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Wyoming obituary

Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of June 25 – July 1, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of June 25 – July 1, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

June 25:

June 26:

June 27:

June 28:

June 29:

June 30:

July 1:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of June 17 – 25, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of June 17 – 25, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

June 17:

June 18:

June 19:

June 20:

June 21:

June 22:

June 23:

June 24:

June 25:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of June 10 – 17, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of June 10 – 17, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

June 10:

June 11:

June 12:

June 13:

June 14:

June 15:

June 16:

June 17:

Obituaries Pending:

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Cowboy Poets Remember Storyteller Baxter Black

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
Wendy@CowboyStateDaily.com

Baxter Black had a way with words that connected with rural folks and brought the culture of cowboy and ranch life to a broader, more urban audience.

“And the mountains have shoulders like granite / They’re big and they make their own rules / So take what you need, but you’d better pay heed / ‘Cause the mountains don’t tolerate fools,” reads one of Black’s poems, titled “The West.”

The veterinarian-turned-cowboy-poet and author died last week at the age of 77 at his home in Benson, Arizona. 

The prolific writer and performer came to fame in the late 1980s, when a poem he wrote and recorded about the Yellowstone National Park fires of 1988 caught the attention of public radio. 

Black went on to speak at conventions and events across the country, wrote a weekly column (“On the Edge of Common Sense”) that was published by dozens of newspapers and became familiar to national television audiences through appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”



Black’s success was an inspiration for others who enjoyed cowboy poetry. Waddie Mitchell, one of the co-founders of the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, told Cowboy State Daily that Black was a mentor to him, even if he wasn’t aware of it.

“He didn’t know he was teaching me,” said Mitchell, “but he already had it going, people wanting him to speak after dinner and people wanting him to do this. And at the time we first met (in the mid-1980s) he was really thinking, ‘It’s time maybe I try this full time.’ And that’s the only thing that ever gave me the guts to go at it full bore.”

Black’s veterinary career began in 1969, but he quit in the early 1980s to write and perform full-time. Since then, Black wrote more than 30 books of poetry and fiction and sold more than 2 million books, CDs and DVDs, making him perhaps the most well-known of the cowboy poets. 



Dan Miller, a Cody entertainer and television host, said he first met Black around 20 years ago on a television project.

“When you think of American originals, I know that’s high praise, but I put Baxter Black in that category,” Miller said. 

He recalled fondly his dinners with Black and his family at their home in Benson and the time the two spent playing music together. 

“Baxter always said, ‘I’m no cowboy,’” Miller pointed out. “A lot of cowboy poets are cowboys or cowboy wannabes. Baxter knew his place in that world, from his veterinarian background. I think his overview of the cowboy way of life was such a unique perspective.” 

Mitchell said there was a magnetism to Black’s personality, which added to his appeal.

“Have you ever had somebody come into the room, even if they were well known or not known, and just trap your attention?” said Mitchell. “I’ve seen that happen with him time and time again. He could go into a room and meet 30 people, shake their hands, make them all feel like he really had interest in them. And so they went away feeling good.”

“And by golly the next day, if he saw them, he could call their names,” Mitchell added.

“His sense of humor was so acute, and that to me always set him apart,” Miller said. “You know, a lot of his humor, you had to be a farmer and rancher to get it. But he was an entertaining, funny guy who genuinely cared about his audience.” 



Mitchell pointed out that Black took his role as a storyteller seriously.

“People have forgotten that a storyteller is an important part of the human experience,” Mitchell said. “There’s something about somebody conveying stories or humor or just completely getting you enthralled with what’s going on in your own mind.”

Mitchell recalled a conversation he had with Black when they were both appearing on “The Tonight Show.”

“Baxter said, ‘You know, it’s primordial,’” Mitchell said. “‘The first story told was the first art – if the story was nothing more than how they killed that mammoth that day, it was still a story. And later on we got the stories through the cave paintings. And later on it just evolved and it split out – but art is storytelling.’”

