Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

Downtown project passes the one-third mark

by nathan oster

Downtown businesses are feeling the pain as the construction project unfolding in front of their stores enters its fifth week, with no end in sight.

“It’s just killing us,” said an exasperated Joni Hansen, one of the owners of the Uptown Café.

Hansen said that with no parking in front and just a narrow, 4-foot walkway access for pedestrians, the restaurant has begun closing at 2 p.m. during the week.

“We should be closed every day … because every single day we are losing money,” she said. “There just isn’t anywhere to park, and this community is filled with older people who can’t walk a block or a block and a half.”

Hansen made the comments during the weekly construction meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the prime contractor, S&S Builders of Gillette.

“There’s been a restaurant there for 96 years, and it would be a shame if we had to close it now,” Hansen said.

Another concern voiced Thursday was the safety of the intersection of Greybull Avenue and Sixth Street, where two of the four corners are torn up — and a third is likely to be added to that list in the coming weeks.

Marion Hansen of the Uptown Café said she’s seen trucks run through the intersection without stopping, and that the problem is the worst in the evenings due to the poor visibility of the signage.

Discussion at the meeting focused on what could be done to improve the visibility of the stop signs, particularly at night.  One suggestion was a flashing red light.  Another was to install signs before the intersection informing motorists of a “stop ahead.”

Edward Mitchell said no business has been more adversely impacted by the construction than his, which fronts North Sixth Street and is to the rear of the Historic Hotel Greybull. When the sidewalk in front of his store was removed, he lost all access, except for a temporary plank that was put there by construction workers.

“It’s hurting all of us,” he said. “We just have to bear with it until the project is finished. No matter how much we complain, it won’t make the project get done any sooner.”


Gas tanks

The project hit a temporary snag when the town’s public works department, while in the course of relocating services, discovered the presence of three underground gas tanks in front of the law office of Scott McColloch.

The tanks were discovered approximately 4 feet below the surface, and while there was some concern among officials about how long it would delay the project, those were alleviated.

Paul Koenig, the project inspector for WYDOT, said the tanks were removed on Thursday.  “They’re out and gone,” he said. “The DEQ gave us clearance to pull them; there was no contamination obvious or present.

“So that didn’t really hold us up at all.”

As for the week ahead, Koenig said Tuesday the initial push will be to get the sidewalks poured on the north side of Sixth Street between Greybull Avenue and First Avenue North.

From there the focus will shift to finishing up the rear access area behind the Bank of Greybull, then to the stretch of Greybull Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.

First will come the curb and gutter likely toward the end of this week. Koenig said the hope is to have the street paved by the end of next week and, long term, to have the sidewalks along that stretch finished by the Days of ’49.  That, however, is weather dependent.

When asked Tuesday about how the project is going, Koenig said it’s at about 35 percent finished. “Getting that block done between Sixth and Fifth will help immensely,” he said. “When that happens, we’ll be past the midway point.”

Koenig said he feels for the businesses that have been impacted.

“Everything we’re going to be doing in these next couple of weeks will be geared toward not only getting ready for the Days of ’49, but also toward getting parking in there for those businesses.

“The project can only go as fast as it can go … it’s the nature of the beast with construction and this particular project.”

Fischer accepts offer, to start work for town in June

by nathan oster

Joseph Fischer of River Falls, Wis., has accepted the town’s offer and will take over as administrator/finance director on June 18, according to Mayor Frank Houk.

Fischer holds a bachelor’s in business administration (2007) and a master’s of business administration (2011) from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

He has been working as a business loan analyst with WESTconsin Credit Union in River Falls and as founder and owner of Fischer Real Estate.

Houk said he expects Fischer to help in two areas, primarily.

“His educational background is in finance, accounting and budgeting, so that’s one of the things we’re expecting he will bring to the job,” said Houk. “But he’s also done some hands-on finance things with apartments and condominiums.

“We think that with him, we will have someone who can get out and talk with people in the field, particularly in the area of public works but also with our business people.  He’s a people person.”

Houk indicated last week that the employment package that was offered to Fischer approached $100,000, with $59,280 of that being salary and the rest benefits.

His arrival will come in the midst of a significant transition at Town Hall.

Kay Mattis, the longtime municipal clerk, is set to retire June 30.

Kathy Smith, the current town clerk, is going to assume Mattis’ court clerk responsibilities while keeping a number of her current town clerk tasks.

