Obituaries: Wutsch, Brownell, Heady, Smith - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Obituaries: Wutsch, Brownell, Heady, Smith

Charles L. Wutsch

Charles L. Wutsch: 1958 – 2021

Charles Lindbergh Wutsch, 62, of Casper, Wyoming passed away in Aurora, Colorado on July 30, 2021.

Charles was born in Hackensack, New Jersey on August 4, 1958 to Charles and Felicia (Sarubbi) Wutsch. He spent his early years there before moving to Missoula, Montana at the age of 14. He graduated from Hellgate High School in 1976.

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After high school, Charles volunteered as a firefighter in Missoula until he relocated to Casper in 1977, where he began working in the mines. He made the decision to work for the county, and from there, began to serve the Natrona County Fire District, a position he maintained for 25 years.

On March 13th (a Friday, of all days) in 1991, luck was having a field day. Charles met the love of his life: his wife, Christine. They were together long before, but they married in 2008.

Every day with Charles was a new adventure, be it spontaneous road trips, boating, hunting, camping, RZR riding in the mountains, snowmobiling, etc.

He chose to live each day to the fullest, never taking a single minute of his time for granted. He took every opportunity he could find to lend a helping hand. Charles would never turn down a request for a friend or a moment to be kind and thoughtful.

He sure was a character, and no one will ever tell you he wasn’t the best one.

Charles also loved his family more than anything else in this world. He doted on his grandchildren like no other and was also a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He will always be very greatly loved and will always be even more greatly missed.

Charles is survived by his wife, Christine Wutsch, of Casper; two stepsons, Lee Richardson and his wife, Natalie, and Paul Richardson and his wife, Nicole, of Casper; five grandchildren, Avigayl Linde, Aden Richardson, Lucielle Richardson, Tristan Richardson, and Parker Richardson, all of Casper; two brothers, Anthony Wutsch of Missoula and Albert Wutsch and his wife, Sandra, of Lolo, Montana; three nieces, Ashley Wutsch, and Sara; one nephew, Andrew Wutsch; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and wonderful friends across the country.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Felicia; both sets of grandparents; and aunts, uncles, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Charles’s name to a charity of your choice.

Keep your glowsticks handy and protect your gingerbread houses!


Robert Sterling Brownell

Robert Sterling Brownell: 1959 – 2021

Robert Sterling Brownell, while rescuing his best friends and beloved companions, passed unexpectedly on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

Bob was born in Merced, California in 1959 to Allen Brownell and Mary Bies-Brownell. He was raised in Rapid City, South Dakota and Casper, Wyoming. He graduated from Natrona County High School in 1977. He married Colleen Kotarski-Brownell in 1981 in Casper and together they had 3 children: Jesse, Ashley, and Clay. He worked in and owned a construction business throughout his life. At the time of his death, he was concluding the build of his cabin on Casper Mountain.

To all who know Bob, he was a loyal man. He loved his family above all else, which included his dogs. He was generous with his love and compassion, always ready to give with words of wisdom or a helping hand. He loved to cook, loved to share his meals with friends and knew no strangers at his table. His daughter Ashley often counted on her father to teach her the best way to roast a green chili for soup, put the perfect fork crosses on their peanut butter cookies, and make any cut of meat taste like a filet.

Bob was charismatic and charming. He had a gregarious smile that ensured you would be treated to some witty commentary. All who knew him would describe his heart of gold and he would give you the shirt off of his back. To all who know and love Jesse, his personable nature is something that he inherited from his father. Bob loved being in the outdoors running his dogs, scouting for big game and fishing. You could always count on him for knowing where the best honey holes were to fish in, and where the big bucks were for all of his hunting friends and family, and especially his son, Clay.

Bob’s life was enriched by his children and grandkids, who he adored. Jesse and Ashley will especially miss “being able to call Dad” when they had a question. From vehicle information to the layout of the land, fishing, hunting and cooking, his steady voice gave positive words of comfort. The current light of his life were his grandkids and there was never a conversation that didn’t include them. From Presley’s sports, Brecken’s similarities to his Uncle Clay, and Baron and Bowie inheriting the Brownell brown eyes, their grandfather would want to them to always know how much he loved them. His legacy will live on through them.

There was never a time that he was without a German Shepherd dog by his side. There is comfort in knowing that he will be walking through the gates of Heaven with his German Shepherd, Bella, and his German Pointer, Zoey, by his side.

