From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 13 - June 22, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Woodrow Martin Wilson service set

A graveside memorial service for Woodrow Martin Wilson will be held Friday, June 23, at 5 p.m. at the Pinedale cemetery. Woody entered into rest on Monday, Feb. 6, 2006, at the Life Care Center in Bountiful, Utah. He was born in Rock Springs Oct. 12,1917, the first child of Axel Martin and Agathe Berentine Wilson, immigrants from Norway and Sweden.

Alex MacGill

Alexander Morrey MacGill was brought into this world Apri l6, 1916, the firstborn son of Alexander Lee and Elizabeth Mae Braddock MacGill. He went to his heavenly home to meet his Lord and Savior June 17, 2006. Between those two dates were 90 years of a life fully lived.

Alex’s father was born in Scotland, and Alex was proud of that, but even more proud of his own United States of America. Alex was born in Paterson, NJ. He had two sisters, Rose MacGill and Alice Elizabeth MacGill, both still living.

He met and later married Marjorie Doris Anderson on June 28, 1941, in Allendale, NJ. To this marriage were born four sons: Alexander Morrey MacGill Jr., Robert Roy MacGill, Richard Lee MacGill and David Paul MacGill Sr.

He worked first for LaFavorite Rubber Company, and during and after World War II, Wright’s Aeronautic Corporation. He tested turbo jet engines while there. He later was a co-owner in a trucking business and saw much of the country while driving the truck. Both Alex and Marjorie had a desire to move West, so they packed up the house, the children and the dogs and moved to Denver, Colo., arriving there Jan. 1, 1960. The promised job was not waiting for him, but Alex determinedly found other work to do. He eventually went to work for Jefferson County Road Department and retired from there in 1982. A couple of years after retiring, Alex and Marjorie moved to Pinedale. They purchased a home, which was a great joy to them.

Alex loved many things and people in life. He loved nature, sailing, their dogs and his family, including his parents and sisters, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved his wife and his Lord Jesus Christ.

He leaves his wife of 65 years, his sisters and sons and daughters-in-law, 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A family graveside service was held Sunday, June18. Memorial services will be held for the public Saturday, July 1, at 4 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pinedale. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Red Cliff Bible Camp, P.O. Box 846, Pinedale, Wyo., 82941.

Muriel Lucile Hopkins Gray

On Nov. 28, 1911, Muriel Lucile Hopkins was born in her Grandmother Hopkins’ home in North Evanston. Muriel was the first child of George W. and Annie Bradshaw Hopkins. She passed away Wednesday, June 7, 2006, at the age of 94 years, six months and eight days.

Muriel started her education in Evanston. In May of 1918, her father purchased the Big Piney Examiner, a local newspaper in Big Piney some 120 miles north of Evanston. There was no house in Big Piney for the family to live in, so back to Evanston for Muriel and her mother. By the time she was in second grade, her father had rented the Fear house that many referred to later as the Slatter house on Smith Avenue. She went to school for a couple of months in Evanston before transferring to Big Piney Elementary School.

In 1925, Muriel graduated from eighth grade. Miss Ruth Crelly was her teacher and the graduation took place in the Hook Hall, which was located by the theater on Budd Avenue. This is next to where Muriel would eventually build her business and what is now a town park.

Muriel graduated high school in May of 1929 in the Clyde Hall. This location later was Helen Atwood’s house and shop. Al Osterhaut presented the diplomas. Her graduating class consisted of Joe Budd, her cousin George Nichols, Ona Beck (Gurney), Marshall Gurney, Kathryn Budd (Turner), Ila Hacklin (Barrett), Wilma Louise Payne (Burgman), Ardath Payne (Harmison), James E. Ray, Donald Bailey, Themla Vickrey (Budd), Emma Lindback (Meeks), Clara Lindback and, of course, Muriel Lucile Hopkins (Gray).

Muriel usually made a side note that Emma was older by a year or two. Emma had quit school for a while to attend to family needs, but was able to finally finish the same year as Clara.

Muriel met Donald Morell Gray when she was approximately five years old. He was known to many as Poodle. They became acquainted because Annie Hopkins, Muriel’s mother, helped Lena Gray, Donald’s mother, in the hotel.

According to Muriel, Annie helped Lena in exchange for meals. The Hopkins family slept in the old printing office that was next door to the Gray Inn, but the meals were eaten at the Grays’. In addition to the Fear/Slatter house,the family also lived in the Fox house on Smith Avenue. This was an old log cabin most of the old timers will remember as Tola Fox’s home. When the new printing office was built in 1927, the Hopkins family had living quarters in the back and upstairs.

Don’s mother, Lena, remarried Wilford Johnston and moved to Bakersfield, Calif. Donald elected to remain in Big Piney to finish his education. He graduated in 1927. After his mother and stepfather moved, Don lived with the Hopkins family off and on during this the time.

After being friends most of their lives, Muriel and Donald married on Sept. 28, 1929, in Paris, Idaho. James Ray was a witness. They started their married life living in a house owned by the Nobles. This housewas later the home of Frank and Helen Bray.

