Monthly Archives: January 2012
by nathan oster
With the reconstruction of Greybull’s downtown intersection scheduled for late spring, the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce is making one final push to sell more of the “memory bricks” that serve as tributes to the men and women who made the town what it is today.
Now stacked neatly up against a wall in the chamber office, the bricks will be installed as part of the “bump outs” that will be going in at Greybull Avenue’s intersections with Fifth and Sixth Streets.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation has yet to award the contract for the work, but a spokesman said at the end of 2011 that the street project is definitely going to happen this year, most like in the late summer and early spring.
The “memory brick” project was launched in the late 1990s as a way of raising money for the chamber of commerce. To date, 237 bricks have been sold. There is going to be room for about 100 more at the two intersections, according to Sue Anderson, the executive director of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce.
IF you would like to purchase a “memory brick” in honor of a loved one, the cost is $100. Just contact Anderson at the chamber office. To those considering it, Anderson says keep in mind, “The fewer the words, the larger the type.”
by nathan oster
When Wyoming lawmakers convene in Cheyenne next month for the start of their budget session, they will find waiting for them several pieces of legislation that have the potential to greatly impact school districts around the state.
Rep. Elaine Harvey, who represents House District 26, told a group of school officials from Greybull and Basin last week that there is great uncertainty over a Joint Education Committee proposal to change the cost adjustment formula for calculating the wages of school employees.
Currently, districts are able to use either the Wyoming Cost of Living Index (WCLI) or the Hedonic Index to calculate funding for employee salaries, which allows them to choose the one that most benefits their district.
The proposal will require administrators to use only the Hedonic model, which favors bigger cities and is unfavorable to rural communities. Under the proposal, 31 of the state’s 48 districts, including all four in Big Horn County, would see substantial cuts in what they can afford to pay teachers and other staff.
The four districts in Big Horn County would take a hit of about $1 million in total, with District 1 (Rocky Mountain/Burlington) in line to lose $322,492, District 2 (Lovell) $274,574, District 3 (Greybull) $122,174 and District 4 (Basin) $103,802.
Harvey said she opposes the change and is “shocked the education committee is even entertaining the idea.
“I believe if we continue down that road, we will end up in court,” she said. “I can’t support using the Hedonic index. The Wyoming Cost of Living Index is a much better index for us to be using.”
Gary Meredith, superintendent of the Greybull school district, asked whether support for the change may be waning among legislators, pointing out that he has heard “very little in the press about it” since news of the plan broke.
Harvey cautioned Meredith and others about believing that.
“There is a group (in the Legislature) that feels like our schools are getting too much money,” she said, adding that members of that group, most of whom are relatively new to Cheyenne, may eventually find it tough to get re-elected this November.
“There are too many of us with a memory of the court case, which happened right before I took office,” she said. “We remember the buzzwords — and Hedonic was one of them. I think it will take some of us standing at the microphone to remind (others) about the sanctions and where that took us.”
Officials from both districts asked Harvey what could be done to ensure that lawmakers keep the status quo and not switch to the Hedonic index.
She said she believes the Hedonic index is “a fight worth fighting,” but emphasized that school officials should tread lightly. “Twist the arm, don’t break it,” is how she put it, adding that consolidation of school districts still lies close beneath the surface.
“We had a group of bullies one year who wanted to push consolidation, and for (24) districts in the state, it would have been the end. The message was, ‘We’re going to consolidate, we’re going to save money.’”
Harvey said some of the “old guard” in Cheyenne still feels that way. “This may end up stimulating the discussion about whether there needs to be consolidation,” she said. “I’m willing to vote how my constituents tell me to vote. When you tell me you want to consolidate, I will push for it. So far, that’s not what I’ve heard. That’s not what people want.”
The session is scheduled to begin on Feb. 13. Harvey said she expects redistricting to dominate the session.
She said she hopes the Big Horn Basin will retain its nine total representatives. “When we stand together on an issue, we can compete with Casper, Cheyenne, and Gillette,” she said. “Very similar to how the Sheridan and Johnson county contingency, also with nine, is able to speak for their interests.”
Harvey said redistricting discussion will start in the House of Representatives. That’s because each Senate district is comprised of two House districts. So once House district lines are tweaked and drawn, the Senate districts will fall into place.
“It’s been ugly so far,” she said. “I don’t see a happy situation.”
