Obituaries: Heide, Daro, Sisson, Dennis, Ellsworth

Lorraine M. (Pavao) Heide

Lorraine M. (Pavao) Heide, 79, of Casper, Wyoming passed away Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Central Wyoming Hospice. She was born on July 18, 1940 in Hilo, HI to Louis A. and Katherine Pavao. Lorraine graduated from Hilo High School Class of 1958. Lorraine met and later married her husband, Orville “LeRoy” Heide in Hawaii. They relocated to Casper in 1964. Lorraine and LeRoy later divorced but remained very close friends.

Lorraine became involved in the Casper Community which she loved so much and enjoyed tremendously. She was an important figure within the community and was highly respected for her values and care for Casper. Lorraine was a member of the Community of Christ Church for many years and became a member of the priesthood later on. She worked as a Phlebotomist for United Blood Services for many years. Lorraine was also instrumental in helping with organizing health fairs while working as a volunteer with Blue Envelope Health Fund and was also a board member. Throughout the years Lorraine also volunteered with many other organizations within the community.

Her love was unconditional with her family including her grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as friends and her church family. No matter what, she was always with you whether in person or in spirit, her belief in God was strong and never faltered which made her the person she was. 

Article continues below...

Lorraine is preceded in death by her parents, Louis Antone Pavao, Sr. and Katherine (Tavares Rabisa) Pavao; and her husband, Orville “LeRoy” Heide. 

She is survived by her son, Bradley (Theresa) Heide of Crawford, FL; daughters, Kelly Heide of Hutchinson, MN, Susan (Kim) Kihle of BarNunn, WY and Kimberly (Dean) Moore of Casper, WY; sisters, Barbara (Pete) Manzano of Honolulu, HI, Merlene (James) Maiwela, Jr., of Hilo, HI, and Debra Pavao of Peepeekoo, HI; brothers, Louis (Lupita) Pavao, Jr., of Ajijic, Mexico, and Allan Pavao of Mountain View, HI; 10 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; uncles, Milton Rabisa of Hilo, HI and Richard (Maria) Rabisa of Lakewood, WA; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and cousins. 

A memorial service will be held 10:30 AM, Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Newcomer Casper Chapel, 710 East Second Street, Casper, WY. A reception will be held at the Community of Christ Church, 2303 East 15th Street, Casper following the service.

Memorials in her name may be made to Community of Christ Church, 2303 E. 15th St. Casper, WY 82609 or Blue Envelope Health Fund, PO Box 2177, Casper, Wyoming 82602. 


Sammie J. Daro, 78, of Casper, WY, passed away peacefully at her home on August 3, 2019. 

She was born on October 12, 1940 in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Ernest and Essie Barton. She was the oldest girl of 10 children and the “mother” to all the brothers. She was beloved by all of her brothers and sisters, and was the matron of honor at her sister Wanda’s wedding. She went to nursing school in Redding, California while caring for her children as a single mother, and proudly began caring for others as a nurse after graduating. She was devoted her patients and would go above and beyond to help anyone in need. She loved her children and grandson very deeply – her whole world revolved around her family and friends. 

She is preceded in death by her daughter Sherry VanKirk, her brothers Cliff Barton, Bobby Barton and Donald Barton, and her parents. 

She is survived by her son Paul “Chuck” (Heather) Martin; her sisters Artie Barton, Carolyn Adams, and Wanda Cassel; her brothers Jim Barton, Tim Barton, and John Barton; her grandson Kevin VanKirk; her dear friends Connie Ashba, Stacie Julian and Barb Curfew; and her beloved dog Killer. 

No services are planned at this time. 

Sammie’s family asks that if you are so inclined, please make a donation in Sammie’s honor to Meals on Wheels.


Dr. Joseph (Joe) Andrew Sisson

Dr. Joseph (Joe) Andrew Sisson, age 88, passed away at his home in Casper, WY surrounded by his two children and close friends on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Joe, or more affectionately, JAS, was born on October 24, 1930, in San Diego, California to Harvey and Myrtle (Anderson) Sisson. He graduated from San Diego High School and then served in a United States Army medical detachment, earning Korean and United Nations Service Medals. He was Honorably Discharged in 1952.

After serving his country, Joe used the GI bill to earn a B.A. from San Diego State College and attend medical School. He received his M.D. (cum laude) from Washington University School of Medicine in 1960. His postgraduate training in Pathology continued at Yale’s New Haven Medical Center, CT and Albany Medical College, NY. 

Joe was not the first doctor in the family. He often talked about “Gramma Doctor.” Dr. Sophronia Athearn Nichols, his mother’s grandmother, graduated in 1874 from the first-ever class of Boston University School of Medicine, practiced as California’s 26th licensed medical doctor, and made her final residence in Alpine, California. Dr. Nichol’s grandfather, Reverend Joseph Thaxter, studied medicine at Harvard College and graduated in 1768. Thaxter is a veteran of the American Revolution, was present at the fight on Concord Bridge and the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was appointed chaplain in the Revolutionary Army in 1776 and later, in 1780, was ordained over the church in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, where he remained until his death in 1827.

