Lloyd Hughes Loftin: 1928 – 2023
Dr. Lloyd Hughes Loftin, second son of Luther Quitman Loftin and Nellie Hughes passed away September 27, 2023.
Lloyd was born on October 3, 1928 at the Main Carter Oil Camp, 12 miles from Wilson, in Carter County Oklahoma.
He attended Ambrose Ward Elementary School and Good Hope School in Seminole, Oklahoma. In 1938 the family was transferred to a new oil field in central Illinois at Altamont. He attended school at Cowden and then Altamont Community Elementary School. Beginning in the 8th grade and throughout high school he played basketball and baseball. He discovered science, art, and music in high school. Lloyd’s high school days were tempered with the hardships of World War II. He graduated with 31 classmates from Altamont High School on June 4, 1946.
Lloyd enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College, where class space was scare with the return of many GIs. He was fascinated with science so majored in botany with minors in zoology, history, and education. Lloyd helped establish Sigma Pi social fraternity on campus. He was awarded a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in June 1950. During the summer months Lloyd followed his dad and worked on oil field pipe lines in Illinois.
In September of 1950 he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma to pursue his master’s degree, but with war in Korea becoming more intense, Lloyd enlisted in the United States Air Force in January of 1951. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Having earned his bachelor’s degree in science, Lloyd was selected as a Veterinary Technician at Tinker Field, Oklahoma and was assigned to the meat and dairy hygiene school, 5th Army Headquarters, Chicago, Illinois and graduated first in his class of 50 servicemen. Upon his return to Tinker Field, Oklahoma for a new assignment he married Mary Carol Gibson.
He was then assigned to Wright Patterson Air Force Base as an instructor in the veterinarian section. He was moved to Gunter Field, Alabama and completed training in aviation medicine. While in Alabama, his two sons, Steven and Samuel were born. Lloyd received a discharge in January, 1955 and within the week was enrolled at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) at Stillwater. He received his Master’s in Education in School Administration. He accepted a contract to teach at Ponca City High School in Oklahoma. In his first 7 years he was named Science Department Head and initiated a senior advanced biology class. Lloyd’s love for learning saw him enrolled at classes at Oklahoma State University during the summers taking classes working towards his doctorate. Lloyd and Mary Carol welcomed daughter, Sarah while in Oklahoma.
After 7 years in public education Lloyd and his family – on recommendation from his good friend, Sinclair Orendorff – was offered a position at Casper College. Lloyd and his family came to Casper in August, 1963, where he started as instructor of zoology and microbiology at Casper College.
He was continuing his doctorate in zoology during the summers at Oklahoma State University. He was awarded his Doctorate of Education in 1968. Lloyd served as Casper College’s Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, and as Vice-President of Academic Affairs. Lloyd and Mary Carol divorced in 1974. Lloyd married Beverly Ann Linn in 1975.
In November, 1986, Lloyd was honored by Governor Ed Herschler to serve on the Wyoming Centennial Commission’s “Centennial 100.” This honorary distinction was bestowed on Lloyd in recognition of his outstanding citizenship and contribution to the community.
Between 1977 and 1986, Lloyd also served as a consultant for North Central Association of Colleges of Higher Education. Along with a team, he traveled to 18 states advising colleges on their accreditation process. In addition to his team visits, Lloyd served as team chairman for 6 college accreditations. He then served on North Central Association of Colleges of Higher Education’s Review Committee at their Chicago headquarters.
In 1976 President Tim Aley retired, and the Casper College Board mounted a nationwide search for his replacement. After interviewing four applicants the Board appointed Lloyd the next President of Casper College in 1979.
In the summer 2020 edition of the Casper College Alumni Association’s Footprints magazine, Bill Landen wrote: “If Loftin is remembered for little else, he will be remembered as the person responsible for assembling the faculty and staff that helped guide Casper College into the computer age. During his years, student numbers tripled, and more than 20 buildings were erected. Always that growth necessitated finding the right teachers and the right professionals to fill the need.” Lloyd was instrumental in forming the college’s department of nursing, which maintains an excellent reputation of rigorous standards in education and healthcare.
Lloyd retired in 1988 as President of Casper College and was named President Emeritus. Lloyd’s legacy of dedication to the college was reflected in the renaming of the life science building to the Loftin Life Science Building.
Following retirement Lloyd and Beverly traveled, spent time at their lake house at Alcova, where Lloyd loved to fish for hours on his pontoon boat. He loved to hike, be outdoors, and enjoy nature. Beverly and Lloyd were snowbirds for more than 30 years living between Casper and Mesa, Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Wilbur “Pete” and Floyd “Elwin;” former wife, Mary Carol; daughters-in-law, Cindy and Linda; and grandson, Brad.
Lloyd is survived by his wife, Beverly Loftin of Casper; sons, Steve Loftin of Casper; and Sam (Carol) Loftin of Millcreek, Utah; daughter, Sarah Smith (Ken Truax) of Layton, Utah; grandchildren; Rebecca Cheff (Kole Bodell) of Sandy, Utah; Laura Loftin of Salt Lake City, Utah; Lonnie Loftin of Casper; 9 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and of course, many lifelong friends.
