Obituaries: Rierson, Sorenson, Thompson - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Obituaries: Rierson, Sorenson, Thompson

Merna Rierson

CASPER, Wyo. –

Services for Merna Rierson, 69, of Casper, WY, will be held at the Newcomer Funeral Home in Casper at 1:00 on Saturday, Jan. 11. She died on Dec. 19 at University Hospital in Denver after a long struggle with systemic lupus.
Merna was born on June 3, 1950, to Jorgen and Gerda (Dahlgaard) Christensen. One of five daughters, she was raised on a farm south of Dagmar Montana. She attended a country school and graduated from Medicine Lake High School and Eastern Montana College with a teaching degree.

On August 15,1971, the world went off the gold standard and Merna traded bands of gold with Greg Rierson of Plentywood, Montana, entering into a marriage that flourished until her death. In that time she worked at several secretarial jobs including secretary to the Casper Assistant City Manager. She moved to Fenix and Scisson Oil Company as personnel manager. Later she moved to her true passion of politics, becoming the Executive Director of the Wyoming Democratic Party. She later served several terms on the Wyoming Women’s Commission.

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Merna was proud to be a liberal and a Democrat championing human rights, particularly equal rights for women. Her beliefs had deep roots from her upbringing in the Danish Lutheran Church of America. She and Greg travelled extensively in the United States and Europe, with many trips to Denmark and they formed lifelong friendships with wonderful people in Denmark, Norway, and France. She was also an avid knitter and stitcher enjoying her friends in the knitting club and the needlework guild.

Merna was preceded in death by her parents, her in laws George and Adeline Rierson, and two brothers in law, Kirt and Ron Rierson.

She is survived by her husband, her four sisters, Amy Christensen, Leila (Butch) Michels, Gail (Jim) Eamon, and Anita Pritchard, sisters in law Lynette Dye and Virginia Rierson, 12 nieces and nephews, and 15 great nieces and nephews. Merna is also survived by her cherished friends Lowell Stephens and Stacy Martinez and her family.

Despite her illness she led an active and wonderful life, and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. In the tradition of her ancestors, Merna would like to express her gratitude for the wonderful world she was privileged to live in for 69 years with the old Danish phrase “Tak for Alt” or Thank you for everything!

If you’d like to place a donation in Merna’s name please feel free to do so to the charity of your choice.

Interment with services will be held later in the spring at the Volmer Lutheran Church in Dagmar Montana.


Scott Allan Sorenson

Scott Allan Sorenson, 88, of Casper Wyoming, joined his bride of 51 years in Heaven for Christmas on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 after a courageous battle with dementia, and finally pneumonia.

Scott was born April 30, 1931 in Sioux Falls, SD to Scott and Sylvia (Olson) Sorenson. At the age of 4, the family moved to Omaha, NE where he attended elementary school. At the start of WWII, the family moved to Long Beach, CA until 1945 when the family finally settled in Casper, WY. Scott attended NCHS where he was active in R.O.T.C. and graduated in 1948. After Graduation he joined the U.S. Air Force. During the Korean War he served with a Radar Unit in French Morocco. Scott was honorably discharged in 1955 holding the rank of Staff Sergeant. When Scott returned to Casper, WY and began working at Casper Printing Company, which later became Mountain States Lithography. He met the love of his life, Joann (Chesbro) and they married on February 4, 1961. They enjoyed snowmobiling, golfing and in the summer, weekends boating and skiing at Alcova Lake. Scott and Joann would have one child, Michelle Frances (DeVore), and she would be the light of his world. Scott retired from Mountain States Lithography in 1993 after 33 years of employment, and had many happy years of “retired life”. Scott loved cars, particularly fast cars, and he kept a running tally of the 50+ cars that he owned in his lifetime – of which he was very fond of the 27 that he purchased new. He was an accomplished keyboard player and organist and loved playing for his family, or touring area nursing homes and retirement communities. In his later years his grandsons, Dakota and Darion were his pride and joy. He spent every day with them, often taking them for ice cream or fries, but always picking them up from school and spending time with them. He and his son-in-law, Sean would enjoy many a conversation over a glass of scotch sitting around the table telling stories that will be passed on for generations.

Scott was preceded in death by parents Scott and Sylvia Sorenson, his brother Lee Sorenson, sisters Frances (Sponslor) and Betty (Morrison), and his wife of 51 years, Joann (Chesbro). He is survived by his brother Richard, brother-in-law Wally Chesbro, daughter Michelle and her husband Sean DeVore, grandsons Dakota and Darion (DeArmon) and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be Friday, January 3, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery with Dr. Zachary J. Vreeman, Commissioned Pastor, Grace Reformed Church officiating. Interment to follow at Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery.

Dale Leonard Thompson

Funeral services for Dale Leonard Thompson will be held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Saturday, January 4. Vigil begins at 11 a.m. and the funeral begins at 1 p.m., followed by a luncheon. 604 S Center St, Casper, WY, 82601.

Dale Leonard Thompson, 76, went to be with his Lord on December 20, 2019. Dale was born on October 5, 1943, to a Farmer, Leonard Pete Thompson and, housewife, Mary Brester in Minatare, Nebraska. At the age of eight, Dale and his parents moved to Missoula, MT. Dale graduated from Missoula County High School on June 5, 1963. After high school, he joined the Army National Guard of Montana, where he served six years and was honorably discharged with the qualification of Rifle M1 Expert and decoration of Expert Marksman with Rifle Bar. At 22 years of age, on July 9, 1966, Dale married Eve Linn Bourassa in Missoula, MT. Their vow, “Till death do us part,” held true, as they stayed in holy matrimony for 53 years. In the late 1970s, Dale moved his family to Gillette, WY, in search of a better life. He joined St. Matthews Catholic Church and joined the Knights of Columbus in 1981, where he served as Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator. He also organized the Fourth of July parade floats for the Knights of Columbus. Dale worked various jobs before joining UPS; he remained with the company until his retirement in 2009. He was an avid member of the NRA and a concealed carry instructor.

Aside from his accomplishments, Dale was a great husband, father, and grandfather. When he wasn’t home Dale was likely camping, and/or hunting and fishing. If he was in the garage, he was playing his guitar, singing Achy Breaky Heart and spending time with his grandchildren, where he placed a Nerf hoop on the inside door of the garage. This was a clever move that demonstrated his wisdom, placing the ballgame inside so he could spend more time with said grandchildren. In all, Dale loved to make those around him laugh and smile with his wonderful sense of humor.

Dale is survived by his wife, Eve Thompson, and two daughters, Laura Michelle (Anthony Krussow) Cramer and Deborah Lynne (Bill) Stone, of Gillette, WY. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Kyle Phoenix Barber and Cody Leonard Cramer.  Dale is also survived by an older sister, Arlene (Howard) Schlegel of Missoula, MT, an older brother, Al (Joann) Thompson of Scottsbluf,  NE; and by numerous nieces, nephews and a sister-in-law, Diane Thompson.  Dale was proceeded in death by his parents and an older brother,  Daryl Thompson.