By HDN Staff
YUMA, Ariz. Herschell Dale Hurd, 96, formerly of Bozeman, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2002, at his home in Yuma, Ariz.
Graveside services, officiated by Pastor Bob Ogden, were held on April 3, 2002, at Sunset Vista Cemetery in Yuma, Ariz.
Herschell was born Dec. 23, 1905, in Butte to Henry Clay
and Mabel (Gordon) Hurd. Herschell was raised in the Big Sandy area where his family farmed.
He attended all four years at Big Sandy High School where he was a member of the basketball, football, track, and debate teams. 1924 was a banner year for Big Sandy in sports as they placed seventh in the state in basketball, third in track, and fourth in football. There were no state classes for sports in those years and in football Big Sandy defeated teams like Great Falls, Lewistown and Havre. Herschell received honorable mention on the state football team as fullback and at the state basketball tournament received the prestigious sportsmanship medal and was placed on the state all-star team. He also received from Montana State College the Bobcat Medal for being the player with the most outstanding performance at the high school state tournament.
After graduating from Big Sandy High School in 1924, he attended Montana State College (now Montana State University) from 1925 to 1929 where he majored in agricultural education. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Les Bouffons Honorary Men's Social Fraternity. He was also a member of honorary associations Septemviri and Alpha Zeta. He played basketball in 1928 with the famous "MSC Golden Bobcats" and played football for the Bobcats during his sophomore, junior and senior years.
On July 9, 1927 he married Lillian "Pat" Mabel McClelland in Chinook. Upon graduating from MSC and pursuing some graduate studies, Hersch taught vocational agriculture as the Smith-Hughes instructor in Lewistown for five years. He was a county agricultural agent for three years in Meagher and Park counties, and was a state director of vocational agriculture for one year. He then went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. His career of nearly 31 years included 13 years as assistant state conservationist and seven years as state conservationist, the position he held when he retired in 1965. All but two years of his employment was in Montana.
Upon his retirement from the SCS, he continued working in the field of agriculture: two years as manager of a 40,000-acre farm near Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada; six years as agricultural consultant for Morrison Grain Corporation in the U.S. and Canada, and finally one year as an importer of land clearing equipment.
With work finally out of the picture, Hersch and Pat traveled via RV in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America and New Zealand. They also vacationed in Hawaii and Australia. They had a home in Havre, and during the summer enjoyed taking their grandchildren on fishing trips to Beaver Creek Park and for many years helped his son during harvest on his farm south of Kremlin. In 1979 they purchased a home in Yuma, Ariz. After "snowbirding" for several years, they took up permanent residence in Yuma.
In addition to spending quality time with his family, Hersch liked beachcombing, rockhounding, hunting, fishing, and playing golf. He enjoyed spectator sports and in later years like to watch basketball, football, baseball and golf on television. He was a Mason and a member of the Elks Club.
Hersch was preceded in death by his wife in 1995 and brothers Russell, Verlin and Harley Hurd.
He is survived by his sister, Lyla Soule of La Jolla, Calif., sister-in-law, Edith Hurd of Kalispell, son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Rosalie (Fulton) Hurd of Kremlin, daughter, Cheryl (Hurd) Bueno of El Centro, Calif., grandchildren and their spouses, Willie and Viki (Johnson) Hurd of Havre, Mike and Jamie (Willett) Hurd of Bozeman, four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews and their children.