However, the budgeting aspect of things, which fall under the header of town treasurer, will now belong to Fischer, according to Houk.

The town has also cut back in the area of public works, said Houk.

When Mike Packer resigned, the town chose not to refill the public works director position, opting instead to promote Dalen Davis to the lesser-compensated position of town foreman.

In addition, the town chose not to refill one of the positions on the town public works crew. “We’re one person down now in regard to public works,” Houk said.

Shirley Lenore Rannells

July 26, 1921 – May 22, 2012

Longtime Basin resident Shirley Lenore Rannells, 90, passed away at South Big Horn County Critical Access Hospital Tuesday, May 22, surrounded by her family.

A viewing will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin on Friday, May 25, and will be held from 9 – 10 a.m., Saturday, May 26, in the Relief Society Room at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between Basin and Greybull.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between Basin and Greybull.  Following the services there will be a meal at noon at the First Baptist Church gymnasium in Basin. The Order of the Eastern Star graveside services will follow the meal at 1:30 p.m. at the Hyattville Cemetery.

Memorials in Shirley’s name will be received at Security State Bank, P.O. Box 531, Basin, WY 82410-0531.  Proceeds will go to The Shack.

A complete obituary will follow in next week’s paper.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.

Optimism reigns as Babe Ruth opener draws near

by nathan oster

It’s early, but Joe Forcella likes what he’s seeing from his Greybull Babe Ruth team, which opens the season next week.

“Really happy with the depth and experience we have this year,” Forcella said of his team, which is made up of 13- to 15-year-olds. “If we stay healthy, and the kids commit, we are on track for a great season.

“This year’s roster is a real treat because we have kids who can play multiple positions. We have a nice variety this year in our bullpen with speed, junk and consistency.”

The challenge, Forcella said, may be scoring runs.  Teams now must abide by the Bat-Ball  Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) ruling, which requires teams at all levels to switch to non-wood bats that are even more wood-like in their performance.

“I have heard rumors that home runs have dropped off by as much as 95 percent, which really changes the defensive side of the game,” said Forcella.

This year’s Babe Ruth team roster consists of the following players:

Calder Forcella, P/SS/3B

Zach Zeller, P/SS/2B

Fabian Davila, P/CF/SS

Jake Gifford, RF/3B/LF

Oscar Gomez, LF/1B/3B

Wyatt Nielson, LF, 2B, CF

Riley Hill, P/SS/3B

Miguel Gomez, RF/CF/LF

Justin Bacus, 2B/1B/C

Dawson Forcella, C/P/3B

Cade Dooley, RF/1B/C

Treston Tracy, 1B/3B

Dante Sylvester, LF/CF/RF

Forcella said the team is “counting down the days” to the season opener, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 30 in Worland.  Start time is 6 p.m.  The home opener is Thursday, May 31 against Otto, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

Forcella is being assisted this year by Todd Zeller.

Buffs make most of state experience

by nathan oster

Greybull High School didn’t have the numbers to make a run at the team titles, but the three athletes who made the long trek to Casper for the State 2A Track and Field Championships certainly made the most of their opportunities.

All three of them placed, with Lindsay Kern earning a fourth in the shot put, McKenna Powers placing fifth in the triple jump and 800 and eighth in the 400, and Oscar Gomez netting a sixth in the shot put.

“It was a good meet for us,” said Coach Jeff Sukut. “As a coach, obviously, I wish we’d have had more kids qualify and hopefully in the future we will get more … but for the ones we took, they did fantastic.

“Out of seven events, four personal records were set.”

Lovell took top honors in both the boys and girls divisions.

The Greybull girls finished with 14 points, good for 14th in the 19-team field.

Kern, a senior, tallied five of those points with her fourth-place finish in the shot put.  She didn’t throw her best, with her best effort going 33 feet, 2 ¾ inches.  But her best throw during the regular season, a 34-11 ¾, would have only netted her a third in Casper, where two girls topped the 35-foot barrier.

“She was a regional champion and a state runner up last year … a regional runner up and a top-four finisher at state this year … and all-conference two years in a row,” said Sukut. “Add it all up, and I told her, ‘Lindsay, that’s a great way to end your career.’”

Kern didn’t place in the discus, but did turn in her best effort of the season, throwing 90 feet, 11 inches.  That was more than a 5-foot improvement on her previous best in the event, which was won by a girl from Sundance who launched it 151 feet, 8 inches.

