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Obituaries: Sorenson; Meserve; Kelting; Valencia; McDonald; Fogle; Stensland

Max Sorenson

Max Sorenson: December 9, 2005—December 26, 2022

Our loving brother and son, Max Baird Sorenson, passed away on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, due to complications from injuries sustained playing basketball. He was born on Dec. 9, 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Scott Max Sorenson and Leslie Sarah Baird.

Max had an incredible work ethic and was very disciplined. His focus was evidenced by his achievements at school, on the basketball court, at church and in his social activities. Even more important than those successes were his welcoming smile, kind eyes, curly locks and loving personality, which made friendship with him easy and comfortable and was felt by everyone. Max had the rare experience of living in five different states during his life including Utah, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and Wyoming, and his network of friends, family, classmates and teammates spans the country. The magnitude of his influence has been felt by the Sorenson family from the outpouring of love and support from people who knew Max and were loved and impacted by him.

Max was a junior at Thunder Basin High School where as a smart, hard-working student he maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA. This year he was inducted into the National Honor Society, a rare achievement for a junior. He was so humble and unassuming about this achievement and forgot to mention the awards ceremony to his parents, who found out from a fellow parent who forwarded a video of Max to his parents so they could attend virtually. Recently Max’s English teacher sent a letter to his parents after taking his son to watch a basketball game where he expressed his gratitude for Max’s example. He said, “I just wanted to let you know what an amazing son you have! Max is a tremendous role model for all kids and I’m glad my son got to see him play and I look forward to watching many more games this season.” 

Max loved basketball and in particular he loved his teammates, coaches and the chance to travel to various locations to play. He was a member of the varsity basketball team at Thunder Basin High School and looked forward to helping the Bolts to a repeat Wyoming state championship in 2023. He accrued quite the collection of jerseys from playing on teams from Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming, most recently proudly wearing No. 3 for the Bolts. His love for basketball was matched only by his passion for other outdoor sports and activities like golf, wakesurfing and wakeboarding at the lake, cruising the side-by-side in the hills with his dad, and any excuse to hang out with all of his friends and cousins. He was an avid BYU fan and loved every opportunity to cheer for the Cougars.

Max loved his savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He attended early-morning seminary and served as the Bishop’s first assistant in his Gillette ward as well as other leadership positions in the church. He really loved attending the temple and serving others through his participation there with the youth. He had been preparing to go on a mission and follow the example of his sister, cousins, uncles, grandparents, and both his mom and dad.

Max loved his family. He was the perfect road trip companion, his mellow and accommodating personality was well-suited for a car full of his sisters and brother, accompanied by his playlist of country music songs. He was a good listener, which gave him the rare gift of providing empathy and understanding to everyone. He could always be found with his brother, Ben, shooting hoops or swinging clubs.  

Max is survived by his parents, Scott Max Sorenson and Leslie Baird Sorenson, his siblings, Annie Christine (19), who is currently serving a mission at the San Diego Mormon Battalion Site, Benjamin Herbert (14), a freshman at Thunder Basin High School, Beth Maxine (11), a sixth grader at Pronghorn Elementary, Caroline Marie (7), a second grader at Pronghorn Elementary, and his grandparents Max Sorenson and Karin Sorenson of Salt Lake City, Utah, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We find great comfort in knowing of his joyous reunion with his grandparents Dennis Ray Baird and Christine Jones Baird and other great grandparents and family preceding him in death.

Services will be on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at 2 p.m., CAM-PLEX Heritage Center Theater, 1635 Reata Drive, Gillette, WY 82718, and will be live-streamed and made available for all to view. To watch the live stream and express condolences, please visit www.gillettememorialchapel.com/obituaries/max-sorenson.

Friends and family may call on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, from 6-8 p.m. at the Gillette LDS Chapel, 2903 Allen Ave, Gillette, Wyoming 82718, and Tuesday at the CAM-PLEX Heritage Center Theater from 12:30-1:30 p.m. prior to services.