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of June 3 – 10, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of June 3 – 10, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

June 3:

June 4:

June 5:

June 6:

June 7:

June 8:

June 9:

June 10:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of May 28 – June 3, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of May 28 –  June 3 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

May 28:

May 29:

May 30:

May 31:

June 1:

June 2:

June 3:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of May 21 – 27, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of May 21 – 27, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

May 21:

May 22:

May 23:

May 24:

May 25:

May 26:

May 27:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of May 14 – 20, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of May 14 – 20, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

May 14:

May 15:

May 16:

May 17:

May 18:

May 19:

May 20:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of April 30 – May 7, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of April 30 – May 7, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

April 30:

May 1:

May 2:

May 3:

May 4:

May 5:

May 6:

May 7:

Obituaries Pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of April 23 – 29, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of April 23 – 29, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

April 23:

April 24:

April 25:

April 26:

April 27:

April 28:

April 29:

Obituaries Pending:

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Legendary Wyoming Artist Jim Bama Dead At 95

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Anyone who has lived in Wyoming for any length of time has no doubt seen a print of a James Bama painting. 

A portrait so vivid, capturing the essence of the subject’s mood, that one wonders if it might be a photograph. The subject, usually a cowboy, is looking away from the artist, who has finely detailed the person’s clothing and accouterments.

That was Jim Bama’s style in his later years, and is a large part of his legacy. 

Bama passed away on April 24 at his home in Wapiti. He was 95 years old, and leaves behind scores of art pieces that have stood the test of time.



Bob and Nancy Brown, owners of Big Horn Art Gallery in Cody, told Cowboy State Daily that ever since they entered the Cody art world 35 years ago, Bama stood out to them not only as a legendary artist, but as a generous and genuine man.

“When we first thought about moving to Cody, they were doing an event at Old Trail Town, and Jim was there and Bob Edgar was there,” Nancy said, referring to the creator of “Old Trail Town” and the subject of one of Bama’s most famous pieces, “At the Burial of Gallagher and Blind Bill.”

“And as someone very new to the potential art world, I was absolutely in awe of this artist that could paint so photogenically,” she added. “Physically, yes, but just so graphically, and capture so much through that, and I think that’s what people responded to in Jim.”

Western art wasn’t always Bama’s calling card. When he first began selling his work at the age of 15, Bama was an illustrator.

In a 2014 interview with Robert Deis, Bama recalled his first paid job ($50 for an aerial drawing of Yankee Stadium for “The Sporting News”) and how his dream was to be a cartoonist, like his first hero, Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon). After his discharge from the army in the 1940s, Bama attended art school on the GI Bill, which led him into a career as an illustrator. 

Bama was the illustrator for the entire 62-book “Doc Savage” series as well as multiple covers for men’s magazines in the 1950s and 1960s.



He took his own photos (over 55,000 of them) that he based his drawings from, and used various mediums depending on the work.

“For the men’s adventure magazines, I worked with fast-drying, water-based paints on illustration board because of the deadlines,” Bama told Deis. “My paperbacks and fine art paintings were almost all in oil. When you work in oils, the paint is thick and you work on a textured surface. When you work in water-based paint, the paint is thin and you work on an illustration board, which is smoother.”

With his wife, Lynne, whom he married in 1964, Bama moved to Cody in 1968, where his career as an illustrator for magazines and book covers phased out and a new phase of his artwork began – the realistic portraits he took of men and women in the west. 

“I’ve been taking pictures out here for almost 40 years,” Bama told Deis in 2014, “and I’ve got a record of all the old-timers: a guy who drove a 24-horse steam stagecoach, the oldest living Arapaho Indian, who was in Tim McCoy’s Wild West Show and performed in front of Queen Victoria and was in the silent movie ‘Covered Wagon.’ I caught a lot of these people when they were in their 90’s. And Robert Yellowtail, who was a famous Crow Indian Chief. I got them not only in my artwork, but in the photography.”



It was Bama’s western art that hooked Bob and Nancy Brown in the 1990s.

“When he moved here he was completely enraptured with the West,” said Bob. “He’d grown up watching movies, and cowboys were pretty impressive. He never considered himself a Western artist, he didn’t like that title. He saw himself as an American realist.”

