Jon Nicolaysen

Jon Nicolaysen: 1946 – 2023

Jon was born in Casper, Wyoming to Mary Hester (Lathrop) and Gerald Gifford (“Gerry”) Nicolaysen. He was the descendant of four pioneer families of Casper: the Nicolaysens, the Evans, the Lathrops and the Governor Bryant Butler Brooks families.

Jon grew up on the family ranch northeast of Casper that was homesteaded by his grandparents P.C. Nicolaysen and Clementina Sara Evans. Jon loved the outdoors and spent much of his youth outside at the encouragement of his mother. With his brother G.G. and sister Karen by his side, he explored many of Wyoming’s wildest and most scenic locations. Growing up on the ranch, Jon learned the value of hard work and doing whatever it takes to get the job done – traits that he carried with him and utilized throughout his life.

Jon attended The Choate School in Connecticut and then The Colorado College where Jon was an outstanding college athlete, lettering in soccer, lacrosse, and hockey, and where Jon met best friends for life. After graduation in 1968, Jon and his first wife, Priscilla Pelton, moved to Laramie, Wyoming where their first child, Kirsten, was born. Jon joined the U.S. Army Reserve and earned an MBA at the University of Wyoming.  After returning to Casper to manage the family ranch their two sons, Peter and Jon II (Kem), were born.

In September of 1989, Jon married the love of his life Mary L. Burgess Wyatt and gained his beautiful step-daughter, Tracey Ross. Mary brought out the laughter in Jon and the two spent over three decades seizing life and sharing their generous spirits. Holidays with Jon and Mary were epic (Halloween was their favorite) and they loved decorating their home. It was a gathering place and there was always plenty of food, an extra chair at their table, and a deck of cards waiting to be shuffled. Jon and Mary brought out the best in each other and their love and combined sense of humor blessed everyone around them.

In Casper, Jon and Mary devoted their lives to the family ranch, Cole Creek Sheep Company, and under Jon’s leadership the ranch doubled in size and significantly diversified its operations.  In his decades on the ranch, Jon learned to fix almost anything and had a vision and foresight that made the operation the success it is today. He embodied a “get the job done” ethic, but loved to have fun with his family and everyone he worked with. From wild softball games at the end of each docking, ATV rides with multiple grandchildren clinging to him, to stories that can’t be repeated, he knew how to have a good time. He taught and gave so much to his family and those he worked with on the ranch.

The ranch was not, however, Jon’s only vocation. He recognized early on that the economics of agriculture in the 1980’s required diversification. As the U.S. lamb and wool markets shrank amid globalization, he became licensed both as a real estate agent and a big game outfitter. He also began working in the energy industry in the 1980’s and over the years, Jon managed, operated and invested in oil properties in central Wyoming. His depth of knowledge of the land and understanding of the landowner’s perspective assisted him in the oil business and throughout his many business endeavors.

Jon’s love for Wyoming and his dedication to his community was evident in his leadership positions and volunteer work, including being past President of the Board of Directors of the Casper Y.M.C.A. and the Nicolaysen Art Museum. Jon was part of the team that helped organize the NIC’s transformation and move into the beautiful downtown building from which it operates today.  Jon was a member of Wyoming Stockgrowers Association and Wyoming Woolgrowers Association and served on the Natrona County Predator Board.  He was a member of the inaugural class of the Wyoming Leadership, Education and Development (L.E.A.D) program and a Fellow of the Atlantic-Pacific Businessman’s Exchange, traveling to Hong Kong and the Netherlands.  Jon was a Master Mason of Casper Lodge 15. He was an active member of the Republican Party and sat with President Ronald Reagan during Reagan’s reelection campaign in Casper. Although he considered a career in politics, he preferred a quieter life in Wyoming with his family and ranch, and serving his local community. 

He was an avid outdoorsman, and the pack trips with Kirsten, Peter and Kem when they were young will never be forgotten. Bird hunting was a favorite pastime as it meant an opportunity to be with friends, family, and his beloved Welsh Springer Spaniels.

Jon was a passionate traveler who enjoyed connecting with extended family in Denmark. He and Mary traveled the world, but he always remarked at the end of any journey, that home looked best. Jon and Mary traveled to Alaska many times and were fortunate to have one final trip there with family before he was diagnosed with cancer.

Mary was Jon’s constant companion and caregiver while he fought a brutal battle with cancer this last year in Houston. Jon’s wish to come home, to the place he loved the most, was granted and he passed away in Casper just a few days shy of his 34th anniversary with Mary.

