Monthly Archives: May 2013

Darlene L. Claycomb

OBIT ClaypoolAug. 12, 1939 – May 10, 2013

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Darlene L. Claycomb will be held Monday, May 27 at 2 p.m. at the Upton Community Center. A reception will follow. Darlene, 73, died May 10 in Upton.

She was born Aug. 12, 1939, in Ft. Morgan, Colo., the daughter of Herman and Henrietta “Hattie” Stumpf. The family resided in Cheyenne.

She graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1957 and married Dick Claycomb in February of 1958. The first seven years of their life together was spent working and traveling the rodeo circuit. The family resided in Ten Sleep, Greybull and Laramie before moving to Hulett in 1973. In 1982 they moved to Upton and later to Lusk. They retired in 1996 and moved back to Upton.

Darlene worked in banking and insurance. She was a bookkeeper at American National Bank in Cheyenne, a teller at Wyoming National Bank in Casper, and head of the proof department at Laramie’s First National Bank. Darlene also worked at ADI Insurance in Upton and at Farm Bureau Insurance in Luck. She also served as adult education coordinator in Upton.

Darlene had a contagious smile, sparkling eyes, a quick wit and a keen, edgy sense of humor. Her kind heart and creative mind made everything she touched beautiful. She taught all what it means to have a true servant’s heart in the quiet ways she put the needs of others ahead of her own. She never spared her time, compassion or generosity.

Darlene loved spending time with her family. In later years her grandchildren were her greatest joy and their relationship with her was special.

She was preceded in death by her father Herman Stumpf and brother Ed Stumpf.

She is survived by her husband Dick; daughter and son-in-law, Evin and Tracy Oneale; son and daughter-in-law, Troy and Cheri Claycomb; her mother Hattie Stumpf; siblings, Norma Brown, Herman Stumpf, Arlene Keuck, Joyce White and Tom Stumpf; sister-in-law Peggy Gibb; brother-in-law Don Claycomb, and five grandchildren.

Contributions in Darlene’s memory can be made to the Upton Ambulance Fund, Box 278, Upton, WY 82730.



Donald Bruce Bristow

OBIT BristowMarch 5, 1951 – April 29, 2013

Donald Bruce Bristow, 63, died April 29 in Riley, N.M.

He was born March 5, 1951, in Greybull, the son of Robert and Sula Bristow. He graduated from Greybull High School and attended Casper College.

He did a lot of traveling in the United States and even lived in Mexico for a few months. He eventually settled down in the rural area of Riley, N.M.

His father Bob preceded him in death.

He is survived by his son Isaiah; his mother Sula of Arizona City, Ariz.; brother Dave of Paonia, Colo.; sister and brother-in-law, Cynthia and Bill Clarey of Arizona City; two granddaughters, a niece and three great-nephews.


GHS qualifiers earn state hardware

by nathan oster

Greybull High School thinclads ended the season on a positive note, as all six team members who made the trip to the State 2A Track and Field Championships in Casper returned home with at least one medal.

“I think it went very well,” said Coach Jeff Sukut.

The Buffs placed 14th in the girls division with eight points and 16th in the boys division with nine.

“When you take only six kids, it’s hard to compete as a team,” said Sukut. “But my philosophy over the years has always been that it’s not always about where you place as a team. It’s about how the kids finish, and our kids improved a ton over the course of the season.”

As the only female qualifier, junior McKenna Powers represented herself and the team very well.  She was the only Greybull athlete who placed in two events, earning a fourth in the 800 meters and a sixth in the triple jump.

Powers was on top of her game in the 800 meters.  She ran a 2:30.63, a personal best and more than three seconds faster than her seed time (2:33.95). Kim Shumway of Lovell won it, finishing in 2:15.8.

“McKenna ran a really good race,” said Sukut. “She came out and ran a really good split in her first lap, and it was really close coming off the curve and down the stretch over the last 120 meters or so.  I didn’t know if she’d have enough left. But she closed well, passing a couple of girls and ending up in fourth place.” Powers beat a group of five runners to the finish line, as less than 1.5 seconds separated fourth from eighth place.

