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Obituaries: Ladd; Rish

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Marilyn Ladd

Marilyn Ladd: 1933 – 2024

In the peacefulness of her home and with her family beside her, Marilyn Ladd passed away on the morning of May 23, 2024.  Marilyn’s was a life well lived and richly rewarded by the love of the family and friends she walked through life with. 

Born on October 15, 1933 in Denver, Colorado to Saxton and Mary McReynolds, Marilyn was the oldest of five children.  In that immediate family setting, Marilyn developed qualities that stayed with her throughout her long life.  She was treasured as a daughter and big sister because of her outgoing personality, humor, compassion, courage and eternally positive attitude. Marilyn was particularly close to Rae Marie, the youngest in the family, and their bond as sisters and friends was one that only grew stronger and more meaningful. As Marilyn would have hoped, Rae Marie sat next to her in her final hours.

The McReynolds Family moved to Casper when Marilyn was five years old. They first moved into a home on the corner of 13th and Durbin and subsequently moved to other residences in downtown Casper.  Hers was an industrious family and Marilyn and brothers John and Dave made some pocket money and many lifelong friends at their fishing worm stand.  The late Dick Sedar, always a keeper of Casper history and one of those lifelong friends, spoke highly of the fishing worms sold by the McReynolds kids on Jackson Street. 

On August 29, 1953 Marilyn married Bill Ladd.  If there is one decision in Marilyn’s life that defined her and contributed the most to a wonderful life, marrying Bill was that pivotal choice.  She found in Bill a loving and devoted husband, unquestionably the world’s best father and grandfather,  a best friend, a hard worker, a ski buddy, a travel companion and a steady force in the tides of her life.  Marilyn and Bill embraced and celebrated the good times in life – so many of those times spent on ski slopes and at Alcova. They knew how to have fun and they shared their spirit of adventure in generous measure with their children Bruce, John and Lee Anne.

Marilyn and Bill and their young family moved into a home in 1961 built by Bill on Carmel Drive.  Raising a family in their home on Carmel Drive remained some of Marilyn’s very best memories.  She loved the home, she loved the neighborhood and the neighbors, and she placed great value on the foundation of our family that 3640 Carmel Drive always symbolized for her.  The years on Carmel coincided with areas of Marilyn’s life that meant so much to her: a ladies gourmet group that lasted, in some fashion, to this day; playing in tennis leagues; attending mass at Our Lady of Fatima and St. Anthony churches; sharing her skiing prowess as a ski instructor at Hogadon for 30 years; downsizing from a Chrysler station wagon to a Porsche Targa in the mid 70’s (she wore that car well!); seeing her children off to college; and being a recognizable face in the Casper community.  Marilyn’s smile and style were made brighter and better because of the joyful years on Carmel Drive.

Marilyn and Bill lived for six years in Santa Rosa, California. While Bill owned and operated an engineering firm, Marilyn passed the California Real Estate Exam and began a 30 year career as a real estate agent.  Moving back to Wyoming in 1993, Marilyn continued in real estate until she retired at the age of 84.  She found tremendous fulfillment during her time as a real estate agent.  She was fearless, hard working and determined. She engaged with the business community and with her clients in meaningful ways.  Recognized for her professionalism and service to the Casper community, many opportunities became available to her: serving on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club including a term as president, serving on the Board of Directors of American National Bank and participating in Leadership Wyoming. 

Connecting with people came easily to Marilyn, in large part because of her authentic concern for the well-being of others.  If you were a friend of Marilyn’s – of which she had many – you should know you hold a non-transferable title to a part of her heart.  She was “all in” with the people she cared about.  Most notably, Marilyn’s greatest wish was for her grandchildren, Tom Ladd, Taylor Walter and Amy Ladd, to find a sense of purpose and contentment in life.  She was steadfast in her support of and love for her grandchildren. Her devotion to them was clearly met with their devotion to her, and the bond shared between grandmother and grandchildren during her lifetime was palpable and poignant.  Witnessing Tom, Taylor and Amy this last week as they stayed with their grandmother through her final moments served as a testament to what mattered the most in Marilyn’s life:  love of family and the immeasurable blessings found there.

