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Obituaries: Spaulding; Gustafson; Raver

James F. Spaulding

James F. Spaulding: 1947 – 2023

Jim Spaulding joined his “beautiful bride” in Heaven February 11, 2023, after complications related to his lifelong battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

His last days were spent with family in the comfort of Hospice of Laramie. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. 

He was born January 23, 1947 in Casper Wyoming to Rodney and Julia (McKee) Spaulding. Along with his sisters and brother, he grew up in Casper and was a proud member of the Natrona County High School class of 1965. Classmates became lifelong friends that visited and traveled as often as possible. Most of his career was spent working for Kerr McGee. First, in Casper as a surveyor seismographer, then in Gillette at the Jacobs Ranch Coal mine as a train loader, heavy equipment operator, and haul truck driver.

After he retired and moved back to Casper, he volunteered at the National Historic Trails Center, and delivered for Meals on Wheels. Throughout his life he was a member of the Elks Lodge and belonged to the Knights Of Columbus.

He and his wife were very involved with many groups at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. He married Patricia in the summer of 1975 at the Spaulding cabin and at St. Patrick’s Church in 1976. They attended school together and were reunited at their 10th high school reunion. With their union he was blessed with Patti’s daughter Becky, and immediately adopted her to be forever her dad. In March of 1978 he was blessed with their son Rob, who was always a source of pride for him. 

He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 18. With the disease in remission he enjoyed a full life of hunting, camping, traveling and most of all fishing. 

To know Jim, was to love Jim, and his kindness, sincerity, and sense of humor he shared with this world will be unmatched and greatly missed. He was a wonderful son and brother, loyal friend, and an exemplary father. 

His loved ones who went before him are his father Rod, his mother Julia, and the love of his life, his wife Patricia.

He left behind his daughter Becky (Cobb), son Rob, grandchildren Tayler McClure (Andrew), Chad Cobb, and his great grandson Thane McClure. He is also survived by his sister Judy Gerard (Bobby), sister Janice Spaulding-Zysk (Edwin), sister Jeanine Larson, and brother John Spaulding. 

His son and daughter would like to thank Life Care of Casper, The Care Center of Laramie, and most of all, Hospice of Laramie for their extraordinary kindness shown to Jim, and visiting family during his stay. 

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church on Friday February 17, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. with burial and reception to follow. Memorials can be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America or Hospice of Laramie in Jim’s name.

Ken Gustafson

Ken Gustafson: 1939 – 2023

Kenneth “Ken” Lee Gustafson, 83 of Casper passed away on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at the Central Wyoming Hospice Center after a rapid decline in health.

Ken was born and raised in Casper Wyoming to Carl V. and Margaret A. Gustafson on June 30th, 1939. He attended Willard School, Dean Morgan Junior High, and Natrona County High School- Class of 1958. He then went on to graduate from Casper College with a degree in Electronics. At that point in his life, he was drafted but enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the U.S.S Conyngham (DDG-17) and served from 1962-1966. In the Navy he was able to see many ports across the world and would often share traditions from those countries. This likely was where his passion for ketchup began. Following his honorable discharge from his service, he returned to Casper and met who would be the love of his life, Patsy A. Matzke. They married October 15th, 1966 and welcomed two children into their world. He worked in engine repair, uranium fields on a probe truck, Control Data and then went into business for himself, Kenny’s Engine Repair. There wasn’t a small engine he couldn’t figure out and was very meticulous, but the family quickly recognized the name brands of engines he wasn’t fond of. He owned this business until his retirement in 2005. He spent a lot of time in the great outdoors with his family at the mountains and lakes, taking a variety of campers from camper shells to fifth wheels over the years. He had a love for boats and rebuilding things. He rebuilt his beloved 1963 Willy’s Jeep, the “Scummer”- that he was able to express his love for “bright” colors.

He attended church over the years and was a member of the Mountain View Baptist Church. He had a strong and unwavering faith in the Lord and was grateful for all the blessings God provided in his life.

Kenneth is survived by his wife of 56 years, Patsy A. of Casper, WY, his daughter, Anna (Jon) of Casper, WY and son Henry (Debbie) of Moraga, CA. Grandchildren, Joseph Kinder (fiancé-Taylor) Casper WY, Drew Gustafson (girlfriend-Melanie) Houston TX, Mark Kinder (girlfriend-Delaney) Casper WY, Caroline Gustafson Moraga CA and Juliana Gustafson, Moraga CA. Kenneth leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Margaret A. and Carl V. Gustafson, his brother Carl A. Gustafson and grandchild, Mackinzie M. Gustafson.

A memorial service for Ken will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at Mountain View Baptist Church in Mills with military funeral honors. A private inurnment will be held at a later date at the Oregon Trail State Veteran’s Cemetery in Evansville, WY.

Memorial donations may be made to the Casper Humane Society (849 East E Street, Casper, WY 82601) or Mountain View Baptist, (4250 Poison Spider Road, Mills, WY 82604)

Arrangements are under the direction of Newcomer Casper. 

Sylvia E. Raver: 1944 – 2023

Sylvia E. Raver, 78, of Casper, Wyoming passed away Thursday, February 9, 2023 in Casper.

Sylvia was born on October 15, 1944 to Elmer and Ruby Stoneking in Torrington, Wyoming. She was one of seven children and graduated in 1963 from Natrona County High School.

Sylvia met the love of her life and husband of 57 years, Jack D. Raver, they married in June of 1963. Together they had three children, Tammy, Roger and John.

Sylvia was a very active and involved mother and wife. She was a Camp Fire Girls Leader, a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, and highly involved in her children’s lives. She was always available and there for all of her children throughout their school years and beyond. Once the children grew up and left the family home she took up crafting and even a cake decorating course at the college to fill her days. Then the grandchildren arrived, she was a very involved and caring grandmother.

Sylvia is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jack; and brothers, Clyde and Bert Stoneking.

She is survived by her children, Tammy Raver, Roger (Jen) Raver, and John Raver; grandsons, Cooper and Painter; Siblings, Jim Stoneking, Orvie Stoneking, Roger (Eileen) Stoneking, Wayne Stoneking, and Lola Stoneking; numerous nieces, nephews and treasured friends.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM, Friday, February 24, 2023 at Newcomer Casper Chapel with a light reception to follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Newcomer Casper.