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Obituaries: Ellenbecker; Valdez; Werts; Zeman

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Jill Rochelle Ellenbecker

Jill Rochelle Ellenbecker: 1981 – 2023

Jill R. Ellenbecker, 42, of Cheyenne passed away on December 4, 2023. Jill was born on August 31, 1981, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Jill loved animals and was active in 4H and FFA. Later she was also part of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Dandies.

She graduated from Central High School in 1999 and went on to the University of Wyoming and graduated with a degree in elementary education.

Jill knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher and enjoyed teaching in Cheyenne, Torrington, and Casper.

In 2019 she returned to Cheyenne and worked at her families’ business.

Jill was kind, loving, friendly and thoughtful; and will be truly missed by those who knew and loved her.

Jill is survived by her parents, Don and Shelly Ellenbecker; a brother, Tyler Ellenbecker; her maternal grandpa, Willis Thompson; her two cats (her boys), Baxter and Becker; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The family will have private graveside service on Thursday, December 14, and a Celebration of Life the same day at 12:30 p.m., for family and close friends at Schrader Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter of Black Dog Animal Rescue.

Alice F. Valdez

Alice F. Valdez: 1931 – 2023

Alice F. Valdez, 92, of Cheyenne, completed her pilgrimage on earth and began her journey to her heavenly home on December 4, 2023 after a life well lived.

She was born on April 9, 1931 in Wagon Mound, New Mexico to Rumaldo and Pauline Sandoval. She married Jacob Valdez on July 17, 1947, and shared 71 years of marriage before Jake’s passing. Together they had six children: Roberta Mock, Jacob (Mary), Raymond (Joann), Regina Lucero (Rudy), and Annette Wheeler (Wayne).

They were blessed with 17 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Alice’s priorities were God and family. She was the best mother, grandmother, and friend, always sharing her faith and love with all she encountered. She always ended a visit with an “I love you and God bless you.” She was very active in St Joseph’s Catholic Church and its prayer groups. Her favorite time was her time spent in prayer.

In addition to her children, she is survived by her sisters: Melva Padilla (Auggie), Mary Lovato and Charlotte Martinez (Rudy); sister-in-law, Dorita Sandoval; and brother-in-law, Raymond Vigil.

Alice was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jacob; an infant daughter, Margaret; son-in-law, Ray Mock; brothers, Lee and Danny Sandoval; and sisters, Georgia Vigil and Margo Vialpando.

We would like to give a special thank you to the staff of Life Care Center of Cheyenne for the loving care they provided for our mother and for our family. They are truly special people.

Officiants will be Father Emilio Cabrera and Father Michael Carr.

Viewing will be Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel.

Vigil for the Deceased will be Sunday, 4:00 p.m., at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel.

Funeral Liturgy will be Monday, 10:30 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Diana Salm Werts: 1951 – 2023

Diana Salm Werts, 72, of Cheyenne, passed at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center surrounded by her loving family on December 1, 2023.

She was born on April 29, 1951 in Harper, Iowa, to August and Phyllis Salm. Diana’s family spent most of her growing years in Iowa City, where Diana graduated from West High School. She attended the University of Iowa. On January 22, 1972 Diana married Tary Werts. They moved to Kearney, Nebraska, and later to North Platte, Nebraska, where her daughter Michelle was born. Shortly after Michelle’s birth they settled in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Diana was a loving wife and mother. She worked as a homemaker and enjoyed cooking, baking, crocheting, camping, and she had a great sense of humor. She worked with Wyoming Girl Scouts. Later, she worked for Laramie County School District #1 retiring in 2015.

Diana was preceded in death by her parents, August and Phyllis Salm; her sister, Shirley Herdliska; brother, Tom Salm; parents-in-law, Roger and Charlotte Werts; sister-in-law, Tammy Salm; and brother-in-law, Cary Werts.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 51 years, Tary Werts; daughter, Michelle Schein (Randy) of Guernsey, Wyoming; granddaughter, Natalie Schein of Guernsey; sister, Jean Cooney (Bill) of New Liberty, Iowa; brothers: Terry Salm (Ellen) of Vero Beach, Florida, Randy Salm (Denise), and Jeff Salm (Tina), all of Iowa City, Iowa; sister-in-law, Peggy Mackey (Dana) of Fremont, Nebraska; brothers-in-law, Gary Werts (Diana) of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Bary Werts of North Platte, Nebraska; and many nieces and nephews.

Valdonna Lorraine Zeman

Valdonna Lorraine Zeman: 1950 – 2023

Valdonna L. Zeman, 73, of Cheyenne passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023, at Davis Hospice Center, surrounded by her family. She was born September 4, 1950, to Edward and Betty Zeman in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Val retired from Qwest after 34.5 years of service. She was a past President of the Telephone Pioneers of America and a member of Grace United Methodist Church. Val had a contagious smile and passion for giving that will never be forgotten.

She enjoyed spending time with her family more than anything and watching the Rockies, Broncos, and the Hallmark channel.

She is survived by her daughter, Traci (Kevin) Igo; sister, Karen Wilson; two grandchildren, Kendall (Kelly) Ceballos and Tyler (Tess) Workman; great-grandson, Otto Ceballos; aunt Sharon Meyer; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Val was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Betty Zeman; brother in-law, Dan Wilson; along with several aunt and uncles.

Services will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel with Rev. Darrell Dennis officiating. Interment will follow at Cheyenne Memorial Gardens.