Gary James Pearman

2019 Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee

May 2, 1945

Gary James Pearman was born on May 2, 1945 to Elmer (Neak was one of the last true horse traders) and Helen Mae Ingrum Pearman.  His siblings include sister Rosalie, brothers Leland Dean (deceased in 1981), Clarence Lynn (Spook) and Terry Joe (Chub).  His children include Shannon, John and daughter-in-law Lourdes Nocera.  Grandchildren Kelly and husband Sage Haythorn, Jensen and Jordan Nocera and Great Grandson Steel Haythorn.

Gary, Dean and Spook probably put a handle on every horse Neak came home with and didn’t have much time to do it.

Gary’s earliest childhood memory is living on the Tommy Lyle Starr Ranch (now know as the Dent Place) during the “49 Blizzard”.  They moved North of Seneca to the Pearman Place.  He went to school at Jim Town School before moving to Seneca where he finished grade school.  He attended high school in Thedford and participated in football, basketball and track, but his main interest was horses.  He competed in High School Rodeos in rough stock, adding bull dogging his junior and senior years.  In 1963, he qualified for the Nationals in Tarkio, MO where he won 3rd in the bronc riding and 10th in bull riding in the 3rd go-round.

In 1966, Gary was drafted into the Army.  He headed to Louisiana for basic training then to El Paso, Texas to learn how to drive a truck and on to Germany to work in Transportation, a short time in Spain, where he went to some bullfights.  He was discharged in 1968.

Gary got back into the rodeo circuit.  He won the bull riding twice in Mullen.  In 1981 and 1982 he won 2nd in the NSRA bulldogging event.  It was normal for a bunch of guys to load up in front and back of his ol’ green pickup and head for the rodeo.

Growing up Gary always had a job usually on a ranch working at Big Creek, Jim Miller place and Sonny Hanna’s.  He hauled drywall, drove a cement truck, worked for Cherry County and worked for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a laborer on an Anchor Gang and a Grinder Operator until he retired in 2005.

Gary has worn many hats in his life but his most favorite one of course is his cowboy hat.  Gary has been around horses all his life.  He’s always been darn good at training horses.  The Carver Ranch at Whitman, NE hired Gary for 30 years to basically train their horses for their yearly horse sale.  Everyone that knows him considered his 30 years on the railroad a big waste of horsemanship talent.  When asked which horses were some of his favorites he mentioned Bill, Gray Bull and Zeke, but his most favorite one was Dusty, which was chosen as Bull Dogging Horse of the year in 1982.  Gary married Betty Karen in 1990.  She was doing some barrel racing and decided Dusty was her new barrel horse after Gary and Dusty beat all the girls at a All Girls Barrel Race at A.B. Cox’s.   Betty went on to do very well on Dusty.

Gary is a true cowboy and excellent horseman.  He along with Betty Karen have done everything they could to promote rodeo.  They have spent countless hours in the arena teaching kids the right way to do whatever they were wanting to do and then having them and their horses or going to watch them compete all over the state.  If a kid needs a horse Gary will mount them on one of his own or find one that works.  Gary also has a large selection of tack just in case someone needs something.  Gary is known for telling it like he sees it, which might have hurt some kids’ feelings a time or two but it only made them cowboy or cowgirl up and improve in their talents.

You have to look long and hard to find a true cowboy that is so willing to share his knowledge and talent with our young kids.  There are many young and old that look up to Pearman for his accomplishments.

Gary was well known to a lot of kids that he worked with and they called him Gramps, some adults call him that too.

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