Dorothy Darlene Bays: 1932 – 2023
Dorothy Darlene Bays, 91, of Casper, a lifelong resident of Wyoming, passed away Saturday, September 23, 2023 at Mountain Plaza Assisted Living in Casper.
She was born to the late Swedish emigrant Fredrick Nelson and Elisabeth Anderson Nelson on August 20, 1932, in Laramie, Wyoming.
Dorothy graduated from Riverton High School in Riverton, Wyoming May, 1950.
Dorothy married John Logan Bays on Nov. 29, 1950 in Riverton, Wyoming. They were married for 60 years until the death of John on Dec. 10, 2010. She and John lived in various places in Wyoming including Pilot Butte, Dutch Camp and Midwest before finally making Casper their permanent home.
Dorothy worked for Wyoming Medical Center for 20 years. After retiring, she and John traveled domestically and internationally visiting relatives and friends.
Dorothy’s interests included camping, snow skiing with John and family, playing bridge, cribbage, mahjong and building a massive collection of Kewpie dolls.
Dorothy was a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She is survived by her two children: William F. Bays (Gerry Minick) of Casper and Debra J. Dennis (Marty) of Sparks, NV; grandson Chanse Logan Dennis (Emily); great-grandchildren, Olivia Jane Dennis and Everett Logan Dennis, all of Reno, Nevada.
She is preceded in death by her husband, John L. Bays; parents, Fredrick and Elisabeth Nelson; sisters, Iva Harlan and Betty Farens; brothers, Carl Berg and Martin Berg.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to your favorite charities.
At Dorothy’s request, no funeral service will be held at this time. Instead, a small family service will be held at the gravesite. John A. Bays will deliver the eulogy.
Pallbearers will be: William F. Bays, Chanse L. Dennis, James Bays, Jerel Bays, Mike Bays and Marty Dennis. Honorary Pallbearers will be Gerald Bays and John A. Bays.
Kenneth Ward Harris: 1928 – 2023
Kenneth Ward Harris, 90, of Casper, Wyoming passed away Thursday, September 28, 2023 peacefully at Lifecare Center.
Ken was born in Kansas City, Missouri; the first born son to Samuel Ward Harris, Jr. and Juanita Mame (Cousins) Harris on December 21, 1932. Brother, Gary, was born four years later. Sam worked for Standard Oil of Indiana, and the family seemed to move every couple of years – wherever the work took them. Surprise sister, June, arrived while Ken was serving in the National Guard.
Ken joined the Wyoming National Guard as a traditional Guardsman based out of Glenrock, Wyoming in 1951. He joined the United States Navy after he completed his National Guard enlistment, only to discover he had severe sea-sickness. But Ken’s patriotic calling was answered when he joined the United States Air Force in 1954. He served for 21 years, retiring in 1972 as a Staff Sergeant. First stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Ken was also based in Japan, Korea, Alaska, Louisiana, Washington, and Mississippi during his military career.
Ken married Jackie Seals, and they welcomed son, David, in 1965. Upon his Air Force retirement, Ken packed up the family and moved back to Cheyenne, Wyoming where he worked as a purchasing agent for the VA hospital. Ken and Jackie divorced, and he later met and married Laurie Benz, M.D., who was a physician at the VA.
Ken loved to travel the United States and the world by motorcycle, cruise ship, car, plane, and even by tent. His favorite places were Barbados, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Most of his travels later in life were enjoyed with his sister and brother-in-law.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Laurie in 1983.
He is survived by his brother, Gary (Adele) Harris of Oregon; sister, June (Elvin) Anderson of Casper; son, David (Kim) Harris of Cheyenne; nephew, Duane (Amy) Anderson, nieces, Amy (Brian) Johnson; and Becky (Mike) Reynolds; grandchildren: Shana Harris, Jessica Brown, Jonathan Harris; and five great-grandchildren.
Thomas John Kantor: 1947 – 2023
Tom Kantor crossed over Monday, September 25, 2023. He was 76 years of age at the time of his death. Tom died of a massive coronary after an extended illness. His celebration of life will be a private family service and burial will follow in Highland Cemetery in Casper.
His favorite saying was “Glad to have met you in this life.” He meant it. Tom loved Chevrolets. He knew in the end there are those who liked him, loved him, and hoped they all respected him.
Tom was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming to John and Julia Kantor on January 29, 1947. He was raised in a coal-mining community and graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School in Lander, Wyoming in 1965. Tom attended Northwest Community College in Powell, Casper College and the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
Tom married Linda Johnson on October 26, 1968 in Lander, Wyoming. They were married for 54 years.
He worked in Lander and rebuilt the trail from Dickinson Park past Cathedral Lake and Valentine Pass toward Grave Lake using mules, dynamite, picks and shovels. Tom discovered the lost Windows of the World (WOW) location which has a natural occurring 15-foot circle through solid granite rock, overlooking Indian Ridge in the Wind River Mountains above Lander.
