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Obituaries: Wagner; Koch; Joannides; Johnson; Larsen; Mattox; Ring; Steiner II;

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Randy Wagner: 1934 – 2023

Randall (Randy) Wagner, 89, Cheyenne Frontier Days longest tenured volunteer   passed away on May 15, 2023 at the Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne. He survived his wife of 67 years Betty; she was 89. 

Wagner’s 60 year association with CFDs is highlighted by his induction to the CFD Hall of Fame in 2012 and Cheyenne Frontier Days Heels in 1978. He was a charter member of the Public Relations Committee and official photographer for over 30 years.  In a 1994, Rocky Mountain News article on CFDs 100th birthday celebration, Wagner is singled out as a volunteer who gives his all.”

If organizers are looking for a model for the volunteer statue, they might consider Cheyenne writer-photographer Randy Wagner”. 

Wagner photographs the rodeo from inside the arena, often finding himself within 15 feet of the bucking broncs and twirling bulls. He survived a savage goring by a bull in 1985. Wagner is quoted in the article saying, “It’s going to be an exciting time. I couldn’t imagine living in Cheyenne and not being part of Frontier Days. You have long days and lot of work to do but I wouldn’t have it any other way”. 

In addition to his enormous contribution to Frontier Days, Wagner also left his mark professionally with over 27 years of management and leadership with three agencies of the State of Wyoming, highlighted by 15 years with the Wyoming Travel Commission, serving 10 of those years as the Director. During his tenure, he served on the Board of Directors of the Travel Industry Association of America and was named to that organization’s Executive Committee and Corporate Strategic Task Force. He was elected Chairman of the National Council of State Travel Directors and was named the U.S. Travel Director of the Year in 1984. 

Wagner also served with the Wyoming Recreation Commission, playing an instrumental role in adding Sinks Canyon and Curt Gowdy to the Wyoming State Parks system. In the late 60’s, he produced an award-winning documentary film on the Oregon Trail through Wyoming from Fort Laramie to Fort Bridger.  Prior to that, at Wyoming Fish and Game Department, he shot wildlife stills for Wyoming Wildlife Magazine and produced 16mm documentaries for agency’s education division.  

Following his career with the state, Wagner formed The Wagner Perspective, a travel industry consulting and freelance photography business. His clients included the Wyoming Division of Tourism and Nebraska’s Great Platte River Road Memorial. He planned and coordinated Wyoming’s participation in the national sesquicentennial celebrations of the 1843 Oregon Trail, the 1847 Mormon Pioneer Trail and the 1849 California Gold Rush. He also supported marketing efforts for a Wyoming Scenic Byway and Backway program. Wagner is a past president of both the Oregon-California Trails Association and the Lincoln Highway Association. 

A lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, his passion started when he was growing up in Lander, getting his first bike at age 14. Starting in the early 70’s, he and Betty made trips with a group of local couples to places like the Black Hills, Cody, the Rocky Mountains and far off places like Nova Scotia. US Bankruptcy Judge Pete McNiff rode with Wagner for nearly forty years.

“It is fascinating to travel with Wagner because he’s so knowledgeable about Wyoming,” McNiff said.

“Wagner can point out where battles occurred and where pioneers were caught in a blizzard, and he is especially well versed on the Oregon Trail,” McNiff added.

Wagner logged over 700,000 miles while traveling all 50 states (except Alaska and Hawaii) as well as tours of Europe, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and Switzerland.

Wagner’s collection of photographs and personal items reside at the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center in Laramie, and the Cheyenne Frontier Day’s Old West Museum in Cheyenne. 

Mr. Wagner is a proud University of Wyoming alumni, graduating in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in professional journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Army, serving in the Corps of Engineers as Division Photographer from 1956-58. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard (Dick) Wagner (Eloise), and Hazel McClintock (Howard); his wife Betty; daughter Kelly Jones; and son Kraig Wagner.

He is survived by Kary Wagner (George Foutz) of Hauser, Idaho and Kriste Sumpter (Michael) of Eagle, Idaho.

Randy has five grandchildren (Will Jones, Sam Sumpter, Bob Jones, Maggie Jones, Bobbi Sumpter) and 3 great-grandchildren (Ryker, Reya, and Hudson.)  

He is also survived by a sister Noni Nirider of Lander; a brother-in-law Richard Valent of Cheyenne and a brother-in-law Bob Simon.

Kim “Cookie” Loch

Kim “Cookie” Koch: 1955 – 2023

Kim “Cookie” Koch, 67, passed away peacefully on May 14, 2023 at his home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was born on May 15, 1955 in Laramie, Wyoming to John Robert Koch and BettyJean Koch.

Cookie spent his childhood and early adult years in Laramie and graduated from Laramie High School in 1973. He later moved to Cheyenne where he worked as an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad for over 30 years.

