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Harold "Ed" Edwin Auker

August 5, 1948 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Harold "Ed" Auker Obituary

Harold Edwin Auker, 75, of Hardin, Montana passed away peacefully at home on January 21, 2024.

Ed was born August 5, 1948 to Harold and Martha (Wagner) Auker in Cody, WY before moving to Glendive, MT. While in Glendive Ed attended Dawson County High School where he and Luana Mittelsteadt met and began dating. After graduating in 1966, Ed began his college studies at Dawson Community College before earning his Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Montana College in 1971.

After graduation, Ed moved to Hardin to begin teaching English at both the middle school and high school. To his 9th-grade students, “Mr. Auker” is well remembered for teaching them Old English, William Shakespeare, and forcing them to recite poetry at the front of the class. During the summer months, Ed drove the mosquito spray truck in the Hardin area and studied for his Master’s Degree in Education which he earned from Montana State University in 1995. Ed used his Master’s Degree in his role as Dean of Students at Hardin High School until his retirement after 28 years with the school district.

After retiring from teaching, Ed worked as the Big Horn County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator before taking on the role of Big Horn County Airport Manager.

Ed and Luana were married in 1972 and together the high school sweethearts welcomed their two sons Steve in 1977 and David in 1980.

Ed valued spending time in nature, with many of his hobbies and pastimes centered around the great outdoors. For those able to keep up with Ed’s hiking pace he would take them many miles into the Beartooth Mountain Range, backpacking and fishing along the way. After a time Ed traded in the cold floor of a tent for the warmth and ease of an RV, which he lovingly referred to as his “Road Carp”. This home away from home acted as a comfortable base for him and Luana to spend weeks at a time camping and exploring the Bighorn Mountains and shores of Oregon.

One of the other ways that Ed found to explore open spaces was to do so from the air. After purchasing a Cessna from a junkyard in Colorado, Ed and his friends set to work rebuilding the plane in his garage before finishing it at the airport. Later, Ed put his talent to use building another flying machine; this time a homebuilt ultralight.

Throughout his life, Ed was a man of many varied pursuits which he turned into stories that would entertain family, friends, and anyone within earshot. Whether it be racing his homebuilt dune buggy, fishing in Alaska, exploring caves, or paddling waterways we all felt like we were alongside him as Ed would regale us with his tales of adventure. No one could tell a story quite like Ed. When not telling his stories to a captivated audience at Bear Lodge on the Bighorn Mountains, or having adventures to create new stories, Ed was often found in his garage creating art on his lathe in the form of bowls, plates, and other hidden treasures held within the wood. After receiving his HAM radio license, Ed discovered an untapped audience for his stories, telling strangers as far away as Svalbard how he ended up with tire tracks on his face and how he explained that to Lu.

Ed was a teacher, colleague, friend, husband, and father. He will be deeply missed.

Ed is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Luana Auker; sons, Steve Auker, David (Jennifer) Auker; brother George (Laura) Auker; sister Theresa (Geoff) Becker; and grandson Nathaniel Auker.

A Celebration of Ed’s Adventures will be held at: Bullis Family Center on Saturday, February 10th between 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Interment will be at a later date in Glendive. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charitable organization.

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Celebration of Life
February 10, 2024

2:00 PM
Bullis Family Center


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