“When he got here, he was just mesmerized by the people, the characters, and the stories that they told,” added Nancy, “and he could do a really fine job of telling stories through his paintings, and through the people he painted. And I think that’s part of what made him so successful and what people responded to, because otherwise it’s just a portrait of somebody you don’t know.”

Several books have been released on the subject of Bama’s work, one of which was titled “American Realist” and was compiled by Bama himself and Brian Kane and released in 2006. Other compilations include “The Western Art of James Bama,” (1975); “James Bama: Sketchbook,” (2010); and “James Bama: Personal Works” (2012).

“Certainly, of his contemporaries, he was right at the very top of the ladder for that, just the very top,” Bob Brown pointed out. “And if you look back at those artists who have done well, in the last 40, 50, 60 years, most of them were artists who had a career in illustration prior to being involved in Western art full time.”



Because Bama didn’t see himself as strictly a western artist, he employed his realistic style to other subjects, including people he photographed while on a cultural exchange trip to China in 1987.

“He would probably not have been tickled to have been lumped in with other Western artists, because what he did, in his mind, was different,” Bob said. “He was capturing people.”

The Browns spoke of Bama’s love for his wife, Lynne, whom Nancy said was “the love of his life.”

“She really sacrificed her own career (as an author),” Nancy said. “She kept writing, kept producing things, but her career didn’t flourish in Cody. They truly loved each other and it’s a great example of how that relationship can work.”

Bama’s generous spirit was his defining characteristic, the Browns said.

“As high status as he does have in the world of American realism and Western art, he was really a humble guy,” Nancy said. “Very down to earth. He would just as soon stand and talk to the grocery cashier as to (noted artist) Howard Terpning. It didn’t matter. He was very humble that way. He was a fine man, and an iconic artist.”

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of April 17 – 22, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of April 17 – 22, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

April 17:

April 18:

April 19:

April 20:

April 21:

April 22:

Obituaries pending:

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Former Three-Term Cheyenne Mayor Bill Nation Dies at 96

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Former three-term Cheyenne Mayor Bill Nation died last week at the age of 96.

Nation was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives, and served in Cheyenne’s top elected position from 1962 to 1964, 1964 to 1966, and 1972 to 1976.

Nation, whose name is used for a major Cheyenne street — “Nationway,” — also ran for governor in 1966 but was defeated in the Democratic primary.

Nation remained active in the community even after serving as mayor, being seen frequently at public events, ribbon cuttings, and receptions.

Affable by nature, the former mayor often laughed when discussing how much simpler it was to get things done in government some 50 or 60 years ago.

Curt Gowdy State Park

In a 2018 interview at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Nation recalled the time he played a major and instant role in the renaming of Curt Gowdy State Park.

Nation at the time was a member of the Wyoming State Recreation Commission, the organization that named state parks. He said while attending a meeting of the commission, he received a phone call from Frank Norris, who chaired the Wyoming Travel Commission.

Norris said his group was planning on honoring national sportscaster and Wyoming native Curt Gowdy at a reception and wondered if Granite State Park could be renamed in Gowdy’s honor.

Nation said he told Norris to hold, put the phone down, walked back into the room where the Recreation Commission was meeting and made the motion.

“I move that we change the name to Curt Gowdy State Park,” Nation said. “The chairman said ‘Great. Is there a second? Yes. All those in favor say aye.’ Of course it was unanimous.”

Nation said he walked back to the phone and said, “Frank, It is named Curt Gowdy State Park right now.”

“He said, ‘Nation, you get things done,'” the former mayor said with a laugh.

But that wasn’t the only time Nation navigated through bureaucracy quickly.

Big Boy

When he read in the newspaper that the Big Boy steam engine, the world’s largest steam engine, was being retired, Nation said he called the president of Union Pacific Railroad to make a case for it to be put on display in Cheyenne.

It didn’t take much lobbying, he said.

“I hear you are going to get rid of that steam engine,” Nation recalled of the conversation.  “I got a perfect spot for it. We want it in Cheyenne. We’re a railroad town.”

Nation said the UP’s president “immediately” thought that was a good idea and asked him where he wanted the engine placed.

“Holliday Park, right next to the highway,” Nation said.