Muriel went to visit her mother-in-law when she was expecting Anna Lee, their first child. Muriel would tell about how nervous she was traveling alone on the train. She ended up on the wrong train and went to Sacramento instead of Bakersfield. The train traveled through Donner’s Pass where the snow was so deep it reached the train windows. Finally, she made it to Bakersfield.

During her visit, Anna Lee was born on Feb. 24, 1930. Muriel remembered the return trip as less harrowing, even with a new baby. There was a preacher and his wife who looked out for her and helped her on the train. The train took her as far as Granger; the rest of the trip was made in Grandpa’s sedan.

When Anna Lee was still small, Muriel and Don moved to P. W. Jenkins’ house on the Reservoir Ranch. Their second daughter, Donna Lucile, was born Feb. 5, 1933, in the back of the printing office in Big Piney on a night that was 60 below zero.

By 1935, Donald and Muriel had ventured to California to run a chicken ranch for Lena. They lived in Los Alamitos. Muriel worked for a short time in a bread and cookie factory. While in California, Don took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Polytechnic school in Long Beach. He was trained in electrical, welding and mechanical aspects. Then Sylvester Griggs contacted Don and asked him to come back to Big Piney and run the light plant. Needless to say, they hurried back home to Big Piney. Donald was employed at the plant through the war years of the 1940s.

In 1947, the Gray family completed building their home located at 421 West Smith Avenue in Big Piney. Their home was a do-it-yourself project for the most part. Many friends and family members helped with the construction. George Nichols and Don did the majority of the work, but Muriel cut all the flooring for Don to install; Anna Lee helped with rafters and roofing while Donna helped where needed. And, wouldn’t you know, Muriel’s view from her front porch was of that very first house she lived in back in 1919 ... the one where her brother, Mickey, was born.

Muriel had varied jobs throughout her life. As she grew up Muriel would help Aunt Kate (Nichols) and Lena Gray in the hotel business. Muriel kept two kerosene lamps: one from the Big Piney Hotel and one from Gray’s Inn. These lamps, she recalled, would be left burning so the salesmen could sign in on the register and take an empty room when they arrived late at night.

She ran an ice cream and hamburger stand in Marbleton for two years. According to Muriel, it sat in the middle of the road by the Masonic Hall. She also handled the local telephone office for two to three years.

Muriel served as town clerk for the Town of Big Piney in the mid-to-late 1940s.. She even tended the drug store for a vacationing Marie Farrell and spent time in the kitchen at the Big Piney schools.

In the early 1960s, Don and Muriel built a gift and flower shop next door to the Big Piney Examiner printing office. Gray Gifts and Flowers Shop opened its door around 1962. The location was 421 Budd Avenue, Big Piney.

For 30 years Muriel assisted her community with flowers for any and every occasion. As an FTD florist, Muriel sent flowers all over the world. Muriel was especially proud when Keyth, her granddaughter, was ask to be a guest designer for one of the flower design shows for the Intermountain Region in Salt Lake. Who would have expected a little shop like Gray’s Gift and Flowers, from a little town called Big Piney, to be selected for such an honor!

Muriel and Don were married for 40 years. Just two and a half months after celebrating their ruby anniversary, Don passed away Dec. 9, 1969. That was a hectic time. There were two or three other funerals that same week. With her childhood friend and lifetime partner gone, Muriel showed the kind of woman she was as she went on with her life. She continued to carry on with her business and stayed active in her community.

Her interests were vast and varied. She enjoyed crafts of all kinds. Food preparation and recipes held her interest in magazines and on television. She was an excellent seamstress. Muriel taught her grandchildren who wished to learn to sew, crochet, knit, cross-stitch, cook and a number of different crafts.

When she was young, Muriel was involved with Campfire; her buddies were the ones she grew up with, like Emma and Clara Lindback, Ona Beck, Wilma and Ardath Payne.

She continued to be involved with various organizations. She was active in the Triangle Club, joined Eastern Star and served as a Worthy Matron in 1947, while Don served as the Worthy Patron. In 2000, Muriel was honored as a 60-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 42. Muriel donated potato salad every year for Chuckwagon Days and her shop was represented in the parade.

Muriel had many memorable adventures. She once drove a Ford Roadster with curtains, but no windows, every mile from Alhambra, Calif., to Evanston. When she was in the eighth grade, Muriel met U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and his family in Yellowstone National Park, where her father was attending a Wyoming Press Association meeting. President Coolidge’s son asked Muriel to dance, but she felt he was too old so she refused. After Miriam Barlow took him up on his offer, Muriel jealously wished she had had the nerve to accept.

Muriel was fond of telling people that she had been to the Pacific and she had been to the Atlantic, but she had never been to Cheyenne, the capitol of the state she had lived in the majority of her life!

Muriel had a wicked sense of humor – sometimes subtle and sometimes not. She was usually up for a good joke. She was generous to those she felt were in need. She never sought recognition for her acts of kindness.

Muriel lived in her home in Big Piney until December 2002. She resided in the Sublette Center until she moved to the Rocky Mountain CareC enter in Evanston, where her daughter, Donna, was close by to see to her needs.