Powers also turned in her best effort of the season in the triple jump, soaring 31 feet, 11 ¾ inches, good for sixth place.  It was just three inches shy of her personal best, a 32-2 ½ turned in last year.

In her other event, Powers placed 12th in the 400 meters, running a 1:05.63, which was “one of her better times this year, but off the pace of her personal best, a 63 which she ran last year,” Sukut said.

Burns won the girls division with 98 points, nipping runner-up Lovell and its 90 points.

The highlight on the boys side was the performance of the 400-meter relay team of Calder Forcella, Kyler Flock, Alex Hebb and Dylan Brenner.  The foursome didn’t run at regionals, but it didn’t show in Casper.

“We were probably a longshot going in,” Sukut said. “There were a lot of good times, teams running 45s and 46s, and I knew if we ran in the 47 range, where we had been running throughout the season, there was no way we were going to place.”

The boys went out and left it all on the track, saving their best performance for last.  They finished in 46.05, which was their best time of the season and second only to Lusk in their heat.  Big Piney won it with a 44.87.

“We had great handoffs and that was the key,” Sukut said.

Logan Jensen collected the team’s other four points with a fifth-place finish in the discus. It capped a year of tremendous growth for the GHS junior, who last year as a sophomore threw 107 feet at the regional and didn’t even qualify for the state meet. This year, Jensen not only qualified, but uncorked a throw of 128 feet, 8 inches in Casper to earn his fifth-place hardware.

Calder Forcella, a sophomore, also competed in the discus, but didn’t place among the top eight.  His 117-foot, 10-inch effort ranked 10th in 2A and was 6 feet shy of his best throw of the season.

Alex Hebb also placed 10th in his only individual event, the long jump. His best jump was 16 feet, 6 ¾ inches.

Sukut said both Forcella and Hebb will benefit from their first experiences on the state meet stage.

Lovell was the class of the 2A boys division, collecting 127 points.  Lusk was well back in second place with 74 ½  points.

Dylan Brenner was the only senior among the six GHS state qualifiers and will be missed next season, said Sukut.

“He was with me for four years — and was a mainstay on our relay team,” said Sukut.  “It was like icing on the top of the cake for him and that team to finish fourth at state.  Dylan’s a good, coachable kid and we’ll miss him a lot.”

Council mulls merits of sanitation hike

by nathan oster

The uncertainty surrounding the landfill and its future is having an impact on the town of Greybull’s budgeting for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

The council on Monday night approved the budget on first reading, but did so with many questions still unanswered in the sanitation fund, where Town Clerk Kathy Smith had penciled in an across-the-board, 6-percent increase in the monthly residential and business rates.

Residential customers currently pay $22.50 per month, while business customers pay $35.50. A 6-percent increase would raise each of those monthly rates by about $2 dollars and generate another $20,000 for the town.

Considered an “enterprise” fund, the sanitation program is designed to be self supporting —just like water and sewer.  But Smith explained on Monday that the budget has been very tight in recent years — and in fact, the town has had to dip into its reserves to cover expenditures.

The town last raised its sanitation rates in July of 2012, moving them upward by 50 cents at the time.

Smith said the big unknown is the situation at the landfill.  “We’re not sure where we stand,” she said, noting that there is talk of the county upping its fee to 4.5 or 5 cents a pound around Jan. 1. “We’re barely supporting that fund right now, so I think we need to look at an increase.”

Mayor Bob Graham pointed out that even with a $2 bump, the residential rate in Greybull would be below the $28 residential rate assessed in Basin.

“If I knew the landfill was going to stay at 3.9 cents per pound, I’d say we might be able to get by for another year,” Smith said. “But we just don’t know right now.”

The council directed Smith to provide options for the next discussion, including increasing the sanitation rate in phases — by $1 on July 1, another $1 on Jan. 1, 2014, if landfill rates increase as expected — and putting off the planned retrofit of a town dump truck for another year.