Tom served six years with the Wyoming National Guard as a combat Engineer, Staff Sergeant. He had a career in mining and construction with Western Nuclear Uranium, Atlantic City Ore Operations, and Cordero Mining, in Gillette, Wyoming. Tom was MSHA certified for High-Medium-Low voltage. Tom was also a state and city-certified Master Electrician and Master of Record for the city of Casper, Wyoming. Tom worked for Modern Electric, City Electric, Apollo Electric and Anchor Electric. He was a member of the I.B.E.W. and served as Shop Steward. He always promoted “union first” principles.
Tom’s interests included hunting, fishing, basketball, Tai Kwon Do and boxing. He was an accomplished, self-taught elk-antler carving artist with a business called the Circle K. Tom promoted scouting and the outdoors and was also an Eagle Scout.
He served as Vice-President, managing Herbs By Design for his wife Linda for over 32 years.
Survivors include his loving wife and best friend Linda of Casper, Wyoming; children include two daughters, Kim K. Kantor and Lily Amber Balas; and son Tom Jared Kantor, all of Casper, Wyoming.
At the end of Tom’s life, he asked the question: “Was it worth it?” and he felt deeply that it was and knew he had a great run at life.
In lieu of flowers or plants Tom’s family requests direct donations be made to the Casper Humane Society in his name.
Jerry Wayne Meeks: 1981 – 2023
Jerry Wayne Meeks (on the right of photo) was born on June 3, 1981 in Compton, California to the late Jerry Owen Meeks and Elizabeth (Hoole) Meeks Desarsa.
Jerry passed away after a long and brave battle with health on September 15, 2023 in Tennessee where he had recently made his new home. He was 42 years old. Everyone who knew him would tell you he had a laugh that was as big as the heart he wore on his sleeve.
He had a lifelong love for racing and quads. He was a loving father, son, husband and brother. We will hold his memory close to us, and never forget the amazing person he was.
Jerry was preceded in death by his step father, Chuck Desarsa; and his father Jerry Owen Meeks. He leaves behind his children that he loved with all of his heart; his mother; and many family and friends.
A celebration of life will be planned at a later date for family and friends to gather and share memories, photos and stories in Casper, Wyoming.
Crystal Kyshann Vermillion: 1984 – 2023
Crystal Kyshann Vermillion, 39, of Casper, Wyoming passed away September 29, 2023.
Crystal was born in Forth Worth, Texas on September 25, 1984 and adopted by Robert and Jeanne Vermillion in Great Falls, Montana in 1989. Crystal grew up in Montana and moved to Casper in 2020.
Crystal was a hard worker. Her most important interest was her family. Her children were perfect, and her grandchildren were even more perfect. Crystal was active – always on the move – and liked traveling, fishing, camping – anything outdoors. Her favorite activities were spending time with her grandchildren, Miles and dancing with Mariana. Crystal knew how to COOK! She made the best eggrolls, and her family loooved her chicken. She could cook anything!
Crystal is survived by her father, Robert; mother Jeanne Quigley; sons, Izhik Flores and Kalub Walraven; daughters, Eboni (Peyton Naranjo) Vermillion and Tia Walraven; husband, Harvey Branden; brother, Christopher Vermillion, sisters, Manessa and Lydia; and grandchildren, Miles, Mariana, and Paisley.
Verna M. Williams: 1942 – 2023
Verna M. Williams, 81, of Casper, Wyoming passed away Friday, September 29, 2023 at Central Wyoming Hospice in Casper surrounded by her husband and family. Verna was born at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Vernon and Esther Camp.
She met the love of her life Glen Williams in 1958, they have been married for 63 wonderful years. Together they had two children, Glen, Jr. and Vickie.
Through out her working years she worked mainly in the retail business. Verna loved gardening and spent many hours in her yard, she adored her dogs and most of all spending time with her family.
Sammy Steel Wright: 1956 – 2023
Sammy Steel Wright, 67, of Mills, Wyoming passed away Friday, September 29, 2023.
Sammy was born in Casper, Wyoming on June 15, 1956 to Rex and Max Wright. Sammy graduated from Natrona County High School. He jumped into working in the oil fields all over Wyoming and later for Ditch Witch for a number of years before starting his own company, Wyoming Trencher Repair fixing tractors and moved into digging utility and cable lines in Casper.
Sammy married Karen Kinder in May of 1974. They welcomed their two sons in 1974 and 1978. They later divorced.
Sammy will be remembered as a hardworking, money-maker who was a knowledgeable teacher. He was cheerful, polite, and kind. He loved being a grandpa. Sammy could always be found riding around Mills in a tank top and sunglasses on his John Deere riding lawn mower.
Sammy was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Andrew Rex Wright.
He is survived by his sons, Craig (Jeanette) of Texas and Chris (Lisa) Wright of Casper; grandchildren: Hunter, Carson, Landon, Trevyn, Greysen, Christian, and Desiree; and one great-granddaughter.