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Obituaries: Wheeler; Stark

Dave W. Wheeler

Dave W. Wheeler: 1947 – 2023

David Wayne Wheeler passed away on February 24, 2023 from pneumonia following heart surgery. He was known to most as “Dave” and in some circles just as “Wheeler”. He was loved. Dave grew up in Iowa, moved his family to Louisiana in 1978 and finally landed in Wyoming in 1986, where he finished raising his family and retired. Dave was preceded in death by his parents, John and Bonnie Wheeler, three siblings, his brothers Edward “Eddie” and Murray and his sister Shelby, and two of Dave’s children, daughters, Mary Frances who died in infancy, and Sarah Jane. Dave is survived by his wife Mary Ellen (Hoag) Wheeler, his children John (Michelle), Carrie (Tricia), Hannah (Gideon) and Seth (Lindsey), two sisters, Loris and Shayla, and nine grandchildren, Katelyn, Bethany, Nolan, Zoë, Hope, Krew, Kade, Lily and Rowan.

Dave worked in the oil field in many different roles that took him from the rig floors in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico to the high plain deserts in the west to eventually working a desk job out of Casper, Wyoming at what some would jokingly call, “Discount Dave’s Directional”. Dave was known as a hard-working, strong, and stubborn man in the communities he formed while working in the oil field. Not only was Dave skilled in his work in the oil field, but he was also well known for getting the job done no matter what, even when it required you to cut your own cast off when it was getting in the way of the rig work.

Dave created community through his storytelling and sharing a meal. His boisterous roaring laugh was the backdrop often to those shared meals and stories. He loved being part of a community, whether it was those he formed through his time working in the oil field, those he created with family and neighbors in the places lived, or the one later in life that he formed through church in Casper, Wyoming. Dave was a giver, always willing to help others. Dave and his wife Mary Ellen volunteered in their church community through serving meals to those in need. He would get to know people through these meals, seeing the humanity in every person no matter their circumstances. Some would say he was rigid, steadfast in his own convictions and opinions, but that never stopped him from lending a hand, giving to others. His children all remember him offering a hot meal, a bus ticket, and a warm place to rest to strangers that he happened to meet along the way.

Dave was a lover of scenery discovered on road trips across the United States. He took his family on adventures throughout the bayous of Louisiana, the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, countless National Parks, and the Rocky Mountains. It was after an epically long road trip to Yellowstone National Park from Louisiana that he fell in love with the mountains. The mountains called to him. He answered this call by moving his entire family from Louisiana to Casper, Wyoming. The adventure continued when he decided living near the mountains in the town of Casper was not quite enough, moving the family into a house on top of Casper Mountain. Dave enjoyed many adventures with family exploring the back country of the mountain on 3-wheelers and discovering a new love for hunting, while also learning new trades of carpentry after one collapsed homemade make-shift car cover not quite ready for the weight of all the mountain snow!

Eventually he and the family moved off the mountain west of Casper. After retiring, Dave was content to battle the Wyoming wind to protect his trees and garden, enjoy visits with the grandchildren, dog sit the rotating visiting grand-pets, and run a “Grandpa Dave” shuttle service for the family with the occasional ice cream treat reward in route back home. Dave cherished his spirituality and relationship with God. Back in 1968 when he married Mary, a Quaker girl from the farm in Iowa, he admired her faith and spirituality. It wasn’t until much later that he found his own faith and belief in God. Dave sometimes took the long road of discovery, but his life story is one anchored in family and community.

Dave was a hard man, tough as nails, and stubborn as a Wyoming winter. But he loved his people, gave when he had little, cherished the small gifts, and was always there to help whenever you needed him. His heart gave out, but in the end it was as big as anyone’s could be and never seemed to be overwhelmed by giving. Dave was loved. He loved his people! We know his daughters, Mary Frances and Sarah Jane, were happy to be with their dad again, welcoming him home, ready to listen to him tell stories over a good meal!

Arrangements are under the direction of Newcomer Casper. To leave the family a special message, please select the “Share Memories” option.

Services & Gatherings:

Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 4:30pm
First Church of the Nazarene, 2020 S. Jefferson Street, Casper, Wyoming

Deborah L. “Debby” Stark

Deborah L. “Debby” Stark: 1951 – 2023

Deborah L. Stark, 71, of Mills, WY formerly of Albuquerque, NM passed away Sunday, February 26, 2023, at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.

Debby was born in Miami, Florida, but her childhood years were spent in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she learned to love the desert. She attended high school and college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but as soon as she could, she moved back to New Mexico, where she spent the last forty years of her life. In the past few months, she moved to Mills, Wyoming, to be near her sister.

Debby was a life-long learner, and interested in many, widely-varied things. Science Fiction was of great interest, as were other paranormal and challenging ideas. She was a particular fan of complicated, dramatic television shows, and challenged herself to write scripts, and other stories based on the characters she enjoyed. In the 1980’s, Debby attended conferences where she met with other aficionados, and kept up correspondence with these friends for many years.

She is survived by her sister, Mary (Remy) Larson; brother, Jay (Yvonne) Stark; niece Alexis (Joerg Himmelreich) Stark; nephew, Jason (Valerie) Stark, and four great-nieces.

Her favorite quotation was from Thomas Jefferson: “Forsake not your individuality…it may just be your last identifiable characteristic.”

Services are pending.

Arrangements are under the direction of Newcomer Casper.