On that subject, Graham asked for the council’s blessing to pursue funding from the USDA for the retrofit.  The truck is good operating condition, but its hydraulics failed and is in need of other repairs. What the town would like to do is replace what isn’t working on the truck and incorporate a “hook and rail system” that could be utilized to pick up recycling rollouts.

The town is budgeting $37,000 for the truck retrofit, but not all of that would come out of the sanitation budget, Smith said.  Some would come out of the water and sewer budgets as well.

McGuire said that while he doesn’t like the idea of raising rates, the town is “up against it,” adding, “I’m not sure we have much of a choice.”

Councilman Ross Jorgensen agreed. “Your water, sewer and sanitation funds are enterprise funds and they need to be self supporting.  The sanitation and sewer funds are both just barely squeaking by.  It’s taken years to get our water reserves built up.  I don’t like raising rates, but at the same time, I don’t want to run what we have into the ground because then we have nothing.  Or be in a position where we have to borrow equipment from other towns to get the job done here.”

Mayor Bob Graham pointed out the proposed increase would come to $24 annually for residential customers.

“It adds up, Bob,” said Councilman Clay Collingwood.

“I agree,” said Graham. “But if we’re dipping into our reserves to make budget, where’s the tradeout if we aren’t replacing that money.”

With the meeting already nearly 2 ½ hours old and an executive session still to come, the council went no further into budget talks.  The second reading is scheduled to occur as part of a special meeting set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.  Third and final reading is scheduled for the regular June meeting.

Board signs off on AD, coach hirings

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on Tuesday hired a new head high school volleyball coach and activities director and filled three vacant positions at Greybull Elementary School.

Sara Schlattmann, the district’s curriculum and grants coordinator, added a new title, as she was the board’s choice to replace Brittany Miller as head coach of the Greybull Lady Buff volleyball program.  A Greybull native and GHS graduate, Schlattmann has been serving an assistant coach under Miller.

Nolan Tracy, meanwhile, got the nod for the activities director position that was also vacated by Miller.  Tracy is a PE teacher and an assistant boys basketball and track coach for GHS.

In terms of teaching positions, the board hired Kimberly Pebbles as an elementary special education teacher, Ryan Harder as an elementary teacher and Jeremy Brandl as the elementary physical education teacher.

On the outgoing side, the board accepted the resignation of Todd Zeller, assistant coach for the Greybull-Riverside wrestling program.

In other school board news Tuesday night:

• Em Wilson and Troy Wilkinson were recognized as the district’s stakeholders of the month.

• The monthly teacher spotlight shined on Ken Jensen, a social studies teacher at GMS.  Principal Scott McBride noted that Jensen has been teaching at GMS for 40 years, and during that time, has served as a coach, statistician and referee in multiple sports.

• Dee Robertson was honored as the district’s teacher of the year.  Bryant said Robertson was nominated for the award by her students  — which is the highest accolade a teacher can receive. “Thank you for being a wonderful school district,” said Robertson, in response.  “I love my job … and you pay me too!”

• The board approved an out-of-district request of Desaray Grouns, a Basin woman who wants her children, ages 6 and 9, to attend Greybull schools during the 2013-14 school year.  Her daughter, age 9, will be in the fourth grade, while her son, age 6, will be a kindergartener.  With space available at both those grade levels, the board approved the request.

• McKenna Powers provided the Student Council report, noting that in addition to Make-A-Wish fundraising, the council is doing “appreciation” events for both teachers and custodians.

• The board recognized the home-school registrations of Alyssa Roll, Emily Roll and Karis Bresach.

• A joint activities agreement between the Greybull and Basin school districts for the 2013-14 school year was approved by the board.  Based on 2012-13 participation levels, Greybull will pick up 67 percent of the costs, Basin 33 percent.

• The board got its first look at the proposed budgets for the school and recreation districts.  While it’s too early to know specifics, business manager Sandi Menke said district expects to receive between $8 and $8.2 million from the state and county taxes. The district expects to again contribute money outside the funding model for both the school lunch program ($140,000) and for employee salaries and benefits ($200,000).

