Robert ‘Bob’ O. McKone

Aug. 16, 1913 – Jan. 2, 2012

A Masonic graveside service for former Thermopolis/Moorcroft resident Robert “Bob” O. McKone will be held Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Mount View Cemetery in Basin.

Bob, 98, passed away Jan. 2, 2012 at the Weston County Manor in Newcastle.

Robert “Bob” O. McKone was born Aug. 16, 1913, to Sylvester Mac and Hazel Entwistel McKone in Laramie. He lived in Medicine Bow until the family moved to Basin when he was a young boy.  He graduated at the age of 16 from Basin High School in 1930.

He went to work for the Mercer Ranch in Hyattville.  In 1938, he married Stella Pauline Mercer and in 1939 they moved to Thermopolis to run the Gardner Ranch on Bridger Creek.  After many years of ranching, he moved to Thermopolis and operated the Sinclair Bulk Plant for several years before buying the Skelly Service Station in 1958.  Bob operated the Skelly Service Station and Skelly Bulk Plant in Thermopolis until he retired in 1978.  He then moved around during his retirement years, spending time at Lost Cabin, Moorcroft, and Pine Haven, all in Wyoming, St. George, Utah, and Wittmann, Ariz., before living at the Pioneer Home in Thermopolis at age 95 and then the Weston County Manor in Newcastle where he was living at the time of his death.

Bob belonged to many Masonic organizations and was a 50-year member of the Wyoming Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Wyoming, Malta Lodge #17 and Mt. Hermon Chapter #12 at Thermopolis.  In 2007, he received his Masonic 60-year pin in Upton.  He belonged to the Mt. Lebanon Commandry, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Sheridan, Orient of Wyoming, the Bau-Ge-Wana Shrine Club of Thermopolis and Kalif Temple of Sheridan.  He was also a member of the Korein Mounted Patrol in the 1980s.  He also belonged to many civic organizations including the Thermopolis Lions Club and was past president of the Thermopolis Rotary Club.

He loved rodeo and participated in the sport for many years entering in the calf roping, team roping and ranch rodeos. He belonged to the original PRCA Rodeo organization called the Turtles and participated in the National Old Timer’s Rodeo Association now called the Senior Pro Rodeo Association.  He supported and helped produce many rodeos in the Thermopolis area including the Shriner’s Youth Rodeo for many years.  He loved to watch his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they participated in the sport of rodeo.

After Bob quit rodeoing, he took up golf and continued in that sport into his 90s.  His last game of golf was when he was 95.  Even though he was legally blind, he reached fame while in his 80s on Paul Harvey after he made 10 holes-in-one with four being earned in one month in St. George, Utah, where he spent his winters.

Bob is survived by two daughters, Pat (Bill) Spratt of Lost Cabin, and Bonnie (Joe) Carmin of Moorcroft; three grandsons, T J. (Jennie) Spratt, Ace (Shelley) Spratt, and Kelly (Alycia) Carmin; one granddaughter, Kathy (Chip) Merritt; and eight great-grandchildren, Coralee Spratt, K.L. Spratt, Sierra Spratt, Brady Merritt, Corey Merritt, Jake Carmin, Kordell, Carmin, and Colby Carmin.

Memorials in Bob’s name can be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children, c/o Recorder’s Office Kalif Shrine Center, P.O. Box K, Sheridan, WY 82801.