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716.

Tressa Hazel Meserve

Tressa Hazel Meserve: August 10, 1940—December 25, 2022

Funeral service for Tressa Meserve will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 6, 2022, at Gillette Memorial Chapel with Pastor Ernie Bishop officiating; interment to follow at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

Tressa Hazel Meserve, age 82, died peacefully at her home, on Dec. 25, 2022, surrounded by the love of family and friends. Tressa lived in northeastern Wyoming all of her life, raising a family there and building numerous friendships. She was loved and respected, and she will be missed by many.

Tressa was born in Gillette, Wyoming, on Aug. 10, 1940, to Molly Mae (Jones) Moore and Henry C. Moore of Moorcroft, Wyoming. She grew up in Moorcroft with her siblings attending school and making lifelong friends. In high school, Tressa participated in numerous activities including home economics and yearbook editor in her senior year. She was well known for her sewing talent which she developed as a young girl.

In 1958, Tressa married James B. (Jim) Meserve of Gillette, in Gillette, Wyoming, starting her life as a coal miner’s wife. Married for 52 years, she and Jim ranched south of Gillette while successfully raising their children Linda, Daniel, and David. As well as ranching, Tressa worked in retail sales and property management. She made numerous shorts and dresses for the family as the children grew. She and Jim enjoyed square dancing in several states and Canada, showing off clothing she made. After retirement, Tressa and Jim traveled widely across the western U.S., Canada and Mexico.

After Jim passed away, Tressa continued her love of crossword puzzles and sudokus. As Kappa Master in the Xi Delta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, Tressa enjoyed life with her pals. She was also active in the Red Hat Society. Tressa loved home life and the occasional excursion out of town. And she truly enjoyed the antics of grandnieces and grandnephews. One of Tressa’s biggest smiles was during the children’s surprise celebration of her 80th birthday.

Tressa was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, sister Rhoda M. Saum, brother Perry Moore, nephew Kerry Dean Moore, and niece Janet Mitchell.

Tressa is survived by her children Linda Meserve of Arvada, Colorado, Daniel Meserve (Ronnie Smith) of Green River, Wyoming and David Meserve (Marla) of Riverton, Wyoming; her sister Nora (Enid) Good, of Aurora, Colorado; niece Diane Conner of Gillette; nephews Derek Moore, Travis Good, and Cody Good; step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; and a host of cousins, grandnieces and grandnephews, neighbors, and longtime friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested in Tressa’s name to YES House Foundation or a charity of your choice. Memorials and condolences may be sent care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. Fifth St., Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com.

Erling Kelting

Erling Kelting: December 17, 1936 — December 24, 2022

Erling Sheldon Kelting, 86, passed away on Dec. 24, 2022, at his home in Gillette, Wyoming.

Born in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Dec.17, 1936, he was the son of Otto and Alice (Halvorson) Kelting. Erling graduated from Moorhead High School and from State College, Moorhead with degrees in Industrial Arts and Physical Education.

During college Erling married the love of his life, Yvonne Abbey. They spent 65 years together. He was employed for 35 years at Pelican Rapids High School in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, where he was a shop teacher, a beloved track, gymnastics and football coach and served for the Minnesota National Guard. During this time, Erling and Yvonne raised four children.

Besides coaching various sports, he kept busy attending the sporting events of his children. This continued later in life when he became a grandfather, watching his grandchildren compete.

As a family the Keltings spent numerous summers traveling around the country in their station wagon. While in retirement Erling and Yvonne continued traveling and spending winters in Texas. We all believe the reason Erling enjoyed traveling so much was because of his knack for making friends with strangers. He would talk to anyone, anywhere about anything, often sharing interesting tidbits with his family.

Up until the very end Erling was an avid outdoorsman. Shooting trap, fishing and hunting were lifelong passions.

