FOREST OF THEIR CHOOSING.
Niobrara County 4-H Council
Lusk, WY WY 82225
PO Box 629, Lusk WY 82225-0629
St. Leo's Scholarship Fund
PO Box 959, Lusk WY 82225-0959