Obituaries: Craft, Mott, Barber - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Obituaries: Craft, Mott, Barber

James Michael Craft

After a two year long, heroic battle with cancer, James Michael Craft passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on April 4, 2020 from complications of Type II diabetes.  Jim was born to Rita Ann (Jones) Craft and Francis Dale (Pete) Craft on October 3, 1964 in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Before Jim’s 2nd birthday, the family moved to San Diego, CA.  Jim attended grade school at St. John of the Cross Catholic School in Lemon Grove, CA and Mt. Miguel High School in Spring Valley, CA, graduating in June, 1983. 

Jim loved going to the desert east of San Diego “riding the dunes” with Eddie Johnson, Laura (Gaughen) Kraut, Martin Chubb, Loren and Charlene Miller and many other good friends.  They’d spend the weekend making memories and having fun!  Jim moved to Casper, WY in 1995.  Jim was a caring, kind man who would do anything for his family and friends. He had a tremendous sense of humor and made friends wherever he went by his ability to make anyone and everyone laugh.

In 2000 Jim met the love of his life, Lisa Gillespie, and they married in August, 2001. Unfortunately unable to have human children, the couple poured all of their love into a number of “fur children”, founding a charity called Paws2Help, in 2005.  Paws2Help is a charity that provides veterinary care for homeless animals.  

Jim will be greatly missed by his wife, Lisa (Gillespie) Craft, father in law, Dave Stewart, sister, Pam Johnson of Platte, SD and her three children, Tia Iedema, Lane and Brook Johnson, brother, Dan Craft of Spring Valley, CA and Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Don Wagner of Fort Collins, CO.   Also, by his fur babies, who Jim loved and cherished with all his heart! 

Although, Jim will be missed here on Earth by all of us, we take great solace knowing that he was welcomed into Heaven by Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Also, welcoming Jim were his Mom and Dad, all of his Grandparents and his beloved pets who have gone before. 

A memorial service will be held for Jim when COVID 19 allows for such gatherings.  For those who wish to memorialize Jim, donations made to Altitude Veterinary Hospital either to Paws2Help or to the Craft private account for the care of their own furkids are much appreciated.  You may donate by calling Altitude at (307) 234-7333 or by check to P.O. Box 316, Casper, WY  82602. 


Barbara Diane Mott: September 1, 1946 ~ April 11, 2020 (age 73)

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B. Diane Mott passed peacefully on Saturday, April 11, at her home in Athens, Georgia. Diane will be fondly remembered as an intrepid traveler, passionate textile scholar, and generous friend. She was born in 1946 and raised in Casper, Wyoming, where she developed a deep love of nature. Diane received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1969.  Her interest in Islamic cultures led her to volunteer with the Peace Corps in 1970, and she spent the two years working in eastern Turkey. She returned to the USA in the late 1970s, living in Atlanta, where she got her first museum experience working with historic textiles at the Atlanta Historical Society. Diane went back to Istanbul,  on a Fulbright Scholarship and spent several years in the Topkapi Museum studying Ottoman court textile production as part of a doctoral program. Turkey, and the dear friends she made there, would remain close to Diane’s heart forever.

Diane added another dimension to her textile knowledge by pursuing an MFA under the direction of renowned weaver Greg Kaufman at the University of Georgia in Athens. Her subsequent time in Atlanta as a post-doctoral student was enriched by her side gig working at the Center for Disease Control where she made a new group of lifelong friends. Diane’s refined eye and passion for textiles was a perfect fit for her eventual career as a textile curator, first at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1991-1998, and later at the M.H. De Young Museum in San Francisco. She retired from the DeYoung Museum in 2009.

Diane delighted in meeting new people and was a friend to all, whether they be scholar or taxi driver. She will be remembered for her unique personality and ebullient sense of humor.  Diane deeply loved her parents, Jean and Harold Mott, and will join them in body and spirit at the Highland Cemetery in Casper, Wyoming. 

Diane will be interred at 10am on Thursday, April 16.   In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Diane’s favorite charities: 

Nature Conservancy. www.nature.org
American Indian College Fund. www.standwithnativestudents.org

Living/Dying Project   www.livingdying.org

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Avenue, Casper, WY 82601.


Eugene Barber

Eugene Barber: March 26, 1939 ~ April 14, 2020 (age 81)

On April 14, 2020, Eugene Orin Barber passed into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST. On March 26, 1939 Eugene (Gene) was born in Casper, Wyoming to Charles and Donna Barber. He was the 3ffi of 6 children. Gene attended NCHS and was part of the class of 1958.

He was a cowboy at heart and learned how to cowboy during the summer months while working with the Birch family on the Buzzard ranch near Alcova.

For about 18 years following high school, he got to live out his dream by hiring out with the Matador Cattle Company. During this time he became the manager of the JE ranch for a short time and then as manager of the Lynn ranch near Moneta, WY for the remainder of his ranching career.

In 1975 the ranch was sold and Gene moved back to Casper where he finished his working years primarily as a truck driver. Over the years he worked for Rissler and McMurry road construction and later in the early 2000’s helped build the new runways at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. He also worked for RDM Hotshot, Richardson Trucking, Cal Rental Tool, and Black Hills trucking while moving rigs throughout various parts of the Rocky Mountain region. He never forgot the rig move around Rhododendron, Oregon in 1980 when Mt. Saint Helens erupted. After retirement he was a school crossing guard at Manor Heights and finally at Oakcrest schools until the jobs was done away with.

Around 1960 Gene married Donna (Dusty) Starr and they had 2 children, Donnie (Shorty) and Zola D. (Sam). We cannot forget Dawn and Missy of who was like daughters to him and to this day they think of Gene as kind of their unofficial dad.

In 1980 Gene married Pauline Daily and Gene became the step father to Pam, Steve, and Kim.

He and Pauline spent many a weekend with family and friends while camping and boating at Alcova and Pathfinder lakes. Gene was also a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles for 41 years where he and Pauline loved to go to watch his beloved Denver Broncos while visiting with friends.

Gene was preceded in death by both his parents, his first wife Donna, his brothers Allen and Jim, and his sister Alice Ann.

He is survived by his wife Pauline, his brother Jerry and his sister Abby, his  
children Donnie and Zola D., his step children Pam, Steve, and Kim, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Gene is also a proud grandparent and great-grandparent.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions there will be no services at this time. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to the Central Wyoming Hospice of  Casper, WY in Eugene Barber’s honor.

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Avenue, Casper, WY 82604.