Gary R. Hafer, 53, of Billings, who worked in the clothing and furniture business and was president of the Beartooth Nordic and Hiking Club, died at his parents’ home on Jan. 28, 2012, following a five-month battle with bile duct cancer.
He was born Oct. 19, 1958, in Casper, Wyo., the youngest son of Ann and Rex Hafer. A short time later the family moved back to Billings, where he graduated from West High School in 1977 and was senior class president. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol at Red Lodge Mountain.
He attended The University of Washington, Colgate University in New York, where he received a bachelor’s degree, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where he received a master’s degree in textiles.
He was active in Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout. He started a business called Canvas Gems in high school, using scraps of tipi patterns from Reliable Tent and Awning to make his product. He created his own catalog and sold custom-made shirts, bags, caps and gear. Later he started Shining Mountain Furniture Co., which created furniture and sewed upholstery.
He worked for Wrangler Western Wear in Russellville, Ala., and in Greensboro, N.C. He then worked for Champion Athletic Clothing in Burlington, Vt., where he was involved in the manufacture of women’s athletic bras.
He returned to Billings in 2003, where he became president of the Beartooth Nordic and Hiking Club. He was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011.
Survivors include his parents and brothers, Randy Hafer of Billings and Craig Hafer of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at First United Methodist Church, 2800 Fourth Ave. N. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to BikeNet, P.O. Box 81146, Billings, MT 59108 or to American Canoe Association, 108 Hanover St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401.