Obituaries: Reiss, Kennedy, Ellis

Angela Reiss

A memorial service for Angela Reiss, 66, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m., at the LDS Stake Center, 3931 West 45th St. in Casper. She died Feb. 7, 2019, at the Wyoming Medical Center surrounded by family.
A lunch will be served following the ceremony so people can socialize and share their memories of Angela.


Angela was born on July 12, 1952, at Salem, Ore., the daughter of George and Harriet Winchell (Norcross).


The family moved to Rawlins when Angela was 7. She graduated from Rawlins High School, attended the University of Wyoming, and received an associate’s in science degree. 

Article continues below...


She married and had two wonderful children, Brendon and Lindsey. For many years, the family lived in Hanna. 


Angela had a giving heart. She was socially gregarious by nature and loved talking with friends and strangers alike. She worked for many years at NOWCAP Services in Casper.


She loved animals, and cats in particular. She also loved the outdoors, hiking, camping, taking pictures, and was an avid gardener. The Petrified Forest of North Dakota was especially dear to her.


Angela was a Gold Star Mother. On March 23, 2003 her beloved son, Marine Sgt. Brendon Reiss, was killed in action near Nasiriyah, Iraq.


It cannot be said that Angela had an easy life in her later years. But she faced her challenges with grace and humor. Kindness was her guiding star, and she will be missed greatly by those whose lives she touched.


She was preceded in death by her mother, father and son Brendon.
She is survived by a daughter Lindsey, Lindsey’s husband Dan Kennedy, and two beautiful grandchildren, Brenan, age 7 and Lindan, age 2.


In lieu flowers please send donations to Bustard’s Funeral Home in care of Lindsey Reiss to help pay final expenses.
This is not goodbye dear Angela; Just “We will see you later.”

***

George “Merle” Kennedy

On February 12th, 2019, George “Merle” Kennedy laid down his working tools and was called to the Celestial Lodge above by the Great Architect of the Universe.

Merle was born in Trenton, Michigan, June 21, 1935 to George and Etta Kennedy. His family moved to Casper around 1950 and with his parents ran Kennedy’s Texaco Town in Mills, Wyoming. Merle graduated from Natrona County High School in 1954. Soon after he enlisted in the Navy. While in the Navy he was assigned to USS Floyd B Parks. While in the Orient in March 1956 the Parks collided with the heavy cruiser USS Columbus losing two men and a 40-foot (12 m) section of her bow. Merle told many stories of the slow sail back to Hawaii for repairs. 

Following his Father’s Death in 1957, Merle transferred to the Navy Reserves and returned home to the Family Business. He was Honorably Discharged in May 1962. 

Merle met Beverly Bolles and they married March 15 1957. They had one son, Rodney Merle Kennedy, Christmas 1968. Beverly preceded, Merle, in death in September 2002. 

Merle worked at the Little America refinery in Evansville from 1968 until his retirement in 1992. 

Merle was initiated into Natrona Lodge #51 AF & AM of Wyoming on March 12 1957, passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft on April 9, 1957 and raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on May 14 1957. He worked his way through the lodge officer chairs and became Worshipful Master in 1968. Over the years, Merle’s love of Masonry and its guiding principles allowed him to make numerous life long friends. This love was built even stronger when Rodney began his own Masonic journey in 2004. Merle transferred his membership to Casper Lodge #15 when Rodney became a Master Mason. Merle carried his journey into the Korein Shrine which allowed him to work to support children with significant medical needs and have fun at the same time. He sold hundreds of pounds of onions, Shrine Circus Tickets and even played the bass drum in the Oriental band, because the Muset was not the right fit. Both Merle and Rodney were “Fezzed” with George Raymond’s Fez. Merle was also the in house “grandpa” to the girls of Bethel 9 & 28 of Job’s Daughters. 

