From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 21 - August 21, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Marion Caroline Thompson Boroff

Marion Caroline Thompson Boroff was born April 25, 1923, in Merna to Harry and Laura "Toots" Thompson. Her mother would say that her premature birth in the late spring was a bit of a concern, and lacking a nearby hospital or incubator, she was placed in a shoebox near the woodstove to keep warm.

Marion was one of seven children on the Merna Ranch: Harold Jr., Laura, Paul, Olie, Marion, Bob and Sarah (Sally).

Marion's early years included helping on the family ranch, skiing to Horse Creek School in the winter and riding horses in the summer months. She attended the country school through the 10th grade, then moved to Pinedale to attend high school. After graduation, she went to Lincoln, Neb., to attend business school, but returned after one year because she missed western Wyoming so much.

Soon after returning, she met her future husband at a dance in the Bronx community. Max and Marion were married Dec. 20, 1942, in Sebetha, Kan., where Max was stationed in the Army at the time. Upon returning to Wyoming, the couple began working for Mrs. Bill Todd on her ranch near the Green River. In 1944, they were able to buy the Link West ranch.

Ranching life was second nature to Marion, having grown up on the ranch in Merna. She was used to moving cattle in the morning, coming in and cooking a big meal, and helping with the hay in the afternoon.

She was awarded the Ranch Woman of the Year by the Green River Valley Cowbelles in 1992 and the Quealy Award from the Wyoming Extension Homemakers council in 1994.

She was active in community and agricultural organizations including Cowbelles, Bronx Community Club, 4-H, Sublette County Fair Board, school board, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, the cemetery board and election board.

Marion's talent for cooking was legendary, her rye and wheat breads were ever so popular as part of the church's Christmas bazaar!

Max and Marion raised four children, Caroline Brazell of Pinedale, Joe (Max Jr.) of Merna, Jon of Daniel and Candace of Star Valley.

She will be missed greatly and is survived by her husband, children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one brother and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside memorial service will be held Thursday. Aug. 21, at 1 p.m. at the Pinedale Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pinedale hospice program, the Sublette Center or the St. Andrew's in the Pines Episcopal Church.

Helen Frances Atwood

Graveside services were held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 for Helen Frances Atwood, lifetime resident of Big Piney.

Helen Atwood was born on May 8, 1917, to Albert and Eva West Atwood in a little house her father had built in Big Piney. She came into a family of brothers and sisters: Marie (Farrell), Albert, Blenda (O'Flyng), Gladyce (Eyres), O'Etta (Eyres) and Leonard. A baby, George, was born the next year and soon after his birth, wife and mother Eva Atwood died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Little George died a few months later.

Helen lived in Arizona with her father a while before it was determined that five-year-old Helen should come by herself on a train to Opal and on to Big Piney to live with her sister. A note, pinned to her clothes, explained where she was from and where she was to go.

A kind lady asked if she had any money and Helen showed her what she had. The lady tied the money in a handkerchief and pinned it inside Helen's clothes. The train people fed her because they didn't think she had any money. The conductors used a common remedy for Helen's earache - they blew smoke in her ears. The Chrisman girls met the train and took care of Helen until she could be taken to Big Piney to live with her sister, Marie, who had married George Farrell by that time.

Helen grew up in Big Piney and graduated from Big Piney High School in 1935 in a class of seven students. Helen worked at various jobs in Pinedale for a few years. She was hired to work in the clerk's office of the Sublette County Courthouse and was Sublette County Clerk from 1944 to 1947, to finish out the term of Faren Faler, who had moved out of the county.

She returned to Big Piney and established Helen's Shop, a clothing store which she owned and operated for 45 years. Helen was a source of historical information for others in the community, especially to give details of life during the Depression and World War II, and times when the highly decorated war hero and movie star Audie Murphy came to Big Piney to hunt and spent his evenings at the drug store owned by Marie, and where Helen worked and had her dress shop in the same building.

Helen's father, Albert Atwood, was a carpenter. He worked on many Sublette County structures, such as St. John's the Baptist Episcopal Church, the headgates at Middle Piney Lake, the reservoir at McNinches, several homes, the Daniel schoolhouse, and the three bridges over Green River. Helen, along with Marie and George Farrell, were business owners in Big Piney for many years. Helen never wanted to live anywhere else.

During her retirement, Helen continued to live in her home in Big Piney until ill health made it necessary to spend a short time in the Sublette Center, where she passed away Aug. 14, 2003.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents and all of her brothers and sisters.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Sally V. Sonder

Sally V. Sonder passed away in Ione, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2003. She was the beloved wife of the late Leslie W. Sonder; dear mother of Leslie Ann Keck and husband Bill (and her two step-grandchildren Heather and Zachary) of Galt, Calif.; Shelly Lyn Middleton, husband Marcus and her grandchildren Alexandra, 13, and Ryan, 11, of Bagdad, Ariz.; and Steven Albert Sonder of Sacramento, Calif.; the loving sister of Robert Thompson and his wife Marie of Sandy, Utah; and the late Marion Boroff (who passed away the same day as Sally) and her husband Max of Daniel.

She was preceded in death by her parents Laura and Harold Thompson; brothers Harold, Olie, and Paul; and sister Laura.

Sally was born on Oct. 2, 1931, in Merna. She lived in Elk Grove, Calif., for 21 years with her beloved husband, whom she married in Merna on July 19, 1952. Ten years into their marriage, Les and Sally were blessed with three children, whom they raised proudly.

Upon her husband's retirement in 1989, they moved to Vernal, Utah. Due to the loss of her lifelong partner in 1999, Sally moved to Ione so she could be closer to her children, where she spent her remaining years.

Throughout her life, Sally enjoyed quilting, knitting and spending time with her grandchildren. She was a member of the Kingsbury Community Church, the Uintah Club, the historical society and the archaeological society in Vernal. She was involved with the Community United Methodist Church and hospice in Ione.

A graveside service will be held for Sally after her late sister Marion's services in Pinedale. Marion's service will be held at the Pinedale Cemetery, on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2003, at 1 p.m., and Sally's will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Hospice, 24 East Main, Ione, Calif., 95640 or Hospice of Utah, 266 W. 100 N., Suite 5, Vernal, Utah, 84078.

Condolences may be emailed to:, or

Colter Steven Babcock

Our baby Colter Steven Babcock was silently born on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003. He will be sadly missed by his parents Kurt and Tera Babcock and his sisters Kierra and Kyla. Also mourning the loss are grandparents Jerry and Karen Anderson and Kurt and Carlene Babcock, as well as countless friends and family.

To the Child in My Heart
Precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.
We dreamed of you and your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.
We never had the chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.
I'll always be your mother,
He'll always be your dad
You'll always be our child,
The child that we had.
But now you're gone - but yet you're here
We'll sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy
There's love in every tear.
Just know our love goes deep and strong.
We'll forget you never -
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.


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