Possibly the greatest honor of his life was being inducted into the Pelican Rapids Schools’ Hall of Fame in 2021. He talked about that event until the day he died.

Erling Kelting is survived by his wife Yvonne and children; Mark Kelting (Maureen), of Gillette, Wyoming; Lynn Kelting-Gibson (Ken) of Bozeman, Montana; Lisa Beardsley (Glenn) of Halstad, Minnesota, and David Kelting (Kari) of Hill City, South Dakota; his grandchildren; Tanner Kelting of Gillette, Wyoming; Abbey Wesche of Bozeman, Montana; Taylor Kelting of Sheridan, Wyoming, and Alise Liebl of Gary, Minnesota, and great-grandchildren; Sophia, Cash, Amelia and Cal. He is also survived by his two sisters Laurelle Cottrell (Dan) and Karen Johnson (Dave).

He is preceded in death by his parents Otto and Alice.

A private family service will be held in Gillette, Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Pelican Rapids High School Student Scholarship Fund % Kelsey Lage P.O. Box 642, Pelican Rapids High School, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572.

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Walker Funeral Home 410 Medical Arts Court, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.walkerfuneralgillette.com.

David Valencia

David Valencia: July 24, 1996 — December 16, 2022

David Alexander Valencia, was born July 24, 1996, in Gillette, Wyoming, to Leigh Ann Black and Thomas Valencia. He was the youngest of three children.

David grew up in Gillette and graduated Campbell County High School in 2014. He had a deep love for dogs, video games, super heroes, art and music. He was an excellent guitar player. Music was always a safe place for him. David also thoroughly enjoyed cooking and was an excellent chef. He cooked for all his friends and family at every chance. He took pride in his creations.

David loved to paint and draw creating and expressing himself everywhere he went, leaving artwork on pages and people alike. David loved the Earth, plants and growing his own food. He spent his last few years traveling with his dog Molly and working on the West Coast. He met many new friends and was considered family to them. He worked on farms, on mechanics,  and in construction, leaving pieces of himself in the hearts of everyone there. He loved California and had plans of buying land and homesteading there.

David was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents.

He is survived by his mother, Leigh Ann Black; father, Thomas Valencia; sister, Sonya Meier; brother, Anthony Valencia; as well as many cousins, aunts and uncles.

David will be deeply missed by all his friends and family.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Prairie Sky venue at 3:30 p.m. We will have a service and welcome anyone to share happy memories and play a song for him. We will also have a ZOOM ID & Passcode for anyone who cannot attend in person but may attend online.
The ZOOM funeral service numbers:
Meeting ID: 84507128740
Password: 624917

Edward McDonald

Edward McDonald: September 7, 1949—December 23, 2022

Edward L. McDonald passed away after a long battle with cancer on Dec. 23, 2022, at Wyoming Medical Center, Casper, Wyoming. 

Ed was born on Sept. 7, 1949, in Peoria, Illinois, to Thomas A. and Bernalea McDonald. He grew up with his siblings; Thom, Ken and Karen in Elmwood, Illinois, until the family relocated to Tucson, Arizona, where he finished high school.

Ed honorably served in the Army from May 1970 to January 1972. After the Army and a cross country hitchhiking trip to see America, he met and married Judith MacDonald. They carved out a wonderful life together that spanned 50 years. His great loves were his wife, Jude and his only daughter, Shawna.

His life was further enriched by his beloved grandchildren Willow, Reed and Tanner, and their families and his only great grandson, Eli. His sister Karen and his nieces Katie and Colleen and their families also had a special place in his heart. Ed cherished all his extended family and friends.

Ed worked at Jacobs Ranch Mine over the course of 35 years throughout various corporate and name changes. He thoroughly enjoyed his tenure as Santa Claus for almost 40 years, including the mines Kids Christmas Parties at the theaters. He loved cooking, his beloved Chicago Cubs and the Grateful Dead.