Following his retirement, Cookie had time to pursue his interests, which included golf and then even more golf. He always made the sport look easy as his father had worked with him from an early age to develop a perfect golf swing.

Cookie’s pleasant and unassuming personality was contagious to everyone he met. He was especially gracious following most golf outings while accepting the amounts owed from small wagers. He will be greatly missed by his many friends in the Cheyenne area, including, of course, his golfing companions who now have an empty slot to fill – a spot that cannot really be filled by anyone.

Cookie was pre-deceased by his parents. He is survived by his brother, Michael, of Arizona and his long-time partner Shelley Lindeman.

Funeral services are being handled by Wiederspahn-Radomsky of Cheyenne.

Kim’s friends are planning Cookie’s Celebration of Life to take place at Amvets Bar … in Cheyenne on Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. All of his friends are invited.

Kathy Joannides

Kathy Joannides: 1955 – 2023

Kathy Ann Joannides (Swegle), age 67, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, lost her 4-year battle to ALS and passed away on Saturday, May 13, peacefully in her home in Cheyenne. Kathy was born on July 1, 1955, to Charles E. and Shirley J. Swegle in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from Galesburg High School in 1973. In Galesburg, she met the love of her life, Tim Joannides, and moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1981 and then to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1983. Kathy married Tim on July 6, 1985, in Cheyenne and was thrilled to become a stepmother to Chris, Angela and Nick Joannides. 

Kathy eagerly started her college degree in Cheyenne at Laramie County Community College where she graduated with a High Distinction honor (3.7 GPA or better) with an Associate of Arts Degree in 1987. She was nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges from 1987-88. Kathy was on the President’s Honor Roll and received an Honors Scholarship to the University of Wyoming.

In December of 1987, her son Andrew was born. Kathy continued her studies at the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She earned Arts and Sciences Honors for Academic Excellence in 1990 and 1992. She was also a member of the Golden Key National Honors Society. After graduation, she decided to stay home and raise Andrew full-time.

During this period, she began her passion for volunteerism. She helped with Andrew’s Boy Scout troop, helped at Hobbs Elementary School, and helped coach soccer for the Cheyenne Soccer Association. Kathy was an avid sports fan; she loved the Denver Broncos and the University of Wyoming sports programs.

Kathy was a two-time breast cancer survivor. As of 2023, Kathy was 26 years cancer-free! 

Kathy proudly volunteered with the DePaul Hospital Guild and the United Medical Center Auxiliary (served as President from 1995-96). Kathy assisted with “Home Away from Home,” “Race to Win Against Breast Cancer” and the American Cancer Society. 

She also served on the Laramie County Community College Foundation Board from 1997-98 and the United Medical Center Foundation board from 1997-2008. Kathy co-chaired the United Medical Center’s Davis Hospice Campaign while she and Tim co-chaired the Laramie County United Way Campaign from 2010-2013. Kathy worked for the Montessori School of Cheyenne in 1983 and Cathee’s Candle Cupboard during the holiday season of 2001 and whenever she wasn’t volunteering.

Kathy was very active in the Greek Orthodox Church with the Daughters of Penelope since 1985, serving as past District Governor and past Chapter President. Kathy was a founding member of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne and served on the Fundraising Committee and Philoptochos. She was also a member of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cheyenne and was past Parish Council member and President. She was active in the following parishes: Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Tucson, Arizone; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Casper, Wyoming and Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Rock Island, Illinois. 

Kathy loved photographing sunsets, growing flowers, birdwatching, and the family dogs. She always dreamed of having horses. She loved to travel and visit her family in Illinois, visit their home in Tubac, Arizona and indulge in different cultures around the world. Kathy was an avid golfer, and she was a member of the Cheyenne Country Club, Green Valley Country Club in Green Valley, Arizona, and the Old Baldy Club in Saratoga, Wyoming. She participated in the Cheyenne Country Club Women’s Golf Association, Fore & Score, and the FE Warren Air Force Base Ladies Golf Association.  

Kathy was preceded in death by her mother Shirley Lester; father Charles Swegle; sister Teri Swegle; stepmother Marilyn Swegle; father-in-law Louis Joannides and mother-in-law Jennie Joannides.

She is survived by her husband Timothy Joannides of Cheyenne, Wyoming; children, Andrew (Brittany) Joannides of Cheyenne, Wyomingm  Christopher (Betsey) Joannides of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Angela (Tim) Johansen of Harlem, Georgia, Nickolas (Courtney) Joannides of Scottsdale, Arizona; and seven (7) grandchildren with whom she loved spending time: Alicia Turner, Jarod Turner, Sophia Schamber, Isabella Joannides, Bailey Arquitt, Oliver Joannides and Elijah Joannides; Kathy’s sister, Susan (Rick) Welty of Galesburg, Illinois; brother Charles Thomas (Sylvia) Swegle of Springfield, Illinois; niece Megan Welty; nephews Adam (Debbie) Welty, Jonathan Swegle (Courtney Jackson), Eric (Marie’lyn) Swegle; 5 great-nieces and 1 great-nephew. 

