Edgar “Ed” Jess Boner


LUSK – Edgar “Ed” Jess Boner, 94, a lifelong Niobrara County, Wyoming rancher, passed away July 12, 2021, at the Niobrara Health and Life Center where he had been a resident since July 2016. In his own words, he stopped “plugging along”.

A Celebration of Life will be Sunday, Aug. 1, 3 p.m. at Lusk Congregational Church. Pastor Mark Lohr officiating, with eulogy by Randy Corley. Interment will follow at the Lusk Cemetery.

Ed was born in Edgemont, South Dakota on Jan. 18, 1927, to Jess and Izetta (Renswold) Boner. For the next 85 years, his home was the Boner Ranch, 35 miles northeast of Lusk. Ed was later joined by brothers, Jim and Bob, to complete the family. After Jess Boner’s untimely death in 1945, Izetta and the brothers partnered to run the Boner Ranch until 1963, when Bob purchased a ranch in Converse County. Izetta, Ed and Jim remained ranching partners until Jim’s death in September 1973 and Izetta’s in 1977. Ed continued operating the Boner Ranch until 2012 when the ranch sold.

Over the decades, he managed tens of thousands of cattle and many more sheep. Sheep were his favorite, primarily the Rambouillet and Columbia breeds. In 2012, he purchased a ranch property north of Lusk. Ed was known to outwork those half his age and was an active rancher into his late ‘80s. 

Ed was homeschooled by his mother through sixth grade. Grades seven and eight were at Buena Vista school in northern Niobrara County. Ed boarded in Lusk to attend high school, graduating with the class of 1945. He played football and was a proud member of the 1944 District Champion squad. After graduation, he attended several quarters at the University of Wyoming, eventually returning to the ranch full time. 

On Dec. 19, 1951, Ed married Juanita Pauline “Polly” Green in a ceremony in Casper at the same church where Ed’s parents were married. They made their life together on the Boner Ranch and to this union were born three daughters, Jessie, Charlene, Karen and one son Edgar Jordan “Jordy”. The hardest challenge the Boner family faced was Jordy’s tragic death at the age of 18. The family considered Ed as their ‘Rock.’

Ed was very involved in his community and state, active on boards and organizations including: Niobrara County School Board; Niobrara Agriculture and Stabilization Board (Conservation Committee); Niobrara Predator Control Board; Soil and Water Conservation District (board member); Niobrara County 4-H Program; Masons (numerous offices); Order of Eastern Star (numerous offices); Jobs Daughters (Associate Guardian); Wyoming Wool Growers Association (Executive Committee); Wyoming Stock Growers Association (Mineral Committee); Wyoming Department of Agriculture Board (board member/President).

In addition to his family, one of Ed’s greatest loves was flying. He purchased a Piper Cub in the 1950s and flew it his entire career! Starting lessons at age 16, he acquired his pilot’s license by the time he was 18. Ed used his plane to assist in daily ranch work, always amazing people with where he could take off and land. Many people flew with Ed, including five generations of family, ending with his great-grandchildren. 

Ed is survived by his three daughters: Jessie Walduck, Lusk; Charlene Boner, Cheyenne; Karen Boner, Cheyenne; grandchildren: Shannon Lauer (Renea Flores), El Cajon, California; Kirk (Stephanie) Haas, LaGrange; Kevin (Jamie) Haas, Crawford, Nebraska; Jess (Kelly) Ketcham, Cheyenne; great-grandchildren: Chloe, Luke, Liam Haas and Jace, Jack Ketcham; three nephews: Brad (Laurie) Boner, Glenrock; Rob (Ann) Boner, Orin Junction; Jeff (Tracey) Boner, Douglas. 

Ed was preceded in death by his parents Jess and Izetta Boner, wife Polly Boner, son Jordy Boner, grandson Dustin Lauer, son-in-law Phillip Walduck, brother Jim Boner and sister-in-law Betty Boner, brother Bob Boner and sister-in-law Ann Boner.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ed may be made to donor’s choice. Ed Boner’s parting words were often, “Don’t drive over a hundred!”

Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

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