Harvey said the agricultural industry is going to be “under-represented” because most of the population growth has occurred in areas of the state where the minerals industry is exploding.
School districts are also closely monitoring proposed legislation that would hold teachers and administrators more accountable for how well students perform in school, including on the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students (PAWS).
Harvey said many legislators “don’t feel like we’re getting enough bang for the buck,” but that she herself is “not ready to buy into all of the accountability pieces.
“I get concerned when money is tied so strongly to that,” she said. “Teaching is one of the hardest professions to link performance with outcomes. Teachers aren’t the only component.”
Harvey also fielded questions about the changing of the guard within the School Facilities Commission and also about the high amount of staffing turnover in the Department of Education. Among the people who have left office since Cindy Hill took over the post is Roger Clark, who formerly served as Greybull’s superintendent of schools. Harvey said she too is concerned about the turnover in the Department of Education.
In Greybull, school and town officials have been working together to build a new swimming pool — or at the very least, to put the issue of whether to proceed on the general election ballot this fall.
Harvey said some obstacles would first need to be overcome.
The Greybull district is allowed to use only 10 percent of its major maintenance dollars from the state on “enhancements” like the swimming pool. And in Greybull’s case, she said, “You’ won’t have the full 10 percent because you have excess square footage elsewhere.”
Another challenge deals with funding for the operation and maintenance of pools moving forward.
“If you are going to use a pool as part of the school inventory, they are now requiring that you put to paper what the life of the pool is expected to be, 20 years, and how you are going to fund that maintenance for 20 years,” Harvey said. “You need to have a slush fund already set up, or have a funding stream of some kind, with agreements and signatures in place.
“If you want to use county consensus money, for example, you would need the signatures of county commissioners. Whatever the funding stream is, it will have to be for the life of the pool.”
by nathan oster
It was with appreciation for her customers and a hint of sadness earlier this week that Marie Gemmel announced her intent to close Western Floral, one of only two florist shops in the community and a mainstay in downtown Greybull for more than a half century.
The store has priced everything to sell — 50 percent off or more — in the hopes of moving the merchandise quickly. Gemmel doesn’t know when the business’s final day will be, just that it’ll be soon.
“Tell everyone I appreciate their business, and I’ll miss them,” Gemmel said Tuesday afternoon as she and one of her employees, Pat Shepard, sat in the shop’s back room where they had spent so much of their time preparing floral arrangements over the year.
Gemmel took over the store exactly four years ago, reopening it in January of 2008 after it had been closed for several months while her daughter-in-law and the previous manager, Lyna Smith, was transitioning to a new job at Davies Machine Shop.
At the time, Gemmel acknowledged that she was rolling the dice, but believed that there was support for two florist shops in the community. And for a time, there was. Gemmel said the Christmas of 2010 was “very good” for Western Floral and that the business continued to plug along until last summer.
That’s when the slowdown began. Gemmel had no explanation for it. She said the decline in sales continued into the fall and through this past Christmas, which she described as a “terrible” one for the shop.
Last week, after considerable soul search and consulting with her accountant, the decision was made to close.
Despite having to close, Gemmel said it was a good experience and that her favorite memory was “all the people I got to meet.” She doesn’t know what she will do next in her life — just that she intends to continue in the work force.
She has spent most of her lifetime working with flowers. More than 50 years, in fact. She worked for a time with Oscar Shoemaker in 1969, as well as for Jim and Mary Raffl, Billie Hamilton and Smith during their respective runs guiding the business.
Geraline Bachman owns the building, which also houses a fitness center.
If no one steps forward to revive Western Floral this time, it will bring to a close one of the most successful businesses in the town’s history. According to “Glimpses of Greybull’s Past,” Western Floral opened shop in its present location in the early 1950s.
It came about because of a swap. Prior to that, Western Floral had been in the “Engle building” at the corner of Greybull Avenue and Sixth Street. But when Larry Probst purchased the building, he swapped spaces with Shoemaker, who moved into Western Floral’s current location (and where Probst had been operating).
by nathan oster
Matt Grovenstein and Luke Zeller won their weight classes to power Greybull-Riverside to a second-place finish at last weekend’s Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis.
Lovell, finally getting healthy and now missing only returning state champion Mark Grant, took the team title, putting seven guys in the finals and scoring 229 team points to G-R’s 172.
