Over 999,000 readers this year!

Obituaries: Callahan; Curtis; Fritsch; Johnston; Woodbury

Obituaries are a complimentary service of Cap City News. To order a free or custom obit, please follow the link at our obits page.

Clara Ann Callahan

Clara Ann Callahan: 1939 – 2023

Clara Ann Callahan, 84, of Wheatland, died on November 26, 2023 in Wheatland.

She was born April 3, 1939, to Leonard and Helen Wilkinson in McLouth, Kansas.

Clara and her husband Jim made their home in Wheatland, Wyoming, where they enjoyed their home and yard, which they maintained beautifully. Clara devoted her time to the community of Wheatland through volunteer work for the Platte County Hospital Auxiliary, Wheatland Nursing Home, and Ladies Clubs. She loved to entertain guests, hosting Mother’s Day tea parties, garden parties, or craft parties for the residents in her beautiful yard, which she loved to tend to. She was devoted to her family, hosting many reunions and bringing her loved ones together with her excellent cooking and impeccable sense of humor.

Clara was preceded in death by her husbands, Eugene Potter and James Callahan; son, Richard Potter; her parents, Leonard and Helen; and seven brothers and three sisters.

She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Pat Potter; grandson, Shane Potter; and great-grandson, Owen Potter; as well as two step-daughters, Jeri and Sharon; one brother; four sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was greatly loved by her friends and family, who will miss her greatly.

Donna J. Curtis

Donna J. Curtis: 1950 – 2023

Donna J. Curtis (Blackerby) (Crane).

Born in Lyons, Nebraska to Marilyn Zuniga and Walter Blackerby.

Enjoyed gardening, cooking and rescuing dogs.

She is survived by daughters: Shelly (Bryan) Hopper and Wendy (Robert) Reeve; two granddaughters, Samantha Reeve and Morgan (Roy) Michael; and sister Kristy (Armando) Chamberlin.

Preceded by her parents and sisters, Kathy Nieman and Sharon Robinson.

Donations can be made to Davis Hospice Center in her name.

Darlene F. Fritsch: 1932 – 2023

Darlene F. Fritsch, 90, of Cheyenne, died on November 30, 2023, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

She was born on December 23, 1932, in Utica, South Dakota to Emil and Mendi Miller with her twin sister.

She was raised on a farm there with her family.

Darlene’s work history included experience in retail and restaurants as well as a full-time mother and homemaker.

Eventually Darlene moved to Symerton, Illinois, before marrying her first husband, Bill Watling in 1954. Darlene had an instant family with three children: Sharon, Patti and Bill, Jr. She was married to Bill until he passed away in 1982.

In 1984, Darlene married Ken Fritsch, who has three sons: Kerry, Kenneth and Kregg. They were married in Michigan and later retired to North Fort Myers, Florida. After Ken’s passing in 2021, and some additional time in Florida, Darlene decided to move to Wyoming.

Darlene was a long-time member and very active at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Fort Myers, Florida. She was involved in several ministries including greeting, ushering and the Prayer Shawl Ministry. She was very artistic and loved to paint, knit and create many beautiful needlepoint pieces.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Mendi; her first husband, Bill; and her second husband, Ken. She was also preceded by Bill Jr.; and her siblings: Bernice, Geneva, Verlyn, Arlene and Beverly.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Ginger; her stepchildren: Sharon (Robert), Patti, Kenneth (Sandy), Kerry (Diane), and Kregg (Linda); and many grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

A burial, tentatively scheduled in mid-January (2024), will be held in Fort Myers, Florida at St. Michael Lutheran Church. Please contact Kerry Fritsch at kef4475@gmail.com for further details regarding Darlene’s service.

Darlene will be missed by family and many dear friends.

Bruce Cress Johnston

Bruce Cress Johnston: 1983 – 2023

Bruce Cress Johnston, a talented heavy equipment operator and skilled tractor repairman, passed away on November 28, 2023. Born on November 25, 1983, in Rapid City, South Dakota, Bruce lived a life filled with passion and adventure. His love for trucks, classic cars, and restoring antique tractors ignited his soul and brought him immense joy. He left this earth surrounded by his beloved mother, sister, and brother-in-law.

Bruce’s career as a heavy equipment operator was marked by extraordinary talent and dedication. He possessed an innate ability to maneuver these machines with precision and finesse. Additionally, his expertise in tractor repair showcased his exceptional mechanical skills and commitment to his craft.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Bruce will be remembered for the spark of happiness he brought to every room he entered. His infectious laughter resonated joyously, surpassing the amusement of any joke. It was said that his laughter could be heard for half a mile, leaving an indelible impression on all who had the privilege of hearing it.

Education played a crucial role in Bruce’s life journey. Although he received his GED, his thirst for knowledge extended far beyond formal education. He possessed an insatiable curiosity for the world around him, constantly seeking new insights and experiences.

Bruce had a zest for life that encompassed both work and leisure. He found solace in driving anywhere at any time, exploring backroads with the enthusiasm of a true adventurer. His boundless energy was matched only by his deep connection to nature and family ranches. It was in these idyllic settings that Bruce felt most at home.