Union Pacific was able to get the engine transported to where the mayor wanted it, but the trip almost ended in disaster, he said.

“It was moving too fast and almost ran through the YMCA,” he said. “But they got it slowed down and they parked it right there.”

Nation is survived by his children, Michael, Martin, Nancy and Molly, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by Ed Nation, Helen Rasmussen and Marie Hall of Cheyenne, as well as his other nine older siblings.

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of April 9 – 15, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of April 9 – 15, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

April 9:

April 10:

April 11:

April 12:

April 13:

April 14:

April 15:

Obituaries pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of April 3 – 8, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of April 3 – 8, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

April 3:

April 4:

April 5:

April 6:

April 7:

April 8:

Obituaries pending:

Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of March 26 – 31, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of March 26 – 31, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

March 26:

March 27:

March 28:

March 29:

March 30:

March 31:

Obituaries pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of March 19 – 26, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of March 19 – 26, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

March 19:

March 20:

March 21:

March 22:

March 23:

March 24:

March 25:

March 26:

Obituaries pending:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of March 12 – 18, 2022.

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of March 12 – 18, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

March 12:

March 13:

March 14:

March 15:

March 16:

March 17:

March 18:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of March 5 – 12, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of March 5 – 12, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

March 5:

March 6:

March 7:

March 8:

March 9:

March 10:

March 11:

March 12:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of February 26 – March 5, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Feb. 26 – March 5, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

Feb. 26:

Feb. 27:

Feb. 28:

March 1:

March 2:

March 3:

March 4:

March 5:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of February 18 – 25, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Feb. 18 – 25, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

Feb. 18:

Feb. 19:

Feb. 20:

Feb. 21:

Feb. 22:

Feb. 23:

Feb. 24:

Feb. 25:

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Wyoming Sportscaster George Kay Dead At 88

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By Frank Gambino, KTWO
Republished with permission from Frank Gambino

Kay’s career in broadcasting spanned nearly 50 years starting with his first radio job after his service in the Navy in 1956. 

He started at KTWO Radio and Television in Casper in 1966 working in news and sales before settling into the sports director position in 1980.

Kay had a long relationship with the University of Wyoming dating back to the 1960s. He served as the radio color commentator for Cowboy football broadcast as well as TV play-by-play.  He’s remembered by most for his work on the Wyoming Radio Network starting in 1987.

During his long career, Kay was instrumental in getting the Wyoming High School Basketball Championships televised as well as the Wyoming High School wrestling championships. Over the course of 24 years, in the sports broadcasting business, he interviewed the biggest names in the Wyoming sports world.



By the same measure, he interviews countless high school players from around the state, sensing that Wyoming had a great deal of admiration for high school athletics. Kay also co-hosted a radio talk show with Tim Ray for 9 years that featured in-depth conversations with national sports figures along with Wyoming players and coaches at all levels.

Kay was named the Wyoming Sportscaster of the Year 4 times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. 

He retired in 2004 but was always willing to lend his expertise to up-and-coming sportscasters. More than anything else, George Kay was one of the nicest and most gracious people you would ever meet. Wyoming is really going to miss him.

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of February 10 – 18, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Feb. 10 – 18. Our condolences to family and friends:

Feb. 10:

Feb. 11:

Feb. 12:

Feb. 13:

Feb. 14:

Feb. 15:

Feb. 16:

Feb. 17:

Feb 18:

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Once World’s Most Famous Child Ballerina, Stephanie Selby Dies At 56 in Cody

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming is filled with amazing stories — when you walk down the street in one of the state’s many small towns, there’s no telling whose story you might learn.

In Cody, one such story was Stephanie Selby’s. Selby passed away in Cody on Feb. 3 at just 56 years old. 

Most people who knew Selby met her because of her work in the outdoors — she loved horses, she was a hunting camp cook, horse wrangler and guide, and her best friend was her Australian sheep dog Pete. She was deeply committed to her Christian faith, and was a dedicated member of her church in Cody.

What only her closest friends and family may have known, however, was that Selby was once the most famous child ballerina in the world.