“Lovell wrestled really well…and we didn’t,” said Coach Mark Sanford, whose team, by comparison, had just three in the finals matches.
“We knew (Lovell getting healthy) was coming, but we just didn’t respond the way we needed to,” Sanford said. “We had more in the finals (at the Don Runner), and I felt like that was a tougher tournament.”
Sanford said it was mostly a case of his kids making mistakes. He did not fault their effort. “We gave up opportunities in some matches that we shouldn’t have,” he said. “And we lost those matches because of them.”
Grovenstein won all of his matches at 120, doing so in “dominating” form, according to Sanford. He won his first two matches by pin, then scored a 10-2 victory over Jake Hall of Colstrip in the final.
Zeller went 4-0 at 152 pounds, winning each of his first three matches by fall to earn another date with Nathan Grant of Lovell in the final. The two have gone back and forth in recent weeks. This time, Zeller came out on top, winning 5-2.
G-R’s other finalist was 160-pounder Nathan Hetzel. The senior cruised to the final, but ran into Chris Ryan of Thermopolis and fell 9-0. Sanford said 160 was the “toughest weight class” at the tournament, with “several quality opponents” going about five deep. One of Hetzel’s wins came over Brigham Hopkin of Lovell.
G-R’s other wrestlers who placed included
Gabe Villegas, third at 195; Chris Ogg, third at 126; Kyle Strasheim, fourth at 113; Trenton Kelly, fourth at 285; Spencer Redland, fifth at 170; Dylan Brenner, sixth at 182, and Zane Edeler, sixth at 220;
Sanford praised Strasheim and Ogg, in particular.
Strasheim wrestled a much tougher match against Preston Blankenship, losing only 10-5 this time, and nearly came through with a third-place finish before losing to Adrian Sisneros of Kelly Walsh. “I liked his whole demeanor…he was showing his speed and moving better,” Sanford said. “If he keeps doing that, good things will happen.”
Ogg “came out like he was slow motion” and lost his first match, but there was no stopping him after that, Sanford said. He won four straight, including a victory over the wrestler from Mountain View who had beaten him in the opening round. “He took it to that kid,” Sanford said, adding, “I was pretty pleased with the way he came back.”
Levi Kelly went 1-2 in the regular tournament and didn’t place, but came back to place second in what was known as a “second chance tournament” for kids put out on the first day.
The Buffs were missing Stephen Kerr and Jesus Burgos, who wrestle at 138 and 145, respectively, and were out due to illness. Rob Nuttall, who was entered at 170, wrestled his first match, but was injury defaulted out of the rest of the tournament.
Sanford said his team must continue to improve if it wants to challenge Lovell.
“We know they’re going to be out there,” he said. “We can’t have one of our guys not performing at his best. We need to have all of our guys firing. We should have had five or six in the finals, another one or two in third-place matches.
“We had 10 placers … but we’re going to need all 11 doing that.”
G-R opened the weekend with a dual against Powell. Coached by former G-R standout Nate Urbach, the Panthers are among the top teams in 3A, and it showed on the mat as they won 56-19. At one point, the dual was tied at 16 before Powell went on its run.
Trenton Kelly, Matt Grovenstein, Levi Kelly and Luke Zeller won matches for G-R.
Trenton Kelly’s might have been the most stirring. He was trailing on the scoreboard when he pinned Spencer Schultz with less than a minute remaining, bringing the home crowd to its feet.
Four of the top five 2A teams in the state will be at Buff Gym on Friday night when Lovell, Wright and Moorcroft join the host Buffs for dual action. Start time is 6 p.m.
The Greybull Memorial Invitatational follows on Saturday, with wrestling set to begin at 10 a.m.
Powell 56, G-R 19
HWT — Trenton Kelly (G-R) won by fall over Spencer Schultz, 5:23.
106 — Charles Wittick (P) won by forfeit.
113 — Colbee Craig (P) defeated Kyle Strasheim, 14-2.
120 — Matt Grovenstein (G-R) won by fall over Colton Parham, 3:20.
126 — Andrew Feller (P) won by fall over Chris Ogg.
132 — Levi Kelly (G-R) defeated Tanner Bailey, 11-2.
138 — Zach Thiel (P) won by forfeit.
145 — Waylon Bays (P) won by fall over Jesus Burgos, 3:52.
