Obituaries: Gayton, Murphy, Fenske

Linda Kay Gaytan

Linda Kay Gaytan: June 2, 1952 – April 6, 2022

Linda was born June 2, 1952, in Sauk Centre, MN to Leonard and Gladys Hanson. She graduated high school in Upton, WY, and through the course of life lived in Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Linda a long-time resident of Gillette served drinks, smiles, and sass at Eastside Liquor where locals would frequently hear her catch phrase “that will be $100”.  Linda loved collecting elephant trinkets, trips to Deadwood, spending time with family and anything purple. Linda was known for her kind and gentle soul.

She is survived by her four children of Gillette, Betty (Steve) Kuhbacher; David Gaytan Jr; Roxanne Adams and Jimmy Adams. Her three precious grandchildren, Madison Kuhbacher, Alexa Kuhbacher and Reece Adams and her seven siblings, Laura (Dan) Woodard of Utah; Loise Caraveo of New Mexico; Judy (Dean) Hawes of Minnesota; Mary (Tim) von Holt of South Dakota; James (Joann) Hanson of Gillette; Carol (Jerry) Baysinger of Gillette; Karen (Stephen) Koplecheck of Gillette and long-time close friends Jean and Zeke Retzlaff of Gillette.  She was preceded in death by her mother and father and five siblings. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com

Thomas James Murphy

Thomas James Murphy: May 24, 1931 – April 4, 2022

Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas Murphy will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 8, 2022 at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church with Father Cliff Jacobson officiating; interment to follow at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Visitation will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday, April 7, 2022 at Gillette Memorial Chapel with Prayer Vigil to begin at 6:00 p.m. Thomas James Murphy, age 90 of Gillette, Wyoming passed away peacefully on April 4, 2022, at Legacy Living Center with family by his side.  He was born on May 24, 1931, to parents Marie Ann Murphy (Sullivan) and Thomas Bonaventure Murphy in Spalding, Nebraska, the third of six children.  He spent his childhood on the Sullivan family farm attending school in Spalding and graduated from Spalding Academy in 1949.  After graduating, Tom enlisted in the Airforce and was stationed in Germany.  Upon his return from Germany and discharge from the Air Force, he met the love of his life Nancy Lee Hicks, and they were married in September of 1956.   He graduated from Creighton University School of Pharmacy in 1958 and he and Nancy moved to Gillette, Wyoming purchasing what became Murphy Drugstore.  Together they made their home and built their business serving the Gillette and Campbell County Community.   Tom and Nancy raised their family including Thomas Michael Murphy (Dianna), Kathryn Marie Orozco (Paul), Theresa Ann Norfolk (Paul) and James Patrick Murphy (Allison).  Their family also included several young people from Australia, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland who came to the United States, lived, and shared their cultures and friendship with the Murphy family.  Tom’s passion was their lake place at Keyhole Reservoir.  For years they opened their cabin to family and friends teaching hundreds of people to waterski.  Many were the celebrations held at the cabin including weddings, holidays, graduations, and family reunions.  Tom’s favorite ending to a day of boating, fishing, or cutting firewood included a nightly gaze into God’s heavenly universe on the deck of the cabin.  Tom remained a steadfast supporter of Gillette, Campbell County and Wyoming serving many civic roles including 20 years as a Board Member for the Campbell County Memorial Hospital, 12 years on the State Board of Pharmacy and President of Wyoming Right to Life to name a few.  Additionally, Tom’s commitment to his faith and pro-life cause showed forth in his consistent support of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.  He and Nancy became snowbirds in 1996 and opened their winter residence to a host of family and friends in search of a winter reprieve. Tom is survived by his wife of 65 years, his four children and their spouses, sisters Betty Rindone (Guido) and Sally Kavalec, and eight grandchildren:  Thomas Clark Murphy (Brittany), Alicia Sifuentes (Lico), Micah Whalen, Meghan Hovee (Luke), Mari Whalen, Jacob Norfolk (Havley), Marie Hansen (Brett), and Monica Norfolk.  He is also survived by 9 beautiful great-grandchildren.  Tom’s love of children was abundantly evident in the time he spent with all of his “kids”.  Tom was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Mary Catherine Bopp and Ellen McClellan, brother Michael Murphy and an infant brother. Memorials may be made to benefit John Paul II Catholic School, Women’s Resource Center and Gillette Community College.  Memorials and condolences may be send in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716 and may be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com

Patricia Fenske

Patricia Fenske: September 27, 1943 – April 6, 2022

Patricia Vivian Fenske went peacefully with the lord on April 6, 2022 at 3:30 pm. Born in Weymouth Massachusetts in 1943 to Edna and Fred Krasco, Patricia was the middle of three children Fredrick Krasco, Patricia Vivian Krasco and Annamarie Katherine Krasco.  Their family would travel often and in 1953 would be stationed in Tustin, California after the Korean War. At the young age of 18 Patti would meet and marry Kenneth Watson and welcome her first daughter into the world Margaret Ann. In 1967 Patti would find love again and go on to remarry, welcoming her second child into the world with Richard Crispino in 1969, a daughter she named Rosemarie Christina.  A mother of two beautiful girls, Patricia worked hard to provide a life for them. Often working multiple jobs and long shifts, eventually taking a job at the Orange County Fair Grounds where she worked security. This is where Patricia would eventually meet and fall in love with Fredrick Fenske.  The couple married in October of 1984. Patricia gained and loved two wonderful children Heather and Derrick Fenske.  Her new family started their life together in Norco, CA. In October of 1985 Patricia and Fred would welcome their first granddaughter Cherish into the world and would eventually go on to raise her as their own.  Seven years later they moved to the White Mountains in Show Low, Arizona to start a new chapter in their life. Patti enjoyed several hobbies including crafting, sewing, cooking, riding her Harley Davidson through the White Mountains and walking the rim. She attended the Church of Christ and for a short time worked with troubled youth in the community. She loved baking and taking care of her animals. Enjoying a cup of hot tea with cream and sugar at night brought her comfort. Patricia and her husband would go on to fight multiple health battles during this time, eventually making the decision to be closer to family in Gillette, Wyoming.  Patricia will best be remembered for her courageous spirit and witty charm. Never a woman afraid to speak her mind, she always knew how to keep people on their toes. She fought a hard battle but never left any question how much her family meant to her. She loved fiercely and unapologetically. A true original.  A daughter, sister, mother, wife, nana, friend, and now Angel. Her legacy lives on through her brother, Fred; her children, Margaret, Rosemarie, Heather and Derrick;  her 16 grandchildren Cherish, Chelsea, Tristen, Adrian, Nikki, Gabriel , Bianca, Andrew, Sonya, Serena, Albert, Patricia, Alexandria, Keali, Aiden, Sydney and many great grandchildren. She is reunited in heaven with her beloved husband, Fredrick Fenske; sister, Annamarie Katherine Krasco (Wallingford) and her parents Edna and Fred Krasco.

 What I know

I know you soar with angels now

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And that your heart has wings

I know you’re watching over us

Whatever this world may bring

I know you were a gift from God

And that you’re safe above

I know that I will see you again

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And once more feel your love

I know you live in Heaven now

And that I must go on

I know my heart will ache for you

Until my time is done

Obituaries on County 17 are a free service to our community. If you would like us to publish an obituary for a family member you have lost, please email us at obits@county17.com

Some obituaries have been republished with permission from Gillette Memorial Chapel.