There will be a private family memorial at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has designated Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation to receive donations locally in his name. We also designate the World Central Kitchen or a charitable organization of your choice.

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Walker Funeral Home 410 Medical Arts Court, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences  may also be expressed at www.walkerfuneralgillette.com.

Margaret Ann Fogle

Margaret Ann Fogle: July 19, 1940—December 22, 2022

Mass of Christian Burial for Margaret Fogle will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church with Father Bryce Lungren officiating; interment to follow at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

Margaret Ann Fogle passed peacefully on the evening of Dec. 22, 2022, surrounded by her family.  Margaret was born July 19, 1940, to Jean Denard and Rena Connally in Buffalo, Wyoming. 

Marge spent much of her time with her second family, Mitch and Mary Guesanburu and their children as her father was often working as a sheep herder. She met Gale Wilbur Fogle whom she married Sept. 10, 1960. Together they had four boys, Gene, Glenn, Mark (Mary), and Duane Fogle, who passed at childbirth.

Marge’s greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was grandmother to Bridgette Fogle (Dusty Wainscott), Jessica (Casey) Hermann, Mathew (Suzanne) Fogle, Kimberly Looney, and 11 great-grandchildren! When asked her grandkids described their Grandma Marge as loving, gentle, heart of the family, caregiver, honest, gentle, stubborn, wily, genuine, compassionate, mother of boys and selfless! Yes, Margaret was that and so much more to all of us! She was also a loving sister and aunt who enjoyed family gatherings. Margie made each grandchild, niece and nephew feel special and loved. 

Margaret had many jobs through her life, but she loved the work she did at Sol Domus. She was a member of the Moose and enjoyed darts and hamburger nights with her friends. Marge was a talented seamstress and cook and shared that passion with her grandkids. We are blessed with fond memories of her quick wit, loving homemade meals, game nights, her endless love and laughter.  She taught us to carry through, to look to God, to live life. 

Margaret was greeted at the gates by her husband Gale, son’s Glenn and Duane, her parents, brothers, and sister. 

We feel blessed to have been loved by her and we thank you, until we meet again.

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.

Steve Stensland

Steve Stensland: January 9, 1963—December 22, 2022

Memorial service for Steve Stensland, 59, of Gillette, will be held 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at Family Life Church with Pastor Gordon Harper Officiating. Interment will be in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

Steve passed away on Dec. 22, 2022, at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. Steven Glenn Stensland was born on Jan. 9, 1963, in Enid, Oklahoma, the son of Daniel and Margie Ann (Lloyd) Stensland. 

As a young boy he grew up in California and Kalispell, Montana, where he spent most of his youth. In the early 1980s, he relocated to Gillette with his family and attended Campbell County High School. Upon the completion of his schooling, he married his high school sweetheart, Twila Hochhalter, and had their only child, Michael Barry Stensland. 

Steve and his family moved to Vallejo, California, for seven years, where he worked in the refinery. Steve always considered Gillette his home. He moved his family back to Gillette in 1989 when the couple bought their own business. Steve has been a proud successful business owner and entrepreneur for the past 33 years. It was his great pride to be involved in his businesses and his employees firsthand. 

He will be remembered for his generosity to his family and being their provider. Steve was known to help many, even a stranger.  He was a handy man and could fix about anything. His passion was to be outdoors to work on and drive his cars. He loved his yardwork and all of his trees. His hobbies were four-wheeling, skiing and long walks.

Steve was a kind and generous man always putting his family first, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his wife and son; he loved and adored them always. Steve loved spending time with his family and will be sadly missed by everyone.

He is survived by his wife of almost 41 years, Twila; son, Michael Barry; his sisters-in-law: Brenda, Sandy, LeAnn; brothers-in-law: Ron, Doug and Roger all of Gillette; father, Daniel; 3 brothers: John Gary and Danny all of Kalispell; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother Marty; brothers-in-law: Tom and Dale; mother and father-in-law Art and Violet. 

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com.


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