In his spare time he was an avid woodworker, building kitchen cabinets for family homes. He and Rodney also built 2 large book cases. But his passion was making knives. In his earlier days he made totally handmade knives, both blades and handles. In his later years he simply crafted beautiful wooden handles to fit on pre-made knife blades. This hobby eventual expanded to carving forks and cutting boards. He also found an additional hobby in the making of money clips. 

Merle was an avid outdoorsman. In his younger days he enjoyed big game hunting, primarily for elk. After marrying Beverly he hunted primarily upland game birds such as sage hen and pheasant. He also loved Walleye and trout fishing from his boat.

From the early 80s through the mid 90s Merle was a fencer with the Casper Fencing Club. He competed in many tournaments including Cowboy State Games, primarily in Sabre. He also attended USFA Senior Nationals, twice in Salt Lake City and twice near Chicago. In addition to competing he was also an active coach, having attended the USFA’s Coach’s College at the U.S Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Merle’s other passion was whitewater rafting. He loved the challenge of reading the river and negotiating rapids. He made numerous trips on the Green River, Salmon River and Yampa River. He even took a commercial trip down the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. 

Late in life Merle met Kay Sundheim of Glasgow Montana. They immediately hit it off and were married on August 30 2015. Merle introduced Kay to the Masonic and Shrine family and Kay introduced Merle to the local Garden Club. While their time together was short they shared many adventures. They made two trips to her family’s home in California. On one such trip Merle got to see Disneyland through the eyes of his only grandson, Shaedon. Merle and Kay also took a whitewater rafting trip with some close friends in the late summer of 2017. 

In the quiet moments Merle liked playing cards. He played doubles solitaire with Kay and cribbage with Tracey and Rodney. 

Merle was preceded in death by his first wife Beverly and his parents George and Etta.

Merle is survived by his wife Kay, his son Rodney (Tracey), his grandson Shaedon, granddaughter Jeannie, and a great-grandson Kashton. He is also survived by many cousins who he counted almost as siblings, as well as their many children and grandchildren.

Merle lived a long and very rich life, far richer than any distillation of mere words; yet his legacy is in his family; the people whose lives he touched the smiles the fond memories he brought to those who knew him.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Casper Shrine Club Hospital Travel Fund. 

***

Karen Joy (Ness) Ellis

Karen Joy (Ness) Ellis died Sunday February 10, 2019 following a very long illness. She was born June 1 1943 in Sturgis South Dakota to Cecil and Delma Ness. Karen married the love off her live, Tommy Floyd Ellis, December 27, 1961 in Rapid City, SD. They moved to Upton WY in June 1962 and then to Casper in 1965. Karen earned her cosmetology certification in 1961. She worked at various hair salons around Casper until she retired in 2009 to care for her ailing husband. She still continued to do hair at home until recently.

Karen was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. She loved to travel, especially in the motor home with family and various travel clubs. She loved to spend time at the lake and even though she couldn’t swim and was terrified of deep water she still learned to water ski at 40 and continued until she was 65. She loved spending time with her grand kids and was able to meet her 3 great grandkids. She loved cooking Wednesday night dinners for her sons and her daughter when she was in town. She was an extremely caring and loving person. She will be missed by many but not forgotten.

She is survived by her daughter, Bonita (Kevin) McPherren, sons Tommy (Kelly) Ellis and Jeff Ellis, her 4 grandkids Andrew (Maria) Whitney, Stephanie (Michael) Todaro, Nickolas (Kirsten) Ellis and Samantha (Karl) Kraus, and 3 great grandchildren James Todaro, Zelda Wren Todaro, and Hutton Ellis.
Karen has 3 surviving sisters Viola Barry, Delila Shoun and Debra Ness and two brothers, Gary Ness and Ronald Ness. 

Her husband, parents and one brother preceded her in death.

Memorial service will be held at Newcomer Funeral Home, Saturday February 16, 2019 at 10:00 am. A reception will immediately follow the service at the VFW.