Martha Kinkade, "Mother" of SAR | Big Horn Basin Media

“Mother of Search and Rescue” Passes Away

Written by on May 4, 2017

The mother of Park County Search and Rescue has passed away.

Martha Evelyn Jensen Kinkade passed away last Wednesday at the age of 104. According to a press release from the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Martha was a lifelong resident of Park County, and was married to Harley Kinkade who served as sheriff of Park County from 1959 to 1973. It was under Sheriff Kinkade that the Park County Search and Rescue Unit was formed in 1970.

Prior to 1970, Sheriff Kinkade used strictly volunteers from the community for SAR missions. However, he feared that someday one of these volunteers could be severely injured because they weren’t trained in the skills necessary for what they were being asked to do.

In the summer of 1970 Harley and Martha’s nephew and current Search and Rescue member, Kirk Waggoner was asked to establish a formal search and rescue unit. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Martha was an avid supporter of SAR and like a “mother hen”, took the members “under her wing” to care for them.

Services for Martha will be held Saturday at 2 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Cody.

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