Powers placed in three of her four events, capping another season of growth and recovery for the sophomore. As a middle schooler, she was injured in a sledding accident in the Big Horns.

Sukut said he couldn’t be more impressed with her progress, calling her “a strong, hard-working girl who is tenacious, something you appreciate with any type of athlete.”

Powers did “tremendously well” in the 800, running a 2:31.2 which was more than four seconds faster than her seed time.  “For her first time running that at state, she sure looked like she’d been there before,” said Sukut. “There’s a little more strategy involved with running the 800 than some of the other events.”

With continued improvement in the next two seasons, Sukut said he believes Powers could make a run at the school record, a 2:19.06 set by Emily Koller in 1998.  “That’s more than 11 seconds, but could she do it?  You bet,” Sukut said.

Powers was nothing if not consistent in the 400 meters.  She ranked eighth after the prelims with a 1:04.54 — and eighth after the finals with a 1:04.88. “Neither of those times were personal bests … but they were much better than (her times) last year.”

Powers also set a personal best in the triple jump, soaring 32 feet, 8 ¼ inches, good for fifth.

The only event in which she didn’t place was the long jump — and in it, she scratched on her first two attempts.  On her last attempt, she focused more on not scratching — and on just getting a mark.   The 12 foot, 11 ¾ inch effort that resulted was nearly 2 feet off her seed distance (14-9 ½).

Gomez and his sixth-place finish in the shot put accounted for Greybull’s only points on the boys’ side.  The Buffs placed 19th, ahead of one team.

As for Gomez, the stage of the state track meet wasn’t too big for him.  Just a freshman, he belted out a throw of 42 feet, 9 ½ inches on his second throw of his flight to earn a spot in the finals. He was unable to top that effort the rest of the day.  Two other throwers from Big Horn County ruled the event, with Brynnt Wood of Riverside winning it at 54-5 ¾ and A.J. Montanez of Lovell finishing second at 53-2.  Gomez finished just a 13 inches behind the third-place thrower, Tanner Housley of Kemmerer.

All five of the throwers who beat Gomez are seniors.

“As we have discussed, Oscar is one of the few kids who rotates on his throw,” Sukut said. “He’s going to be tough … and if he gets serious about getting into the weight room, by the time he’s a senior, he’ll be throwing it in the same range as (this year’s top two throwers).”

Sukut credited his assistant, Nolan Tracy, for helping Gomez refine his spin.

“I think he had a blast (at state),” said Tracy. “It’s a unique experience for any kid who has never had a chance to go to the state track meet. I think Oscar fell in love with it. I asked him if he wants to come back as a sophomore, junior and senior, and he said, ‘Most definitely.’”

Season ends

Sukut said the Buffs will miss their three seniors, which in addition to Kern also included Julian Wiley and Brady Shoemaker.

“I hope we can get a few more kids to come out next year,” he said. “The more we have, the more competitive you can be as a team. It’s a lot more fun when you can take more kids … maybe even put a relay team together.  That’s the hope for next year.”

Emblem Post Office spared closure

by nathan oster

Small communities in Wyoming like Emblem won’t be losing their post offices, after all.

But customers will have to make adjustments to their schedules if they want to buy stamps or mail packages because those post offices won’t be open as much under a plan announced last week by the U.S. Postal Service.

The Emblem Post Office, for example, would go from being open four hours a day, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday to being open just two hours a day.  Public input will be used to determine what those hours of operation will be.

“It seems to be a good compromise solution because it allows smaller towns to still have access to postal products and services,” said David Rupert, a Denver-based spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. “You can get just about everything you need off of usps.com, but we recognize that not everyone has Internet access, particularly in the more rural areas.”

The plan announced last week by the USPS keeps existing post offices in place, but with  modified retail window hours to match customer use.  Access to the retail lobby and to post office boxes remains unchanged, as do town’s zip codes and community identity.

“Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe in a release. “With that said, we’ve listened to our customers in rural America and we’ve heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their Post Office open. We believe today’s announcement will serve our customers’ needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability.”

The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014. Once implementation is completed, the USPS estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually.

Rupert said at this point the plan is “just a proposal,” noting that it is now under a 90-day review period with the Postal Regulatory Commission.  But he noted with some confidence that it would ultimately be approved, pointing out that the PRC is “an oversight advisory board” that “makes sure we’re following all the rules and isn’t into approvals and disapprovals” of specific aspects of the plan.

