Obituaries: Helzer, Doll, Thompson, Hunnicutt, Phillips - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Obituaries: Helzer, Doll, Thompson, Hunnicutt, Phillips

Julie Ann Helzer

CASPER, Wyo. –

Julie Ann Helzer: 1955 – 2020

On May 16th, Julie Ann Helzer went to God after a courageous and determined battle with cancer. She left from her favorite place on earth, her home with her mother, sister, and 2 Persian cats supporting her.

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Julie was born the second of four children in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Norbert and Lois (Prochaska) Salz. Growing up, she had the knack of making friends, which served her in good stead, as the family moved many times. Her father’s work in the car business provided her a profession as well. She was a title clerk and bookkeeper for a number of car companies and eventually mineral-related operations.

On Christmas eve 1984, Julie married Timothy Helzer in a home wedding here in Casper. Much to their disappointment, the couple had no children, and Tim died before her. They did have a number of much-loved furry children.

Julie’s father and brother Kelly preceded her in death. She is survived by her mother, sister Sue Salz, brother Casey (Sandy) Salz, three nieces, 2 nephews, a grandniece, and a grandnephew soon to appear.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date, and memorials can be made in Julie’s name to a charity of the donor’s choice.


Margaret Doll

Margaret Doll: August 09, 1928 – December 29,2019


Margaret Doll was born on the VR ranch outside of Glenrock to Bill and Helen Walkinshaw.  She and her 3 brothers enjoyed a typical ranch upbringing. After graduating high school Margaret moved to Cheyenne  where she worked as  a switchboard operator.  On a weekend trip to Laramie she met Jack Doll.  Jack and Margaret were married in 1948.  They moved to Denver where they resided for 22 years.

In 1970 they moved to Glenrock and in 1973 they purchased the Tabor Hotel.  Margaret had fond childhood memories of tap dance lessons in the beautiful ballroom. She spent several years overseeing the restoration of the property, even resurrecting the original sign and name of Hotel Higgins.  In 1983 the Hotel Higgins was placed on the National Historic Register.

In 1980 Jack and Margaret opened the Paisley Shawl restaurant and Highlander Pub and operated the hotel as a bed and breakfast inn.  The restaurant was an immediate success and became the only 3-Star restaurant in the region at that time.

The Dolls started traveling to Mexico in the 70’s and fell in love with Puerto Vallarta.  They retired there in 1996.  Jack and Margaret enjoyed 10 wonderful years there together before Jack’s passing in 2006.  Margaret stayed another 10 years until returning to Wyoming in 2017.
Margaret loved dancing, swimming, playing cards and games of all sorts. She spent many a sunny day gaming on the beach.

She made friends everywhere she went and was loved by many.  Those who knew her described her as elegant, beautiful and fun loving.  And she was!
Margaret was preceded in death by her 3 older brothers; husband Jack and son Mike.  She is survived by her daughters Carol and Beverly, grandchildren Jessica, Sarah, Garrett, Nevin and Tyrone and seven great grandchildren.

Graveside inurnment services will be held at 12:30 p.m., on Saturday, May 30th at Glenrock Cemetery.


Robert L. Thompson

Robert L. Thompson passed away peacefully May 14, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was born November 21, 1943 to Robert W. and Edith Thompson in Hailey, Idaho. Rob grew up in Hailey and was the eldest of 5 boys.

He moved to Gillette, Wyoming in his late teens where he met his future wife, Rita “Petesie” Knapp. They married on June 27, 1965 and Rob then received an associate accounting degree in Rapid City, from the National College of Business. They eventually settled in Casper, Wyoming where Rob worked as a tax accountant in the oil and gas industry, until eventually retiring from True Companies in 2016.

Rob and Rita raised two children, Robyn (Thompson) Chivers and Ryan Thompson, and they were fortunate enough to have him as “Granddad” to their children, Cole, Conner, and Crue Chivers, and Tressa, Callan, and Reilly Thompson.