152 — Luke Zeller (G-R) defeated Clay Saldana, 12-5.
160 — RandyAndrews (P) defeated Nathan Hetzel, 10-2.
170 — Ole Olson (P) won by fall over Spencer Redland, 1:16.
186 — Mike Mundy (P) won by fall over Dylan Brenner.
195 — Zach Thompson (P) won by fall over Gabriel Villegas.
BOBCAT INVITATIONAL – Lovell 229, G-R 172, Mountain View 165, Thermopolis 154, Wheatland 122, Kelly Walsh 117, Kemmerer 99, Columbus 79, Dubois 70, Riverton 60.5, Wind River 59.
106 — 1, Vinchinzo Castle, TH. 2, Julia Long, MV. 3, Ty Anderson, MV. 4, Eli Walston, CO. 5, Joe Ladd, RI. 6, Kyle Bonner, MV.
113 — 1, Ryan Bradshaw, TH. 2, Preston Blankenship, LO. 3, Adrian Sisneros, KW. 4, Kyle Strasheim. 5, Ty Carpenter, MV.
120 — 1, Matt Grovenstein, GR. 2, Jake Hall, CO. 3, Choc Maddock, TH. 4, Choan Price, WH. 5, Jacob Mickelson, LO. 6, Jordan Martin, WR.
126 — 1, Lance Lucas, WH. 2, Garrett Julian, KE. 3, Chris Ogg, GR. 4, Taylor Tucker, MV. 5, Hunter Meier, CO. 6, Isaiah Walston, CO.
132 — 1, Jesse Bassett, LO. 2, Jhett Eike, WH. 3, Karsten Hauf, MV. 4, Colter Brown, TH. 5, Justin Westwood, KE. 6, Hyrum Hopkin, LO.
138 — 1, Marty Thoman, WR. 2, Zack Larson, TH. 3, Dimas Patina, LO. 4, Justin Meier, CO. 5, T.J. Turner, RI. 6, Austin Sullins, KW.
145 — 1, Blake Mastrud, KE. 2, Adam Beck, LO. 3, Forrest Hendry, KW. 4, Daniel Strom, LO. 5, Jed Rietz, WH. 6, Devin Peel, KW.
152 — 1, Luke Zeller, GR. 2, Nathan Grant, LO. 3, Earl Hickman, MV. 4, David Chesser, WH. 5, Alex Collver, WR. 6, John Bartlett, DU.
160 — 1, Chris Ryan, TH. 2, Nate Hetzel, GR. 3, Jacob Beck, LO. 4, Brigham Hopkin, LO. 5, Alex Snyder, MV. 6, Justin Rickert, KE.
170 — 1, Drake Menck, MV. 2, Tony Rodriguez, LO. 3, Mikes Galovich, TH. 4, Jesse Hawk, DU. 5, Spencer Redland, GR. 6, Kevin Lockman, WH.
182 — 1, Dino Collins, LO. 2, Sterling Baker, DU. 3, Ethan Archibald, KE. 4, Connor Hendry, KW. 5, Mark Magehee, KW. 6, Dylan Brenner, GR.
195 — 1, Cody Flynn, DU. 2, Eli Moody, LO. 3, Gabe Villegas, GR. 4, Jasper Gur, Riverton. 5, Riley Richert, RI. 6, Alex Pietrzak, KW.
220 — 1, Bo Aimone, MV. 2, Nate Obray, KW. 3, Casey Savage, RI. 4, Quinton Edeler, CO. 5, Logan Welch, KE. 6, Zane Edeler, GR.
285 — 1, Kaleb Clark, KW. 2, Ryder O’Brien, MV. 3, Jacob Asay, LO. 4, Trenton Kelly, GR. 5, Michael Smidt, WH. 6, Charles Oldman, WR.
by nathan oster
Win ‘em all at home. Ask Coach Jim Prather at the beginning of each season the key to winning, or at least finishing near the top of the Class 2A Northwest Conference, and he always emphasizes the importance of defending the home court.
The Buffs may well still achieve their goals, but after a heartbreaking four-point loss Thursday to Rocky Mountain, they will have some work to do in the remaining conference games on their schedule. Particularly in a Feb. 10 game at Cowley.
Greybull, which entered the game with just a single loss in conference play, trailed from wire to wire against the visiting Grizzlies, who used the 54-50 victory to solidify their hold on the No. 2 spot in the conference standings behind Lovell.
