Daily Archives: November 14, 2012

Edith May Bigler Jones Johnson

July 8, 1940 – Oct. 28, 2012

Funeral services for Edith May Bigler Jones Johnson were held Nov. 3 at the Church of Latter-day Saints in Burlington. Edith, 72, died Oct. 28 in Rio Rancho, N.M., while on her way to her daughter’s home in Brigham City, Utah.

She was born July 8, 1940, in Basin, the daughter of Orville Bigler and Elvira Dobson.

She worked as a nurse’s aide in Greybull and Basin and later received her RN degree from Powell and Sheridan.

She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had many callings but especially loved teaching Primary.

Edith loved to make quilts, crochet, read and raise a big garden, watermelon farming and the outdoors. She worked hard and enjoyed serving others. She had a wonderful sense of humor.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands, Fred Ray Jones of Otto and Bill Johnson of Nacogdoches, Texas; one son, C.J. Jones, and two brothers, Myron Bigler and Clinton Dean Bigler.

She is survived by her children, Jean Marcus of Greybull, Alice Chatwin, Anita Olsen and Janice Henry, who live in Utah, Brett Jones in Oklahoma, Anette Quammen in Wyoming, Debbie Anderson in Washington, and Frank Jones Lavine, Marsha Jones Lavine and David Jones Lavine; four brothers, Edwin Bigler, Perrie Bigler, Bill Bigler and Dale Bigler; three sisters, Charmayne Kasparian of Utah, Dona Cecil of Arizona and Rose Ann Bishop of Pennsylvania; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Betty Imogene “Ima” Stoddard

Oct. 14, 1930 – Nov. 2, 2012

Cremation has taken place and no services will be held (per her wishes) for Betty Imogene “Ima” Stoddard. Ima, 82, died Friday, Nov. 2 at South Big Horn County Hospital.

She was born Oct. 14, 1930, in Binger, Okla., the daughter of David Owen and Etoiley Brown Deaton. She was raised in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. She graduated from Modesto (Calif.) High School.

She married Darrel Dan Stoddard in Jamestown, Calif., on April 29, 1952. They settled in the rural communities of Salt Springs Valley and Copperopolis, Calif., where she was known for her yard, her cooking and birthday cakes and for her participation in the school and the community.

The family moved to Greybull in July 1970. She worked at Kimball’s Drive-in, poured ditch with Walton’s Redi-Mix, hauled silage and read the town’s water meters. She enjoyed her yard, reading and keeping up on the news.

Her husband Darrel on March 26, 2008; her parents; two sisters, Peggy Brune and Charlotte Stone, and a brother, Kenneth Deaton, preceded her in death.

Ima is survived by three daughters and a son-in-law, Dana Gard and Leta Stoddard of Greybull and Tom and Neva Laidlaw of Oakdale, Calif.; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorials in Ima’s name can be sent to the South Big Horn Senior Center at 417 S. Second St., Greybull, WY 82426.

James L. Swain

July 12, 1933 – Nov. 2, 2012

A Funeral Mass for James L. Swain will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick‘s Co-Cathedral in Billings. James, 79, died Nov. 2 at Riverstone Hospice in Billings.

He was born July 12, 1933, in Billings, the son of Lawrence B. and Elizabeth Vickery Swain. He attended private schools and graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School.

He served in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service and retired after 30 years.

After he retired, he spent his time doing what he loved the most, enjoying the outdoors, visiting and making friends. He worked as camp cook in different hunting camps and served as a host in campgrounds and national parks throughout the United States, but primarily in Yellowstone National Park.

Jim retired permanently in 2005 and took up residence in Greybull.

His parents, two sisters, Mary and Charlotte, three brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law preceded him in death.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Tim and Char Swain of Eaton, Colo., Brian and Marianne Swain of Billings, Larry and Erika Swain of Bemidji, Minn., and Bill Swain of Waukesha, Wis; daughter and son-in-law, Dan and Mary Ann Richards of Billings; his siblings, Catherine Holt of Snohomish, Wash., John Swain of Marysville, Wash., Shirley Hughes of Escondido, Calif., Rosalie Reimes of Great Falls, Mont., and Aileen Silbernagel of Billings; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The Rite of Committal will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery following the Mass.

