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Obituaries: Harris; Hofmeister; Raymond; Stephens

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Susan Kay Harris (Gibbard)

Susan Kay Harris (Gibbard): 1961 – 2023

Susan Kay Harris (Gibbard), 61, passed away in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on October 27, 2023, after a hard-fought battle against cancer.

Susan was born on November 30, 1961, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She attended St. Mary’s School and was involved in endless clubs and sports. She was creative, funny, athletic, and hard-working.

Susan is survived by her husband; father; brothers; daughters (and their spouses); grandchildren; and her beloved puppies. She was preceded in death by her mother and grandparents.

Susan requested a small graveside service with her closest friends and family. If you would like to make a donation, please feel free to do so at the Oncology Department at the Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado. They were so good to her.

Rachel Christine Collazo Hofmeister

Rachel Christine Collazo Hofmeister: 1978 – 2023

Rachel was born at the family home on Amy’s Lane on December 3, 1978 in Folsom, California. She passed away on October 9, 2023 in Denver, Colorado of acute renal failure. She was 44 years old.

Rachel graduated high school then went on to Cosmetology College and worked as a hair stylist for many years.

Rachel later moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming and that’s where her son Jaxon was born on May 31, 2012. Just a few months after Jaxon’s birth she moved to Gillette, where she resided until her death. It was here in Gillette that she would meet the man who became her husband, John Hofmeister. 

Rachel enjoyed working at Starbucks as a barista for several years. She also worked for a few years at O’Reily’s Auto Parts.

Rachel was an active member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses here in Gillette. She loved reading and studying the Bible with the goal of sharing Bible truths with others. Her greatest hope was to see her parents in the resurrection and to introduce them to their grandson Jaxon. 

She was an avid cook and baker and loved sharing all her recipes with others.

Rachel leaves behind a loving and devoted husband John; a beloved son Jaxon; a stepson Clayton; and her special furry friend Gemma; sisters: Kim, Stephanie; a brother Bryan; and their families; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends. 

She is preceded in death by her father and mother, Charles amd Pricilla Collazo; and her brother Monty.

Kenneth Wayne Raymond

Kenneth Wayne Raymond: 1922 – 2023

Longtime Carbon County rancher Kenneth Wayne Raymond passed away at home on October 25, 2023 at the age of 100 years. 

He began his life December 11, 1922 on a farm in Larimer County Colorado with his parents, Burdette and Mabel Raymond, and brother Roy. He graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1941 and majored in Animal Husbandry at Colorado State University.

They continued to farm in Colorado until they purchased the UT Ranch, now known as Ferris Mountain Ranch, in the summer of 1949. The ranch, and Ken in particular, have won several awards over the years. In 1983 it was Rancher of the Year for Carbon County. Ken was given the Bureau of Land Management Stewardship Award in 1998 and Landowner of the Year in 2000. In September of 2000, Wyoming Wildlife Magazine wrote an article recognizing his outstanding contributions to wildlife management. He helped restore deer, sage grouse, ducks and geese back to Ferris Mountain. He also worked with Wyoming Game and Fish to establish a walk-in area for hunters. In 2004 he won the Carbon County Pioneer Top Hand Award. In 2005 he was asked by then Governor Dave Freudenthal to be on his committee to represent agriculture landowners on the Hunting Segment of Tourism Industry Task Force. In 2007 he was honored as Wyoming’s Outstanding Older Worker and received a free trip to Washington DC. 

Ken was president of the Carbon County Historical Society for 12 years and when Wyoming turned 100 years old he produced a video tape of the county’s history which won the highest award presented. 

Ken was deeply involved in 4-H for over 20 years and was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. He was also a lifetime member of Rawlins Elks Lodge #609. 

Horseshoe pitching became his passion in the early 1970’s and he was very good at it. He was the Wyoming State Champion 14 times and went to 3 World Horseshoe Tournaments where he placed 11th, 10th and 2nd in his class. He is listed in the Wyoming Horseshoe Pitchers’ Hall of Fame in several categories. He was also a competitive bowler for over 30 years.

Survivors include his son Gary Raymond (Judy); his daughters Donna Overeem and Sandy Wilson (Kurt); his grandchildren: Kerrie Langmade, Kim Morrison, Kellie Overeem, Chris Dixon, Matt Wilson, Loni Wilson, Mabel Raymond and Kenny Raymond; and nine great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his adored wife Ruth of 52 years; daughter Cheryl Dixon; son-in-law Earl Dixon; son-in-law Marty Overeem; brother Roy Raymond and his wife Mary; and his parents.

Please join us as we celebrate his life Saturday, November 18 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Rawlins Elks Lodge #609, 405 W. Buffalo Street in Rawlins, Wyoming.

In lieu of flowers we would appreciate donations to the Elks Lodge Scholarship Fund and mailed to P. O. Box 609 Rawlins, WY 82301.

Carter Nielsen Stephens: 1934 – 2023

Carter Nielsen Stephens, or “Niel” as he was known to most, passed away on October 22, 2023, at Crook County Memorial Hospital in Sundance, Wyoming at the age of 88.

Niel was born on November 9, 1934 in Spearfish South Dakota to AnnaBelle (Nielsen) Stephens and L.D. Stephens. He was raised with his younger brother, Pete, in Alva, Wyoming. Their mother taught at various rural schools, so that is where Niel got his early education. He went on to graduate from Hulett High School. 

In 1957 he was drafted into the Army. When his service ended in 1959, he gained employment with Bell and Mooney Trucking. There he met and married Judy Bell. The couple completed the family with their children Gary, Debbie and Deana.

Throughout the years Niel worked as a truck driver and a skilled heavy equipment operator. Some of the county roads were built by Niel while working for Campbell County Road and Bridge. He hauled equipment for KG Construction in Gillette. Niel operated a track hoe for his brother Pete’s company, Wind River Constructors, in Casper, WY. He was also employed as a superintendent by JD Welsh and Associates in Reno, Nevada, and Hettinger Welding in Gillette, WY, as a blade operator.

After retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his family (especially joking with his grandchildren) and going to Deadwood, South Dakota to play 3 card poker.

Niel was preceded in death by his parents; brother Pete; and half brother Kermit Stephens.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; children Gary (Kathy), Debbie, and Deana; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; half brother Charles Stephens; nieces and nephews.

No memorial service will be held. A private burial is planned at a later date.