Eugene J. ‘Gene’ Hartung

Eugene J. “Gene” Hartung, 83, of Cody, made his final sunset ride to be with the Lord on May 7, 2020.

He is survived by his wife Florence, “Flo,” brother Bob (Rita) Hartung, stepsons Jeff (Ivy) Edwards, Earl (Gina) Edwards, Mike (Tavenne) Edwards and many grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces, nephews and friends.

Gene was born in Dickeyville, Wis., on May 22, 1936. He spent his young years living and working the family farm, breaking horses and hauling milk. After graduating high school, Gene joined the Army Rangers and served in Korea.

After returning from the Army, Gene moved to Platteville, Wis., and started his farm and ranch. He married and had two children, Chris (deceased) and Kathy (deceased).

Gene hired on at John Deere Tractor Co., working his way up to hydraulic testing engineer. He retired from John Deere after 30 years, all while maintaining his farm, and raising cattle, horses and dogs. Gene loved to breed and raise race horses.

After retiring from John Deere, Gene accomplished many cross-country rides on horseback; among them were the Oregon Trail Centennial Ride, Wyoming Centennial, Black Rock Desert, Alaskan Highway, Chief Joseph Trail and many others. These rides brought him through this area many times.

Later in life, he met the love of his life, Flo. She lived in his favorite place … Cody. They married in June 2005 and Gene said he finally found his home. Gene and Flo traveled the country and loved to ride their side-by-side in the areas surrounding Cody.

He loved going to horse sales and gun shows. He enjoyed watching the deer in his yard and the antelope and elk he saw on his rides. He was a member of the VFW and drank his Jack Daniels straight. Artist Denny Karchner approached Gene about using him for a portrait. He truly was “Last of the Real Cowboys.”

Gene’s family invites you to sign his guestbook at BallardFH.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.