Rupert said sometime after Labor Day the USPS will begin looking at each of the communities to determine with public input the best hours of operation.

He emphasized, however, that this plan is just a start.

“Like a Band-Aid on a bleeding aorta,” he said. “This is nowhere close to getting the postal service where it needs to be.”

Just by reducing hours, the USPS expects to save about $500 million a year.

“This last quarter, we lost $3.2 billion,” he said. “So even with this, we’re still heading into the deep canyon.”

Rupert said the USPS continues to push for the end of Saturday delivery, a move that in itself would save $2.8 billion a year.  The USPS is also hindered, he said, by a mandate that it pre-fund future retiree health benefits.  Right now, it’s writing a $5.5 billion per year check just for that, he said.

“We don’t want a bailout or anything like that…we just want to be freed up from those two things,” he said. “We’re a government agency that wants to get smaller.”

Buffs send three to Casper

by nathan oster

Greybull High School will be sending three of its athletes, senior Lindsay Kern, sophomore McKenna Powers and freshman Oscar Gomez, to this week’s State 2A Track and Field Championships in Casper.

Those three were the team’s only placers and point-scorers at Class 2A West Regional held Friday and Saturday in Riverton. Of course, Kern and Powers had AQ’d earlier in the season. But for Gomez, it was a matter of knowing what needed to be done … and then going out and doing it.

Gomez needed a top-eight finish to qualify and he responded by throwing a personal-best 40 feet, 5 inches, which was a good half-foot better than any previous throw in competition during the regular season.  That was good enough for seventh place.

“Oscar’s a big, strong kid, and that’s what it takes in that event,” said Coach Jeff Sukut. “Oscar is one of the few kids who uses the rotary method when he throws the shot, and (assistant coach Nolan Tracy) has done a good job working with him on that.”

The winning throw at regionals went 51 feet, 4 inches and belonged to A.J. Montanez of Lovell.  Riverside’s Brynnt Wood was second, just 4 inches off that throw.

Kern, the first Lady Buff to qualify automatically, had a slight drop-off after her 34 foot, 11 3/4-inch effort in the shot at the pre-regional in Thermop. At regionals, she measured 32-9 1/2 inches, good for second place behind a Wind River thrower, Tristan Yellowplume, who went 34-1.

“Lindsay was a little disappointed, but what do you say?  Sometimes there’s no explanation for when you have a bad day,” said Sukut. “I told her, ‘Hey, you were the regional champ last year … the regional runner-up this year … what you have to have to look forward is making a little noise at state.’  She should have a good chance of doing just that.”

Kern will also compete in the discus in Casper after placing seventh with a throw of 85-2 in Casper.  While not a personal best it was nonetheless “one of her better throws,” according to Sukut.

Powers will be the team’s busiest athlete in Casper, having qualified in four events: the triple jump, long jump, 400 meters and 800 meters.  She placed in all four in Riverton.

“She has what I like to call ‘athletic stubbornness’ and by that, I mean she doesn’t like to lose very well, and that’s OK,” Sukut said. “She’s a real competitor, and as a coach, you like to see that.”

Powers produced personal bests in two event, going 32 feet, 2 1/2 inches to capture sixth place in the triple jump and running a 2:35.97 to earn a fourth in the 800 meters.  Her previous best in that race was a 2:39.99.

“She ran a really good race,” said Sukut.  Two of the three girls who beat her are seniors.

Powers also added a seventh in the 400 meters (1:04.84) and a fifth in the long jump (14-9 1/2).

While no other Buffs placed, several ended the season on high notes.

Freshman Mackenzie Bollig ran the best 200 meters of her prep career, finishing ninth — and just one spot out of placing and going to state — with a 29.94.  Her previous best was a 32.68.  And the eighth-place finisher, who will be going to state this week, was just .27 of a second faster.

Sukut called it a great effort. “I wish I would have had a couple more who had a little more speed so we could have been able to put together (with Mackenzie and McKenna) on a couple of relay teams.”

Chris Ogg also had a near-miss in the 300-meter hurdles.  A freshman, he was ninth after the prelims … and just eight went on to finals.  His time, though, was a 44.79, a full second and a half better than his previous best. “That time would have placed him last year,” Sukut said, noting that the eighth-place runner in 2011 ran a 48.  “This year, a 44.79 didn’t even get you a place.”

