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Obituaries: Brost; Brown

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Jess Morgan Brost

Jess Morgan Brost: 1961 – 2024

Jess Morgan Brost, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend to many, passed away on March 15, 2024, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Montana at the age of 63. Born on February 2, 1961 to Herman and Kay Brost, Jess led a remarkable life filled with dedication to his family and passion for his work.

Jess was a man of many talents and interests. He excelled in mathematics to the point where even NASA considered recruiting him, but Jess’s heart was always with his cows and ranching. His career took him from the oilfields of Ridge, Montana to Black Thunder Mine near Upton, Wyoming and back again to Ridge, where he worked as an oil field pumper, roustabout worker, and finally as a dozer operator at MTI.

In addition to his successful career in the oil industry and ranching, Jess was also an accomplished handyman and known as “Mr. Fix-It” amongst family and friends. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, arrowhead hunting, golfing and his great love of music and singing, but above all else, Jess found true joy in taking care of his cows – except for #20, his arch nemesis.

Jess’s proudest accomplishments include marrying Linda Kuhbacher in 1987 at St. Mathew’s Catholic Church in Gillette, Wyoming.  Together they raised four children: Kaleb [Katie] Brost, Jessica Brost, Eli Brost, and Judd [Ali] Brost.  Each child brought immense joy into Jess’ life as his family meant everything to him.

He was predeceased by his father, Herman Brost in 2004 and every “crazy-eyed cow” whoever tested Jess’ patience. He is survived by his loving wife, Linda Brost; children, Kaleb [Katie], Jessica, Eli, Judd [Ali]; granddaughters, Grace and Hannah Brost, as well as Carter Maye Brost; mother, Kay Brost; sisters: Johanna Wills, Suze Bayne, Sally Sawyer; brother, Jake Brost; his second family, the Lossi’s; along with a host of other relatives and friends whose lives were touched by Jess’ kindness.

A memorial service to honor Jess’ life will be held on noon April 6, 2024 at CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities- Heritage Center in Gillette, Wyoming. Jess will be deeply missed but never forgotten for the love he shared with those around him and the legacy of hard work he leaves behind. 

Vera Brown

Vera Brown: 1915 – 2024

Vera May (Stephenson) Brown, passed away Friday, March 29, 2024 at Primrose Retirement Center in Gillette, Wyoming, of natural causes. at the age of 108; one week before her 109th birthday

Funeral services for Vera Brown will be conducted on Friday, April 5, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. with Gordon Harper officiating.  A viewing will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. before the service at the Gillette Memorial Chapel in Gillette, Wyoming. Burial to follow at Gillette Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

A longtime Campbell County resident, Vera was born April 6, 1915 in Medford, Oregon to Louis Albert and Grace May (Shane) Stephenson.

Vera came to Wyoming from California in 1924 by train. Pop (Vera’s Dad) filed for a homestead on Elk Creek 45 miles North of Gillette. She had to retake third grade after moving from California in the country schoolhouse near Elk Creek. She and her younger brother, Louis, made up the entire student body. She attended school through the eighth grade and took some correspondence courses.  

In October 1930, her mother and four-year-old niece died, when a fire ravaged their house.  A keg of powder used for blasting coal in the Stephenson Coal Mine was ignited by a spark from the fire place burning the house to the ground, taking precious lives.  

She worked for the neighbors lending a hand and at times that meant breaking horses.  

 At the age of 23 she married Donald LaVern Brown, Sr., on November 5, 1938 at the courthouse in Sheridan, Wyoming.  In 1938 they purchased Don’s, Uncle Fred’s homestead on Elk Creek in Northern Campbell County where they ranched. They started their family in 1939, when they had their first child, Joyce. In 1943, Donald Jr. was born, Rex came along a decade later in 1953. In 1957, they purchased the Weston Store and Post Office, from Don’s brother Dick. At this time Vera became the Postmaster of the Weston Post Office for thirty years retiring in 1987, living at Weston until 1995. She then moved to Recluse to be closer to her son, Don Brown Jr., until his passing in August 2013.  Shortly after Donnie’s passing, she moved over to Rex’s at Recluse.  She lived on her own until the age of 106, at which time she moved into Primrose.

While at the Weston Store, they became known for their salami and bologna sandwiches from Wyoming to Texas; which was a fresh slice of salami or bologna, slice of longhorn cheese, mayonnaise and lettuce, between two pieces of bread.

Vera was a 4-H leader for several years. She enjoyed her bowling leagues, raising butcher chickens, sewing, camping, fishing, gardening, and playing dice.  At 96, Rex thought it was time for her to give up driving, boy did that aggravate her. She did renew her driver’s license at the age 100. Hitching a ride to town with Kathy weekly to get what she needed to keep her wild cats fed, which consisted of bread and homemade gravy twice a day.  

Vera is survived by her daughter, Joyce Bell (Albert) of Great Falls, Montana; son, Rex Brown (Kathy) of Recluse, Wyoming; daughter-in-law, Betty Brown (Randy) of Gillette, Wyoming; grandchildren: Gloria Bell of Missoula, Montana, Frank Bell (Noreen) of Great Falls, Montana, Kris Bell/Gallegos (Corby) Altadena, California, Paul Brown of Weston, Wyoming, Rori Coates of Recluse, Wyoming and 14 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Don in 1994; brothers, Hervey and Louis; and sister, Dallas; daughter-in-law, Jonni Brown; son, Donald Brown Jr.; grandsons: Gary Bell, Joe Brown, Mike Brown, and Billy Brown.