Obituaries: Gillham, Hess, Whitaker - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Obituaries: Gillham, Hess, Whitaker

Stephen Delbert Gillham

CASPER, Wyo. –

Stephen Delbert Gillham: 1947 – 2021

Stephen Delbert Gillham fell asleep March 17, 2021 with the assurance of his resurrection at Jesus’ Second Coming.  “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to together to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  

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Steve had been winning a battle with prostate cancer when he contracted COVID-19, he continued this dual fight for three months to the end.

Steve attended Ozark Adventist Academy and graduated from Chisolm Trail Academy.  He continued his education at Walla Walla University where he earned his degree in theology in 1975.  During these years he made many deep friendships that although separated by many miles continued on until the time of his death.

Steve, known as Pastor Steve to everyone, earned his Master of Divinity from Andrew’s University in 1979.  He pastored churches in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming.  After his retirement he began full-time volunteer work as President and Director of LaVida Mission on the Navajo Nation. Throughout his ministry his one desire was to share a smile, a kind word, a hug and make a day better than it was before.

Pastor Steve loved traveling, camping with his family, and visiting National Parks, and if you asked his family, stopping at every new Walmart he passed.  

Pastor Steve self-described himself as an introvert however, he never met a stranger: from the individual at the next fuel pump who had out-of-state plates to the guy on the street who had a firefighter shirt on like his son’s.  Every friend and family member of Pastor Steve always felt like they were his favorite. Because they were! He truly loved everyone. He was so full of God’s joy and love it bubbled out and spread to each person he met.

Pastor Steve is survived by his wife and very best friend of 54 years, Carol, his daughters Stephanie (Ron), Elizabeth (Mark), Angela (Sanal) and son Stanley (Sarah), grandchildren, Kyle, Saralina, Matthew, Genevra, Kai, Adam, Christina, Sydney, Ezekiel, Chloe, Addie, Kashi, and Ishu and his brother, David (Rosa).

Pastor Steve’s greatest desire was to be a blessing to those around him.

Donations can be made to the Stephen Gillham Memorial Fund at LaVida Mission, Farmington, New Mexico. Services will be held Sabbath, March 27 at 3:00 pm at the Casper Seventh-day Adventist Church.


Mitzi Leigh (Truax) Hess

Mitzi Leigh (Truax) Hess: 1955 – 2021

Mitzi Leigh (Truax) Hess, 65 of Casper passed away after a lengthy illness. Mitzi was a born on October 15, 1955 in Casper to Eldred (Swede) and Elva Truax.

Mitzi worked in Radiology after graduating from Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, where she was Phi Theta Kappa and Wyoming student of the year. After spending 8 years working at Gordon Memorial Hospital in Gordon, Nebraska she retired and returned to Casper.

Preceded in death by her father Eldred (Swede) and sister Pam.

Mitzi is survived by her husband, Doran of 44 years, her daughter Rosie (Chris), their 6 children, son Jr and his 4 children, her mother Elva, sister Deby, and brothers Joe (Kris) and Jeff (Donna) as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

No services are being planned at this time. In lieu of flowers the family asks that because she was a cancer survivor, any donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

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


Bret Alan Whitaker: July 31, 1971 – March 19, 2021

Bret Alan Whitaker, 49, of Casper, Wyoming passed away on March 19, 2021 in Englewood, Colorado.

Bret was born in Butte, Montana to Robert and Barbara Whitaker on July 31, 1971.

Bret went to Highschool in Midwest and graduated in 1990. Bret served in the Navy for three years before he was Honorably Discharged. Bret worked numerous jobs in the oil industry for 30 years.

Bret’s love of sports won him numerous awards and trophies growing up. Which includes basketball, football, wrestling, boxing and baseball.

Bret enjoyed spending time with his wife and kids. Watching his kids play sports, participate in 4-H activities and camping with his family at “the spot,” brought him a lot of joy.

Bret is survived by his wife Peggy, his children Blake, Marilyn, Sydnee, Kallee and Brody. Sisters Bonnie Lucero, Betty (Doug) Whitaker, Becky (Jim) Cook, Billie (Tom) VanMeter. Brothers Brian (Marla) Whitaker, Benton (Debbie) Whitaker, Burton (Nikki) Whitaker, Brad (Teresa) Whitaker, Barry (Kate) Whitaker and Bobby Whitaker. Father and Mother-in-law Dale and Betty Birkle, Sister-in-law Tonya (Lonnie) Porter and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bret is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Barbara Whitaker and brother Bart Whitaker.

A Funeral Service will be held at Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Avenue, Casper, Wyoming 82601, on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 10 a.m. with Pastor Becci Selby Sutphin.

A reception will be held following services at the Casper Shrine Club 1501 W 39th St. Casper, Wyoming 82604. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Scott Alan Miller Memorial Scholarship at Casper College, 125 College Dr. Casper, Wyoming 82601 In Memory of Bret Whitaker.

The family of Bret Whitaker would like to give a special thanks to all the medical staff at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, WY, Sergeant Courtney with the NCSD, Betty and Dale Birkle, Cyndi Miller, Susi Miller, Barbara Adams, Jeane Shreve, Pastor Nathan Doerr, and all of the personel at Basic Energy Services.

Arrangements are entrusted to Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Avenue, Casper, Wyoming 82601.