AstroCowboy dies

By on January 29, 2014
Walt Farmer in Canada (2010)

Walt Farmer in Canada (2010)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Planet Jackson Hole has learned of the passing of Walt Farmer. The beloved astronomer, film historian, and veteran had been suffering from a heart condition, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, and more than one bout with cancer.

Farmer, 67, had been in poor health over the past year. The following entry was the last recorded on his blogsite ( It was erroneously dated 2/19/14. It probably should have read 1/19/14 but it’s hard to know for sure.

“I don’t think the stem cell trial is helping any, nor did the EECP. Difficult to live out each day is an understatement,” Farmer wrote. “If it weren’t for my wife whom I love so dearly, including the rest of my family and some dear friends, I don’t know where I’d be. A lot has happened in the last 8 mos. & I don’t write much here anyway. I wish I had something pithy to say here & actually I did several days ago, but can’t remember right now what it was. I just know I wanted to do something important in my life & it never quite happened.”

Farmer leaves behind a wealth of diary-style blogging on just about every subject. He and his wife, Kay, enjoyed photographing wildlife and chronicling the lives of their precious cats.

Farmer documented, archived, and compiled the most exhaustive collection of film, TV shows, and documentaries shot in and around the Jackson Hole area. He published a book of the works called “Wyoming, A History of Film and Video in the 20th Century.” He also authored a cdrombook titled, “The Making of Shane.”

Farmer was once a member of the Jackson Hole Shootout players. He wrote a book about that experience as well, called “”Shootout on the Town Square: The Story of the Jackson Hole Shootout.”

Farmer was an avid amateur astronomer. He founded the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club. He also wrote columns for The Planet as well as the Jackson Hole News.

Farmer was also an active member of the Jackson Hole American Legion Post 43 for more than 12 years, and was a proud veteran and the area representative for the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Farmer was on the board for Jackson Hole Community Radio and hosted a popular radio show there. KHOL president Jim Tallichet said, “Walt was a very dynamic and creative individual. He was very young at heart and fit right in with volunteers, many of whom were 35 years or so younger than him. He’ll be missed.”

Tallichet promised that KHOL (89.1 FM) would play a set list of patriotic music in honor of Farmer’s passing at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.


  1. greg ebare

    January 30, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Kay I’m sorry to hear about Walt’s passing. Thinking of you…

  2. Vance Carruth

    January 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Walt will be greatly missed by this community…I was planning on bringing him his favorite meal from China Town today for lunch, and was looking forward to perhaps one last good visit, but that was not meant to be. He was a good friend always thinking of others. I’ll look forward to hearing his favorite patriotic songs on the radio this afternoon…a great way to honor his memory!

  3. Chuck Herz

    January 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Walt was a fine man and good friend. Your article failed to mention that Walt was a leader and organizer for a group of good friends—the “Deaf as a Post Club”—where he will be greatly missed.

    Our thoughts and concern are with Kay, to whom love and sympathy.

  4. Anonyholic II

    January 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Walt, I am sorry to see you go and sorry you will miss the coming Total Solar Eclipse you told us about, and that will be centered right here in your back yard north of town. But you will now have the best view possible for that! Prayers, peace and grace to you, Kay and the family.

  5. Lucy Jackson Bayles

    February 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Walt Farmer was a true “one if a kind” gentleman! When I moved to a little cabin across the creek from the Farmer’s on Spring Gulch Road in 2009, he was the first one in the “hood” to walk over to introduce himself & stop by for a visit.
    Over the years I learned about many interesting subjects and stories from Walt’s visits. I will miss his presence in the Valley. Kay, you are in my thoughts and prayers as you begin your journey of loss and transition.

  6. Phil Cole

    February 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Kay: My wife,Diane, and I express our deepest sympathies on Walt’s passing. It was pure coincidence I Googled his name today to find out the sad news. We’ll always remember the short but valuable time we spent with you and Walt in Jackson discussing his extensive knowledge on the film history around Jackson. I regret not having another chance to visit and listen to this wonderful man. Best regards, Phil Cole, Author/Gettysburg Battlefield Guide

  7. eric payne

    July 27, 2015 at 7:10 am

    My name is Eric Payne living in Lincolnshire, UK. I have for so long been meaning to order a copy of Mr Farmer’s cd rom book, The Making of Shane. I first saw this film at the age of 14 way back in 1954.
    Dare I ask if this cd rom is still available – I sincerely hope so.
    I do hope you can find the time to reply to this – it would make me happy!
    Thank you
    Eric Payne

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