Muriel is survived by her two daughters, Anna Lee Woffinden of Big Piney and Donna Mullens of Evanston; one brother, Donald (Doris) Hopkins of Cheyenne; one sister-in-law, Irene (Merritt) Hopkins of Lander; 10 grandchildren: Keyth Ann Palmer, Robin (Dee) Woffinden, Nancy Thoman, and Morell (Melanie) Woffinden, all of Big Piney, Sherry (Cole) McGary, of Powell, Toni Hale, Kent (Brenda) Hale and Jerry D. (Amy) Hale, all of LaBarge, Gayle (Scott) Vickrey of Vernal, Utah, Kyla Woffinden of Rexburg, Idaho; 23 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren and many nephews, nieces and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her spouse, Donald M. Gray; her parents, George and Annie Hopkins; one brother, Merritt (Mickey) Hopkins; one sister, Patti Ann Hopkins; three sons-in-law: Rulon E. “Shrimp” Woffinden, Gerald C. “Jerry” Hale and Manson G. “Moon” Mullens; one granddaughter, Geraldine Hale; and one great-great-granddaughter, Siera Marquie Phillips.

Graveside services were held Saturday, June 10, at 10 a.m. at Pineview Cemetery in Big Piney. Spencer Nichols officiated at a short Eastern Star Memorial. Arrangements were under the direction of the Covill Funeral Home.

Mary Ellen (Black) Hanson

Mary Ellen (Black) Hanson was born Feb. 17, 1930, to Bert and Eva (Higgins) Black near Dunlap, Iowa. She attended St. Joseph Catholic School through her junior year; the family moved to Shelbina, Mo., and she graduated from high school there in 1948. Mary attended Iowa State Teachers College in Atlantic, Iowa. She taught country school in the Dunlap and Wood bineareas for three years.

Mary was united in marriage to Paul Hanson on Aug. 1, 1949, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dunlap. They lived in Dunlap until March of 1953, then moved to Pinedale. Mary was a bookkeeper at an implement company, a trucking company and a grocery store in Pinedale. Since 1990, Paul and Mary have split their time living in Dunlap and Pinedale.

Mary was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dunlap and Our Lady of Peace in Pinedale. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliaryin Pinedale and the Altar Society.

Mary died on Tuesday, June 6, 2006, at Burgess Health Center in Onawa, Iowa, at the age of 76 years, three months and 20 days.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, sister and brother. She is survived by her husband, Paul of Dunlap, Iowa; seven children: Kathy (Warren) McHugh of Woodbine, Iowa, Karol (Tom) Stephens of Tucson, Ariz., Don (Sue) Hanson of Pinedale, John (Jeanette) Hanson of Marbleton, Ron (Laurie) Hanson of Pinedale, Kerry (Lee) Bryant of Tucson, Ariz., and Kaidi (Keith) Raney of Pinedale; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two sisters: JoAnn Hillard of Shelbina, Mo., and Virgiania (Ken) Moore of Excelsior Springs, Mo.; brother Bob (Shirley) Black of Shelbina, Mo.; and many other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held in Pinedale later this summer, look for details in the Examiner. Memorials may be made to VFW Post4801 in Mary’s name.

God’s Garden
God looked around his garden
And He found an empty place
He then looked down upon this earth
And saw your tired face
He put His arms around you
And lifted you to rest
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again
He saw that the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb
So He closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, “Peace Be Thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

Bobby Dean Holgate

Memorial services for Bobby Dean Holgate will be conducted Friday, June 23, 2006, at 2 p.m. at Davis Funeral Home in Riverton, officiated by Pastor Chuck Griffin of Way of the Cross Assembly of God Church. Cremation has taken place.

Mr. Holgate died at his home in Shoshoni on Sunday, June 18 at the age of 74.

Bobby Dean Holgate was born on Jan. 23, 1932, to Norman Rayand Lucille Margaret (Wilson) Holgate in Grass Valley, Calif. He attended schools in Prineville, Ore.

He served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1949 to 1951 in the Korean War, where he received a Purple Heart and Korean Commendation medal.

On July 23, 1952, he married Mary Ann Olmstead in Prineville, Ore.

He lived in Big Piney from 1958 to 1979, moved to Shoshoniin 1979 and has lived there since.

Mr. Holgate was involved as an emergency medical technician, a member of search and rescue and the volunteer fire department, all in Big Piney.

His family said he enjoyed golf, fishing, hunting and traveling. Mr. Holgate was a member of the Veterans of Foreign War and the Shriners. He was self-employed as an equipment operator.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Holgate of Shoshoni; son Russell Holgate of Riverton; daughters Vickie Brown of Big Piney and Connie Gunter of Kemmerer; eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; brothers Richard G. Holgate of Big Piney and Norman G. Holgate of Dallas, Ore.; and sister, Margaret E. McKenzie.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Lucille Craig; father Ray Holgate; grandparents Mr. and Mrs. U.S. Grant Wilson and Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Holgate; brothers Fred Holgate and Walt Holgate; sister, Pat Dickman; and great grandson, Chance Thoman.

Memorial donations may be made to Little Wind Hospice, c/o Davis Funeral Home, 2203 W. Main, Riverton, Wyo., 82501.

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