Duane (Buck) Harold Homewood was born in Strawberry Point, Clayton County, Iowa, on Aug. 1, 1927, the son of Rufus and Inez DeLano Homewood. He had two sisters: Vera, just older, and Verla, just younger than he. In Iowa, his dad farmed as a sharecropper, while also working on the railroad, from which he ultimately retired after 28 years.
Buck’s mother’s uncle Arley DeLano, a railroad worker, who brought him to Frannie, bought land there in 1903. Bringing a house from Ballard Flats, he put it down where Campbell’s Frannie Tack Shop is now. Buck’s dad followed, buying land, including where Buck’s ranch is now, while continuing to work on the railroad. When Buck was a baby, his mom, determined to move to Frannie from Iowa, loaded up an old Model T and literally worked her way to Frannie, arriving in 1929. Buck’s dad ran sheep, which meant Buck worked sheep, though he didn’t like them much.
After attending school through the eighth grade in Frannie, his best friend, Dale Shidler, convinced him to attend school in Cowley, graduating in 1945. He lived with the Shidlers during the week and at home in Frannie during the weekend. Basketball was his true love in high school, making Cowley a perfect fit.
With World War II still raging, Buck joined the Navy and left the day after graduation, turning 18 on the ship carrying him to the Pacific Theater of the war. Learning he was a farm kid from Wyoming, meaning he could drive, the Navy Seabees immediately snatched Buck. He drove into jungles, laying rubber landing mats for planes, start to finish in three hours, until he was honorably discharged on June 25, 1946.
In the naval reserves, clearing back roads throughout northern Wyoming and southern Montana during the blizzards of 1949, Kewitt Construction noticed him. He was first a foreman for them in Billings. From there, he ultimately became the Northwest Regional Supervisor of Kewitt, covering all of the northwest from Washington to California and east to Nebraska and Colorado. Ultimately, he retired from Kewitt in the mid 1960s as the company supervisor in Caracas, Venezuela.
A Kewitt foreman then sold Buck his ranch in Luther, Montana. He did his first cattle drive from Luther, Montana, to Frannie, Wyoming, in 1968, continuing until shortly before he sold the Luther ranch in 1990, having bought out his Frannie ranch, which he had been running, from his mother, in 1987. While construction was his living and forte, his true love was always cows and horses.
In 1965, Buck, his wife Chuck, and children Del and Lucky were baptized and became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Being very service minded, he belonged to every civic organization available: Elks, Masons, Shriners and Rotary, to name a few. He was president of the Red Lodge Riding Club for five years and vice-president for four years. He frequently provided the stock and helped get the rodeo PRCA sanctioned, along with helping to bring in some big name cowboys.
In addition to his parents and sisters, Buck was preceded in death by two children, Jimmy and Del; a stepson, James Houston; and three wives: Laura Combs; Charlotte (Chuck) Parent (to whom he was married 40 years); and after Chuck passed, Elaine Higgins.
Buck is survived by daughter, Sandra Blackburn; sons, Kevin (Debbie) and Lucky (Tina); adopted daughters of Del, Jaelynn and Jessica Homewood; and two stepchildren, Janet and Rolina (Randy) Houston; and many grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cowley, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at 11 a.m. The cremains will be interred in the Deaver Frannie Cemetery.