OGDEN — Somewhere out on the range, empty sets of boots and horses wait for four lifelong Weber County cowboys.
And while those saddles and shoes won’t be filled in this life, Jim Smith, Gary Cooper, Jack Hannum and Bud Favero clearly haven’t been forgotten.
The quartet of deceased cowboys are all being honored, in some shape or form, at this year’s Ogden Pioneer Days celebration. Cooper, Hannum and Favero were all inducted into the Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Cowboy Hall of Fame last week, while Smith will serve posthumously as grand marshal of the 2015 Pioneer Days event. His wife, Paula, who lives in Honeyville, will also serve as a grand marshal.
Smith was 67 when he died in March 2013, after a two-year battle with angioimmunoblastic lymphoma. The owner of Smith and Edwards Co., Smith was a founding member of the Ogden Pioneer Heritage Foundation. He supported many youth programs, particularly those involving agricultural and rodeo events, like Future Farmers of America and the 4-H program.
After his death, the Jim Smith Memorial Scholarship was established, which each year gives $1,000 scholarships to one local boy and girl who are active members in rodeo, 4-H or FFA and fulfill certain other academic qualifications.
“Jim's unique brand of kindness and integrity was as infectious as it was special, and we will forever miss his smile and hearty handshake,” says a tribute on the Pioneer Days website. “We will always honor his memory and legacy.”
The Smiths also were the 2013 inductees to the Miss Rodeo Utah Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great honor that people are still thinking about him,” Paula Smith said. “Jim would have loved it.”
Cooper was a well-known rodeo man for 30 years. According to the Heritage Museum, he rode in the bareback and bull riding events, competing well into his 40s. In 1956 he won the Rocky Mountain Rodeo Association bull riding championships. Thirteen years after his first championship, he went on to win three consecutive RMRA bareback competitions, in 1969, 1970 and 1971.
“Coop,” as he was called by his friends, later served as director of the RMRA the Utah State High School Rodeo.
His daughter, Desiree Cooper-Larsen, said he passed along his riding skills to the younger generation of cowboys.
“His impact was widespread,” Cooper-Larsen said. “He was always looking to help some young cowboy who was looking to be the next rodeo star. He comes from that old cowboy cloth. He was a legend.”
In 2006, Cooper was recognized at the first honoree for Utah County’s National Day of the American Cowboy. He died in August 2007.
Hannum, 70, died on Sept. 16 from complications that followed a ruptured gallbladder. His wife of more than 45 years, Lynn Crittenden Hannum, died just hours before he did, succumbing to a five-year battle with cancer.
After a stint teaching and coaching high school football, Hannum started rodeoing full time.
According to the heritage museum, Hannum was All-Around Champion and Calf Roping Champion in 1977 at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the first cowboy in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to win over $10,000 at a single rodeo. He won at Cheyenne four other times and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo five times. He was a five-time Wilderness Circuit All-Around Champion; an eight-time Wilderness Circuit Steer Wrestling champion; a three-time Wilderness Circuit tie-down roping champion, and Wilderness Circuit team roping champion.
He held rodeo schools throughout the United States, training cowboys in calf roping, steer wrestling and breakaway roping. He also worked for PRCA for 25 years in several positions: rodeo administration, circuit coordinator and supervisor of pro officials.
“My dad was always humble,” said Hannum’s daughter Amee Roundy. “He never wanted recognition, so when we heard he was being honored, we all laughed because had he been alive, he would have said, ’Na, give it to somebody else.’”
According to the Heritage Museum, Favero was nominated to the hall of fame as an “individual who promoted the Western lifestyle.”
Favero was a member of the Weber County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse for more than 50 years and helped establish the Junior Posse program in Weber County.
The lifelong Weber County resident was also a former Pioneer Days Rodeo chairman and president of the Wasatch Slope Cutter Racing Association. He was a Weber County commissioner from 1965 through 1966.
“Whatever he was involved with during his lifetime, he gave it his whole heart,” says his Heritage Museum biography.
Favero died in 2006.
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.