Innovative teaching methods were Joe’s passion. In 1968 Dr. Sisson joined Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, as the Chairman of Pathology. At Creighton University he served in the capacities of Professor of Pathology, Director of Laboratories, Director of School of Medical Technology, and consultant to rural healthcare facilities in several states until 1979. His students’ National Board scores were testimony to the success of his innovative and unorthodox teaching methods. His students agreed and selected him to receive Creighton University’s Outstanding Professor (Golden Apple) Award three times. He authored the “Bare Facts” series of five textbooks of General, Systemic, and Clinical Pathology. In fact, many of his personal physicians had these books on their shelves. 

Associated with the Veterans Administration since 1966, Joe assumed the position of Chief of Laboratory Services at the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia from 1979 to 1983. During that period, he also served as Professor and Vice Chairman for the Department of Pathology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Medical Director of Medical Technology Program and on the Board of Directors for Old Dominion University. He was the Director and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from 1983 to 1986. 

In 1986 he established his private pathology consultancy, JASCONS, through which he was frequently retained as an expert witness and research consultant to a variety of medical associations and entities. He consulted until around 2010 and during this period became known as JAS by many of his friends and associates.

JAS selected Casper, Wyoming in 1996 as his final residence and he soon integrated into the lives, families and hearts of all those that came in contact with him. He was an admired professor, mentor, coach, cheerleader, listening ear and source of refuge for many. In his later years friends would seek out “The Oracle” for a “consult.” He shared his love of history, his faith and love for God, his appreciation of fine food, cooking, Quality Time, Kentucky Derby Parties, The Hunt, The Christmas costume, his famous JAS sayings, Grandpa words, cigars, and eating his pie first at Sherrie’s, and much, much more. 

Joe was preceded in death by his mother, who graduated first in her nursing class, his father and his brother, Harvey Gladden. He is survived by his two children with Virginia Joan Sisson (nee Ford) (R.N., B.S.); Edwin A. Sisson (B.A., B.S., M.B.A., J.D.) and Donna V. Sisson (B.A., M.B.A., member of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution), two grandchildren, Matthew A. Sisson (B.S.) and David P. Sisson (B.S.) whose mother is Jennifer Ann Sisson (nee Phillips) (B.A.) as well as a handful of cousins from his mother’s Anderson side of the family. JAS kept in touch with his Anderson cousins who shared his pride in the family heritage. 

Education has been a pillar of the family for over three centuries with Joe living his life as one of its standard bearers. “Put your money in your head and no one can take it away from you,” was one of his favorite sayings. 

Service will be held August 16, 2019 at 10 am at Bustard’s Funeral home in Casper. His remains will be interred in Alpine, California.


Kevin Wayne Dennis, age 64, of Casper, passed away August 5, 2019. Kevin was born May 29, 1955 in Casper, Wyoming to William and Billie (Jeffers) Dennis. He graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in 1974. He was a mechanic and salesperson for the majority of his life. 

Kevin was preceded in death by his loving father, grandfather, and his two grandmothers. He is survived by his mother, Billie Dennis of Casper, Wyoming, son, Cory Whitney of Casper, Wyoming, daughter, Kendra (Daniel) Richling of Aurora, Colorado son, Kristopher (Stephanie) Dennis of Augusta, Georgia, sister, Nancy (Luther) Jensen, brother, Michael Dennis, brother, Kerry Dennis, sister, Sherlyn (Matt) Kaiser, 5 grandchildren, and multiple nieces and nephews. 

Service information is pending at this time. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the 12-24 Club, 500 South Wolcott St, Casper, WY 82601 in Kevin’s memory. 


Daniel E. Ellsworth, 60, unexpectedly passed away at his home in Brighton, Colorado on May 14, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, August 23, 2019 at the Riverdale Regional Park, Adams County Fairgrounds, 9755 Henderson Road, Pavilion B, 12:00 noon, in Brighton, Colorado.

 Dan is survived by his loving wife, Leisa Thomas/Ellsworth, step-daughter Lani Fullerton and granddaughter Madison Fullerton, his sisters Susan Shaw, Leatha Harris, Kathleen Mankowski, Janet Middaugh (Scott), Cynthia Nye (Brian), one brother, David Ellsworth (Annette), nephews Zac Montrose (Felicia), Devin Shaw (Mandy) and nieces Jasmine and Olivia Harris.

 Donations can be made in Dan’s name to the Fort Caspar Museum Association, 4001 Fort Caspar Road, Casper, Wyoming 82604, Attn: Rick Young (1-307-235-8462).