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Obituaries: Kornkven; Keller; Loyd; Pierce; Stroh; Swisher

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Edward William "Bill" Kornkven

Edward W. “Bill” Kornkven: 1932 – 2023

Edward W. (Bill) Kornkven passed away at his home in Casper on April 8, at the age of 90.

Bill had no siblings and was preceded in death by his parents; one son Eric; and a granddaughter, Elsa Berri.

He is survived by his wife; four children: Edward (Liz), Kristin (Tim) Graham, Kurt (Susie), and John (Kilty Brown); 18 grandchildren: Anne, Katrin, Elle (Nick) Perna, Anders, Brian Graham, Christian, Sarah (Kevin) Crank, Cody, Kelly (Dean) Scott, Ryer, Justus, Amanda, Jacob Brown, Ella-Berri, Trinity Godwin, Talia, Emily Brown, Joel; and one great-grandson, Colby.

Bill was born in Bottineau, North Dakota in 1932 to Edward and Emma Kornkven. His family moved from North Dakota to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he graduated from Central High School. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota and Colorado College.

After serving in the Army during the Korean War, Bill moved to Montana, then to Wyoming where he enjoyed the mountains and open spaces of his state.He met his wife, Aura Mae Bosch, in Worland, Wyoming and they married in 1957.

Bill loved his occupation in sales, starting with the Gamble’s stores where he worked in Worland and Greybull. In 1968, he moved with his family to Casper. He worked at Northern Utilities before launching several small businesses in Casper and the wider region. He operated an outfitting business in the Dubois area before taking up the real estate profession; the career he enjoyed for the remainder of his life. He specialized in farm, ranch, and commercial properties.

Bill was a loving husband and devoted father to his five children. His other passions were youth sports and seeing the message of God’s love in Jesus Christ brought to others. Bill was part of the founding of youth football in Casper and he was a key force in expanding amateur boxing in Casper and the region. Many young men were coached by Bill at the Casper Boys Club and his teams traveled the state and region, some reaching national-level stature in their sport.

Locally, Bill organized the Holiday Festival Boxing Tournament for over a decade. Nationally, he managed national teams in overseas competitions and served on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Committee. In 1973, Bill received the Non-Professional of the Year award at the Casper Sports Award banquet.

He was a strong supporter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Youth for Christ, and Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, and he was dedicated to his church family at River of Life Church where he served in leadership for many years.

Services for Bill were held on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 2:00 pm at River of Life Church, 2955 East 2nd Street, Casper. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to Casper Youth for Christ or the Casper Boxing Club.

William Donald Keller

William Donald Keller: 1923 – 2023

Dr. William Donald Keller, known by his loved ones as Bill, Rusty, or Don, passed into Heaven on 4/21/23.

Bill Don was born October 2, 1923, to William and Dorothy Keller in Thurber, Texas. He was born prematurely but was ready for a long life ahead. His dear mother moved him to Iowa, and his father soon followed. He had a joyous childhood with his sister Kaye and brother Ric, and when he was 17, his beloved sister Lucinda (Cindy) joined the family. During his childhood in Sioux City, Iowa, his mother taught him and others declamations and lively songs, many of which he would gladly recite up to a couple of months before his passing.

Dr. Bill Don received his undergraduate degree from Peabody Teachers College at Vanderbilt and his MA and ED at Colorado State College (Now the University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colorado. He had several jobs throughout his career as a professor of Accounting, with his last and longest job at Ferris State in Big Rapids, Michigan. It was in Michigan where Bill met the love of his life Betty Cole Keller, and in 1976 they married and lived out a happy life for 32 years. He often commented that he moved in with four women, two dogs, and one cat when he married Betty.

Bill is known for loving Chess and taking the vicious first move. He loved balancing his checkbooks and playing the stock market with his brother Ric. The brothers were roommates at St. Paul’s Manor in San Diego throughout their 80s. Bill loved maps, politics, the news, the English empire, the Episcopal Church, typing letters, his ukulele, sending mail to his loved ones, being 99, and thinking and praying for his wife Betty and others. He brought so much joy to others, young and old; this was apparent when he put on his elf hat and sang songs for the young children at STRIDE Learning Center in Cheyenne. As his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were growing up, they enthusiastically listened to his songs. Forever and always, the Train Going to Sleepy Town will play in their heads, and who will ever forget “Clancy taking a fancy to Nancy”.

