Robert Jerald “Jerry” Hand passed peacefully on January 29, 2020, at the age of 88, while at his Florida home away from home. He was born May 1, 1931, in Wagner, S.D., the oldest of seven children, of H.R. and Mary Rose Hand. His family relocated to Cheyenne and then to Casper in 1938. He attended St. Anthony’s School, Jefferson School, Dean Morgan Junior High and was a proud graduate of NCHS in 1949. He was a Cadet Colonel in the Army ROTC and was honored as a distinguished military student. He served in the U.S. army during the Korean Conflict, receiving his discharge as a Captain. He attended the University of Wyoming where he was a member of numerous organizations including: Sigma Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Chi Gamma Lota, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Scabbard and Blade. Jerry served as Student Body President from 1956-7 and went on to serve as President of the Alumni Association from 1968-69. He received both a BA and a JD from the University of Wyoming, graduating 2nd in his class at the University of Wyoming School of Law. Jerry was a proud Cowboy Fan, cheering on the Pokes. He was especially proud to cheer on his favorite Cowboy Players, Josh Harshman and Logan Wilson, who he considered to be his adopted grandsons.
He married Agnes Catherine Troughton in Laramie in 1958 and had the habit of introducing her as “his beautiful bride.” He passed away 10 days short of their 62nd Wedding Anniversary.
Jerry was a hard worker. He started working at the family business, Handy Spot, as a child where he sold pop, candy bars, popcorn etc. at Washington Park Band Concerts. He worked many odd jobs to put himself through school. He was a paper boy, a carpenter helper for the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad on the line from Casper to Thermopolis, a hasher, and a dishwasher. Following his graduation from Law School he was appointed to serve as a Clerk for Judge Pickett on the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court. He returned to Casper and served as assistant City of Casper Attorney under Dick Tobin. He served 8 years as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Natrona County and 12 years as Municipal Judge for the City of Casper. He became a member of the Wyoming State Bar in 1957 and after retirement was a member under Emeritus Status.
He served as President of many professional organizations, including the Wyoming State Bar Foundation, Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association and Natrona County Bar Association. As a member of the Bar Association, he also served as Secretary/Treasurer and was on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming State Bar Foundation. Jerry was also involved with Wyoming Reporter for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction, American Judicature Society and the Task Force on Adjudication of National Highway Safety Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Natrona County Zoning Board from 1963-8 and served as their attorney from 1972-6. He became the Airport Board Attorney in 1968 and remained their counsel for many years. Jerry was in private practice for a good part of his career, where he was honored to work with his youngest brother Dennis Mark “Joe” Hand until Joe’s death. He partnered with his beloved son, Robert Jerald Hand, Jr. until his retirement. Jerry was a Certified Arbitrator and Mediator and worked with the Wyoming Guardian Ad Litem Program. He lectured at American Tribal Indian Judges School, Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, University of Wyoming College of Law, Casper College People’s Law School and various other continuing legal education seminars. He had articles published in the Wyoming Law Journal. In 2017 he proudly received a recognition from the Wyoming Bar Association for 60 years of Distinguished Service.
Jerry believed in giving back to his community. He was a member of BPOE 1353, serving as Exalted Ruler; American Legion George Vroman Post #2, Past State Judge Advocate; Friends of Natrona County Library; and Casper Chamber of Commerce where he served on the Aviation Committee. He was a charter member of Wyoming Pilots Association. He attended Wyoming’s First Boys State in 1948 and served many years on their staff. He was the Attorney for the Wyoming Girl Scout Council from 1965-1980 and delighted in saying he was a card-carrying member of the Girl Scouts. He served as President of Law Enforcement Assistance Administration from 1969-78 and Sertoma International. Jerry was a member of the Cross-Country Ski Club; Friends of Natrona County Library; Fort Casper Museum Association; and Wyoming Pioneer Association. He was a patron of Nicolaysen Art Museum and Children’s Center; National Historic Trails Interpretive Center; Casper Children’s Chorale and Platte River Trails. He served as an usher at his beloved parish, Our Lady of Fatima for many years.
Jerry was the proud father of Michele Hand, Debbie LaChance (Joel) and Robert Jerald Hand, Jr. He leaves behind his precious grandchildren: Brendan LaChance, Breanne Walker (Zach), Cate Camacho (Dylan), Colin Hand Bailey (Alex), Brady LaChance, and Brynley LaChance and 2 great-grand children Mia Mae Walker and “Smiley” Riley Camacho. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Dennis Mark “Joe” Hand, James Francis Hand, Richard Thomas Hand, and Mary Ardis Heuer. He is survived by 2 siblings and many nieces and nephews.
A Rosary will be held Tuesday, February 18th at 6:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, February 19th at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. A burial will take place following the service at Highland Cemetery with Honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Mary’s Fund, Casper Children’s Chorale, or Friends of Natrona County Library.
To share your memories of Jerry or leave a special condolence message for the family, please click the Share Memories button above.