“Chris is going to be a good hurdler, though,” Sukut said. “He has the speed and stamina for it.”

Julian Wiley, a senior, didn’t qualify for state, but he didn’t go out on a sour note, either.  He ran one of his best times of the season in the very competitive 400 meters, finishing 10th, two spots out of placing, with a 56.62.  That was just .02 off his personal best.

While several of the remaining Buffs didn’t get the performances they wanted, Suskut said as a group, “These were great kids. They worked pretty hard at practice. They’re super to be around and to coach.  I wish they’d have made it, but they just have to keep working, and hopefully with another year of experience, and getting bigger and stronger, they’ll be better next year.”

As a team, Greybull ranked eighth in the girls with 24 points and 10th in the boys with two points.  Lovell crushed the field in both divisions en route to the regional title.


State preview

The Buffs will leave this morning for Casper and the state track meet.

Kern will be first up, competing in the discus which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Friday all of the team members will be in action.  Kern and Gomez will compete in the shot put, while Powers will compete in the long jump, triple jump, finals of the  800 and prelims of the 400.


Class 2A West Regional

BOYS TEAM SCORES: Lovell 192, Big Piney 100, Thermopolis 76, Kemmerer 70, Wyoming Indian 66, Shoshoni 61, Rocky Mt. 30, Wind River 25, Riverside 21, Greybull 2.

100 METERS – 13, Chris Ogg, 12.29.  15, Calder Forcella, 12.45.   22, Jesus Burgos, 13.11.

200 METERS – 21, Jacob Gifford, 27-9.

400 METERS – 10, Julian Wiley, 56.62.  17, Burgos, 57.82.  28, Gifford, 1:03.80.

800 METERS – 25, Wyatt Nielson, 2:45.84.

110 HURDLES – 11, Wyatt Good, 19.58.  14, Nielson, 22.5.

300 HURDLES – 9, Ogg, 44.79.  16, Good, 48.67.  18, Neilson, 59.38.

LONG JUMP – 11, Wiley, 18-0 1/2.  14, Ogg, 16-8 1/2.

TRIPLE JUMP – 16, Burgos, 32-11 3/4.  17, Gifford, 29-10 3/4.

SHOT PUT – 7, Oscar Gomez, 40-5.  17, Logan Jensen, 32-9.  18, Brady Shoemaker, 32-1.

DISCUS – 12, Gomez, 111-9.  13, Forcella, 110-5 1/2.  16, Jensen, 107-1.  21, Shoemaker, 89-8 1/2.


GIRLS TEAM SCORES: Lovell 192.5, Thermopolis 102.5, Wind River 91.5, Big Piney 61.5, Shoshoni 60, Wyoming Indian 41, Kemmerer 35, Greybull 24, Riverside 15, Rocky Mt. 11.

100 METERS – 12, Mackenzie Bollig, 14.69.  16, Megan Euerle, 15.44.

200 METERS – 9, Bollig, 29.94.

400 METERS – 7, McKenna Powers, 1:04.84.

800 METERS – 4, Powers, 2:35.97.

LONG JUMP – 4, Powers, 14-9 1/2.  16, Euerle, 11-6 1/2.

TRIPLE JUMP – 6, Powers, 32-2 1/2.  15, Bollig, 27-9 1/4.

SHOT PUT – 2, Lindsay Kern, 32-9 1/2.  25, Autumn Hopkin, 19-7.

DISCUS – 7, Kern, 85-2.  19, Hopkin, 61-0 1/4.

Jane Lucille Gams Franks

February 1, 1944 – May 8, 2012

Jane Franks, age 68, passed away on May 8, 2012, at her home in Manderson, Wyoming surrounded by her husband and family after a valiant four-year battle with lung cancer.

Jane was born on Feb. 1, 1944, in Lovell, Wyoming, the third of six children to John and Hermina (Miller) Gams. She went to high school in Lovell, Wyoming, and graduated from Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyoming, in 1964.

Jane met Lloyd Franks in Lovell, Wyoming and they were married on April 4, 1964. They were blessed with three children, Weston, Wendy and Wynette.

Jane and Lloyd moved to Roswell, New Mexico in December 1964 and then to Escalante, Utah in 1965 where Lloyd worked for Jane’s brother-in-law‘s company, Kelley Construction. Jane and Lloyd moved to Orogrande, New Mexico in 1966. In 1975 Jane and Lloyd moved back to Wyoming, making their home in Manderson.