• The district began moving toward the creation of a “consent agenda” as a way of expediting meetings.  “Consent” items are those that usually don’t require discussion or explanation prior to school board action and are considered to be noncontroversial in nature. At the request of any board member, items could be pulled from the consent agenda and discussed.  The board agreed that it would be a good step, approving the “consent agenda” policy revisions on first reading

Hyde wins commission appointment

JohnHydeThe Big Horn County commissioners Monday afternoon appointed John Hyde of Lovell as the new commissioner to replace the late Thomas “Scotty” Hinman.

Hyde will be sworn in at the start of the regular commissioner meeting 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 21.

The Big Horn County Republican Central Committee interviewed 16/17 candidates last Thursday and narrowed the list to three to submit to the commissioners for appointment. The commissioners interviewed the three — Hyde, Stanley Jones of Otto and Richard Russell of Basin — Monday morning before deliberating and making the appointment.

Prior to each interview Chairman Jerry Ewen thanked each candidate for their interest and congratulated them in getting to the final phase.

The candidates were asked the same questions and given an opportunity to ask questions of the commissioners.

After the appointment, Ewen said, “For the public, I want to say we are pleased once again the process worked. We were presented with some good choices. It was not an easy decision.” He said each candidate would have brought their own skill set and dedication to the position. “Each one had a passion to take the work one and we appreciate that.”

Commissioner Keith Grant said, “We were very fortunate in the candidates we had. It was not an easy decision.”

The candidates were asked why they were interested in the position, what past experiences they had that would be helpful, if they had the time to commit to the position, what they felt the duties were for the position and if they would recommend any changes and how they would implement those changes.

Hyde is currently serving as the county as the emergency management coordinator and is a retired Wyoming Game and Fish game warden, earlier this year announced his retirement effective July 8 as the EMC. The county had just begun the process to find a new coordinator.

Ewen said Hyde likely will not be able to continue as the EMC through his official retirement date because of the appointment as commissioner. He said the commissioners would address the position once Hyde is sworn in.

Hyde also retired from his position as human resources coordinator for the county, of which Carl Meyer was appointed.

The interview

During his interview Monday Hyde said, “My reasons for retiring were to free up some time to do some other things I wanted to do. It’s not been an easy decision, but one I’ve considered for a long time, not just after the immediacy of this position. No one wants to jump in under these circumstances. As you know from my resignation meeting this is something I’ve considered. I want to live up to the expectation that others have of me and that I have of myself.”

He said he always told his kids that good people should be available for public service. “I have a future pretty free ahead of me, so to be true to myself, I felt I should at least put my name in the hat and offer my services.”

Hyde said he believes his whole life experience will be a benefit. He worked 35 years for the state of Wyoming with the Game and Fish. “I’ve literally worked in every county in Wyoming and lived and raised family in nine counties.” He said those experiences have allowed him to learn how things work in different counties and what works and what doesn’t work.

He said through his state job and the county job he has worked with every imaginable agency, county, state and federal as well as landowner groups.

All that being said, Hyde added, “It’s relationships that carry the day. I’ve learned how to communicate with people.”

Grant said the county is made up of about 84 percent public lands and asked what Hyde’s position was on public lands. “Will you work to protect our resources?”

Hyde said that one of the biggest concerns the county has is the regulatory authority federal agencies have over the county. “We have to work with them to make sure they don’t take over management responsibilities. I’m well aware how federal agencies work. I love public lands because they are available to the people. It is something that interests me. It requires a balance of what they are after and what you need and hopefully people can come together and work together.”

Ewen said the county at times has been at odds with goals of the Game and Fish. “Are you OK with that?”

Hyde said, “I think my background is a plus. I am a wildlife advocate; yet I understand the G&F can not always do what the public wants. When I was a game warden, I always felt my first responsibility was to the people I represent. The local people have more “dogs in the fight.”

As for changes, Hyde said that while he has worked for the county the past 4.5 years, he does not have the knowledge and facts and figures to state whether any changes are needed.