In 1976, Selby was the subject of a book by photographer Jill Krementz which followed the 10-year-old School of American Ballet student in her day-to-day life as she prepared for and starred in the role of Clara in New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” 

The book, “A Very Young Dancer,” was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1976. 

In a New York Times feature from 2011 titled “Storybook Ballerina’s True Life Adventure,” the writer noted that the book inspired many young aspiring ballerinas and rocketed young Stephanie, who spent her childhood summers at her family’s Cody-area ranch, to fame.  

Her time in the spotlight led to experiences very few young people could claim — she was featured in a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” Christmas special, was interviewed on the “Today” show and made other TV appearances.

But she left that life behind, according to one of her friends in Cody, Lisa Courtney.

“What she really loved was her life away from all of that,” said Courtney, who met Selby more than 20 years ago. “What she really embraced and loved was her life here as a guide and an outdoorsman, and horsewoman. She loved her dog. She loved the Lord.”

Selby graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she majored in religion, according to her obituary. For a time she lived and worked in Boston for charitable organizations, helping people in crisis. 

But her Wyoming roots called her home, said Courtney, who was introduced to Selby through their mothers.

“Stephanie and I just kind of connected through my mom,” Courtney said. 

Courtney’s mother was friends with Stephanie’s mother, Linn Selby.

“And then we just became good friends over the years,” Courtney said.

As an adult, Courtney said Selby was intensely private. She spent much of her life in Cody immersed in the outdoors.

“She loved to take city people, you know, like New York City people, and show them the wonders of this country,” Courtney said. “And because she was passionate about this, she was outside all the time. She was fishing, hiking, horseback riding, dancing in the woods.”

Selby stayed connected to her New York City roots, but Courtney pointed out that she always came back to Cody.

“She loved New York City, but it couldn’t contain her,” she said. “It just couldn’t contain everything that she was — so she was here sometimes, then she wanted to go back there. But she would never stay long. She always came back here.”

What her friends in Cody will remember most isn’t the childhood dancer who was handpicked by George Balanchine himself to play the coveted role of “Clara” for the New York City Ballet — not the 10-year-old who won the hearts of young girls who dreamed of becoming ballerinas. Courtney said the woman who danced in the outdoors, the free spirit who loved her horses and her animals, and who loved intensely is the woman who will be missed.

“She was intensely generous with her love,” she said. “And she was delicate and extremely intelligent and incredibly talented.”

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of February 3 – 10, 2022

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Feb. 3 – 10, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

Feb. 3:

Feb. 4:

Feb. 5:

Feb. 6:

Feb. 7:

Feb. 8:

Feb. 9:

Feb. 10:

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Former State Sen. Leland Christensen Dies Friday Morning

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Former State Sen. Leland Christensen died on on Friday morning at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center at the age of 62.

Christensen passed-on due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.

“We were hoping Dad was going to wake up today but in the night he passed peacefully on to the next life surrounded by family,” Leland’s son Hunter said.

On a GoFundMe page created to help the Christensen family with medical expenses, Hunter said, “Thank you to all of you for your love and faith and true friendship. Thank you for your help so that his family could cover medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. We will post details about memorial services when arrangements are made. Love you all!”

Christensen served two terms as state senator representing Teton County. Before then, he had a distinguished 20-year career as a deputy sheriff for Teton County.

The Alta native served as a Teton County commissioner from 2005 to 2011 and served with the 19th Special Forces Airborne Army and the National Guard for 15 years.

In 2016, Christensen ran for U.S. Congress, coming in second to now-U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.

In 2019, Christensen was appointed by Gov. Mark Gordon as Deputy Director for Wyoming’s Office of Homeland Security and in 2021 U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis appointed him as her state director.

“Leland’s death cuts me to the depths of my heart,” Senator Lummis said. “Leland was all Wyoming. He was tough as nails, endlessly patient, unwaveringly kind.”

“When I was elected to the US Senate, I knew I needed Leland on my team because he loved Wyoming people. He loved to help his fellow man. He cared about the challenges our state and its people face. His smile would light up every room and his laugh was infectious,” she said.