Bill is survived by his beloved sister Lucinda Mahmoud, who wrote him daily during his last few months; his daughter Connie Alderson (Ken); stepchildren Jean Howrey, Bill Cole, John Cole (Judy), Jim Cole (Janine), Leslie Stoke (Mike), Ann Kreiser (Jeff) and Susanna Davis (Scott); and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and dear nephews.

He is preceded by his wife, Betty Jean Cole Keller; daughter Marjorie Kay Keller; parents Dorothy and William; brother Ric; sister Kay Sherrard; grandsons Jordan Bauer and Jakson Kreiser; his special friend and sister-in-law, Evelyn Park and numerous other relatives.

Thank you to his friends the last few years at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cheyenne, the staff at Village Inn, the day and evening staff at Life Care Center, and all blessed to know him.

“Well done, Rusty, Good and Faithful Servant”, we will miss you!

Services will be at St Mark’s, with a memorial and burial this summer in Michigan. In lieu of flowers, please donate to STRIDE Learning Center, at 326 Parsley Blvd in Cheyenne, WY, 82007, in Dr. William Keller’s name.

Service date and time – St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. A memorial service will be announced in Michigan this upcoming summer.

James Loyd

James Loyd: 1948 – 2023

James Ernest Loyd, 75, of Hereford, Colorado passed away April 20, 2023 at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. He was born on February 27, 1948 to Jesse and Evelyn (Flierl) Loyd in Denver, Colorado. Jim was the oldest of five children.

Jim grew up on the family farm near Parker where he attended elementary school and graduated from Douglas County High School. After high school, Jim continued to work on the family farm at Parker. He relocated with his parents and four siblings to Hereford CO in 1972, where they built Loyd Farms.

On April 10, 1976, he married Lonna Smith and just recently celebrated 47 wonderful years together. Together, Jim and Lonna enjoyed raising their two children, Brett & Kimberly, on the family farm. Jim had a passion for trucks. He enjoyed hauling hay, corn, wheat, anything he needed to for the farm.

Jim is survived by his wife, Lonna; son Brett (Christy) Loyd of Hereford; daughter Kimberly (Theodore) Garcia of Cheyenne; grandchildren Bailey and Ryder Loyd, Vince (Tori) Garcia, Anthony (Vivian) Garcia, Brooklyn and Logan Garcia and a great grandson, Tyler. Siblings Dan (Donna) Loyd, Pat (Cindy) Loyd, Mike Loyd, Polly (Jon) Derksen, brothers-in-law Don Smith, Bob (Cindy) Smith, Gary Smith and many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse & Evelyn Loyd.

Celebration of Life will be held Friday April 28, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Schrader Funeral home. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hereford Community Church.

Susan Pierce

Susan Pierce: 1947 – 2023

Susan Pierce, age 76, passed away surrounded by love and loved ones at Davis Hospice Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming on April 19, 2023, after a 12 year battle with ovarian cancer. Sue was born April 18, 1947 in Cheyenne to Ruth and Carson Baker. She grew up south of Cheyenne on a ranch near Carr, Colorado. By the age of four she was riding her pony with great abandon over the range most of the day and loving every minute of it! Her love of horses remained a big part of who Sue was her entire life. Now this was not just an ordinary love of horses – horses were her passion, second only to her beloved husband, Les, daughters Sherry and Tammy, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sue was 15 when she first met Les as the new boy in school at Wellington, CO. She immediately let the other girls know “hands off- he’s mine!” and sure enough, he was! Sue and Les were married on November 13, 1965.