Kathy is also survived by her stepbrothers Randy (Debbie) Wilson of Galesburg and Scott Wilson of Bloomington, Illinois; stepsister Candi (John) Moulton of Galesburg and 4 nieces and nephews; Kathy’s sister-in-law, Katina (David) Joannides-Erlandson of Beaverton, Oregon; sister-in-law Susannah Mihail of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; nephews Paul and Reed Erlandson; her uncle Dale Page of Peoria, Illinois and several cousins.

Kathy’s visitation will be held Sunday, May 21st from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church in Cheyenne with a Trisagion service at 5:30 p.m. The funeral will be held on Monday, May 22nd at 2:00 p.m. at the church and the burial will follow at the Mountain View Memorial Park on North Yellowstone Road. A reception for all attendees will be held afterwards at The Gallery at the Metropolitan Downtown in Cheyenne at 4:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested all memorial donations be made to the Land and Building Development Funds of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne or the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Tucson, Arizona.

Bernice Eulalie Johnson

Bernice Eulalie Johnson: 1924 – 2023

Bernice Eulalie Johnson was born June 7, 1924 to Esther and Henry Robertson in Westby, Montana.

She graduated from Antelope High School, Antelope, Montana in 1943. Bernice moved to Seattle, Washington and then to Los Angelos, California where she worked for the telephone company in the trademark department.

Bernice married James H. Johnson March 6, 1948. They made their home on the family farm in Dagmar, Montana community. They had 2 children, Cleo and Donna.

Bernice was a homemaker and was very active in the Nathanael Lutheran Church. Bernice loved her flowers and had a beautiful yard. She especially loved her lilacs.

Bernice moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2006.

Bernice is survived by her daughters, Cleo Nagel, Tangent , Oregon and Donna Arnold (Douglas) Cheyenne, Wyoming; grandchildren Ronald Nagel(Juli) Albany, Oregon; Wanda Nagel, Kelso, Washington; Joshua Tinney(Holly) Cheyenne, Wyoming; Jason Tinney(Dawn) Laramie , Wyoming. 11 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren; brother Norman Robertson (Carol) Helena, Montana.

She was preceded in death by her husband James Johnson and her parents Esther and Henry Robertson.

Services will be held at Lakeview Chapel at Schrader, Aragon & Jacoby May 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

A service will be held at Fulkerson Funeral Home in Plentywood, MT followed by an internment at Nathanael Lutheran Church on Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Gina C. Larsen

GIna C. Larsen: 1958 – 2023

Gina C. Larsen was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She earned her angel wings May 15, 2023 surrounded by family.

She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Doug Larsen; daughter, Sarah (Cameron) Baluska; son, Chris (Kim Sushan) Larsen; mother, Geneva C. Brock; sisters, Linda (Allen) Norden, Tammy (George) Grant, all of Cheyenne; grandchildren, Austin, Callan and Landrie Baluska of Cheyenne, Tyler Wilken of Tacoma, Washington and Trista Wilken of Cheyenne; brother in laws, Jerry (Phyllis) Larsen and Larry (Corki) Larsen of Arizona, and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and close friends.

Gina was preceded in death by her father, James C. Brock; son Cody J. Mullen, and grandparents.
Gina was born to James and Geneva Brock in Laramie, Wyoming on June 14, 1958.

She graduated from Platte Valley High School in Saratoga Wyoming in 1976, where she excelled in basketball. Gina stayed in Saratoga where she worked for Dr. Johnson, DDS. She eventually moved to Laramie. She settled in Cheyenne in 1985 and had a variety of jobs and retired from Wyoming Tribune Eagle in 2019.

Gina was a member of the Cheyenne Airport Golf Course where she served on the Twilight League Board in 2005 & 2006. She was an avid bowler on Women’s Wednesday Night League and mixed doubles on Friday night. She also enjoyed gambling with trips to Blackhawk and Las Vegas. She loved all genres of music and attended many concerts throughout her life with The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac being her two favorites.

She loved to play all types of games, whether it was cards, dice or board games. She and Doug were season ticket holders to the Wyoming Cowboys Football. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family and friends and enjoyed spoiling her grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place at Weidersphan Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes and a celebration of life will take place at a later date.

Donations can be made to Cheyenne Regional Cancer Center.