He was preceded in death by his parents Allen Brownell and Mary Bies-Brownell, and his son Clay Brownell. He is survived by his son Jesse (Lisa) Brownell of Denver, Colorado and their children Baron and Bowie, and daughter, Ashley Hollenbeck (Nate), of Wamego, Kansas and their children Presley and Brecken; mom Donna Brownell; brother Michael (Pam) Brownell; sisters Debra Shaw and Patti (Shannon) Tibbets; several step siblings Brent, Jeff, Wendy, Lauri, Trisha, Jamie; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held Thursday August 12 at 11:00 a.m. at highland cemetery. A celebration of Robert’s life will follow. The location will be posted at a later date.


Joan L. Heady

Joan L. Heady: 1937 – 2021

Joan Leanore Heady, 84, of Casper went to be with the Lord on July 29, 2021.

She was born February 1, 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio to Mary and Frank Schultz. Joan graduated from Parma High School. She was married to Harry Allen Heady on September 5, 1975, and they resided in Casper, Wyoming.

She had a long career with the City of Casper until retirement. She had a love for cooking and always shared with family and friends. She especially loved her cats and enjoyed reading, gardening, and her numerous plants. She and Harry were avid black powder enthusiasts. They attended many competitions and enjoyed the camaraderie.

She is survived by her children, Brett (Sarah) Dovala of Casper, Renee (Charlie) Loraas of Casper, David (Kathy) Heady of Casper, and Kim Maini of Florida. She is also survived by her brother, John (Billie) Sudyk of Ohio and by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, her best friend Marilynn, and many other beloved friends.

Joan is preceded in death by her spouse, Harry Heady; parents, Mary and Frank Schultz; brother, Nick Sudyk; and sisters, Julia Guzik, Mary Schroeder, Helen Shafer, and Dorothy Lukasik.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Casper Humane Society.

As requested, no services will be held. A Celebration of Life will be held in spring of 2022.


Willa “Allene” Smith

Willa “Allene” Smith: 1926 – 2021

Willa Allene Smith, 95, of Casper, Wyoming passed away on July 29, 2021.

Willa Allene (Hogeland) Smith was born May 10, 1926 to Allen S and Elba (Harrington) Hogeland on a farm near Bloomington, Nebraska. She was the eldest of five daughters and one son born to this union.

Allene attended Bloomington Public School, graduating in 1943 in a class of four girls. The five boys in the class had joined the military service during their junior year, which was during World War II.

Following graduation from high school and attended college during the summer at Nebraska State Teacher’s College (now known as University of Nebraska at Kearney) in Kearney, Nebraska. Allene received a teaching certificate to teach in rural schools in Nebraska. By alternating attending college classes and teaching, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from NSTC in 1951. Besides two years teaching in rural schools in Nebraska, she also taught in Bloomington, Oshkosh, and Grant Nebraska public schools. She also was a part of PEO for 75 years after joining in 1946.

After receiving her B.A. degree, she came to Casper, Wyoming to teach first grade at Willard School. The salaries for teachers were better here than in Nebraska. She also went on to teach at other schools in the Casper area.

In Casper, she met Charles B. Smith from Enid, Oklahoma, who was an independent landman in the oil and gas business. They were married on October 12, 1952 in Bloomington, Nebraska. (They later divorced.) They had three sons: Roy, Curt, and Monte. Their three sons were baptized in the First Presbyterian Church of Casper. They lived in Casper until 1972, when the family moved to Gillette, Wyoming. She and her family became members of the First Presbyterian Church in Gillette, where Allene served as a deacon and elder.

Allene opened the Smith Art Gallery and Framing business in Gillette, Wyoming. Although she sold the business and has since changed its location and name, it is still currently in business.

Allene remained in Gillette until 1988, when she decided to return to Casper, Wyoming after the loss of her son, Monte, so she could be near her sons, Roy and Curt.
Besides her sons, Curt Allen Smith, and Monte Kevin Smith, she was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, JoAnn Richter and Ruthie Meyers; brothers-in-law, Roy Richter Jr., and Eugene Meyers, and Don Bienhoff; and nephews, Terry Richter and Pete Bienhoff.

She is survived by her son, Roy C. Smith; sisters, Nancy (Lloyd) Schepler of Kearney, Nebraska and Mary Jane Bienhoff of Omaha, Nebraska; and brother, Scott (Joan) Hogeland of Nebraska City, Nebraska; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to Central Wyoming Hospice in Casper, Wyoming.