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Obituaries: Kirk; Waba Jr.

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Jessica May Kirk

Jessica May Kirk: 1983 – 2024

Former Gillette resident, Jessica Kirk, aged 40, passed away on February 6, 2024 in Dallas, Texas after her valiant battle with brain cancer. 

She was born in Gillette, Wyoming to Doug and Rita Farrow. She graduated from CC High School with the class of 2001.  Her interest in flying led to a pilot’s license obtained at the University of North Dakota. 

After 9-11 she decided to become a pharmacist and graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Union University in Albany, New York. Jessica had a fulfilling career as a pharmacist. She enjoyed traveling the world, caring for their English Bulldogs, reading, crafting, board games, music, and skiing. Her smile and cheerful personality will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew her. 

She is survived by her husband, Ryan Kirk; parents, Doug and Rita Farrow of Gillette; sister, Stacy (Matt) Arnold and their children, Mason and Bennett of Rochester, Minnesota; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Donald Lee Waba Jr.

Donald Lee Waba Jr.: 1947 – 2024

Don L. Waba, Jr, of Gillette, Wyoming, passed away from medical complications on Feb. 3, 2024 at Monument Health in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

He was born in Watertown, South Dakota to Donald Sr. and Hilda (Henning) Waba on Jan. 25, 1947.  Before graduating from High School, he joined the US Air Force and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces to assist with radio communications while in Vietnam. He called in airstrikes using the moniker “John Wayne Control.” After Vietnam, he worked in law enforcement for several years.

He married Juanita Frentz. They had two daughters, Angie and Shanno. They later divorced. Don earned a BS degree in Psychology and Philosophy from SDSU. He married Mary L’Esperance in 1973 and they had one child, Spencer. Don and Mary also divorced.

In Gillette, he was a sheriff’s deputy and a police officer for a number of years. He was active in the county’s search and rescue.  After the 9/11 attacks, Don helped create the TSA system at the Campbell County Airport. He taught a computer tech/repair at the Gillette Campus for several semesters. Don also held a variety of other jobs.  After retiring, Don enjoyed life with his partner, Joan Kimbley.

He was a very talented fourth-degree black belt in karate.  He taught karate classes at the Rec. Center for many years and held Friday Night Fights in his garage for those interested in full contact karate. His was also an avid reader.

Don is survived by his daughters, Angie (Dean) Erickson and Shannon Daberkow, both of Minnesota; and his son, Spencer L’Esperance of Gillette; his grandson, Tony Daberkow of Minnesota; and five great-grandchildren. Don is also survived by his partner, Joan Kimbley of Gillette.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant grandson, Nickolas Daberkow; and granddaughter, Shelby Woizeschke.

A  family celebration of life will be held at a later date. Condolences can be sent to Spencer L’Esperance, 612 Arrowhead Dr., Gillette WY 82718  or Joan Kimbley, 708 Kiowa  Ave., Gillette, WY 82718.


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