Rob enjoyed fly fishing, hunting, and camping, and passed that love onto both his children and grandchildren. Many fond memories will be remembered from all the fun trips, where it seems some type of (mis) adventure always occurred. Rob was a mechanic, carpenter, electrician, plumber, and tow/vehicle recovery expert in his off time, and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix. A vast majority of these skills were usually employed during the above-mentioned trips, strictly out of necessity. “A jack of all trades and master of none,” as he used to say.

Rob always wanted to return to his ranching roots from Gillette, and was fortunate to have pigs, puppies, goats, cows, horses, chickens, ducks, and eventually long horn cattle in his later years. Aptly named, The Goat Rope Ranch, this also provided numerous misadventures for both he and his family.

Rob is survived by his brothers, Harry, Tim, and Tom Thompson, daughter Robyn Chivers (Mitch), son Ryan (Miranda), and the grandchildren mentioned above. He will be loved and missed by numerous friends, relatives, and family. In lieu of pretty flowers, please send donations to the Humane Society. Yah-ta-hey Dad! We love you!


Richard Warren Hunnicutt

Richard Warren Hunnicutt: 1942 – 2020

Richard Warren “Dick” Hunnicutt, Jr., passed away Sunday, May 10, 2020, at his residence in the Primrose Retirement Community.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Callie; their son, Richard Warren Hunnicutt, III (Mary) of San Antonio, TX; and their daughter, Linda Lee Hunnicutt-Bicknell (Jeff, deceased) of Kailua – Kona, HI. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brothers, John Michael (Renna, deceased), Stephen Anthony (Debbie); and sister, Amy Malia.

Dick was predeceased by his eldest daughter, Deborah Susan; and parents, Mary Verlene and Richard Warren Hunnicutt, Sr.

Dick was as honest as the day is long, and filled with a sense of justice and compassion. He loved traveling to all the amazing places he’d studied about and seeing this beautiful planet. He loved music, from rock and roll to symphony and had a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of music, which he endowed to all his progeny. He played the trumpet as a child, had a beautiful singing voice and was quite the hoofer, wowing everyone on the dance floor. He delighted in his children and always encouraged them to become good citizens, kind people and the best person they could be, and most importantly, to enjoy this life. The grandchildren brought so much joy and the great-grands were the frosting on his life.

He was born on March 23, 1942, in Casa Grande, AZ. If one was unfortunate enough to ask Dick of his origins, one would receive more information about his birth than thought possible, “I was born on 3//23//1942, after my poor Mother was in a very hard, long labor, at 4-something in the afternoon, Wartime…now that was before Daylight savings time…Dr. Lindberg attending…….”

He worked the family farms and met his wife in high school. Mary Callie (Martin) was a farm girl herself. They married September 12, 1959, in Tempe, AZ, and recently celebrated sixty years of marriage with friends and family. Older couples would always tease them that they were not old enough to be married so long!

As a young man, Dick excelled in academics and sports. He played varsity football and was often the fastest sprinter in Arizona. One sports writer dubbed him “small but speedy,” with consistent 10 second 100 yard dashes and often 9.9 seconds.

He worked his father’s farms and attended Arizona State University, alternating 1 year work // 1 year school, then back again, while raising his young family. Dick took pride in finding courses that “counted double”, (i.e. Art History, Historical Architecture, etc.). He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (emphasis in History with a Minor in Physical Education) and did so in three years of schooling, with exactly 1//2 hour credit extra. This talent was later put to use with his own children and students. He would later obtain a Master’s Degree, in Education with emphasis in World History and Political Science, and accumulated enough hours for his PhD.
But his love of farming the earth would stay with him. His eyes never failed to tear up when seeing freshly plowed and planted fields. He boasted he could plow the straightest rows, without computer guidance. He enjoyed being involved again with farming during his later years, learning different crops and making new friends with that kindred love of growing things and working the Earth.

After initially graduating from ASU, and after his first teaching position at a high school in Sunnyslope, Arizona, he brought his family to Casper, Wyoming, and took a teaching position at East Junior High School. He primarily taught History and coached Football, Basketball and Track. He later moved to Natrona County High School teaching Government and the American Western History. He loved to receive a teaching assignment to roll out a new program. He piloted the District’s Career Education course at East Junior High School, In-School Suspension at Dean Morgan Junior High School, and helped to develop the Western Movement Course at Natrona County High School. He never lost his enthusiasm, his humor, or his professionalism. Literally hundreds of ex-students consider Mr.//Coach Hunnicutt to be the best teacher or coach they ever had. Even students who thought they didn’t like History admitted he brought the past to life for them. He retired from teaching in 1989.