Sue graduated from Poudre High School in 1965, with the first graduating class. She later became one of the first women certified computer programmers. Sue also taught many horse classes at LCCC, and attended many classes as well. Of course her favorite classes were focused on anything to do with horses. Sue was a dedicated 4H leader for 38 years and she enjoyed “her” kids and teaching them about horses, horsemen-ship and riding in her arena she named “Reinbow’s End” (that’s right, Rein….pretty creative right?) on their land east of Cheyenne. She also attended classes on tax preparation and worked several years for H & R Block. Sue worked for the United States Department of Agriculture both in Cheyenne and Burns. She also spent many years working with animals as a vet tech. Sue and Les often worked together on his construction jobs. Her abilities and interests were many and included camping, but her favorite place to be was home with her horses, chickens, numerous dogs through the years and her kitties. We will remember her gentle yet determined spirit, her ‘never give up’ attitude, and her ability to find joy in the darkest hours.

Sue was preceded in death by her parents Ruth and Carson Baker and is survived by her husband Leslie Pierce; daughters Sherry Lofink (Chad Lofink) and Tammy Pierce (Robert Esquibel); grandchildren Eric Pierce, Heather Vredenburg (Justyn Hoadley), Kari Eisenbarth, Carson Heater, Jesi Lofink (Rhyle Hoadley), Lissa Lofink (Robert Hallet), Megan Lofink (Ben Oster) and great grandchildren Anna, Jera, Ellie, Zade, Rainn, Hunter, Ridge and Emily… And sister in spirit Judy Ivester.

In lieu of a traditional funeral service, family and friends are invited to a celebration of life gathering at Schrader Funeral Home on Thursday April 27th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cody Wes Stroh

Cody Wes Stroh: 1984 – 2023

Cody Wes Stroh, Born February 4th, 1984, in Evanston Wy. Named after Buffalo Bill Cody.

Cody was always one for adventure and being in the great outdoors. He was an entrepreneur of sorts. He lived his life exploring all that life had to offer. Cody grew up mostly in the Bridger Valley before moving to Casper Wy, where his daughter, Makenzie Stroh, was born on March 22, 2007.

The last ten years Cody spent his time working in California with a traveling carnival along side his sister Jeanie Lewis. Hitting hard times brought Cody back to Bridger Valley.

Cody loved wilding wood, fishing, and going on walks. 

Cody is preceded in death by his mother: Deborah Skillin, brother, Zach Lewis and family member Mike Collins. 

Cody is survived by his Daughter: Makenzie Stroh, Step-father: Merrill Skillin, Brothers: Jason Stroh, Troy Campbell, and Ryan Spiers, Sisters: Brook Skillin, Jeanie Lewis, and Sophia Collins Gates. Nieces and Nephews: Cruz, Alex, and Alora Campbell, Austin, Franklin, and Talena Rosser, and Haiden and Oliver Kogel, Jackie Homan, Rachel Collings, and Sam Collins, Damien and Daniel Spiers, and great nephews Cryus Collings, Xulan Swensen and Xyan Swensen.

Andrew Leland Swisher

Andrew Leland Swisher: 1972 – 2023

To know Andy was to love him; if you were blessed enough to be loved by Andy, you were loved.

Andrew Leland Swisher was born on May 13, 1972, to Pamela (Leland) and Trace Swisher of Dayton, Ohio. Pam and Trace were so excited to welcome Andrew into the world. As the first grandchild to both sets of grandparents, he was pretty special, but that didn’t last long because two and a half years later his sister, Caroline, was born and he became a brother.

Brotherhood came naturally to Andy. The role of protecting his sister was taken very seriously, even going as far as telling the entire high school football team in the huddle that “nobody dates my sister.” He also took on the role of protecting his cousins David and Lizz who were more like siblings. This idea of being a “protector” carried over into many facets of Andy’s life.

He attended Oakwood High School, where he participated in lots of sports but his two favorites were baseball and football. In football, he earned the position of offensive lineman. Fitting, as his job in this position was to protect the quarterback. This idea of “brotherhood” was apparent here as well, forming long-lasting friendships that would carry him into adulthood.

After high school, he attended Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. He redshirted on the football team that year. He then decided to move to Gunnison, CO where he would continue his education and athletic career at Western State of Colorado. Andy never had trouble making friends and quickly bonded with a group of rowdy, fun-loving, cowboys there in Colorado. His quick wit and charismatic personality made him the life of the party. ALL the parties. In the small town of Gunnison, everybody knew Andy by name.

