Casper lost local skiing legend and yodeler Robert Larue Hardesty to a brain tumor on July 14, 2023 at the age of 94. He was born in Cody, WY to Reverend Charles Elmer Hardesty and Sarah Herter Hardesty on November 25, 1928.
His family lived in Sheridan, WY from 1933 to 1939. One of his favorite memories from this time was learning to ski on the hill below the Kendrick Mansion. In 1940, the family moved to Casper where Bob grew his roots. He attended Park School, which at that time was grades 1-8, graduated from Natrona County High School in 1947 and attended Casper College, where it started on the 3rd floor of NCHS. Knowing he was going to be drafted in the Korean War, Bob wanted to spend a winter skiing, “just in case”. The winter of ’51 was spent at the Snow King and Sun Valley Ski Areas. He lived frugally, boot packing for lift tickets, and sleeping in his station wagon.
Returning to Casper after the war, Bob spent the 50’s perfecting his ski technique on Miner, Nursery and Bumps-a-Daisy ski runs, until Hogadon opened in 1959, where Bob eventually became the area manager. Stories are still told of Bob being fair but firm when kids got to misbehaving, earning him the name “Hard n’ Nasty” which he proudly engraved on a pair of Head skis.
Bob married Phyllis Mary Bartshe at St. Anthony Church in Casper, WY in 1959. They had three daughters, Laurie, Kerry, and Michelle.
Bob eventually got a job with Glenrock Coal Company, where he worked for 26 years as a heavy equipment operator until his retirement. Hogadon was still a big part of his life. He volunteered on the ski patrol and continued to work as a ski instructor for many years. Many will remember how he relentlessly sold tickets for the Ski Patrol’s Warren Miller movie fundraiser. He was always proud to have sold the most tickets.
The lingering affect of a broken ankle made getting his foot into a ski boot impossible. However, he made the best of it by asking most anyone (anywhere!) if they were a snow skier and giving them a few dry land pointers. He also loved spending his mornings on the front porch sitting in his ski chair, giving a yodel to whomever walked by.
Bob is survived by his wife of 63 years, Phyllis, daughters Laurie (Bob Swan), Kerry (Kyle Gray), Michelle (Mike Leyba) and grandchildren Erin and Zane Gray and Robert and Ryan Leyba.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Charles, and sisters Wilma Bollinger and Clara Jean Amen.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to honor Bob’s memory may be made to the Casper Mountain Ski Patrol. The funeral service will be held at Bustards and Jacoby Funeral Home on Saturday, July 22, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. with Reverend Loren Boyce of First United Methodist Church officiating.
His burial will follow at Highland Park Cemetery with a reception to follow at Three Crowns Golf Course.
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Starts at 10:00am (Mountain time)
Bustard and Jacoby Funeral Home
Memorial service at Bustard's Chapel with Graveside Committal Service with Military Honors to follow at Highland Cemetery