A loving son and brother of unmatched caliber, Bruce embraced his role with unwavering dedication. He cherished the bond he shared with his beloved father, Gary Dwight Johnston, who preceded him in death. The memories they created together will forever hold a special place in his heart.

Bruce’s legacy is one defined by love and compassion for others. Like Jesus himself, he had a heart of gold and a genuine affection for the most vulnerable among us. His kindness touched the lives of countless individuals, leaving an indelible impact on all who crossed his path.

Bruce’s passing came after a brief illness, succumbing to hypoxia. Surrounded by his mother, Cindy Cress Johnston,  his sister Sandra Johnston Palluck, and brother-in-law Thomas Palluck, he peacefully transitioned to eternal rest. Their presence during his final moments brought comfort and solace as he embarked on his journey beyond this earthly realm.

Bruce leaves behind a loving family and numerous friends whose lives were forever enriched by his vibrant spirit. He is survived by his beloved mother, Cindy Cress Johnston of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Roxy Fisher of Rapid City, South Dakota; his eldest sister, Perri Johnston Davis of Columbia Heights, Minnesota; and his little sister, Sandra Johnston Palluck, along with brother-in-law Thomas Palluck and two nephews, Destin Dwight Palluck and Taven Clell Palluck – all of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bruce also leaves behind many adoring aunts, uncles, and countless cousins who will fondly remember him.

In celebrating Bruce Cress Johnston’s life, we honor the memories that he created and the love that he shared. His laughter will continue to echo in our hearts, forever reminding us of the joy he radiated during his time with us. May we find solace in knowing that while he may no longer be physically present, his spirit will forever guide and inspire us.

John Woodbury

John Woodbury: 1946 – 2023

John Woodbury of Cheyenne died peacefully on Sunday, December 3, 2023 at Cheyenne Regional Hospital John left this world surrounded by his loving wife and three daughters and leaves a legacy as robust and enduring as the mountains he so loved.

Born in the heart of the Wyoming Red Desert, John arrived on a summer’s day in August 1946. His journey began in the embrace of his beloved parents, Alva and Helen Woodbury. Most who knew him agree that, from the very beginning, John was destined for greatness. Stories of his childhood cleverness and youthful entrepreneurial spirit are the stuff of family lore.

Books were John’s first love, and he embarked on his academic adventure at the University of Wyoming in the raucous 1960s. He emerged in 1969 with a degree in pharmacology and a cherished membership to the fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. Studious and fun-loving, John’s fondly remembered his college days as a time of intellectual rigor and friendships that would last a lifetime. John had a knack for creating
cherished memories with those around him.

Though John was undoubtedly a scholar, he also had a love for building things from scratch. Armed with determination, a keen business sense, and an eye for new adventures, John co-founded MitchWood Construction with his dear friend Ben Mitchell in the late 1970s. Together, they reshaped Rawlins, leaving behind a tangible legacy of buildings and structures that stand as a testament to John’s leadership, craftsmanship, and commitment to excellence.

Known for his boundless generosity and an unyielding desire to help others, John was a natural leader. Whether it was friends, family, or strangers, he extended a helping hand without a second thought. His charisma and warmth drew people in, creating a network of relationships that defined his rich tapestry of life.

John’s heart belonged to the great outdoors, finding solace and joy at his cabin in the Sierra Madres. Surrounded by nature’s beauty, he immersed himself in building projects, the likes of which only a person with a true passion for life could undertake. His beloved “cabin on the side of the mountain” sits as the crown jewel in a life of workmanship. As the sun dipped below the mountainous horizon, John would reflect on the day’s accomplishments, finding peace in the simplicity of a breathtaking sunset.
At home, John relished in the simple pleasures. From cooking grand Thanksgiving feasts to the rhythmic hum of the riding lawn mower, John turned every project into a canvas of precision. A sneakily generous spirit, John always had a treat for his loyal canine companions, ensuring their tails wagged in appreciation.

Though he had the unique gift of making anyone feel like family, John’s devotion to his own family was unmatched. He is survived by his wife Michele; daughters: Keri Bear, Meggan Bilotte, and Erin Andrews; grandchildren: Griffin Bear (24), Kaci Bear (24), Oliver Bilotte (16), Josie Andrews (11), Theo Andrews (8), Opal Bilotte (7); brothers, Glen (Sharon) Woodbury and Dave (Susan) Woodbury; as well as numerous relatives and loyal family friends. John’s love was fierce, unconditional, and unwavering. He leaves behind a legacy of love that will echo through generations.

John Woodbury, a man whose laughter was infectious, whose kindness was boundless, and whose spirit touched the lives of many, has said his last goodbye and taken his final “roadie.” He will be greatly and forever missed, but his legacy of love, generosity, and the warmth he brought to our lives will endure in our hearts. Raise a glass in his honor, share a laugh, and cherish the moments you have with your loved ones. Celebrate the life he lived, for he would want nothing more.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to John’s favorite local charity, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.