“He was a joy to be around. He was my dear friend. He even guided my daughter and me into the Teton Wildnerness alongside his own family, on horseback. By every estimation he was ten feet tall and bulletproof. But, in His own good time, God calls all his children home to be of service there,” Lummis said.

“Leland prepared for his service in heaven each and every day, throughout his entire life in Wyoming. I am mourning his loss with his wife Anita, children Hunter, Brittany, Simone, Jed and Wyatt, their spouses and his grandchildren. My staff and I, along with the entire Wyoming community, are all praying for them,” she said.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon called Leland a kind and committed public servant and a good friend.

“I am grateful for his service in the Legislature and as Deputy Director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. He will be deeply missed,” Gordon said.

Earlier this month, longtime friend and senate colleague Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) called Leland his “best friend” and “one the finest people” he had ever met.

On Friday, Driskill told Cowboy State Daily that Leland “…truly left a mark of a leader on WYOMING. Don’t know a person who knew him who didn’t respect him. Really lived and embodied the Code of the West.”

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on Friday said, “Very sad to learn of the passing of Leland Christensen. Leland served our country in uniform, the community as a County Commissioner, and our great state as a legislator. Leland will be missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Hunter said his father contracted COVID in December and was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 19.

Leland was subsequently moved to the intensive care unit in an Idaho Falls, Idaho, hospital and was in a medically-induced coma since late December.

Leland is survived by wife Anita, five children, and 13 grandchildren.

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of January 27 – February 3, 2022

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Our condolences to family and friends:

Jan. 27:

Jan. 28:

Jan. 29:

Jan. 30:

Jan. 31:

Feb. 1:

Feb. 2:

Feb. 3:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of January 20 – 27, 2022

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Jan. 20 – 27, 2022. Our condolences to family and friends:

Jan. 20:

Jan. 21:

Jan. 22:

Jan. 23:

Jan. 24:

Jan. 25:

Jan. 26:

Jan. 27:

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Wyoming Obituaries: January 13 – 19

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Jan. 13 – 19. Our condolences to family and friends: 

Jan. 13: 

Jan. 14: 

Jan. 15: 

Jan. 16: 

Jan. 17: 

Jan. 18: 

Jan. 19: 

Wyoming Obituaries: January 7 – 13

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Jan. 7 – 13. Our condolences to family and friends: 

Jan. 7: 

Jan. 8: 

Jan. 9: 

Jan. 10: 

Jan. 11: 

Jan. 12: 

Jan. 13: 

Wyoming Obituaries: December 30 – January 6

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Dec. 30 – Jan. 6. Our condolences to family and friends: 

Dec. 30: 

Dec. 31: 

Jan. 1: 

Jan. 2: 

Jan. 3: 

Jan. 4: 

Jan. 5: 

Jan. 6: 

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Wyoming Obituaries: December 16 – 22, 2021

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Dec. 16 – 22, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

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Dec. 17:

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Wyoming Obituaries: December 2-9

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Dec. 2 – 9. Our condolences to family and friends: 

Dec. 2: 

Dec. 3: 

Dec. 4: 

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Dec. 9:

Well-Known Wyo Cartoonist/Artist Jerry Palen Dies at 78

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Many people knew him as a fellow rancher, others through his iconic characters Elmo and Flo in his syndicated comic strip “Stampede,” the most widely syndicated cartoon in both the U.S. and Canada. 

Still others will remember Jerry Palen as the sculptor, artist and general all-round good man who represented the cowboy way of life and quintessential Wyoming. 

Regardless of they knew him, all of those contacted agreed that the loss of Palen at the age of 78 on Nov. 25 left a crater-size hole in the lives as his friends and fans.

Wyoming Has Lost a Great One

“Wyoming has lost a great one,” Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, wrote on his Facebook page. “Always appreciated his enthusiasm for our state and its people.”

Driskill admitted he was a bit teary as he recounted memories about his friend. 

“Jerry was just an absolute treat and wonderful person,” he said. “He always put Wyoming first and dearly loved the state and the people.”

Driskill had known Palen for more than 30 years. Among Driskill’s greatest treasures, he said, is one of Palen’s bronze horse and cowboy sculptures.

Palen was one heck of an artist and man, Driskill said. 