Jane worked many years in the Big Horn Basin area. She worked as a nurse’s aide for the Wyoming Retirement Center; as a secretary for the Big Horn Basin School District, Wyoming Retirement Center, Zaring and Gish Law Firm, County Attorney Bob Gish; and the Big Horn County Assessor’s office. Jane served as secretary for the Manderson Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years. Jane also supported her husband in building and growing their two businesses, Lloyd‘s Roofing LLC and Lloyd’s Auction Service.

Jane was preceded in death by her father, John Gams, and her sister, Judy Workman.

Jane is survived by her husband of 48 years, Lloyd Franks of Manderson, Wyoming; her mother, Hermina Gams of Lovell, Wyoming; her brother, John (Sylvia) Gams of Cowley, Wyoming; her sisters, Joyce (Terry) Lohrenz of Fishtail, Montana, Ginger  (Dennis) Cooper of California City, California, and Jerri (Leonard) Torczon of Powell, Wyoming; her sisters-in-law, Barbara Hosman of Denver, Colorado, Bevery Moody of Gillette, Wyoming; her son, Weston Franks of Billings, Montana; her daughters, Wendy (Roger) Brown of Casper, Wyoming, Wynette (Kevin) Culp of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming; six grandchildren, Daniel Culp, Jonathan Brown, Trenton Culp, Christina Brown, Ashlyn Culp and Rachael Brown.

Jane enjoyed sewing, crocheting, arts and crafts, working in her yard, spending time with her family and supporting her grandchildren by attending many of their sporting events and activities. Jane loved camping in the Big Horn Mountains and four-wheeling with her family by the rivers near her home.

Jane was a 12-year member of the Wyoming Auctioneer’s Association and was their historian for four years. Jane was a 37-year member of the Manderson Community Bible Church and served as treasurer for over 20 years.

A viewing was held from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, 2012 at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 14, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Basin with Pastor Don Wood officiating. Burial followed at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin.

Memorials in Jane’s name may be made to the Manderson Community Bible Church Building Fund in care of Security State Bank, P.O. Box 531, Basin, WY 82410.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. was in charge of arrangements.

(Paid obituary)

Jerry Brown

May 31, 1931 – May 7, 2012.

Memorial services or Jerry Brown of Shell will be held Friday, May 25 at 1 p.m. at the Methodist Church in Cody. Jerry, husband, father, granddad, brother, uncle, coach and friend, died May 7 at the Spirit Mountain Hospice House in Cody after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born May 31, 1931, in Worland, the son of Leland S. and Leona Brown. He spent most of his childhood in Worland and attended Worland High School where he was an all-state football and basketball player. Following his high school graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served two years in Africa.

Jerry moved to Greybull in 1952 where he met the love  of his life, Margaret “Weezie” Scott, at the soda fountain at Ortman Drug. They were married in 1953 and shortly thereafter moved to Cody where they raised their four children.

In 1957, the couple started Jerry’s Roofing Company and later established Brown Construction.

In 1998, Jerry and Margaret moved to Shell where Jerry became a full-time rancher and caregiver to Margaret who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Jerry was a well-known boxer. He won the Wyoming State Golden Gloves light heavyweight championship in 1954 and the Midland Empire Golden Gloves light heavyweight championship in 1955. During those years he was touted as the “Pride of the Big Horn Basin.” He devoted 35 years to teaching hundreds of youth about boxing life’s lessons behind the sport.

He coached Golden Gloves, Junior Olympic, Regional and National teams and was honored when named the head coach of the U.S. amateur team, training the athletes for the Olympics in Atlanta.

He loved the outdoors, spending time on his ranch, camping with his family and friends, hunting, searching for arrowheads and fly-fishing the streams of northern Wyoming.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Dee and Bud; one sister, Thelma, and infant granddaughter, Marisa Brown.

He is survived by his wife Margaret; three daughters and sons-in-law, Jerri Lynn and Steve Meyerpeter of San Diego, Lisa and Kenny Michelena of Shell, Julia and Wally Hames of Meridian, Idaho; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Kelly Brown of Shoreview, Minn.; sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and Marvin Hankins of Greybull; and five grandchildren, Ryan and Stacie Brown, Erin and Kara Michelena and Kersey Hames.

