From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 10 - May 29, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online



December 28, 1916 — May 11, 2008 Louis W. (Bill) Isaacs, longtime owner and operator of the Circle S Ranch, Cora, Wyoming, passed away May 11, 2008 in Naples, Florida. He was 91. He is survived by Alene, his wife of 70 years, one brother, Eugene Isaacs (Jeannie Thompson) of Las Vegas, Nevada, daughter Marion (Mame) Smith, Big Piney, Wyoming, grandson Kelly Wardell of Bellevue, Idaho, his cousin Mark Harris (Lea) of Denver, Colorado whom Bill and Alene raised on the ranch from age 11, and nieces and nephews in Nevada and California.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, as a young man he traveled the West as a buyer for the B Harris Wool and Fur Company, founded and run by his grandfather, Marcus Harris in the late 1800’s. Bill met Alene Parsons, the love of his life, while on a wool buying trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were married August 28, 1938 in Salt Lake City and began a lifetime partnership, filled with adventure to last 70 years.

Wanting to live a ranching, outdoor life, they bought the Circle S Ranch from Wm. Showers in August, 1944 — no power, phone or running water — snowed in for months during the winter. They were pioneers and had a lot to learn. Bill soon purchased Wood Diesel Power Plants and ran the ranch on that power until 1958 when REA came in. He was instrumental in bringing in phone lines to Kendall Valley.

Bill and friends who had snow planes were among the first to go through Yellowstone Park in the winter. He designed and built a two passenger — later on a four passenger — snow plane propelled by an inverted Lycoming Aircraft Engine with an eight-foot prop that was started by hand. The snow plane provided transportation to Cora, 20 miles away where they stored a vehicle to get into town. Previous to that, when snow got too deep for teams and a sled or horseback, skis, snowshoes or dogsleds were the modes of transportation. Later when Ski Doo’s came out, Bill, along with Rex Wardell, Glen Wise, Les Anderson and Monte Wright made the first trip in winter in double track Ski Doo snow machines over Union Pass. He and Alene had many fun excursions with friends on those Ski Doos.

In the late 1940’s and 1950’s, Bill and Alene traveled throughout the US promoting the guest ranch and Wyoming tourism. Over the years clientele coming to the ranch for fishing pack trips, riding and hunting in the Bridger Wilderness included heads of major corporations, LAPD captains and detectives, and the president of Pittsburg Coal, who returned each summer for 18 years. In 1960, the Circle S was visited by a Maharja and family of Kotah, India. They hunted deer and moose. Many guests became lifelong friends.

Bill was a founder of the Wyoming Outfitters Association and served as president in 1961 and also the president of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation. He served on the Wyoming 75th Anniversary Statehood Commission and compiled and printed an extensive commemorative history of Wyoming.

He was a member of the Elks Club, the NRA and many volunteer organizations. Bill was a conservationist, historian, and fisherman and strived to make the world a better place wherever he lived. He never backed down in fighting for a cause in which he believed. In 1964, the Isaacs Family sold the Circle S to Mari George of the Tony Hulman family, owners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Pinedale resident Joyce Arlene Mitchell, 65, passed away Monday evening, May 19, 2008, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, of natural causes. Her family was at her side.

Joyce was born March 8, 1943 in Rock Springs, Wyo., to Alvin and Weenona Boyce. She completed her schooling and grew up in Pinedale. She graduated from Pinedale High School in 1961 and later that year, she married William “Billy” Mitchell. Together they raised two sons, Alvin and Kevin. Joyce and Billy were divorced

after 19 years of marriage. She later married Dave Sebesta, who passed away in 1994.

Joyce loved the outdoors. She enjoyed camping and boating, snowmachining, gardening, crafts, painting and her cats. She was a member of the Pinedale Boat Club & Snow Machine Club. She was the State Champion of the Wyoming State Snowmachine Association in 1977.

She is survived by her sons, Alvin R. (Dawn) Mitchell and Kevin N. (Susan) Mitchell, both of Pinedale; five grandchildren Miranda, Savannah, Jacob, Tom and John; brother, Bob Boyce, of Pinedale; sister, Ruthie Clark, of Big Piney and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, brother, Fred Boyce Sr., and her second husband, Dave Sebesta.

Funeral services were held Saturday, May 24, at 11 a.m. at Covill Funeral Home in Pinedale. Tony Boyce conducted the service. Interment followed in the Pinedale Cemetery.

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