Donations may be made in Jim’s name to Riverstone Health Hospice Home, Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103.

Thomas T. Weir

Dec. 24, 1916 – Oct. 27, 2012

Funeral services for Thomas T. Weir were held Nov. 5 at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service in Bozeman, Mont. Thomas, 96, died Oct. 27 in Bozeman.

He was born Dec. 24, 1916 in Shell, the eldest child and only son of Thomas and Lottie Belle Weir. Tom and his sisters, Margaret, Ellen and Leona Belle, all graduated from Greybull High School.

Tom worked as a doorman and projectionist at the Big Horn Theater in Greybull and spent several months rewiring barracks in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Tom was drafted into the United States Army in 1941 and was promoted to Sergeant and Chief of the Communications Crew of the 47th Signal Corps in the 1st Armored Division. On Valentine’s Day 1943, stranded by a broken-down vehicle in Algiers, Tom, along with his unit, was captured and spent the next two years as a POW in Germany. He spent that time performing clerical duties, learning the German language and building working radios (clandestinely) out of tin cans salvaged from Red Cross packages.

He was liberated on April 22, 1945, and returned to Wyoming. He married Betty Zae Chapman Oct. 23, 1945. They lived in Glenwood Springs, Colo., Montrose, Colo., and Powell and eventually settled in Bozeman where Tom continued his career as a radio engineer.  In 2011 he was inducted into the Society of Montana Broadcast Legends.

Tom’s wife, Betty, died in 1999.

He is survived by wife, children and their spouses, Sherry and Rick Nash, Thomas and Sarah Weir, Georgina and Dan Hogan, Teena Peardon and Tim and Marlina Cowan; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Interment was in Sunset Hills Cemetery.

Foley, Collingwood win council seats

by nathan oster

Voters in Tuesday’s general election backed Myles Foley and Clay Collingwood in the three-man race for a pair of seats on the Greybull Town Council.  Foley and Collingwood will replace Jan Johnson and Kay Fleek, neither of whom sought re-election, and serve four-year terms.

“I’m pretty happy,” said Foley, when informed that he was the top vote getter, with 494 votes. “I’m looking forward to working with the town and the people to see what we can get accomplished in the next four years.”

Foley, who owns the Historic Hotel Greybull, said he didn’t actively campaign for the position, but “shook hands with a lot of people who came in…and I appreciate the confidence they showed in me.”

Collingwood, part-owner of family-run Collingwood Construction, ran a strong second with 478 votes, just 16 fewer than Foley’s total.  The two were also the top vote-getters in the August primary election.

Collingwood could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Les Lowe finished third with 183 votes, while Rod Collingwood, who withdrew from the race in October, still tallied 134 votes.

By 2 to 1 margin, sixth-cent proposal goes down

by nathan oster

Big Horn County voters  in Tuesday’s general election soundly rejected a proposed sixth-cent, special purpose sales and use tax that, among other things, would have funded the operation and maintenance costs of a new swimming pool in Greybull.

The final tally showed 3,486 votes, or 67 percent of the total ballots cast, in the “against” column, and just 1,666 votes, or 33 percent, in the “for” column.

A closer look at the final tally shows that every one of the county’s 13 voting precincts rejected the proposed tax. While the vote counts were close in the smaller communities, the three largest ones, including but to a lesser extent Greybull, were solidly opposed.

In Lovell, 1,192 votes were cast against it, only 278 in favor.

In Basin, it was defeated 505-239.

And in Greybull, there was a margin of nearly 200 votes, with 626 voting against the proposed tax, 430 in favor of it.