“He’s one of those neat people who touches your life.”

The Official Illustrator of Wyoming Life

Rod Miller, a historian and columnist from Cheyenne, agreed. 

“He was the official illustrator of life in Wyoming,” Miller said. “He was an incredibly talented artist, nice, smart and thoughtful man.

According to his obituary, Jerry and his family moved to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch in Cheyenne from Tennessee after World War II, where his dad, Joseph, worked as a ranch veterinarian.

Jerry and his brother Gene went to Central High School, where Jerry graduated in 1961. Three years later, Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Ann Prosser, who he’d met in an art class.  

The couple went on to attend the University of Wyoming, but took a break so Palen could study art under a well-known western artist in Santa Barbara, California. 

Later, the couple would return to Laramie, where Palen finished his economics degree before once again settling in California, where he worked as comptroller at a lamp company before returning to Wyoming again so he could work work as a bank examiner for the state.

In 1973, according to his obituary, Jerry and Ann moved to Ann’s family ranch with their two sons, Eric and Brian, and little money in their pocket. From there, Palen embarked on a career as illustrator, cartoonist and artist.

Stampede Cartoon

It was then that Palen launched the “Stampede” cartoon series featuring Elmo and Flo, husband-and-wife characters whose struggles in the ranching industry were a familiar theme to Palen’s neighbors and friends.

The series was eventually syndicated in publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Later, the Palens bought the Wyoming Hereford Ranch and set up a studio where Palen could produce his comic strip and the notable bronze sculptures and monuments that can be found at the State Capitol, Cheyenne Municipal Airport, University of Wyoming and State Fairgrounds, as well as in private art collections.

Palen would go on to form his own publishing company with his partner Susannah Borg, which operated for the next 43 years until his retirement. 

He touched many both in his life and art. 

One-Of-A-Kind

“Jerry was a one-of-a-kind, all-American Wyoming cowboy with a gift for both art and humor,” said Bill Sniffin, long-time newspaper publisher and current publisher of Cowboy State Daily. “He entertained folks from one end of the country to the other with his insightful cartoons.”

In addition, Sniffin said, Palen had an outstanding career in fine art and was true Wyoming gentleman.  

“His kind do not come along often,” Sniffin said. “In Jerry’s case, we celebrate a real Wyoming life, well-lived.”

Send Fresh Horses

Bob Budd, executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and a former ranch manager, agreed.

Budd knew Palen’s dad from his work with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association years before meeting Jerry. The two finally connected after a publisher who picked up Palen’s first book suggested Budd contact a guy named Jerry Palen in Wyoming, who was a terrific illustrator.

The two teamed up on Budd’s book, “Send Fresh Horses,” which Jerry illustrated.

The book’s publication took the two on the road together for various book signings and events in many cities, including Las Vegas and Florida.

Budd laughed about their trip together to Vegas. Neither one was really into the Vegas scene, and after walking around for a bit, they returned to the hotel room they were sharing to get some rest for their book signing the next morning.

However, only one of them went to bed that night. 

Budd said he woke up at 2 a.m. to find Jerry hunched over a sketch pad, drawing. He suggested maybe his friend should get a bit of sleep. An hour later, Budd woke up to find Jerry back at it.

Budd doubted his friend slept more than a couple minutes that night. 

“Jerry did things on Jerry’s pace,” Bob laughed. “He saw the world differently and that made him so unique and special. He’s a great, great guy and tremendous artist. Everything about Jerry was funny, and I’ll miss him.”

Found Joy In Everything He Did

Mary Meyer, who worked with Palen when she was the head of community outreach at the then-Cheyenne Memorial Hospital, said Palen was very generous with his time in supporting the hospital.

Mentioning that he created shirts for the hospital with his cartoons on them, she said he “found joy in everything he did.”

“Jerry was a very pleasant man, always smiling which made me wonder what he knew that I didn’t,” Meyer said. “He was a pure gentleman who immensely enjoyed people and sharing his talent.”

Meyer, the wife of late Wyoming politician Joe Meyer, said when her husband stepped down as Wyoming’s Attorney General, Palen created and framed a cartoon for him which was presented a public reception.

