The Fence Post obituary: John E. “Jack” Humphrey
John E. “Jack” Humphrey, 81
March 12, 1937 – March 16, 2018
John E. “Jack” Humphrey, 81, of Cheyenne died March 16 from injuries sustained in a golf mishap at a golf course near Parker, Ariz. He was one of Wyoming’s most revered vo-ag teachers and agriculture educators.
Jack Humphrey was born to John and Ruth Humphrey on March 12, 1937, in Emerson, Iowa. His family moved to the Upper North Platte River Valley near Saratoga in the early 1940s, where he attended rural school near Ryan Park and then in Encampment and Saratoga. He went to both Saratoga and Encampment high schools before moving in 1954 to Exira, Iowa, where he graduated in 1955.
Returning to Wyoming in the summer of 1955, he enrolled at the University of Wyoming, earning a bachelor’s degree in dairy manufacturing in 1959.
He and Shirley Reed were married Aug. 9, 1959, in Cheyenne.
After working in sales for a few years, he decided he would rather be an ag teacher, returning to UW in 1963 where he obtained his teaching certification. Continuing his education, he earned a master’s degree in agriculture education from UW in 1964. He joined the Wyoming Air National Guard the same year and served as a loadmaster for 23 years before retiring as a master sergeant.
Jack and his family moved to Albin, Wyo., where he taught vo-ag for nine years. His FFA chapter won the sweepstakes award at the Wyoming State Fair every year he was their adviser. They also won the outstanding chapter award at the fall state judging contest each year. He was selected the outstanding young ag teacher of the year at the National Association for Agriculture Teachers in 1966.
In 1975, Jack was hired by Laramie County Community College to develop an agriculture program. He taught at the college and coached the livestock judging teams for 20 years before retiring. During the time that the board was designing and building the current agriculture facility, he worked very closely with them and acted as an adviser to insure that it would be very functional for years. He and Shirley also began farming east of Cheyenne in 1975, which they continued to do until 2014 when they retired from farming and developed the farm ground.
During his nearly 40 years of teaching, he educated and inspired hundreds of young people, most of whom still adore and admire him.
He served as an official for the FFA national poultry judging contest for almost 30 years, where he was in charge of reasons. For several years, he sold Moor-man’s Mineral Supplements to ranchers in Laramie County, prior to his beloved wife, Shirley’s retirement in 1999. One of his goals was to judge the livestock show at every county fair in the state, and he did that in each county at least once before he retired.
Always active in politics, Jack served as Laramie County Commissioner for eight years and served as chairman for several years. He served on the Wyoming State Fair Advisory Board for many years prior to his retirement.
He and his wife spent 15 years traveling in their motor home, where they visited every state at least once. They also visited most of Canada and all but five states in Mexico in their RV. They also took many military space-available flights around the world during that time.
Jack thoroughly enjoyed life and people. In addition to his travel, he loved to fish, camp and float the Upper North Platte River near Saratoga and Encampment.
A staunch supporter of UW and the ag college, Jack was also a life member of the alumni association, Cowboy Joe Club and Steer of the Year program; as well as a long-time season ticket holder. The Humphrey tailgate parties in their RV were classics.
In 2004, they purchased a home in Sun City, Ariz., where they spent their winters.
Jack is survived by his wife, Shirley; son, Mike and his wife, Rebecca; daughter, Marci Mansfield and her husband, Joe; grandchildren, Lauren, Grant and Garrett Humphrey, Brandon Altman and Kassidy (Altman) Washek. He is also survived by his adopted son, Norm Altman and his wife, Julie.
Because of his love for agriculture and young people, the family has established a scholarship fund for people to make donations in his name at Cheyenne State Bank, 101 West 19th St., Cheyenne, WY 82001.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Little America in Cheyenne. Condolences may be sent to Shirley Humphrey at 5332 Meadowbrook Drive, Cheyenne, WY 82009.
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