The defeat of both the sixth-cent tax and the school district’s bond issue cast a cloud over the future of the Greybull swimming pool.  For seven months in 2010, the four-decade-old pool had to be shut down due to concerns about its structural integrity.  After a “band-aid” of a fix was applied, it reopened — and since that time, has been limping along, getting funding from both the town and the school district to help with operations and maintenance costs.

It was the supporters of the swimming in Greybull who developed the sixth-cent tax and made the pitch to community leaders around the county, who all got on board by identifying potential projects that could be funded with the sixth penny.

All totaled, the price tag of all the projects put forth was $24.8 million.

“My reaction is, it’s too bad,” said Bob Graham, a member of the Greybull Town Council and the swimming pool committee.  It was Graham who made the rounds earlier this year, trying to convince the municipalities to support the sixth-cent tax.

“I think we put something together to try to enhance our community, and whether you think it’s economic development or not, a lot of kids who right now are in college or the work force, who were part of our community in the last 40 years, got their first jobs as lifeguards in that pool.

“I think the pool is going to be sorely missed.”

Graham suggested that with voters so soundly rejecting a mechanism that would have funded pool operations and maintenance for the next two decades, it won’t be a given that the council, in its next budget cycle, recommits another $30,000 to the pool, as it has done the last couple of years.

“I can almost bet that the council won’t budget $30,000 for the pool,” he said. “Simply because it will be a waste of $30,000 because the pool is going to close anyway.  Without the sixth cent, we won’t even be able to repair the one we’ve got.  It’s inevitable, I think.  It would be throwing good money at a bad situation.  The pool isn’t going to survive.”

Graham said he doesn’t have a sense whether pool supporters might rally again in two or four years in an attempt to convince voters of the need to fund the construction, operation and maintenance of a pool.

“I don’t see myself being part of it,” he said. “It’ll probably take until next summer for the pool to die. Then it’ll be missed, and someone will probably want to start (the campaign) again. But my political career is short lived. I have two more years (on the council) and then I’m done. So it’ll be someone else’s fight … and I wish them all the luck in the world.”

Graham said Greybull isn’t the only community that loses with the measure’s defeat.

“Those smaller communities that needed the rest of the county’s help for their water and sewer projects, I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “They have no hope. They can’t raise their rates high enough to do the needed upgrades.  I don’t know how they’re going to get them done.”

Bond issue suffers narrow defeat

by nathan oster

The defeat of the proposed sixth-cent, special purpose sales and use tax rendered meaningless the final tally of a Big Horn County School District No. 3 bond question in which district voters were asked whether they would support the construction of a $5.2 million swimming pool.

With no money to operate and maintain the pool, the school district could not have proceeded with the construction of the pool, even if voters had approved the bond issue in Tuesday’s general election.

For the record, it was close.  Very close.

By a 53 to 47 percent margin, or just 90 votes, the bond question went down to defeat.  The final tally showed 718 voters opposing the issuance of the bonds compared to 628 who voted in support of the bond issue.

In Greybull, the bond question failed 535-493.

In Shell, it was 151-105.

In Emblem, there were 28 who voted against, 26 who voted in support.

“It’s disappointing, but I’m glad it was fairly close,” said Sara Schlattmann, a member of the swimming pool committee, a school district employee and — along with Bob Graham — one of the most outspoken supporters of the pool.

“My concern is for the pool itself and its future … but I guess that’s why we go to elections.”

Like Graham, Schlattmann said she doesn’t know if this election will go down as the pool’s last stand.  “I think there are going to be a lot of factors involved,” she said.  “The school district will have to make those decisions.

“Right now, there isn’t a lot of additional money being put in, so the No. 1 thing is, if there’s any kind of a mechanical failure that we can’t afford … I don’t know what will happen.”

Schlattmann noted that the School Facilities Commission has allocated money for the demolition of the pool. “I don’t know how long that money will be available to the district, but my assumption is that as long as the pool is operating, it’ll stick around.  But we are one big expense away (from starting that discussion).”