Raymond Donald Hutson, 79, of Sheridan, passed away on Monday, November 20, 2017, at his residence.
Raymond D. Hutson was born September 2, 1938 near Arnett,
Oklahoma to a cowboy family, Francis LaVaughn Beardsley Hutson and Thomas
Lawrence Hutson. He rode a horse to school in the first grade and horses
and mules were a part of him for the rest of his life. He broke horses,
trained horses and mules, and chariot raced. He especially enjoyed
breaking work teams and was always ready to share his wisdom and
experiences with others.
In 1958 he worked as a wrangler at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone
National Park. This is where he met the love of his life Bea (Beatrice)
J. Babione. They were married on September 11, 1958 and lived around
Bozeman, Montana where they started their family, Donna Rae and Rusty
Levi. He continued to cowboy on ranches. His interests expanded to
chariot racing and wagon trains. He opened Hutson’s Saddlery on Main
Street in Bozeman.
His chariot racing included Cutters and Roman style. He raced
all over Montana and Wyoming including West Yellowstone and Cheyenne
Frontier Days. He liked the challenge of racing three & four teams at a
time, a start from a gunshot and no starting gates. Raymond raced for
over 20 years before turning the lines over to his son and daughter. He
then became the hot walker and trainer. For many years he was Jack
Greer’s choice to hold his relay horses. Jack knew he would get him off
to a good start to win many races.
In 1967 Bea & Raymond moved to Sheridan, WY where the family
continued ranching and reopened Hutson’s Saddlery. In 2004 Rusty built
him a new saddle shop/museum where he built several new saddles, chaps,
all kinds of tack and did leather repair work.
After his first trip to Walker Prairie in 1968 he fell in love
with the area and made it a yearly trip for him and the family during
hunting season. They went to enjoy the mountains as a family vacation.
Hunting was secondary. Their camp on the Prairie was a favorite to many
people. Raymond made several trips throughout the year. He enjoyed
packing his mules and horses to take family and friends to the Prairie.
Many compliments were heard about his pack string on how nice they
looked. The place has become “Walker Prairie Heaven” to him and his
family. Raymond took pride in everything he did. He always had a good
dog by his side and many stories to share.
Raymond took part in The Custer Reenactment and the movie Far &
Away with his teams and wagons. He has rebuilt many wagons and has quite
a collection of them and horse drawn equipment. He always said he was
born 50 years to late. He would have made a great pioneer. He was Wagon
Master for many wagon trains and enjoyed letting other people share this
wonderful experience. In 1990 as Wagon Master for the Cowboy State
Centennial Wagon Train he led over 500 people and 87 wagons on the route.
He had good help from his assistant Wagon Master, Dr. Roy Olson. Many
wagon trains he led into the Hole-In-The Wall and Custer Nat. Forest near
Birney, Montana. People enjoyed them so much they would return every
year that he had one. He was so excited to have been able to take his
grandson, Josh and great grandson, Landon on the wagon trains.
Raymond and Bea worked together side by side for 59 years on
everything they did whether doing chores on the ranch or frying
hamburgers for Aunt Bea’s Chuckwagon. They included their children Donna
and Rusty, grandsons Josh and Landon as well as several foster children,
Johnny Freeze, Tom Verwolf, Virgil Babione, Brad Legerski and Rickey
Geisler as well as mentoring many others. They broke many draft horses
in the 70’s & 80’s and sold teams. They also took part in many parades,
shows, weddings and funerals with the teams.
He was a charter member of the Cayuse Cutter Club in Bozeman, MT,
the Wyotana Chariot Club in Sheridan, WY and the Northeast WY Draft horse
and Mule Assoc. where he served as president for many years as well as
president of Sheridan Horse Patrol. Raymond was a life member of the
Sheridan Elks Club and a member of the Banner Community Club. In 2014
Raymond was honored to be one of the first inductees into the Wyo Cowboy
Hall of Fame.
Raymond was preceded in death by both parents, brother Clayton
Hutson, sister Billie Lee Beagle, brother-in-laws Ace Johnson and Joe
Beagle, Bill, Cecil and Richard Babione, nephews Eric and Marty Beagle
and foster son Tom Verwolf. He is survived by his wife, Bea, daughter
Donna Rae Hutson, son Rusty Levi Hutson, grandson Joshua Levi Hutson,
great grandson Landon Levi Hutson, all of Sheridan. His sister Jane
(Gary) Molloy Gage, OK, brothers Malcome (Dorie) Hutson of Wenatchee, WA
and Thomas (Stephanie) Hutson of Woodward, OK. Sister in-laws Joyce
Johnson of Billings, MT and Danna Babione of Sheridan and numerous nieces
A Celebration of Life and reception will be held at 2 PM, Thursday, December 14, 2017, at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.
Memorial donations may be made to the Banner Community Club or the High Country Cowboy Church, c/o D. Hutson, 9 Upper Prairie Dog Road, Banner, WY 82832
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.