While at Western State he majored in Criminal Justice. He wanted to become a police officer to protect and serve. He accomplished this goal by moving to Oklahoma for his first police gig. He stayed there for a couple of years and eventually landed his dream job in Casper, Wyoming in 1998.

He entered the Casper PD with badge number 103. The “brotherhood” he formed in this position would take him to the last day of his life. This team was very important to him and he made that clear. He protected and served Casper with the PD through 2001, when a back injury on the job ended his career.

He also did a stint in Mills and as a State Trooper, but his loyalties always seemed to lie with his Casper team where he was known as one of the “Three Amigos” including John Hatcher and Steve Freel.

During this time, Andy became an uncle. This added a whole new level of “protector” to his life. He acquired a niece by marriage, Juli, and a niece by birth, Leland (Squiggy), who was born in 2000. He took this new role to the next level. He had a little practice with his partner John Hatcher’s first daughter Taylor, but now it was game on. He was able to be in the room while his second niece was born, Parker, in 2001. This may have traumatized him, but he was right there to watch her enter the world.

His third niece, Quinci, and fourth niece Drew, his namesake, followed. He loved them immensely and the feeling was reciprocated.

Having Andy around always meant there was lots of laughter and fun. In 2002 he changed his career path going to work for his father at White’s Mountain Motors in the body shop. The theme of “brotherhood” stood here as well because he was inclusive of everyone.

He loved hanging out with the mechanics, and the salesmen and making the ladies upstairs laugh. This career took him to many places. Dayton, OH, Gillette, WY, Kimble NE, and Texas. During his time in Nebraska, he met his wife, Becky (Cover), and they married in 2016. This gave Andy a new and different sense of “protector” as Becky had two children. This new role of Dad was very special to Andy. While I know he would say he wasn’t perfect at it, he loved Justin and Jessica with his whole heart as well as Justin’s wife Gabby and their two sons.

After several years in the car business, Andy ventured into oil sales and stayed with this until his passing.

Andy was a big man. He lived big and he loved big. He would give you the shirt off his back, and if you needed him he was there. Family was his everything and if you knew and loved him, you were family. He was an “Uncle” to many. He loved your children. He was silly and fun and all kids gravitated toward him. They were safe and felt protected by him and tended to get away with a lot more than their parents would let them get away with including Eggo Waffles and rootbeer for breakfast, right Hurley girls? He brought laughter and joy to so many.

Many who loved him were by his side as he transitioned into Heaven on April 12, 2023. While it upset him for his loved ones to see him in a weakened state, we all stood by his side. It went like this….John Hatcher (badge number 104) placed his hand on Andy’s chest:“103?”
“104 I’ll take the watch from here” You best believe he will continue to watch over us as his whole life motto was to protect and serve. Think of him often. Call on him when you need him or just miss him. He will be there (I heard about the Chemistry test, Peyt).

We are all blessed to have known such a man as Andrew Leland Swisher. 

Andy is survived by his wife Becky Swisher, his children Justin(Gabby) Whitebear and Jessica Whitebear, mother, Pamela Swisher, father, Trace B. Swisher, his Sister Caroline(Jerry) Mooren, and nieces Juli (Colby) Fowles, Leland, Parker, Quinci, and Drew Mooren, his Aunt and Uncle, Liza and Jeff Leland and cousins, Elizabeth (Brendan) Rhoads, and David (Laura) Leland. He is proceeded in death by his maternal grandparents, Helen and Gerald Leland, his paternal grandparents, Mary Jane and William Swisher, and his nephew, Colten M. Mooren.

A Celebration of Andy’s life will be held at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, Wyoming on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 5 p.m. 

A LIVESTREAM will be available to watch the celebration from afar at:
Search: YouTube.com Highland Park Community Church Livestream
*Will be on 10 minutes before the service. In Lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted to the Andrew L. Swisher – “A-103 Has the Watch” Fund, set up at the Wyoming Community Foundation.

Donations may be mailed to Wyoming Community Foundation, 1472 N. 5th Street, Laramie. WY 82702.

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