“If you are going to prioritize you need to get all the information you can before setting about what you are going to change. I’m sure there’s a whole lot of things I don’t know about what you guys do. I don’t have an agenda except doing the best I can.”

As for working with the other two commissioners Hyde said there needs to be cooperation and respect for the other parties involved on any board. He said there should be no animosity if ideas are shot down.

On the budget, Hyde said he supports the fair approach the commissioners have taken asking each department to cut 6.5 percent. He said the commissioners need to be fair and equitable but also realizes that some things can only be cut so far.

When asked if he had the time to serve, Hyde said he understands it’s not just two meetings a month. “A lot of what you do is build relationships. I understand that’s an integral part of the job,” he said.

In concluding his interview with the commissioners, Hyde said, “This is a golden opportunity to learn from two of the best for a year and a half. Given the position and barring a catastrophic failure or something unforeseen in personal life, my intention would be to run for election.

“I have the experience and ability to do the job. Time is not going to be an issue for me and it fits in very nicely with my future plans.”

He added that he feels he has good communication skills and knowledge of all parts of the county with relationships not just in Lovell, but also in Shell, Hyattville and Burlington.

Jensen: Teaching ‘gets inside you’

by marlys good

When the lockers are cleared out and the last students pass through the doors of the Greybull Middle School to signal the closing of the 2012-13 school year, Kathy Friebel Jensen will clear out her desk, pack things away and bring down the curtain on a teaching career that has spanned 34-1/2 years, teaching sixth grade in Big Horn County School District No. 3.

“It’s time to focus on being just a mom,” Kathy said, adding that her oldest son Trevor is graduating from college and second son Logan will be a GHS senior. Her decision to retire was both “a joyous and tearful” one, she admitted. “But I know my parents, both deceased now, would be very proud that their workaholic daughter is putting her family first.”

Kathy grew up in Colorado and graduated from Niwot High School, in the Longmont-Boulder area. “From the time I was in sixth grade I knew I wanted to teach sixth graders, so I went to the University of Northern Colorado which was well-known as a teacher’s college.”

Kathy completed her degree work in three and a half years, graduated in December, and began her career by substitute teaching in her hometown area.

Looking for a full-time position, Kathy was willing to go anywhere, and “anywhere” turned out to be Greybull, where a resignation at mid-year left an opening for a fifth/sixth grade science teacher.

“I was excited to get the job and moved here in the end of January 1979, which to this day was one of the record-breaking coldest winters in Greybull’s history.”

There were a number of young single teachers on the staff, including Ken Jensen, who had been teaching and coaching in Greybull for several years. Recalled Kathy, “All the single teachers would socialize and gradually shy, witty, chauvinistic Ken became more than just a friend and we were married in 1982.”

Neither planned to live their lives in a small town, “but as fate would have it, that’s just what we did. We bought a house, had two amazing sons, settled into our careers and made Greybull our home.”

Kathy’s primary focus was always teaching science and social studies to “roughly 1,350 sixth graders. Each student had his/her own unique set of talents, skills and needs, not to mention personality. I worked hard to know my students, finding ways to reach each of them and to try to help them develop, grow and succeed academically and as a person. Being at their concerts, art shows, plays and sporting events gave me tremendous insight into their world and helped me better connect with students and appreciate each individual.”

Kathy said she knows her students will remember dissecting frogs, studying ancient Egypt and building edible cell models. “But I hope what they remember the most about me is how much I cared about each of them and how passionate I was about their education. I thank each of them for the impact they made on my life and for the ways they helped me grow.”

Kathy summed her feelings about teaching by using a quote (with a few slight changes) from “League of Their Own:”

“Teaching is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that. Some days it gets so hard. But, it’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great.”

Delsie Doughty Wall

Jan. 13, 1931 – April 24, 2013

Delsie Doughty Wall, 82, died April 24 at the Lutheran Collier Hospice Center in Wheatridge, Colo.

Delsie was born Jan. 13, 1931, in Greybull, the daughter of Charles and Florence Herink Doughty.

