From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 49 - March 2, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Woodrow Martin Wilson

Woodrow Martin Wilson entered into rest on Monday, Feb. 6, 2006, at the Life Care Center in Bountiful, Utah.

Woody was born in Rock Springs on Oct. 12, 1917, the first child of Axel Martin and Agathe Berentine (Helgesen) Wilson, immigrants from Norway and Sweden. He joined two older maternal half-brothers, Harold and Harry Helgesen, and was later joined by three sisters and two brothers. He attended school through the seventh grade in the one-room school on the family ranch on the Ham’s Fork south of Granger. After the eighth grade in Granger, Woody quit school and sold tires to build a car from parts to allow his siblings to continue their schooling.

Out on his own shortly thereafter, he made a living trapping muskrat and coyotes and laying rails for Union Pacific. With a natural mechanical ability and fascination for radio he built a crystal set using car batteries charged by gas engines bolted to a generator.

The first radio transmission his brother remembers was the Lindbergh baby kidnapping when Woody was 15.

Woody’s mechanical abilities led to jobs at Little America, the oil-pumping station near Granger and Kemp Ford in Green River. Kemp Ford moved to Pinedale and Woody moved the family north with them.

World War II saw passenger-car production halted and Woody went to work for Mike Murphy, the first John Deere dealership in Pinedale (the building still stands across from the courthouse.) He was deferred from the armed service as his talents were needed in Sublette County to maintain ranch equipment.

Woody acquired, in a high-stakes poker game, the Log Cabin Motel, which he and Helen operated for about three years . In 1946, he married Ruth Hecox Logan and Ron and Wendy were born. Ron and Wendy joined maternal half-sisters Mildred, Helen and Myrtle Logan.

While working for Anderson-Penton Trucking, Woody was awarded Driver-of-the-Year honors when he jumped into a burning propane truck and drove it out of Pinedale’s city limits. Ron and Wendy have fond memories of family vacations to points of interest across the western United States. A favorite for Woody was fishing the Oregon coast.

He retired from Belco Petroleum in Big Piney, widely known for his ability repairing Waukesha pumping engines, for which he was sent nationwide.

He and Ruth built a retirement home on what had been part of Ruth’s family ranch in the Kendall Valley and a winter home near Wickenburg, Ariz. He later married Ruth Houck and joked about his new address on “Easy Street” and his new hobby – golf.

In addition to ham radios, his lifelong hobbies included hunting, fishing, rifle and trap shooting, and reloading.

He is survived by his brother Algot Wilson of Green River; son Ronald (Cynde) Wilson of Pinedale; daughters Wendy (Ed) Ricke of Wickenburg and Jeannie Clark of Las Vegas; stepdaughters Helen (Dick) Evans of Big Piney and Mildred Delgado of Lake Havasu, Ariz.; three grandchildren, numerous step grandchildren, great- and great-great step-grandchildren.

Woody was preceded in death by his parents; brother Daniel Wilson of Rawlins; sisters Josephine (Art) Eccle of Bountiful, Utah, Wanda (Dreesen) Wilson and Esther (Dave) Cook of Lusk; and wife Ruth (Hecox) Wilson and stepdaughter Myrtle (Dale) Jensen.

Graveside services are planned for June. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to Kickin’ Cancer in Sublette County.

Mark E. Cox

Mark E. Cox, 55, of Rock Springs passed away on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006, at the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, where he had been a patient for two days. A life-long resident of Rock Springs, Mr. Cox died following a six-month battle with cancer.

He was born on Nov. 19, 1950, in Rock Springs, the son of Eugene P. and Mary Ellen Larson Cox.

Mr. Cox attended schools in Rock Springs and was a 1969 graduate of Rock Springs High School. He also attended and graduated from Wyo Tech in Laramie.

Mr. Cox also served an apprenticeship with the Plumber and Pipefitters Local 192 in Cheyenne.

He married Peggy Martin in Rock Springs on Sep. 15, 1973.

Mr. Cox was employed, since 1972, by the Plumber and Pipefitters Local 192 as a pipefitter welder until ill health forced his retirement.

His interests included drag racing, spending time with his family and friends, hunting, fishing and playing pool.

Survivors include his wife, Peggy Cox of Rock Springs; his parents, Eugene P. and Mary Ellen Cox of Rock Springs; one son, Bryan Eugene Cox of Rock Springs; one daughter, Jamie Louise Cox of Rock Springs; two brothers: Micky Cox and Robert Cox both of Rock Springs; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Wayne and Karen Bauman of Rock Springs; three grandchildren: Morgan Kyndlle Williams and Shelby Jean Cox of Camp Verde, Ariz., and Zakery James Houston of Rock Springs; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents.

Funeral services were conducted Wednesday, March 1, at Vase Funeral Chapel in Rock Springs. Bishop Howard Call officiated.

The family suggests that donations in his memory be made to Cowboy’s Against Cancer, 1893 Dewar Drive, Rock Springs, Wyo., 82901, or American Cancer Society, 560 Uinta Drive Suite 3, Green River, Wyo., 82935.

Verla Sommers

Verla Sommers, 81, passed away Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006, at her home on Green River Road near Pinedale with her family at her side.

Verla was born Sept. 27, 1924, in Rock Springs to Ellen W. and Everett ‘Eb’ Richie. She married Albert ‘Bud’ Sommers Sept. 29, 1945. Bud passed away on Sept. 18, 2000.

She is survived by her daughter and son: Jonita E. Sommers and Albert Sommers III, and two brothers: Jep and Norm Richie.

A memorial service for Verla was held Wednesday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at the Boulder Community Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Green River Valley Museum for the Price-Sommers School House Project, P.O. Box 12, Big Piney, Wyo., 83113.

A eulogy will be printed in next week’s edition of the Sublette Examiner.

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