But “Retirement” was short-lived for Dick, and he worked various jobs including one he loved in particular—test driving prototype performance vehicles for a major European Auto Manufacturer, incognito (a personal favorite term of Dick’s). This allowed him to “road trip” at high speed…right up his alley. Dick always loved to travel. Whether vacationing with his family or the summer jobs that paid the bills that teaching didn’t cover, or later in life, for his Senior Olympic competitions. He was ALWAYS up for a road trip…even to go tornado chasing. Any Soul who had the honor to road trip with Dick, will fondly remember, “Boy, we’re making good time!”

In the late 1990s, Dick started competing in the Senior Olympics. His favorite event was shot-put, which he had rarely tried in his youth. He competed in 17 states, and three National Tournaments over several years. He enjoyed making new friends, competing in sports, and naturally, the “road trips”. He always placed in the top ten at Nationals, and frequently placed in the top three at Regional Tournaments. Health issues forced him to stop in 2012, but he passed his shot to a young man and gave him some coaching.

Dick and Mary left Wyoming when he left teaching, but eventually returned to their favorite town, Casper, in 2000. That’s when the “Retirement” really began. His love of animals and love of humanity led to a busy life of charity work. He loved his family, his friends and animals of all kinds, and they loved him in return. Since 2012 Dick had battled chronic physical pain, his last two years brought increasing debilitation. Complications from the medications led to further problems, until his suffering finally came to an end on May 10, 2020. Always quick with a joke, or an act of kindness, he was loved by all. He will be sorely missed and is utterly irreplaceable.
Mary wishes to thank all our friends who helped make his last years enjoyable, and those in the medical profession who did their best to relieve his pain. Our Primrose “family” have been exceptional support to Dick and Mary and the Primrose staff are a godsend.

With the current Covid-19 situation we are unsure if a celebration of his life will be possible; which was his original choice. Dick felt death would solve the Great Mystery and he looked forward to it. He would want everyone to make the most of their time here. Love those close, be kind to all and forgive your enemies. This life can be too short, so don’t put off personal relationships.

If you desire and can, please consider a donation to any group feeding people during these times. Help anybody (or creature) less fortunate. Dick will be pleased.


David Wayne Phillips, 70, of Casper, Wyoming passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020. David was born on August 6, 1949 in Casper, Wyoming to Carl and Jackie Phillips. He attended Dean Morgan Junior High School and graduated from Natrona County High School in Casper. He then went on to receive a degree from Casper College in Automotive Mechanics.

He worked as an mechanic and learned welding well enough to begin his own welding business, Crown Welding. He learned how to repair sewing machines from a friend and went to work for the Wyoming Sewing Center until he started the business Sew Fix It, that he owned and operated for over 25 years. Technically, David retired from the sewing machine industry but he remained very active tinkering around his home. He could fix anything.

He had two children, Chance and Misty. He met and then married Cathy D. Walker in 2003. Together they would enjoy snowshoeing, camping, fishing, arrowhead hunting, but his main love would be to work around his home.

He loved to work with his hands, building, welding, and putting together things. He was also a great musician, he played the guitar and sang beautifully. He especially loved gospel and the old cowboy songs. David sang in the Glory Road Gospel Band, performing at the local nursing homes, churches, prisons, and other community locations to share his love of the Lord. He was a very loving and kind man to everyone he met, having big warm hugs to give to anyone.

He will be remembered as the most gentle spirited man, he was a true gentleman and had such a love for his family.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy; his children, Misty (Chad) of Aberdeen, SD and Chance (Trinity) of Casper, WY; stepchildren, Jason Moyer of Casper, WY, Justin Moyer of Casper, WY and James (Nicole) Moyer of Casper, WY; brother, Terry (Angie) Phillips of Casper, WY; numerous grandchildren and step grandchildren.

He preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Rick and Karen.