Her father was a railroader. A transfer took them to Denver and Delsie lived most of her life in Arvada. She worked for Alright Parking and Ennis, Inc.

Delsie married Ronald Wall on Sept. 2, 1966.

She was an avid bowler and a member of Dumb Friends League and the Humane Society. Her home was always open to dogs and cats.

Her sister and brother-in-law, Charles “Chot” and Gladys Smith, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her husband Ronald Wall; one son, Rodney Wall; three step-children, Lee Ann Mann, Jeff Wall and Scott Wall; seven step-grandchildren, all of Denver; two nieces, Carolyn Smith Wertman and Marilyn Smith Fredricks, and two nephews, Edgar Smith and Morris Smith, both of Shell.

Interment was in the Arvada, Colo., cemetery.

Betty Jean Starr

OBIT Betty StarNov. 21, 1946 – May 9, 2013

Services for Betty Jean Starr were held at the First Baptist Church in Bismarck, N.D. Betty, 66, died May 9, 2013.

She was born Nov. 21, 1946, in Cowley, the daughter of George and Lola McMillan. She attended her first three years of high school in Burlington where she was class secretary as a freshman and on the student council as a sophomore. The family moved to Greybull in 1965 where Betty attended her senior year and graduated with the Class of 1966. She was active in FHA.

Betty’s biggest desire had always been to be a wife, mother and homemaker.

She met Steve Starr in 1969, just after his return from serving in an infantry unit in Vietnam. Steve and Betty were married May 23, 1970. The couple had two daughters, Stephanie and Sherry. For many years the family made their home in Greybull.

After Steve’s death in 1996, Betty moved to Mandan, N.D., to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren.

She was baptized and became an active member of the First Baptist Church in Mandan. Her church and her grandchildren were the focus of her life.

She was an excellent cook, best known for her bread making, and shared many recipes with friends. She loved to do crafts, and gave the results to her friends and family through the years.

Her husband Steve Starr in 1996, her parents George and Lola McMillan, sister, Louise, and brother Roy, and granddaughter Kayla Starr preceded her in death.

She is survived by her two daughters, Stephanie and Sherry, and their husbands; sisters Julia and Rose; brothers Ray, Lewis and Richard, and seven grandchildren.

Burial was with her husband in the Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.

Elizabeth “Betty” Lucille Lipp

Sept. 20, 1940 – May 6, 2013

A family memorial service for Elizabeth “Betty” Lucille Lipp was held May 10 at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery.  Betty, 72, died May 6 in Billings at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana after a lengthy battle with emphysema and pneumonia.

She was born Sept. 20, 1940 in Wakpala, S.D., the daughter of Jacob and Margaret Schmaltz. She married Albert “Al” Matthew Lipp Nov. 27, 1957, in the Catholic Church in Mobridge, S.D.

As the Lipp family grew to include five children she made a loving home for them in South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Oklahoma as they moved with her husband’s job as a telephone lineman. When the children needed to settle into a permanent home and school, the family returned to the best place they had lived along their journey – Greybull. They purchased their first home and put down roots in the community with people they loved.

Betty loved to cook. For many years she shared her ability and talent with the community as head cook for the South Big Horn Senior Center in Greybull. Even after she retired, she continued to take Christmas plates to senior citizens who lived alone. She just loved to give to others; if she saw a need, she wanted to help.

She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, playing bingo, card and board games, puzzles, going to garage sales and watching her children and grandchildren in their many school activities.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Tammy Lipp; son, Mark Lipp; daughter-in-law, Laurie Lipp; mother and father Jacob and Margaret Schmaltz; sister Agnes Mitchell, and brothers, Edward Schmaltz and Alfred Schmaltz.

She is survived by her husband Al; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Mike and Serena Lipp and Jack Lipp, all of Greybull; daughter and son-in-law, Chris and Jayne Clevenger of Powell; three brothers, Ike Schmaltz, William Schmaltz and Raymond Schmaltz; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471 Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to the South Big Horn Senior Center in Greybull.