A memorial fund has been established at Big Horn Federal, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426. Donations will benefit the Mount Carmel Youth Ranch in Clark.

Paul Stanley Johnson

Dec. 5, 1922 – May 4, 2012

Paul Stanley Johnson, age 89, lifetime resident of Basin, Wyoming, died suddenly Friday, May 4, 2012, while mowing the grass at their home in Basin. Plans had been in the works for the family gathering this coming December to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Paul Stanley Johnson was born Dec. 5, 1922, at home in a small grass-roofed house in Basin, Wyoming. He was born to Frances and Owen Johnson, the youngest of seven…hence the initials “P.S.”

He attended Basin Public Schools through 12th grade. His father died when he was 15, and he began helping his brother Lew in the family trucking business, Johnson Transfer, doing incredibly hard (and dangerous) jobs for a young man that age. Amazingly, he found time to finish high school through graduation and even participate on Basin’s first football championship team in 1938, although he modestly asserted he “didn’t help much.”

Stan began dating Cora Wilson while he was in high school and they married on Halloween 1941. The young couple had only enough money to pay the preacher his customary $5 fee. He entered the Army in 1943, leaving his wife and infant son to join the war effort. Without having basic training, he was assigned to attend radio school, where the servicemen learned about and began to use a new tactic in the war called radar. He was being sent to Australia and Dutch New Guinea, when he rode the LST through a hurricane near the Philippines and was amazed at the size of the waves. He was there when the war ended in 1945. Last May 2011 he participated in an Honor Flight from Wyoming to the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.; this helped him realize his part, too, was an important part of the war effort.

After the war, Stan returned to his family in Basin and entered into a partnership in the trucking business with his brother, called Johnson Transfer. They transported mail, moved construction equipment and unique buildings around the area and over the mountain. This business could not support two families at that time, so after 20 years, he took over the business, the equipment and the debt. It took about 10 years to work out of the debt and then it became a reasonably profitable business until he retired in 1988. Stan enjoyed traveling to family homes to visit and using his MacGyver fix-it skills, watching the Atlanta Braves, and wearing one of his favorite baseball caps that said, “WWII Veteran” or “What’s 80 Years Old When You’re Going to Live Forever?”

Throughout his childhood and all his adult life Stan faithfully attended, taught classes, and participated at the First Baptist Church of Basin. He led Sunday School groups of various ages for 64 years, as well a leading the youth group for many years. In recent time he was an Elder in his church and mentored young men in their faith. This is a part of his legacy.

Corky and Stan were married for 39 years, until her death in 1981. To this union were born three children, Fred, Cozette and Judson. Stan married Catherine Shibata in 1987 and added three more children to his family, Julie Fall, Kirk Shibata and Kerry Perkins. The couples contributed a total of 15 grandchildren to the union, and at last count were the proud great-grandparents of 23 great-grandchildren, with the promise of more to come. Cathy and Stan enjoyed nearly 25 years of marriage with many trips to visit family (sometimes a project or two was completed)  or just to have fun.

Stan was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Frances; all of his siblings, Dorothea, Lew, Lois, Eddie, Edna and Marjorie; his wife, Cora; and a daughter-in-law, Cynthia.

Grateful for having shared Paul Stanley Johnson’s life are his wife, Catherine of Basin, Wyoming; the six children, Fred (Kim) Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas, Cozy (Bob) Dorton of Custer, South Dakota, Jud (Lynne) Johnson of Garland, Texas; Julie (Dave) Fall of Gillette, Wyoming, Kirk (Caren) Shibata of Victorville, California, and Kerry (Greg) Perkins of Holbrook, Arizona.; 15 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

His incredible smile, his problem-solving skills, and most importantly, his humble, loving and gentle spirit will be deeply missed. His love of the Lord and his witness about God’s grade is the legacy that will live on and must be passed on to future generations. His desire for each one here would be that you and your house would know the Lord.

A viewing was held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, and at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming from 9:00 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at the First Baptist Church in Basin, Wyoming, with Pastor Kent Dempsey as officiant. Burial was at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin. A reception followed at the First Baptist Church Gymnasium.

Memorials will be received in Stan’s name at Security State Bank, Box 531, Basin, WY 83510. Proceeds will go to the Basin First Baptist Church Benevolent Fund.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.

(Paid obituary)

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