“Credit Rocky Mountain for a well-executed game plan,” Prather said. “I thought they did a nice job of exposing a lot of our weaknesses as a team — and good teams do that. They played with a level of intensity that we didn’t match — and when you put that combination together, it usually spells trouble.”
The Buffs couldn’t overcome foul trouble — point guard Travis Sylvester picked up three in the first half, shooting guard Kason Clutter two — or the Grizzlies’ ability to hit from behind the three-point arc. Greybull also had an off shooting night, hitting just 28 percent of their field goal attempts.
Bryce Ward, a sophomore, nailed three from long range, while Bill Despain, a sophomore, had two, and Michael Bernheisel, a junior, had one. The Grizzlies had only one senior play — Derik Romero, who had eight points.
Austin Frazier, one of six Greybull seniors, poured in 20 points in the losing effort, but no one else was in double figures. Neil Getzfreid finished with nine, Sylvester six before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
The game was marred by a technical foul called on the Greybull cheering section, but Prather emphasized that it “in no way changed the game. Rocky Mountain was just the better team that night.”
Overall, it was a demoralizing night for the Buffs.
“Rocky didn’t do anything we didn’t expect … obviously, they just did it better than we were able to simulate in practice,” he said. “We learned a valuable lesson, I think. We are not in a position where we can take anyone lightly. If we don’t compete with 100 percent focus and effort, then anything can happen, and that includes a loss.”
The Buffs began putting the loss behind them on Friday with a 73-46 whipping of Thermopolis. It was their second win of the season over the Bobcats, who are firmly entrenched in the cellar in the conference standings.
“We played better and I credit our team for that,” Prather said. “You never know how kids are going to respond after a disappointing loss, but I thought our kids took control of the game early, improved as the game wore on, and played with spark and intensity that was missing the previous night.”
Balanced scoring returned as well, with Sylvester netting 17, Hayden Goton and Clutter 14 apiece, Getzfreid 13 and Frazier 11 to lead the Buffs to the win.
The Buffs whipped the Bobcats on the boards, and in particular, on the offensive glass, pulling down 24 caroms. Goton led with eight offensive boards and had 11 overall for the night.
“We had been working on that in practice,” Prather said. “(The 24 offensive rebounds) led to some nice, easy looks at the basket, and we were able to put some of those in the basket, where we had struggled with that the night before.”
With the weekend split, the Buffs ran their record to 12-4, 3-2 in conference play.
“We always say, better to have a setback in January than in February, and that’s how we are approaching it,” he said. “It was a valuable learning lesson. We’d have liked to have held the home court, but it didn’t work out that way. The way things are shaping up, (that Feb. 10 meeting in Cowley) could be a game with a lot of significance.”
The Buffs will regroup this week with a full week of practice and just one game — a non-conference road test Saturday at Tongue River. The boys’ JV game will start at 1 p.m., the varsity game at 4 p.m.
Rocky Mt. 9 15 15 15 — 54
Greybull 8 13 18 11 — 50
ROCKY MT — Bernhisel 2 2-6 7, Wocicki 1 2-2 4, Jewell 1 0-0 2, Despain 3 0-0 8, Winland 1 1-2 3, Romero 3 2-3 8, Simmons 2 3-4 7, Ward 5 2-3 15. Totals 18 12-20 54.
GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 0 0-1 0, Austin Frazier 6 7-13 20, Wyatt Good 1 2-3 4, Kason Clutter 1 0-0 2, Travis Sylvester 3 0-1 6, Paul Stewart 0 2-4 2, Neil Getzfreid 3 3-3 9, Hayden Goton 1 1-2 3, Brady Shoemaker 1 2-2 4. Totals 16-56 17-29 50.
3-POINT GOALS — Bernhisel, Despain 2, Ward 3; Frazier. REBOUNDS — Greybull 32 (Goton 6). STEALS — Greybull 13 (Goton 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 7 (Frazier 4). TURNOVERS — Greybull 19.
Thermopolis 8 15 12 11 — 46
Greybull 10 24 14 25 — 73
THERMOPOLIS — Thomas 1 2-4 5, Stromsvag 3 0-0 8, Andrews 2 0-0 4, King 1 0-0 2, Conger 6 0-0 12, Chism 2 1-3 5, Hawn 2 2-2 6, Syverson 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 5-9 46.
