Mary Nancy Hegelund Espy, 93, passed away Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, at the Powder River Manor in Broadus, Montana.

Nancy was born July 6, 1927, in Phoenix, Arizona, to parents Carl Hegelund and Lovenia Crawford Hegelund.

Following a short courtship, Jim and Nancy were married in Fort Davis, Texas. Nancy always said that it was love at first sight and right for us, but we would advise kids to grow up a little before taking on marriage.

Jim and Nancy began their devoted 76-year marriage on a ranch in Fort Davis.

In 1955, they bought a ranch near Boyes, Montana. After rearing their five children, they moved to Broadus, maintaining cattle in the Ridge area.

Nancy was an outstanding wife and mother, but she was way more than that. She supported her family in all their activities, was active in school functions, FFA, FHA and 4-H clubs.

Nancy was an active public servant, not only locally in Boyes and Broadus, but also at state and national levels. She was actively involved as an organizing member of WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics). In the 1980s, Nancy and a few friends developed and produced Montana Ranch Beef, which was sold in local stores in Montana.

Nancy was one of several members traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators and senators. They even met President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office. Nancy was a true trailblazer.

Nancy was appointed by five governors to serve on nonpartisan state boards and committees, including 18 years on the Montana State Board of Livestock and the Livestock Brand Board Committee. She also served on the Board of Transportation for 12 years. Nancy also served as a Powder River County Commissioner.

They both were active for many years in the Montana Stock Growers and Montana Wool Growers associations.

Nancy Espy is survived by her loving husband, Jim of Broadus; children, Cam Emmons of Texas, Nancy (Bob) Tarver of Gillette, Jim Espy (Kim) of Billings, Montana, Katy (Harry) Stevenson of Sidney, Montana, and Hugh (Hollis) Espy of Forsyth, Montana; 16 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19 at Faith Bible Church in Broadus. The funeral service will be livestreamed at:

A full obituary can be read at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.