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Submitted by: Bob Chada
|© The Guthrie News Leader|
|Wednesday, July 23, 2003|
Memorial services are pending at Smith Funeral Home in Guthrie for longtime Logan County resident Hump Halsey, 82. Hump died Monday, July 21, 2003 at Colonial Estates Nursing Home in Guthrie.
|© The Guthrie News Leader|
|Thursday, July 24, 2003|
Memorial services for Hump Halsey, 82, of Guthrie will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 28, 2003 at the First Christian Church, 402 E. Noble, in Guthrie. Arrangements are under the direction of Smith Funeral Home of Guthrie.
Halsey was born May 28, 1921 in Seminole to Neal and Edna Mae (Sandlin) Halsey. He died Monday, July 21, 2003 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
He graduated from Varnum High School, where he was active in 4-H. It was then he developed his love for cattle and rodeo. Hump began contesting in rodeo and trick roping in the late 1930s. He contested in every event, finally settling into roping and bulldogging. He was a charter member of the International Trick and Fancy Ropers Association and a member of the first professional rodeo cowboys association, the Cowboy Turtles Association.
Hump worked his way through college as a member of the Oklahoma A&M Student Entertainers with his trick ropes and bullwhip act. They traveled all over Oklahoma and the surrounding states.
Hump's rodeo career was interrupted in 1942 by World War II. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve while at Oklahoma A&M and continued his rodeoing and trick roping until called to active duty in early 1943. While clowning at a Labor Day rodeo in Guthrie, he met his "rodeo queen," Eddie Lou Pritchett of Mulhall. Already being a pilot, he would land in the pasture in back of her house in a Porterfield airplane to pick her up for a date. In January 1943, he won enough money roping and bulldogging at the Stockyards Coliseum Rodeo in Oklahoma City to buy her an engagement ring. Soon after he was called to active duty with the Air Corps and sent to California for aviation cadet training. Hump and Eddie Lou were married on July 24, 1943 in King City, Calif. and the day after the wedding he was featured as a trick roper and rode a bull in the King City Rodeo.
Hump wanted to fly big bombers and got his chance starting in B-17s and then the B-29 Superfortress. He was soon overseas in the China-Burma-India theater of operations. He flew from home bases in India over the "hump" to forward bases in China from where they flew missions against the Japanese homeland and the coast of China. He made 23 round trips over the "hump," as well as 28 bombing missons over mainland Japan, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, Malaya and Sumatra. Hump's second tour of duty overseas was on the island of Tinian in the Marianas. He was there when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and flew over the battleship USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945 when the treaty between Japan and the Allied Nations was signed.
Hump was released from active duty in 1946 and returned home to build his family's home on WIld Cat Curve south of Mulhall.
He continued rodeoing and flying in the Air Force Reserve on weekends out of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. He began farming and acquiring a herd of Black Angus cattle and taught veterans' agriculture in Guthrie. He started back to A&M to finish his degree in animal husbandry and was again called into active duty with the Air Force for the Korean War. Having had over 2000 hours in four-engine bombers, he was assigned to fly the largest bomber ever built, the 10-engine B-36. The B-36 was called the "Peacemaker" because it helped win the Cold War with the Soviet Union without ever firing a shot. When he was separated from active service he had amassed over 6,000 pilot hours in the air, a record of which he was very proud.
Everywhere he went, Hump carried his trick ropes and his bullwhips. He performed on every continent and several islands in the Pacific. It was just natural for him to have a rope in his hand. His love for rodeos led him to serve 19 years on the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Range Round-Up committee. He had also been involved with the '89er Celebrations in Guthrie for many years up until ill health kept him as a bystander only. He was a great promoter of youth, working closely with many young people in showing and fitting cattle for shows. His love of children led him to perform for them at Make Miracles Happen and for handicapped or ill children at the Oklahoma Childrens Hospital. Hump and his faithful dog "Dog" were favorites with chidlren everywhere.
Hump and Eddie Lou made their home at Wild Cat Curve Angus Farms south of Mulhall for 51 years before moving to Guthrie because of Hump's declining health.
Hump was a member of the Guthrie Lions Club, the American Legion, the Rodeo Historical Society, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and the First Christian Church of Guthrie. He was past president of the Oklahoma Angus Association and a life member of the Oklahoma State Alumni.
Hump was a kind and gentle man who loved people. He will be missed by his family and the many diverse friends who knew him and loved him.
The family requests in lieu of flowers memorials be made in his name to the Organ Fund at First Christ Church or the charity of your choice.
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Updated: Thursday, 07-Aug-2008 08:45:35 CDT
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