Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Alberta (Berta) Jaye Hurley

 

February 24, 2022

Alberta (Berta) Jaye Hurley

Alberta Jaye Hurley unexpectedly passed away at home, on Saturday February 12, 2022, at the young age of 52.  

Born on June 20, 1969, in Thermopolis, Wyo., Berta is the third of five children, and is the oldest daughter of Jack and Dolly (Harvey) Hurley. 

Berta attended Lucerne Elementary School and Hot Springs County High School. After playing basketball as a Lucerne Bulldog and a Lady Bobcat, she was a Class of '87 graduate. After high school, she attended Casper College and continued her education in Chadron, Neb., where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Special Education.

From the time we can remember, Berta always had a love for protecting and loving others. In high school, she was a lifeguard at the local pool- taking on the responsibility to ensure the safety of others. She was also a member of the crew at Taco Johns. After graduating high school, Berta worked at The Manor, where she enjoyed preparing meals for the residents that she formed lifelong bonds with. Not a day went by that she didn't put a smile on someone's face.  

During her college career, Berta would travel back to Thermopolis to work at Big Horn Enterprises (BHE), as a member of the weekend staff in one of their living facilities. Following her graduation from Chadron, Berta returned to live in Kirby, where she became a longtime employee of BHE. Her role this time around was in case management- but she was much more than a case manager. She became a trusted friend to all that she represented and to those who she was proud to call co-workers. Her clients were the light in her life while she enjoyed the role of advocate and protector, and oftentimes their voice. Berta NEVER let the difficult days override the passion and love that she gained and gave.

In 2015, Berta continued that passion and love by starting her own business, Caring Hearts Case Management, which she co-owned with good friend Sharon Eisele. She continued to provide services and smiles as a self employed case manager until her sudden passing. 

Although Berta was continuing a long fight against Cancer (first diagnosed at the age of 32), she never, and would never allow that to be a defining factor for her. Those that knew her, knew that she was the most courageous and brave warrior. Even on the days when light was hard to find- she managed to illuminate through them- never showing anything but grit and determination. She focused on helping others, making sure those in need could count on her and picking the spirits up of everyone she met. 

A longtime member of the Kirby Town Council, Berta also served as the Treasurer for the Kirby Jail Committee and was an instrumental part of the restoration of the historical site. History was another passion she had and the small community that she was a part of was no exception to her cause. Even just a simple short trip to Gebo with loved ones was the perfect day, or an epic trip through Gettysburg and Civil War sites with her dear friend Cathy- those were among the most exciting experiences she was able to take in. She was also a member of the Hot Springs County Pioneer Association. An enthusiast of research, she enjoyed learning about local history and participated in the yearly treks the Association held. She also loved learning about her roots to Hot Springs County and family heritage.

A Christian, she was a member of the Risen Son Baptist Church and First Baptist Church. Her faith never failed her, even on her toughest days. Although getting to Church became more challenging in recent times, she did her best and took solace in knowing that she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. 

Berta absolutely loved the great outdoors. She enjoyed fishing, but more so, there was nothing better than a big rock with a good book under the blue skies- unless- it was a road trip with her family or friends. Never turning away from the opportunity to spend time with her loved ones, Berta would always look forward to vacations and adventures, even if it was so last minute that we barely made it on time with a 7-hour drive- and she never liked to be late. From Sturgis Week and Longmire Days to concerts and shopping trips- she was always down for excitement and fun. Berta also loved cooking and oftentimes, when the remote came up missing, the "big game" would end up on Food Network.  

Her biggest loves in life were her family, but mostly her nieces and nephews. She never treated them any other way but her own.  Always being the first to volunteer when they needed rides, picked-up or dropped off; always the best aunt for helping them fundraise and deliver their goods when it came time. Berta never missed a game or performance that she could travel to and back from within a day, because her happiest places were where they were. She was their biggest fan in everything they did. She made an exception to that rule, in which she took her trip (not once, but twice) of a lifetime to Ireland to watch a martial arts competition, while sneaking in the sights of her favorite place on Earth.

Berta was a die-hard Avalanche fan- taking advantage of a Playoff Clinche game, an Outdoor Stadium game at Air Force Stadium, a Retirement Ceremony for Milan Hejduk (her favorite player), and the 20th Anniversary of the Avalanche Franchise. She also loved the Colorado Rockies. If you couldn't find Mom and Berta- they were known to be at Coors field... sometimes without ever telling anyone. 

Berta is survived by her father, Jack Hurley of Kirby, Wyo.; brothers, Jim (Terri) Hurley of Littleton, Colo., and Matt (Melissa) Hurley of Thermopolis, Wyo.; sisters, Tina Keasling of Kirby, Wyo., and Jessie K (James) Slagle of Kirby, Wyo.; 15 nieces and nephews; 19 great nieces and nephews; and 1 great-great nephew. Although she had yet to meet some- she loved them all so very much!

She was preceded in death by her mother, Dolly Hurley in 2017.

Following Berta's wishes, cremation has taken place. A Graveside Service is planned for 10 a.m. on March 5, 2022, at Monument Hill Cemetery in Thermopolis, Wyo. For those who plan to attend, Berta's favorite colors were "Burgundy and Blue", so Colorado Avalanche attire would be perfectly acceptable. Please, nothing fancy. 

 A Celebration to share memories will take place this summer. In lieu of flowers,  a memorial account has been set up at Big Horn Federal. Any unused contributions will be paid forward to local charity in Berta's memory.  

 

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