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Obituaries: Caballero; Giancola; Halbrook; Zaugg

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Elthon Dave Caballero

Elthon Dave Caballero: 2011 – 2023

Elthon Dave Perez Caballero was born April 15, 2011 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan City, Philippines to Lucena Mangubat Perez and Randy Tarnate Caballero joining his big brother, Israel.

In March of 2018 Elthon moved to the United States with his family,  residing on a ranch in Rozet, Wyoming with his brothers and step-father, Ralph.

Elthon started his school career at Meadowlark Elementary transferring to Hillcrest Elementary for 1st and 2nd grade where he learned the English language. In 2019 Elthon became the big brother to Ralph Isaac Tronstad, who he loved dearly and Elthon dedicated himself to being a caring big brother. Elthon transferred to Rozet Elementary in 3rd grade where he quickly became a beloved student and friend.

Elthon had a warm, infectious smile and gave the best hugs to his friends, family, and teachers.  His classmates say that he always gave the best hugs and never got too “old” to hug teachers in front of his friends.

Elthon was athletically talented.  He was an especially gifted soccer player and his friends admired his natural ability and athleticism.  Elthon was also good at swimming and karate.

Elthon was very proud of his hair and enjoyed changing the style and color frequently.  No matter the hairstyle, it could never overshadow his smile, twinkling eyes, or the heart shaped mark on his cheek that made him extra special. His classmates shared that Elthon always laughed at their jokes and that smile would really shine.

Elthon was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. It was there that he found faith, love, and  acceptance (and  chocolate chip cookies made just for him). 

Elthon returned to his loving Heavenly Father and Savior on September 11, 2023. He will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him.

A viewing and visitation will be held for Elthon at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Moorcroft on Monday, September 18 at 10:00 a.m., with a formal funeral mass starting at 11:00 a.m., followed by a time of food and fellowship at the church.  Interment at Mount Pisgah Cemetery in Gillette will occur immediately following the reception.

Memorial contributions may be made to Elthon’s family by contacting Gillette Memorial Chapel directly at 307-682-3313.  Donations will be applied to the cost of services to reduce the family’s burden during this difficult time.  All are encouraged to help if they can.

Wilma “Billie” Giancola

Wilma “Billie” Giancola: 1938 – 2023

Memorial Service for Wilma “Billie” Giancola will be held at 10:00 a.m., September 23, 2023, at Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, WY 82716, with Pastor Dan Knust of High Plains Community Church officiating.

Wilma Jean Giancola, a loving mother, cherished friend, and pillar of her community. Wilma, aged 85, peacefully left this world on September 11, 2023, at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming. Her departure comes as a great loss to all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Born on September 10, 1938, in the charming town of Vallpraiso, Nebraska, Wilma grew up surrounded by the beauty of the Nebraska plains. Her humble beginnings instilled in her a deep appreciation for hard work, family values, and the simple joys of life. Wilma’s journey led her to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she worked as a waitress at the Continental. It was during this time that she met and married the love of her life, Orest David Giancola, in 1956. Their union brought forth the blessing of their daughter, Laura.

Tragically, Orest lost his life in a plane crash off the coast of England while serving his country. Despite this heartbreak, Wilma remained resilient and dedicated herself to providing a loving and nurturing environment for her daughter, whom she cherished with all her being. A devoted mother and best friend, Wilma showered Laura with unconditional love and support throughout their lives. She was a source of strength and guidance, always there to lend an ear or offer a helping hand.

Wilma’s selflessness extended beyond her immediate family, as she touched the hearts of many in her community. Wilma was a gifted hairstylist and spent much of her career at Boardwalk Hair Design, where she skillfully cut hair and connected with her clients. She had a special talent for working with not only teenagers but also the elderly, becoming a trusted confidant and ensuring their needs were met.

After a remarkable career spanning over six decades, Wilma retired in 2013, having left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals. In addition to her career Wilma found joy in the simple pleasures of life. She had a green thumb and spent many hours cultivating in Gillette’s community garden. Her love for gardening extended to preserving her produce through fermentation, creating flavors that would bring a smile to anyone’s face. Wilma’s culinary skills were renowned, and her table was a place of warmth, laughter, and delicious food. She had a gift for bringing people together, creating cherished memories that will forever be treasured.

Wilma leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion. She will be lovingly remembered by her beloved daughter, Laura (Bryan) Dahlman; her adored grandsons, Mitch Hackman (Steph Harvison) and Clint (Sarah) Hackman; her cherished granddaughter, Janet Dahlman; her adopted grandson, Brendan Bishop; her brother-in-law, Eddie Comenda; brother, Bob (Deloris) Walla; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. 

Sandra Jean Halbrook

Sandra Jean Halbrook: 1957 – 2023

A Celebration of Life will begin Monday, September 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. The celebration will be held in the Inspiration Garden at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Gillette, Wyoming. Immediately following the celebration, a luncheon will be held in the Community Rooms at the cemetery. Rick will spread her ashes in the Pacific Ocean at a later date.