GREYBULL — Gonzalez 0 2-2 2, Frazier 5 0-0 11, Clutter 6 2-3 14, Sylvester 6 4-6 17, Getzfreid 4 5-6 13, Jensen 0 2-4 2, Goton 5 4-6 14, Shoemaker 0 0-2 0. Totals 26 19-29 73.
3-POINT GOALS — Stromsvag 2, Thomas; Frazier, Sylvester. REBOUNDS — Greybull 42 (Goton 11). STEALS — Greybull 17 (Sylvester 6). ASSISTS — Greybull 18 (Clutter 7). TURNOVERS — Greybull 16.
by nathan oster
Another Greybull business has been burglarized.
Just two months after the A&W was hit, the Silver Spur was targeted during an early-morning break-in Saturday morning.
Greybull Police Chief Bill Brenner said there is no proof that the two burglaries are connected, but that he and his officers are investigating the case. As of Monday afternoon, no arrests had been made.
Brenner said the break-in occurred between the hours of 3:30 and 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.
To gain access, burglars had to bust out a locked, glass door. Once inside, they stole a “small, mp3-type jukebox” and removed the cash from a cigarette machine. The burglar or burglars also tried, without success, to get into a safe in the business’s back room.
No alcohol was taken, Brenner said. Asked for the amount of cash reported missing, Brenner said it’s unknown. They did more property damage than anything, between the glass door, the cigarette machine and the jukebox.”
The Silver Spur is located across the street from Town Hall, which houses the police department. Brenner said an officer was on duty and drove by the bar several times between 3:30 and 8 a.m., but noticed nothing out of the ordinary.
“Ironic, for it to be right across from the police department,” Brenner said. “But when you’ve only got one officer on duty … the only thing I can figure is, to do it that close, there must have been a ‘lookout’ keeping watch for an officer. One person wouldn’t risk walking out of there with a jukebox.”
Memorial services for Otis A. Wilkerson of Cody will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. at Ballard Funeral Home in Cody. Otis, 78, died Jan. 17 at his home in Cody. He was born Aug. 16, 1933, in Basin, the son of Otis C. and Bessie Taylor Wilkerson.
His mother’s family came from Nebraska by covered wagon and homesteaded in Basin. His grandfather from West Virginia came to Basin in 1897 and worked for Skovgard Cattle Company on the Greybull River.
Odie left home at an early age to go to work for the Padlock Ranch in Dayton. He later moved to Washington State to work for Swanburg Brothers Sawmill and later worked for various ranches in the Washington and Oregon areas, working strictly with horses. A true horseman, Odie never came across a horse that he didn’t see something good in; he always brought out the best in a horse. He enjoyed steer tripping and team roping with his son Wayne in his younger years. He enjoyed spending summers in the Big Horn Mountains, camping, riding and fishing.
His parents and four siblings preceded him in death.
He is survived by his son Wayne Wilkerson in Oregon; his siblings, Pete Wilkerson, Patsy Davenport and Muriel Glisson; brother-in-law Ted Morris of Cody; two grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Mary Ellen Rimer will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. at Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Mary Ellen, 67, died Jan. 15 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.
She was born Sept. 12, 1944, in Greybull, the daughter of John Sebastian Jr. and Opal May Miller Fink. She was raised on the family farm near Emblem. She received her schooling in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School in 1963. She graduated from Acme Beauty College in Billings.
She married Charles Rimer Dec. 11, 1965, at Zion Lutheran Church in Emblem. They lived in California before moving back to Greybull in 1967. They later relocated to Shirley Basin for several years before returning to Greybull.
The couple later divorced.
Mary Ellen moved to Seattle, Wash., for about 10 years but returned to Greybull to care for her mother.
Although she loved being a beautician, her niche in life was as a custodial technician. She worked for schools in both Washington and Greybull, and for the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Basin.
She coached softball at Emblem and Greybull. She enjoyed camping with her family; she loved to read and play pinochle and also loved animals, especially cats.
Mary Ellen was a member of Zion Lutheran Church.
Her parents preceded her in death.
