Bill Sniffin: As Foster Friess Was Laid To Rest, Well-Known Folks Attended His Final Services

At one point during the Jackson funeral, former VP Mike Pence and Gov. Mark Gordon presented Fosters wife Lynn with United States and Wyoming flags. Foster Friess was a veteran and a flag was draped over his casket during the entire service.

Bill Sniffin

June 13, 20214 min read

Foster funeral book
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Nearly a thousand people from all over the world gathered last weekend at four sites to celebrate the life of their good friend.

 The late Foster Friess was well known for a great many things. First and foremost was his generosity as he and his wife Lynn gave away $500 million in their lifetimes.

Foster was also well-known as a high profile Republican donor and a supporter of conservative causes. 

He spoke well and was a frequent guest on TV news shows including the Fox News programs of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Charles Payne, Neil Cavuto, and Maria Bartiroma.

Hundreds of the most famous people in America gathered in Jackson on June 6 to celebrate his life.

Carlson gave a rousing speech to the huge crowd at the Diamond Cross Ranch big barn near Moran.

The event was attended by special guests including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice-President Dan Quayle,  and former Trump cabinet member Dr. Ben Carson.  Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, was there along with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Gov. Mark Gordon and his wife Jennie were present along with Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, Treasurer Curt Meier, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and Auditor Kristin Racines, the top elected state officials in Wyoming. 

Former Wyoming House Speaker and Senate President Eli Bebout of Riverton was there along with a slew of Jackson friends such as Hank McKinnell, Dick Scarlett, Jerry Blann, Steve Duerr, Paul Von Gontard, and Steve Meadows, among many others.   

The day before, a funeral service was held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Earlier in the day, a funeral service was held at the Presbyterian Church in Jackson. The next day, a service was held in Foster’s hometown of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where he was laid to rest.

At one point during the Jackson funeral, former Veep Pence and Gordon presented Foster’s wife Lynn with United States  and Wyoming flags.  Foster Friess was a veteran and a flag was draped over his casket during the entire service. He and Lynn have four children who were all in attendance, along with a big gathering of grandchildren, many of whom spoke during the service.

The crowds were huge at the Diamond Cross and it took a while to get everyone to the site and located for the celebratory dinner.

The music was wonderful and the food was tasty.  The weather was spectacular with the Tetons looking down over the crowd.

It was a near-perfect day for a send-off for a near-perfect guy.

Photos by Bill Sniffin and Peter Lobozzo

A funeral attendee holds the brochure for the Foster Friess funeral in Jackson June 5.

Lynn Friess is greeted by an old friend of the family, former Vice President Mike Pence.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham was sitting with former Trump Cabinet member Dr. Ben Carson.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA and Conservative Political talk show host Candace Owens toasted Foster Friess during the celebration of life.

Ross Perot Jr. of Dallas was sitting with Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

Gov. Mark Gordon and former Vice President Mike Pence presented flags to the family in honor of Foster Friess.

Attending were  Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and her husband Gov. Mark Gordon (right).  State Supt. of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and State Auditor Kristi Racines were also in attendance.

Jackson friends of the Friess family were enjoying the sunshine prior to the celebration of life service. (L-r) Hank McKinnell, Joanna Slonecka, Olson Fenwick, and Paul Von Gontard.

Sen. John Barrasso and his wife Bobbie were chatting with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Former Senate President Eli Bebout was chatting with Hank True of Casper.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News posed for a photo with Lynn Friess, the wife of the late Foster Friess. They were married 58 years.

Former U. S. Sen. Rick Santorum paused by his friend’s casket at the Jackson funeral.

Friess grandchildren were solemn after the funeral as they stood next to their grandfather’s casket. Son Michael Friess is standing in the background.

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.