On February 1, 1957, in Carr, Colorado, Bill and Betty Morrison welcomed their third child, Sandra Jean. She joined older siblings Billy and Mary. When she was very young, she moved to Cheyenne with her family. Later she moved with her mother to Newcastle. A few years later Sandy moved with her mom and stepfather Elmer Hollenbeck to Gillette. She gained step siblings Topper Hollenbeck and Paula Wilson.

Sandy attended Junior High and High School in Gillette, graduating with the class of 1975. Rick Halbrook was the love of her life. They met around New Year’s 1976 and were married on April 17 1976. They had two sons: Ricky Lee II and Eric Vess. As a family they spent time camping, fishing, riding motorcycles, and getting together with family.

Sandy started her employment working at Decker’s Food Center in Gillette, then Boyd’s Supermarket. Some of her favorite jobs were at the Children’s Center and Medicap Pharmacy where she made many friends. She had many jobs she enjoyed spending time with family and friends the most.  Sandy enjoyed crafts, cooking, refinishing furniture, drinking coffee with her friends and going out for lunch. Her gift for making gingerbread houses and panoramic sugar Easter eggs was amazing. She played BUNCO for years. She and Rick enjoyed trips to Deadwood on occasion. Sandy loved people!

Sandy is survived by her husband of 47 years, Ricky Sr; sons Ricky II (Rachel) and Eric (Stacey); as well as five grandchildren: Ethan, Parker, Zoey, Amelia and Emily; brother Billy and strep-sister Paula; brothers-in-law Rollie Tatum and Steven Halbrook; sister-in-law Kristi Halbrook. Also mourning her loss are her nieces and nephews: Andy, Mendi and Janel Tatum, Chad Morrison, Tiana and Logan, Kia Spadlin; her many friends and her dogs Daisy and Ruby.

Preceding Sandy in death were her grandparents; parents Bill (Norma), Betty (Elmer); sister Mary; stepbrother Topper; niece Keri; nephew Kegan; and in-laws Bill and Yvonne Halbrook. 

“The greatest gift you can give someone is to simply thank them for being a part of your life”

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Sandy’s name to the Class of 1975 Scholarship Fund or the Animal Shelter. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716.

Phillip Lewis Zaugg

Phillip Lewis Zaugg: 1985 – 2023

Phillip Lewis Zaugg, 37, of Rapid City, South Dakota, passed away peacefully on September 13, 2023, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Phillip was born on September 24, 1985, to Tracy Zaugg and Patricia Jacobsen in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Growing up, Phill spent a great deal of time fishing with his grandfather, Marlin, and throwing the baseball around with his dad. He attended Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota and graduated from Sturgis Brown High School in 2004. Soon after, he pursued a career in the food industry as a chef and later worked as an electrician’s apprentice. 

In 2010, Phill met Christina Fischer at the restaurant they worked at, and for an entire year he tried tirelessly to impress her. Finally, in 2012, Christina and Phill made it official and have been together every day thereafter. The two of them made a beautiful, loving home together raising their four children: Zoey, Isabelle, Adalynn, and Ellroy. 

Phillip was a force of nature, constantly entertaining his friends and family with his goofy sense of humor. Phill was determined to provide for his family and give them the life he felt they deserved. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, and he often mentioned that at any chance he got. Phill was unendingly proud of his children and Christina and always tried his best to support them in all their activities by cheering loudly at softball games and track meets and by coaching Ellroy’s little league baseball team.

Phillip enjoyed gaming with his friends and son, loved all things Batman, and could be found jamming out to his favorite musicians Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton. Phill was an avid sports fan and cheered his heart out for the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a passionate outdoors man and loved fishing, camping, and spending his time in the sunshine when he wasn’t at home. 

Anyone who knew Phillip knew that he was the most loving father, son, brother, and fiancé a family could ask for.

Phillip was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents and uncle; his maternal grandmother; and his father-in-law.

Phillip is survived by his fiancé Christina and their children: Zoey Fischer, Isabelle Fischer, Adalynn Fischer, and Ellroy Zaugg; his parents Tracy Zaugg (Susan), Patricia Jacobsen (Rick) and Lynn Bitterman; his mother-in-law Catherine Morris; his siblings: Cynthia Laakso (Ryan), Allison Gammon (Colton), Trevor Bitterman (Miranda), Kimberly King (David), and Thomas Zaugg (Kayli); his step-siblings: Trisha Toews, Alexander Kessel, Zach Kessel, Richard Jacobsen, and Lia Jacobsen; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

The family requests that all flowers and notes are sent to Kinkade Funeral Home in Sturgis, South Dakota. There will be a celebration of life for Phill on September 24, 2023.