Bill Sniffin: Remembering Susie McMurry

Mick and Susie McMurry looked around and everywhere in their beloved Wyoming they saw needs that were not being met. They saw projects that needed to be done or projects that were stymied because of a lack of dollars.

Bill Sniffin

January 31, 20236 min read

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By Bill Sniffin for Cowboy State Daily 

In Wyoming’s modern history, nobody had ever seen a power couple like Mick and Susie McMurry.  

Mick and Susie.  

Nationally in the last few decades, we’ve seen famous power couples like Bill and Hillary and then Barack and Michelle. Here in Wyoming, we had Mick and Susie McMurry.  

For almost three decades, they were everywhere. How many ribbon cuttings can you attend in your life? But that is what happens when you are a catalyst for good. When you are an agent for change. When you look at your town, your state and your university and conclude that “we can do better than this.” 


Whether it was flying around the state and the country in their private jets or helicopters, which read “NERD” on the side, you knew when the McMurrys were involved.  

Mick and Susie. 

These folks had become Wyoming royalty. But who would poke fun at themselves and call their company NERD? 

When you first met them, instead of glitz and glamor you got old-time Wyoming. Mick came from a family of contractors who were famous for building roads before he decided to drill for natural gas.  

Susie grew up in tiny Elk Mountain and was a school teacher. They were Casper natives and Wyoming to the bone.  

What happens to people when they move from being moderately successful to being super rich? Most folks take the money and run, popping up now and then to help out.   

Not Mick and Susie.  

They looked around and they saw everywhere in their beloved Wyoming needs that were not being met. They saw projects that needed to be done or had been stymied for lack of money.  

I would run into them all over the place, and they were “just folks.” To be precise, they were just “Wyoming folks” – folks who cared. 

Here in the Cowboy State, they were our superheroes, and their super powers were generosity and a willingness to help.

They would get personally involved in their projects and yet were famous for not nitpicking. Just get it done seemed to be their mantra.  

They gave and gave and gave some more. If you had a good, project they would listen. One family friend said that Mick’s job was make the money and Susie’s was to spend it on good things. But that is not true. They were the ultimate team. They worked together for the good of their home state.  

It was hard to find a critic of the McMurrys. They were both good-hearted and big-hearted.  

Wyoming’s Good Fortune 

Mick once joked to me that it would have been easy to hoard the money, but he felt almost a responsibility to put it to a better use. To he and Susie, their good fortune was not just their good fortune, but good fortune for all of Wyoming. They felt blessed, and consequently we all were blessed, too.  

The way they did all these good works and the impact they have had on Casper, our state and the University of Wyoming is almost unparalleled. 

The McMurrys were our superheroes, but now they are gone.

Mick died in 2015. And now Susie has passed away.  

With a heart as big as all of Wyoming, pint-sized Susie McMurry spent most of her lifetime doing good works and giving money to fund worthy projects around the Cowboy State. 

Mrs. McMurry died Saturday at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper from complications of diabetes, a disease she fought most of her life.  

Her funeral Mass will be Monday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Casper at 11 a.m. A rosary will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, also at St. Patrick’s.  

Susie’s husband Mick McMurry and partners discovered the incredible Jonah Field in Sublette County in the 1990s, which was one of the largest natural gas finds in the world. Soon Mick and Susie were among the most wealthy people in the state.  

Their impact on Wyoming is close to unprecedented, as was their generosity.

Mick and Susie founded the McMurry Foundation, which set new standards in the levels of donations to Casper, Natrona County, the state of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming, and many other causes and places.  

Susie and her husband Mickey were catalysts to make Wyoming a better place. And while he died in 2015, she carried on. The McMurry name behind her energy and foresight continued to make large financial donations to worthy causes around the state.  

Susie was well-known for her devotion to causes that affected children. They were instrumental in helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming. She was a catalyst in the formation of the Child Development Services facility in Casper.  

She was instrumental in creating Wyoming Food For Thought, which fights hunger for all people.  

Susie McMurry Obituary 

According to her obituary released by Bustard and Jacoby Funeral Home, Susan “Susie” Kay (Warburton) McMurry was born Dec. 23, 1946, in Casper. The following is from her obituary:  

Susie McMurry, 76, passed away peacefully Jan. 28, 2023, at Wyoming Medical Center after a lifelong battle with diabetes. 

Susie was born to Robert and Tillie Warburton. Growing up in Elk Mountain and Hanna, Wyoming, she graduated from Hannah High and moved to Casper to attend Casper College (AS Education) finishing her degree at the University of Wyoming (BS Education).   

On Dec. 21, 1973, Susie married Mick McMurry and together they raised two daughters, Trudi and Jillian, and fostered countless children. 

Susie – wife, mother and “Nana” – was an incredible combination of strength, courage, grace and dignity with a witty sense of humor who made a lifelong commitment to serving others.  

She took great pride in her husband Mick, his many accomplishments and their commitment to building a better Wyoming. Susie courageously always thought of others first. She gave from her heart and was a living legacy of joy, kindness, love and faith. Her life was about blessing others. 

Susie is survived by her daughters, Trudi (Tyler) Holthouse and Jillian McMurry; sister, San Koeneke; grandchildren, Lou McMurry, Tayla Davis, Tillie Holthouse, Ellie Holthouse, Evie, Lily, Max and Drew Kaschmitter; and her favorite boy of all, Neil Campbell.   

A special thanks to her loving caregivers led by Brooke Baker.  

Susie was preceded in death by her loving parents, Robert and Tillie; her sisters, Trudy Wilson and Pat Quigly; and her beloved husband, Mick. 

Susie’s family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Child Development Center of Natrona County or the McMurry Foundation. 

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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.