Appreciated By All

Others who never met Palen, like Hulett-based rancher Dave Wolfskill, appreciated his talent and humor and unique ability to capture the experiences of real-life ranchers with both insight and humor. 

“It was hilarious and realistic stuff,” Wolfskill said. “Ranchers could really identify with his stuff.”

Others took to social media to pay their respects like Kristen Teubner who referred to him as “a tremendous man and artist with a warm, kind soul and smile” who will be greatly missed. 

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Wyoming Obituaries: November 25 – December 2, 2021

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Nov. 25 – Dec. 2, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Nov. 25:

Nov. 26:

Nov. 27:

Nov. 28:

Nov. 29:

Nov. 30:

Dec. 1:

Dec. 2:

Wyoming Obituaries: Week Of November 18 – 24, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Nov. 18 – 24, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Nov. 18:

Nov. 19:

Nov. 20:

Nov. 21:

Nov. 22:

Nov. 23:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of November 11 – 18, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Nov. 11 – 18, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Nov. 11:

Nov. 12:

Nov. 13:

Nov. 14:

Nov. 15:

Nov. 16:

Nov. 17:

Nov. 18:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of November 4 – 11, 2021

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Nov. 4 – 11. Our condolences to family and friends:

Nov. 4:

Nov. 5:

Nov. 6:

Nov. 7:

Nov. 8:

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Nov. 10:

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Wyoming Obits: October 27 – November 3, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Oct. 27 – Nov. 3. Our condolences to family and friends:

Oct. 27:

Oct. 28:

Oct. 29:

Oct. 30:

Oct. 31:

Nov. 1:

Nov. 2:

Nov. 3:

Wyoming Obituaries: Week of October 20 – 27, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Oct. 20 – 27, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Oct. 20:

Oct. 21:

Oct. 22:

Oct. 23:

Oct. 24:

Oct. 25:

Oct. 26:

Oct. 27:

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Wyoming Obituaries: Week of October 13 – 17, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Oct. 13 – 20. Our condolences to family and friends:

Oct. 13:

Oct. 14:

Oct. 15:

Oct. 16:

Oct. 17:

Oct. 18:

Oct. 19:

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Wyoming Obituaries: October 7-13

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Oct. 7 – 13. Our condolences to family and friends:

Oct. 7: 

Oct. 8

Oct. 9: 

Oct. 10: 

Oct. 11: 

Oct. 12: 

Oct. 13: 

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Wyoming Obituaries: September 30 – October 6, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of Sept. 30 – Oct. 6. Our condolences to family and friends:

Sept. 30:

Oct. 1:

Oct. 2:

Oct. 3:

Oct. 4:

Oct. 5:

Oct. 6:

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Wyoming Obituaries: September 23 – 30, 2021

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Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of September 23 – 30, 2021. Our condolences to family and friends:

Sept. 23:

Sept. 24:

Sept. 25:

Sept. 26:

Sept. 27:

Sept. 28:

Sept. 29:

Former Park County Legislator Alan Jones Dies

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By The Powell Tribune

Former state Rep. Alan Jones of Powell died early Sunday morning at Powell Valley Hospital.

The former longtime owner of Dick Jones Trucking Co. of Powell was 79.

His nine-and-a-half years of legislative service bridged five terms in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

The Republican was first appointed to the position in July 1999, following the death in office of Rep. Denny Smith.

Jones was elected four times and retired from office at the end of 2008.

Funeral services are pending at Thompson Funeral Home.

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Wyoming Obituaries: September 16 – 22

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of September 15 – 22. Our condolences to family and friends:

Sept. 15: 

Sept. 16: 

Sept. 17

Sept. 18: 

Sept. 19: 

Sept. 20: 

Sept. 21: 

Sept. 22: 

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Wyoming Obituaries: September 9 – 15, 2021

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Here’s a list of recent deaths of Wyoming residents and those with close affiliations to the state for the week of September 9 – 15. Our condolences to family and friends:

Sept. 9:

Sept. 10:

Sept. 11:

Sept. 12:

Sept. 13:

Sept. 14:

Sept. 15:

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