Jon treasured his life-long friends who included co-workers, college and hunting buddies, and cousins. He was loyal, generous, and kind to those close to him. 

He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Nicolaysen of Casper; children Kirsten Parker Nicolaysen (Tim Parker) of Walla Walla, Washington, Peter Nicolaysen (Pam Brondos) and Jon C. (Kem) Nicolaysen, II (Shelly Nicolaysen) all of Casper; step-grandson Alex Ross; grandchildren Maren, Emma and Lucas Nicolaysen, Brooks and Tobias Parker, and Gwen, Jane and Soren Nicolaysen; sister Karen Overton (Sid), sister-in-law Adrienne Bonnet, brother-in-law and sister-in-law David and Kathy Bowers; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Michael and Sondra McCoy; and nephews and nieces that he loved dearly.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Gerry and Mary Hester; his brother, G.G.; and his step-daughter, Tracey Ross.

He was a force of life and will be so missed.

Services will be held in Casper at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 701 S. Wolcott, on September 23rd at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church or the Nicolaysen Art Museum.

Shirley Maurine “Mimi” Carubie: 1923 – 2023

Shirley “Mimi” Carubie died on September 7, 2023 at Central Wyoming Hospice. She was 99.

On a wintery night, December 30, 1923, Shirley Maurine Pursel entered this world. She was welcomed by her parents Harold “Whitey” M. Pursel and Viola Pearl (Wagner) Pursel, and older brother and protector Max.

Throughout her life, Shirley would show the world exactly what she was made of. By moving across the country to marry the love of her life, Louis “Lou” Carubie. Then to return to college to complete her nursing degree at age 47 as a mom of five.

Nothing in Shirley’s life made her prouder than her children. She was blessed with four daughters and one son. To the mix she continued to watch her family grow through her 15 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Mom and dad’s house on Country Club had all the babies at Christmas time. Those babies represented her grandchildren(s).

Mimi was known to her family as the baby whisperer. Her gentle nature calmed most babies. She spent most of her nursing careers sharing her kind soul and soothing nature with many families throughout Casper working on the baby floor in Postpartum. Mimi even made sure to be there when a great grandchild (being born in Casper) to give them all their very first baths. Mimi’s love for nursing and others inspired her to work until retirement on her 90th birthday.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister; and one brother; her husband Lou and her children: Jodi (Russ) Garner; Cindy (Steve) Garner; Barb (Chip) Wanglein; and her son Tom Carubie.

She is survived by her daughter Sandi Carubie of Casper; her grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

To say the world will be dimmer without this shining soul would be unfair, as she was sure to share that light with everyone she came in contact with. She was Mimi to almost everyone she met. To say the least, she made the world a much brighter place for generations to come.

Vigil/Rosary will be October 6 at 6:30 p.m. at St Patrick’s, with a mass of Christian burial to be held October 7, 2023 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at 10 a.m.

Don’t be sad for her, as her youngest great grandson said after she passed: “It is ok, Mimi was going to be able to see her old friends, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.” Out of the mouths of babes.

In lieu of flowers, donation to St. Jude’s children hospital or Hospice of Casper.

Nathan Lee Frisby: 1977 – 2023

Nathan Lee Frisby, 46, of Bar Nunn, Wyoming passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at Banner Medical Center in Casper surrounded by family and friends. Nathan was born in Belleville, Illinois to Rodney and Peggy Frisby. When Nate was three years old, he met his first best friend, his little brother Matthew. A year later, they welcomed their little sister, Heather. Nate came by the big brother role naturally and was his sibling’s protector throughout their lives. The family moved to Casper, Wyoming where Nate attended Mountain View Elementary and Dean Morgan Jr. High where he met many of his lifelong friends. Nate continued his education at Natrona County High School where he was a part of the ROTC club.

Nate married the love of his life, Nicole, in 2002. Together they welcomed two children, Kai and Kevin, who were the center of his world. Nate and his family spent many years in Washington where he became an avid golfer and enjoyed the outdoors. Nate worked for Jamco America Inc. in Everett, Washington for 17 years where his co-workers became a second family. Nate’s favorite football team of all time was the Seatle Seahawks, no matter what their record was. Nate was a friend to all and a stranger to none. He always brought a smile to your face and could be called upon when needed. There are few pictures without Nate’s signature look, a goofy face and flipping the camera off. What we will miss most about Nate is his sense of humor, his heart of gold, and his love for his friends and family.

Nate was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents; numerous aunts; uncles; cousins; and his father-in-law.

