July 17, 1945 – July 20, 2015
Patricia A. “Patty” Barker Lawrence died at her home in Basin Monday morning, July 20, 2015. She had just turned 70 years old.
Patty was born July 17, 1945, in Sheridan. She graduated from Sheridan High School, Class of 1963. She married Edward “Eddie” Lawrence in August of that year, and they lived in Laurel, Mont. Shortly after, Eddie was drafted and Patty moved to the army base in Huntsville, Ala., for the duration of his service.
The Lawrences returned to Sheridan where they lived for about two years, and then moved across the Big Horn Mountains to Greybull in the Big Horn Basin. Patty spent most of the rest of her life in Greybull and Basin, where she became an integral part of these Wyoming communities.
Patty and Eddie had two children, Bonnie (Doug Smith) and Raymond (Becky), both of Powell, before Eddie’s untimely death after 25 years of marriage.
Patty earned her Associates in Applied Science degree for Business from Northwest College at Powell. She managed a section of Wheeler’s IGA grocery store in Basin for a time, and became a certified nurse’s aide at the Wyoming Retirement Center.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Bonnie (Muller) Barker and Phil Barker of Sheridan, and her first grandchild, Jonathan. She leaves her children, Bonnie and Ray, and eight other grandchildren: Christian Silco of Powell and Gabrielle Silco of Denver, Colo., Michael Lawrence of Greybull, Vanessa Lawrence of Basin, Cameron Lawrence and Alex Lawrence of Powell, Reba Lawrence of Idaho, and Shane Tanner of Billings, Mont.; her sister, Carol LeResche of Sheridan; nieces Samantha Carroll (Jason Wolverton) of Anchorage, Alaska, and Cameron Carroll (Leah Hill) of Fairbanks, Alaska, and many cousins of the scattered Barker family.
As a young woman, Patty was an outstanding bowler, and captain of a Wyoming championship team that earned a trip to the national tournament in Seattle. Her fondest memory of that trip was the chance to meet the actor, Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on the wildly popular TV series, “Welcome Back, Kotter.” She loved Elvis. When the singer died, her daughter asked why she was crying. Patty told her that Elvis had died, and Bonnie replied, “Who?” Patty never got over that.
She was very active in the mountain “Rendezvous” movement and loved spending time in her lodge in the Big Horns, at encampments with other enthusiasts. She was a crack black powder shot, buckskin sewer and beader, and a famous Dutch oven campfire cook.
As a girl, Patty Barker loved nothing more than the considerable time she spent at the Parkman, Wyo., ranch of Ernestine and George Barker, her grandparents. The place on the Montana state line was always full of Barker cousins of all ages, riding horses, shooting, cooking, chasing chickens, swimming in the reservoir and all the rest. Patty was never happier than when in the midst of the raucous Barker clan. After she had grown up and moved away, she nurtured an ivy plant from the Parkman ranch on her front fence in Greybull.
Patty Barker Lawrence loved her many friends, and they loved her. She was very social and seemed to know everyone in the towns where she lived. She will be greatly missed.
Friends and family are invited to attend her interment at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. A celebration of her life will be held in Sheridan on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 at the Sheridan Inn in the Wyoming Room from 2 to 5 p.m.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors assisted the family with arrangements.