Harry Brantley, 68, ventured out into Wednesday’s bomb cyclone to start a generator and never returned — the first apparent El Paso County casualty of Colorado’s worst storm ever.

His wife, Cynthia, found him dead on or near the couple’s property in the county’s eastern stretches, in the 30200 block of Antioch Road.

A county search and rescue crew — forced to use a tracked vehicle in the poor conditions — found Brantley and his wife, suffering hypothermia, at 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

The storm had moved into the region about midday Wednesday with winds of nearly 100 mph and blowing snow that reduced visibility to inches.

Cynthia Brantley was treated and is expected to be OK, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

“He was a wonderful man, a wonderful dad, a great husband, a perfect provider — and now he’s gone,” she said Monday about her husband of 50 years. She said they had “lived out here for 30 years,” and he was “always the one to be there when you need help.”

Harry Brantley had run a cattle ranch in the Yoder area, granddaughter Donna Brantley told KRDO-TV NewsChannel 13. 

“He had a big heart, always calling people seeing if they needed help,” said Donna, whom the couple adopted when she was 8 months old. “He was a good friend to people out in Yoder and Calhan.”

The county Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of Brantley’s death.

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