Cover photo for Gary K. Yeager's Obituary
Gary K. Yeager Profile Photo
1947 Gary 2022

Gary K. Yeager

September 22, 1947 — September 24, 2022


Gary Kennith Yeager, 75, passed away peacefully on September 24, 2022 after a long battle with complications from surviving cancer.

Memorial service will be held Wednesday, September 28, at 11am at Conrad First Presbyterian Church.

Gary was born in Conrad, Montana on September 22, 1947 to Lorine and Kennith Yeager. He was raised on the family ranch northwest of town until he was seven when they moved to southern California where he surfed the waves and loved the ocean through the Fifties.

In 1963 he moved back to Conrad and met his high school sweetheart and love, Bobbi Emrick. He worked on the ranch, wrangled livestock, and became a cowboy.

Gary graduated in 1965 from Conrad High School and moved with Bobbi to Missoula where he graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from the University of Montana.

In the summer of 1968 Gary was invited to a program at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and lived and taught in New York City. After, he continued to teach art in Montana and was the first male Head Start teacher in the state of Montana and worked diligently to develop that program for the state.

Gary and Bobbi were married in Missoula on December 23, 1969. After teaching in Helena and painting commercial buildings and grain elevators all over the state, together they moved back to Conrad in 1975. Gary went back to his roots and became a steward of the land and farmed the Yeager homestead and additional leased acres raising wheat, barley, and three beautiful children.

For years, Gary guided for his uncle’s outfitting business in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. It was there in the wild, that he was able to combine his deep love of the land and its many treasures, and his gift for teaching and sharing his passions of hunting and fishing with others.

Gary’s talents had a spectrum as broad and as colorful as the sunsets he rode, and ranged from a gifted artist, a sportsman, a wilderness guide, a farmer, a gambler, a cowboy. Gary was larger than life. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He was a free spirit and paved his own path in life. Because he was so deeply talented and intriguing in so many different facets of his life, it was hard for him to not draw an audience. He didn’t need attention because he was so confident in himself. He was very private, even mysterious. But, if you were lucky enough to be a part of his world, you were blessed by simply being in his presence, if only for a few minutes. Gary would leave a positive and impactful impression with his genuine wisdom, humor, and his strong aura coupled by his gentle and soft kindness, a combination as unique as his character.

Gary and Bobbi’s love was like no other. The beautiful brunette was his shotgun rider since the day they laid eyes on each other their sophomore year of high school. Their love never wavered, and they were true soul mates to the very end.

Gary was so proud of his children, evident by his contagious smile anytime they were mentioned. His love for his family was endless, and he taught them to dream and dream big. Besides learning to cook, fish, shoot a gun, change a tire, draw a sketch, make a bet, he shared his greatest gift of tenacity and perseverance with his children through action. He taught them, “Even when the odds are stacked against you, to play to win, and to confidently push all your chips to the center of the table.” And finally, he taught them that especially in the light of adversity, to never, ever give up.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Kennith, and his beloved son, Shane Byers. Gary is survived by his mother, Lorine, his wife of 52 years, Bobbi, his daugthers’ Vanessa (Tyler) Bucklin and Callie (Patrick) Werk, and the greatest joy of his life, his five grandchildren: Claire, Nick and Colette Bucklin and Wynn and Charlotte Werk.

In addition, he is survived by his siblings Karen (Terry) Nelson, Julie (Rick) Alexander, Irvin (Rose) Yeager and many special nieces and nephews.

Gary was a member of the Pondera Lodge #80 of the Mason Post Grand Lodge of Montana AF&AM. Donations can be given to the Conrad Community Cancer Foundation.

And this is where the cowboy rides away.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary K. Yeager, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Conrad First Presbyterian Church

123 4th Avenue Southwest, Conrad, MT 59425

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