Hannah Mattox

Hannah Mattox: 1996 – 2023

Hannah Yvonne Rose Mattox came into this world on August 6,1996. She brought with her love, light, friendship and a fierce sense of loyalty to those she trusted and loved. She attended Job Core, and from there she went to an adult educational school in Utah where she received her high school diploma.

From there she went on to Davis University in Utah where she was studying for her RN degree. She received her CNA certification while she was at Davis University and worked full-time at a nursing home.

She had a 3.5 grade average while she attended the university. Hannah was always a natural caregiver and was an unbelievably giving and generous person. Hannah left Davis University early to return to Cheyenne to live a more colorful, unconventional, thrilling and unchained lifestyle.

She is survived by her daughter Raeleigh Zaeden Jewel Carrera, who was born on March 24th of 2022. She is also survived by her mother Shelley Kokai and sister Kyleigh McVay, as well as her grandfather David Mattox and many uncles and great uncles and her Aunt Marlow.

She could fill up a room with her laughter and light that she carried with her. She silently endured many hardships with grace and dignity in her life that was cut short. She had a creative mind and was ever so thoughtful of her loved ones. She especially loved the role she played as an aunt to her nephew Silas and niece Isla. She was always thinking of others and being sure to give gifts to those she loved on birthdays and holidays such as Christmas and Easter. She also had gifts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentines Day, and she never forgot Halloween either.

Bringing gifts, singing songs, sharing laughs and leaving words of wisdom from her traveling is just a few of her virtues that will always be missed.

Patricia “Pat” Anne Ring

Patricia “Pat” Anne Ring: 1951 – 2023

Patricia A. Ring (Adels), 71, of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Thursday May 11, 2023 at 4:43 p.m. at her home after a long battle with cancer.

Patricia was born in Kimball, Nebraska, November 6, 1951 to Albert (Sye) and Annabel F. Adels (Garrard).

Patricia was a graduate of Pine Bluffs High School with the class of 1970. She then went on to pursue a career in cosmetology and attended Wrights Beauty Academy in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Pat made a lifelong career of being a beautician/hairdresser, which she absolutely loved. She also managed a few restaurants in Pine Bluffs.

“Pat” loved many things in life, but most of all she loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren the most. She loved the color purple, anything with hearts, bowling and hunting rocks (arrowheads).

Patricia was preceded in death by her mother (Annabel) and father (Sye); one sister, Carolyn; three brothers, Richard, Raymond and Ronald Adels.

She is survived by her daughter, Tricia Held of Kimball, Nebraska; son Chad (Jennifer) Ring of Lake Forest, California; four grandchildren, Layne (Janie) Ring, Shayna Held, Jessica and Casandra Ring; six great-grandchildren, Adriannah, Gracion, Zayne, Alisabeth and Aliviah Ring and Kyler Hull; and two brothers, Bruce (Deb), and Doug Adels of Pine Bluffs.

She will be missed by many and will be remembered as Mom, G-ma, GiGi to many that loved her and will miss her dearly.

Cremation has taken place at Wiederspahn Radomsky Chapel.

A celebration of life will be held at Crossroads Community Church on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers the family will take donations at this time to help with expenses. Checks can be made out to Chad Ring or Tricia Held, PO Box 425 Pine Bluffs, Wyoming 82082

Marvin “Marv” Steiner II

Marvin “Marv” Steiner II: 1954 – 2023

Marv Steiner, 68, of Cheyenne passed away peacefully in his home on Monday May 15, 2023.

He was born October 19, 1954 to Marvin “Ed” and Shirley Steiner in Corpus Christi, TX .

They lived in San Diego until they moved to Cheyenne in 1959. He was raised mostly in Cheyenne where he attended school and eventually joined a seismograph crew and traveled the state of Wyoming helping build the Interstate system. On February 14, 1975 he married Sue Berkey and they had a daughter Chandra.

They continued to travel with work until settling down in Cheyenne in 1979. He still worked in road construction driving heavy equipment and found his love for machines of all kinds. In 1985 he bought his first stock car and joined the local racing community at Big Country Speedway / Intermountain Speedway where they spent their family weekend time for 20 years.

They found a new kind of family in the racing community and he made many lifelong friends. He had a passion for anything with speed and loved building hot rods, restoring old cars and eventually motorcycles. In 1999 he quit road construction and went on to being an independent owner/operator truck driver until his retirement in 2009.

Marv is survived by his parents Ed and Shirley Steiner of Cheyenne; his daughter Chandra Steiner (Mark Titus) of Cheyenne; his companion Cathy McKenzie; three inherited grandchildren; and five inherited great-grandchildren, as well as his fur baby, Lady Luck.

He was preceded in death by his wife Suzi Steiner in 2009.

Visitation was held Thursday May 18, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A Memorial Service will be held on Monday May 22, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel with reception to follow at the Gathering Place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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