Nate is survived by his two children, Kai Frisby and Kevin Frisby; their mother, Nicole Bacon; his parents Rodney Frisby and Peggy Frisby; his sister Heather Frisby; his brother Matthew (Sheila) Frisby; his brother from another mother, Shawn Nash-Frisby; his closest friend Dave Huesers of Washington; many nieces and nephews; numerous cousins; and countless close friends.

Nate became a member of the VFW, an organization that is near and dear to his heart, to support our veterans. A celebration of life will be held on October 29, 2023, starting at 11:00 a.m. at the VFW Post 9439 located at 1800 Bryan Stock Trail Casper, WY 82601. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Nathan’s memory to the VFW Post 9439.

Frances Ryther Harris-Swanson: 1929 – 2023

The true force of nature we called Mom was born Frances Marion Ryther on April 26, 1929 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

As a depression era child, Frances learned both the frugality and generosity of society during her early years. She started school in Rapid City, South Dakota, however the lengthening depression forced the family to move in search of steady employment. Frances, with her mother (Bess Kennedy Ryther) her brother (LaVere Marvin Ryther) and their collie (Shep) headed to California while her father (Lawrence Ryther) stayed behind in Rapid City.

Throughout the rest of the depression, Bess, Frances and LaVere lived and worked at an Inn which provided their room and board.

When they returned to Rapid City, Frances attended high school while her brother enlisted in the Navy, and Bess went to work as a chef and teacher for the local electric company.

Following her high school graduation, Frances began working for the Rapid City Journal. Being young and wanting more than South Dakota offered, Frances returned to California where she worked for the Sacramento Bee. She returned to Rapid City in late 1949 or early 1950 where she was employed by Duhamel’s Trading Post and enrolled in college at Black Hills Teachers College in Spearfish, South Dakota.

During this time Frances met and eventually married Ben Harris who was stationed at Ellsworth Airforce Base. Following a transfer to Lockbourne Airbase in Columbus, Ohio, the couple welcomed their first child, Adair. At the end of the Korean War, Ben left the AirForce and went to work for Eastern Airlines as a pilot. This new career necessitated a move to Miami, Florida where their son Brandt was born.

In 1958 they divorced, and Frances returned to South Dakota with her children to complete her Bachelor of Education degree. Upon graduation Frances accepted a position teaching 5th grade in Sheridan, Wyoming at Linden Elementary where she taught for 5+ years. Always intent on bettering herself, Frances immediately began the quest for her Masters in World History through a summer program at Black Hills Teachers College.

In 1967 Frances accepted a new position at Grant School in Casper, Wyoming. Two years later Frances transferred to NCHS where she taught World & Ancient History until her retirement in 1991.

Never conforming to societal constraints on women in the 60s and early 70s, Frances bought her first home in 1968. She somehow convinced the bank’s mortgage department that she did not need a man to co-sign that loan!

That first home purchase began Frances’ lifelong love of home improvement and remodeling. Over the years that house added bedrooms, bathrooms, and a finished basement. Frances learned to build fences, tile bathrooms, roof a house, paint and wallpaper.

Her accomplishments also include finishing her Masters degree, sending two kids to college, flipping several houses, creating stained glass artwork, traveling to Europe, becoming president of the NC Teachers Association and working a second job during those years. Never far from her teaching friendships, Frances organized the monthly Teachers’ Breakfast until just before her death.

Following her retirement from NCHS, Frances met her old high school sweetheart at a class reunion in Rapid City. That chance meeting rekindled their relationship of 60 years prior and Frances married John Swanson in Casper on September 2, 2006. Deciding to remain in Casper, Frances and John built a beautiful new home together. Sadly, John passed away less than 2 years later.

Frances passed at her home on September 8, 2023. She was 94.

Frances is survived by her daughter Adair (Tom) Walker of Gillette, Wyoming; her son Brandt Harris of Casper, Wyoming; her granddaughter Christi (Chris) Urman and their son Sawyer; plus many “just like family” friends from across the country.

Frances was preceded in death by her mother, Bess K (Ryther) Protheroe; brother LaVere Ryther; and her father Lawrence Ryther.

A Life Well Lived celebration will be held at Occasions by Cory, 303 South Wolcott, Casper WY from 1pm-4pm, Saturday October 14, 2023.

Always a staunch advocate for advanced education, Frances endowed a scholarship fund at Black Hills State University, formerly BHTC several years ago. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Frances M Ryther & John Swanson Single Parent Scholarship Fund

Endowment #3212 BHSU Foundation

1200 University, Unit 9506

Spearfish, SD 57709