From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 26 - September 22, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Owen Lee Irwin

Owen Lee Irwin, 72, of Pinedale passed away Sept. 13, 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He was born on April 8, 1933, in Clearfield County, Penn. He was the son of the late Owen Irwin and Althea Irwin. He was one of 13 children.

Ski, as he was known by his friends, spent 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed in Pinedale, he met and married Virginia (Judy) Peterson on Feb. 11, 1967. After retiring from the Air Force in 1974, he was known in the community as a mechanic, but also a lumberjack and owner of a sawmill. He was a very active member of the VFW as well as being a past commander. He also was an avid NRA member. His passions were Nascar and the Denver Broncos and his grandkids.

In 1989 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He passed away from a sudden illness that was unrelated.

Owen Lee is survived by his wife Virginia Irwin (Judy) of Pinedale; eight children: Lee Irwin, Brad Irwin, Kevin Irwin, Jeff Irwin, Greg Irwin (all of Massachusetts), Connie Bernard of Green River, Willy Irwin of Chico, Calif., and Gail Anderson of Pinedale; 11 brothers and sisters: Jay Irwin, Dick Irwin, Barb Records, Jack Irwin, Janet Baker, Bob Irwin, Bill Irwin, Joe Irwin, Mickey Hoyt, Marta Green, Roger Irwin (all of Pennsylvania); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Althea Irwin, and one brother.

Services were held Sept. 17, at Hudson's Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Rendezvous Pointe Senior Citizens' Center in his name.

Willene (Spitz) Whinnery

Willene Spitz was born Oct. 14, 1942, in Ft. Sumner, NM, to Willie and Syble Spitz. The oldest of four children, she had two brothers, Joe and William, and one sister, Carol.

Willene graduated from Ft. Sumner High School in 1960 and married James Thurman Whinnery on May 22, 1960.

A daughter, Dawna Laree, was born to them on July 28, 1961, surviving only one day. A son, James Thurman, Jr., was born on June 24, 1962, and resides in Pinedale. Another son, Randy Wayne, was born on Feb. 23, 1964, and resides in Big Piney.

The young family moved to Durango, Colo., in 1967, where Jimmy worked in a lumberyard until going to work at El Paso Natural Gas. They moved to Big Piney in 1969.

Willene was a loving wife and mother. Willene's family was her only concern in life, and she relished every moment possible with all.

Willene has three grandchildren; Jessica, Autumn and Aspen. They were her pride and joy.

Willene was a member of the First Baptist Church in Big Piney and in Ft. Sumner. She taught Sunday School for both churches.

Willene was a beautiful, outgoing person who never met a stranger. She was a wonderful friend and always ready to help someone. She loved to go to the sports activities that her sons, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren participated in. She traveled all over Wyoming to attend these activities. During Willene's life in Big Piney, she babysat many children and they all loved her dearly.

She also loved horses, camping and reading good books. She was a huge fan of Elvis Presley and George Strait. As a matter of fact, Willene had a poster of George Strait on her wall.

She will be missed by everyone who knew her and loved her.

Willene was preceded in death by her father, Willie Spitz, and her daughter, Dawna Laree Whinnery.

Funeral services were held Saturday morning, Sept. 17, at the Big Piney First Baptist Church. Reverend Larry Mizell conducted services. Interment followed in Plainview Cemetery.

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