May Ellen is survived by two daughters, Marva Rimer (Mark Michelena) of Shell and Charlene and Jerry Collingwood of Greybull; her siblings and their spouses, John N. and Sheila Fink of Deer Park, Wash., Chris Fink of Basin, Larry R. and Dora Fink of Worland, Frances E. Chapman of Cody, Betty A. and Terry Simons of Boise, Idaho, and Robert L. Fink of Greybull; two grandchildren and 17 nieces and nephews.
Memorials can be made at Big Horn Federal Savings, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to the Humane Society of Park County in Cody.
A reception at BPOE 1431 Lodge in Greybull will be held immediately following the service.
Ralph, 82, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great “poopa,” passed away peacefully at his home in Basin, Wyo., on Friday evening, January 20, 2012. He was the best husband in the whole wide world to his wife, Sandy, for 39 years. Ralph retired from FMC in Green River, Wyo., in 1985 after 13 years of service. Ralph was a hard worker his entire life. He had a natural talent for fixing things. He loved to travel and he enjoyed fishing trips with his family and having a garden. He was still an old farmer at heart.
Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Murray E. Peden Sr. and Louise (Galbraith) Peden; two brothers, Murray E. Peden Jr. and William Paul Peden; two sisters, Emily Cecilia Devitt and Elizabeth Waters; his first wife and mother of his five children, Dorothy Schoen Peden, and their oldest son, Ralph F. Peden Jr.
Ralph is survived by his wife Sandra Charlene Peden; son Gary Peden of Lyman, Wyo., daughters Sally Peden, Kathy (John) Anderson and Cindy Young, all of Pennsylvania; two wonderful grandsons, Jason (Michelle) Peden of Lyman, Wyo., and Terry (Brandy) Peden of Big Piney, Wyo.; three beautiful and special granddaughters, Chrissy (Brian) Sprinkle of Marion, Ohio, Sheila Adamson of Cameron, Wis., and Amber (Jake) DeHart of Pennsylvania; and his youngest brother, Ernie Peden of Pennsylvania. Ralph and Sandy were blessed with 11 great-grandchildren and are survived by Clayton and Nicole Peden, Taylor and Kensey Sprinkle, Tristin, Garrett, Trigger and Gage Peden, Evan Richards, Hannah Adamson and Jake DeHart.
Cremation has taken place and at this time no date has been set for a memorial service.
Remember that wonderful sense of humor and the laughter it created.
Memorials will be received in Ralph’s name at the Bank of Greybull, 601 Greybull Avenue, Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale Campus, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 for Parkinson’s Disease research.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.
Merle Enos Peterson
Nov. 27, 1932 – Jan. 21, 2012
A funeral mass for Merle Enos Peterson of Greybull was held Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Merle, 79, died Jan. 22 at South Big Horn County Hospital.
He was born Nov. 27, 1932, in Lewistown, Mont., the son of Frank E. and Mary Angela Deen Peterson. He attended parochial school at St. Leo’s and Fergus County High School in Lewistown.
He married Kathy Jones Aug. 27, 1952. The couple had four daughters and a son.
He started his work career as a brakeman for the Milwaukee Railroad in Lewistown before starting his own company as a cement mason. He later moved to California where he worked as an artisan welder. One of his largest projects was designing and welding the wrought iron railings and décor in Old Town Sacramento, which is still there. He moved to Truckee, Calif., where he was a millwright and continued to design equipment.
He was an inventor and entrepreneur at a young age and during his lifetime invented many pieces of equipment and attachments. His largest invention was a log-splitter that split and then automatically loaded the logs onto a trailer. The model is now used nationally by timber companies.
After the death of his second wife, Maxine, in 2006 he moved to Greybull to live near his sisters, Viola and Evelyn. He continued to work designing a log splitter that attaches to a backhoe. At the time of his death he was working on an idea to bundle and consolidate oxygen and medical cords used in nursing homes.
His parents; three brothers, Verl, Frank and Ed Peterson, and four sisters, Grace Walling, Evelyn Jones, Marjorie Works and Anna Marie Murray, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his four daughters and their spouses, Connie Kemp, Sandi and Randy Viggue and Dorothy and Richard Baever, all of Bonney Lake, Wash. and Vickie and Bob Pringle of Kent, Wash.; his son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Maricel Peterson of Kent; sister and brother-in-law, Viola and Frank Stulc of Basin; sister-in-law Lois Peterson of Chico, Calif.; 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Donations to the Merle Peterson Memorial Fund can be sent to Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426.