Obituaries: Rummel, Essert, Brakke, Westby

Anita Dorothy Benton Rummel

Anita Dorothy Benton Rummel, age 87, of Casper, Wyoming, passed away December 15, 2018, at the Central Wyoming Hospice. Anita was born in Casper, Wyoming, on August 12, 1931 to Ralph and Adelaide Benton. She attended elementary and junior high school in Cody, Wyoming, until her family relocated back to Casper and she attended and graduated from Natrona County High School in 1950. She began her nursing career as a volunteer candy striper at Natrona County Memorial Hospital when she was in high school and pursued her education in nursing at Casper College and University of Wyoming where she earned her B.S in Nursing and her R.N. license. She served in the United States Air Force as an officer and a flight nurse and held many positions at Natrona County Memorial Hospital. Some of her more outstanding achievements in her career include creating the first Intensive Care Unit, teaching for Casper College School of Nursing, and founding the local Blood Bank.

She married George Rummel in October of 1965. They were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Anita served in many capacities in church and enjoyed her associations with her friends and fellow church members.

Anita loved all things beautiful, such as music, birds, flowers, children, and took the time to appreciate them. She loved being a mother and grandmother and spent countless hours serving her family. She was a big sister to three siblings and was a true matriarch of the family. She loved the outdoors and spent time hiking, camping, skiing, and enjoying her beloved dogs.

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A believer in medical learning and practices in life and after death, Anita donated her body to the University of Utah Medical School.

Anita is survived by her daughters Sona Rummel (Casper) and Rena Goade (Sandy, UT) and her husband, Casey; her four grandchildren Paige, AJ, Emily, and Ethan Snell (Sandy, UT), her brother Ralph Benton (Palm Desert, CA), her sister Karen Benton (Casper), and her sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

A memorial service will take place on Thursday, December 20, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 11:00 AM (1922 S Poplar, Casper). In lieu of flowers, donations in her name to Central Wyoming Hospice are greatly appreciated.


On Saturday, December 15th, God took another one of his angels home. Noreen Strader Williams Essert was born on October 21, 1947 in Rock Springs, Wyoming to Theodore and Mary Meyers Strader. Noreen’s first six years was living in Rock Springs, Wyoming, when she was seven her mother married William E. Williams and they moved to Lynnwood, Utah where as a child she helped work on two big cattle ranches. One ranch, was the Williams Ranch which was on one side of the Green River and the Meyers Ranch was on the other. As a child she told stories about the colorful people that were in the background of the family. Butch Cassidy worked for her great grandfather and Isom Dart came west with her other great grandfather. She herself met Queen Anne Bassett as a child.

While on the ranch, she participated in 4H. When she was 12 years old the family moved to Pinedale, Wyoming because they flooded the Williams Ranch to create the Flaming Gorge. When they moved to Pinedale, her parents purchased the Teton Court Motel and she worked there until she graduated in 1966. While she was in Pinedale she participated in the High School Rodeos. After high school, she moved to Lander to start her adult life and here is where she met the love of her life, Joseph Essert. They were married on October 6, 1974. Out of that union, she had two daughters, Jody and Joleen. Noreen had two stepsons, Rick and Tim. She was an avid hunter and hunted in Jackson, Wyoming. Noreen work all kinds of jobs in her life but the one she most talked about was when she worked in the coal mines in Hanna, Wyoming. She was the first woman to receive the honor of being the Miner of the Month and she was also OSHA Certified EMT for the mines.

In the 80’s the family moved to Washington State for about 9 years where her husband was reunited with his children from a previous marriage. While in Washington, her first grandson William was born. In 1994 the family moved back to Pinedale, Wyoming, where her second grandson, Robert was born. Another grandson, Draven Riddle was born in Washington.

Noreen and Joe lived in Pinedale until his health declined and they had to moved to a lower elevation. They moved to Riverton in 2010. In April of 2017 she lost Joe to a lengthy illness.

She is preceded in death by her father, Ted; mother, Mary; stepfather, Bill; and her husband, Joe. She is survived by her daughters, Jody (Tom) Wilson of Pinedale, WY and Joleen Riddle of Napavine, WA; stepsons, Rick Harmon of Cosmopolis, WA and Tim (Kristie) McReynolds of Moorcroft, Wyoming; three grandchildren, William (Lacey) Kilmer of Rock Springs, WY, Robert Wilson of Pinedale, WY and Draven Riddle of Napavine, WA; two great grandchildren, Adrik and Booker Kilmer; step grandchildren, Amber Jones and family of Montesano, WA; Heather Cobb and family of McCleary, WA; Jennifer Harmon of Montesano, WA; Anthony Strausser and family of Germany; and Alora and Kennis McReynolds of Moorcroft, WY; two cousins, Cecilia (William) Kure of Phoenix, AZ and Bonnie Capozzoli of Rock Springs, WY; brother in law, Carl (Gwen) Essert of Cheyenne, WY; nephews, David Essert and family and Troy Essert and family; and numerous friends and relatives that will miss her greatly.

I will miss her colorful adjectives and her willingness to always listen even though she did not always agree with you.


Jeannette Fay Brakke

Jeannette Fay Brakke was born on September 2, 1929 in Miles City, Montana to Florence and Dale Wilder. She attended grade school at Miles City until her family moved in 1942 to Billings, Montana where she graduated from Billings Senior High School. She attended Billings Business College and Eastern Montana College.

Jeannette worked as a secretary for an independent oil company before she married Leonard L. Brakke on September 9, 1950. She lived in Boulder, Colorado with her husband while he finished college then moved to Pinedale, Wyoming, in 1951 where she worked as a school secretary. The couple moved to Casper, Wyoming, in the fall of 1954 and Jeannette became a full-time wife and mother of two daughters.

She was a loving, devoted wife and mother, always concerned about other’s needs before her own. Her passions included cooking elaborate meals for her family and tending her flower beds.

She will be missed by her two daughters, Lynn Fletcher (Jim) of Casper and Nancy Hadenfeld (Wayne) of Fort Collins, Colorado and her grandson, Tom Fletcher.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sisters, Uarda Hilpert, Harriet Scafe and Grace Harwood; and brothers, Wilbur Wilder, Harold Wilder, Bill Wilder, Merle Wilder and her twin brother Gene Wilder.

Per her wishes no services will be held. Inurnment will take place at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery at a later date.


Marilyn Rose Westby

Marilyn Rose Westby, 77, passed away on December 10, 2018 in Casper, Wyoming. She was born on July 12, 1941 in Miller, South Dakota to Royal and Marion Matson.

By profession Marilyn was an administrative secretary. On June 2, 1963 she married Merlyn Westby in Miller, South Dakota. She enjoyed church, bingo and talking with friends and family.

Marilyn is survived by her sons, Mark (Wendy) Westby of Casper, Wyoming and Martin (Daedra) Westby of Mt. Airy, Maryland; daughters, Marla (Bert) Westby-Crosby of Falling Waters, West Virginia and Kim D. Westby of Caldwell, Idaho; brothers, Gerald Matson and Alan Matson both of Casper, Wyoming; sister, Velda Murillo of Bakersfield, California and 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlyn Westby of Casper, Wyoming and her parents, Royal Matson and Marion Porter-Matson both of Casper, Wyoming.

A Celebration of Life was held at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the VFW, 1800 Bryan Stock Trail in Casper.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Marilyn Westby to Central Wyoming Hospice and/or Meals on Wheels both in Casper.