Elizabeth “Betty” Ann (Dubuque) Wandler, 86, of Gillette, WY passed away Friday, September 24, 2021 peacefully at her beloved home in Rustic Hills with family by her side. A celebration of life will occur in the Summer of 2022.
Betty was born April 1, 1935 to Frank and Clara (Storkson) Dubuque in Grand Forks, ND.
She was raised on a farm with her siblings Dorothy, Jim, Dan and Art. Betty attended rural school and graduated from Academy of St. James in 1954. She then pursued her nursing degree in Wahpeton, ND where she met her future husband, Leon Edward Wandler. Betty graduated with her certificate of practical nursing in 1956 and married Leon on July 8, 1957. The couple lived a brief time in Grand Forks before moving to Glendive, MT for work opportunities. Their children Anne and Lee were born in Montana. In 1963, Leon and Betty moved to Gillette, WY and eventually welcomed Laura, Jeff and Mike to the family.
In 1964, Leon and Betty partnered with Hank and Hazel Barney to purchase a machine shop and named it L&H Welding and Machine Company. While Leon was busy growing the business; Betty left her nursing career behind to care for their 5 children. She ran an efficient household and promoted healthy habits by encouraging her children to spend time outdoors either in play or attending to chores, helping them develop early friendships, a love of animals and work ethic. She was also wise in being a strict disciplinarian who believed in the value of allowing her kids to deal with the consequences of poor behaviors.
Betty was known as a kind yet sharp-witted lady that loved her plants and gardening, ceramics, reading, and was amazing at putting together photo books. Photographs and letters were her love language. Many were touched by her words of wisdom, encouragement or memories she captured with photos. They will be forever treasured.
Betty also enjoyed sharing her home with her adored French Brittany Spaniel, Callie, followed by a rescue dog, Lance and her current companion, George.
In the final years of Betty’s life, she was diagnosed with dementia and was able to remain at home due to many wonderful caregivers. The Wandler family is forever grateful to those who made this possible with special thanks to Barb Massie who had a special bond with Betty and was with her until her passing. She was also cared for and looked after by many loving neighbors of Rustic Hills over the years.
Betty is survived by her children, Anne (Marvin) Sherwood of Powell; Lee (Kelly) Wandler; Laura (Rusty) Roush; Jeff (Tammy) Wandler; and Mike (Jerri) Wandler all of Gillette; brother, Art (Jan) Dubuque and brother-in-law John Rakoczy, both of North Dakota; In-laws Jack (Nancy) Wandler of Billings, MT and Angie Wandler of Wisconsin. She had 16 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leon, her parents Frank and Clara, brothers James and Daniel Dubuque, sister Dorothy Rakoczy, and Leon’s siblings; Patricia, Loletta, Richard, Donald, and Joan.
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 gillettememorialchapel.com.
Some obituaries have been republished with permission from Gillette Memorial Chapel.