A. Rex Hafer, 94, died peacefully in Billings, Montana, his “favorite state,” on Thursday, October 31, 2019 with family by his side.
Rex was born on January 19, 1925 to A. Rex Sr. and Bessie (Talbot) Hafer in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. In the fourth grade, Rex moved to Newkirk, Oklahoma with his mother, father and little sister. He completed his elementary education in Newkirk and while in high school, he served as president of his Junior class. Rex was an Eagle Scout, receiving Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palms. In 1943, three days before his high school graduation ceremony, Rex was inducted into the Army where he served initially in the Army Air Corp. It was during his time in the military where he discovered his passion for airplanes and flying, a passion that would be lifelong. As an air transport technician, he spent 19 months oversees, stationed predominately in China. By the age of 21, he had traveled around the world. Following an honorable discharge, Rex attended the University of Oklahoma where in 1950 he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, another area that would be a lifelong passion.
In 1951, Rex who had begun working as a Geologist in the oil industry took a job in Billings, Montana. Later that year, he met Ann Nelson on a blind date on New Year’s Eve. He obviously knew he had found “the one” because he proposed to her three months later and married her six months after that. After two years of marriage the couple welcomed their first child, Randy, followed two years later by their second, Craig, and another two years later by their third, Gary. They shared 65 years together!
After it became obvious that his career may take him out of state more then he desired, Rex decided to go out on his own and became an Independent Prospecting Petroleum Geologist in order to stay in the state of Montana. Rex Hafer was a man that lived with passion; working hours, his own hours, were spent doing what he loved and his casual time was spent in the same manner. He loved his family and adventures with them in Montana as well as the plane flights he and Ann would make around the country to visit their sons who had moved out of state. Rex enjoyed sharing his many interests with those he loved. In later years when no longer able to fly he continued to relish those times with his friends in the “Old Pilots Club.”
He is preceded in death by his wife, Ann Hafer; parents, Rex and Bessie Hafer; and son, Gary Hafer.
Rex is survived by his sister, Anna Louise Hollingsworth; son Randy (Janna) Hafer and grandchildren, James Hafer, Matthew Hafer, Lindsey Hafer (Jase Oriet), Michelle (Shawn) Crochet, Jared Siess, Kourtney Siess, Rebecca Siess, and great-grandchildren, Emilie and Isabelle Crochet; and son Craig (Hae Bolduc) Hafer and grandchildren Ryan Hafer, Brianna Hafer, Kayla Hafer, Alex (Nadya Cartagena) Bolduc and great-granddaughter Aria Bolduc and granddaughter Mira Bolduc (Peter Picardi).
A memorial service will be held in Rex’s honor at 2:00 pm Saturday, November 9, at First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials in any amount can be made in Rex’s name to First United Methodist Church or Billings Parks and Recreation Memorial Tree Program.