A picture of Marilyn’s life would not be complete without the acknowledgement of the devotion of our dad to our mom.  Long lives come with health challenges that can be daunting and considerable.  Our brave mother knew well such challenges.  Armed with a healthcare team including Drs. Louis Pisters (MD Anderson, Houston, Texas), Joe Mickelson, Paul Jones and Michel Skaf, Marilyn met her health challenges with grit and resilience.  More than anything or anyone, her Super Power on that front was our dad. In his role as husband and caregiver, Bill utilized his patience, instincts, love and compassion to care for Marilyn in a grace-filled manner that has been awe inspiring. 

Marilyn is survived by her husband, Bill of Casper; her children: Bruce (Anne) of Alcova, Wyoming, John (Mariana) of Houston, Texas, Lee Anne of Casper; her grandchildren: Tom (Emily) of Denver, Colorado, Taylor (Elliott) of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Amy (Bobby) of Heber City, Utah; her sister, Rae Marie (Bob) of Sheridan, Wyoming; sister-in-law, Linda Fellwock (Chuck) of Evansville, Indiana; and many nieces and nephews. 

Marilyn is predeceased by her parents; and siblings: Dave, John and Sally.

A celebration of life will be held this summer and announced closer to the date. Our family is indebted for the care provided by Central Wyoming Hospice. In lieu of flowers, Marilyn’s memory would be best served if you would consider a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming.

Jennie Rish

Jennie Rish: 1945 – 2024

Jennie Rish, 79, of Cheyenne passed beyond the vail at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center surrounded by her loving husband of 59 years.  She was born May 7, 1945 in Ft. Lupton, Colorado to Adolph Alvarez and Louise Bueno.   

Jennie spent her younger years in the Ft. Lupton area and moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming when her father went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR}. She spent her grade school and junior high school years in Cheyenne and moved with the family to Burns, Wyoming when the railroad transferred her father to that area.   

 In February 1965, while working at the WYO movie theater in Cheyenne, she saw a young USAF airman James {Jim} Rish and it was love at first sight for both of them.  They were married in Cheyenne on June 4, 1965 and started an adventure of a lifetime lasting 59 years.

Jennie was the perfect military wife with never a complaint when they got transferred to a new station; she just packed things up and went.  After Jim return from Vietnam in 1968, the family moved to Travis AFB, then back to F. E Warren AFB, RAF Chicksands United Kingdom, Scott AFB Illinois, Dayton, Ohio and the Pentagon. Her husband retired from military service in 1986.

Jennie started her civilian life with moves to Gilbert, Arizona, Fairfax, Virginia, Johnson City Tennessee, back to Fairfax, Virginia, back to Gilbert Arizona and finally returning to Cheyenne Wyoming in 2007.

In August of 1974 Jennie and Jim were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She and Jim were sealed for time and all eternity in God’s Holy House, the Washington DC temple.                

FAMILY was the most important thing in her life.  Her favorite saying was, “Friends may be with you for a while, but FAMILY will be with you forever.”  

Together she and Jim raised five children: Patricia, Arlene, James Jr. (Linda), Kathleen (Loren) and Johnny; 14 grandchildren: Lisa, Jassmine, James III (Samatha), Christopher, Kolyn, Kaylee, Mason. Kimball (Daniel), Jensen (Bailey), Sadie, Jacob Rish, Jacob Morris, Nathanial, and Caitlyn; and nine great-grandchildren.   

Jennie was preceded in death by her parents, Adolph and Louise; sister, Chris; brother-in-law, Gary; and numerous aunts; uncles; nieces; and nephews.

She is survived her husband, Jim; sisters, Cecilia (Gary), Carolyn (John); aunt (Mary); uncle (Frank); five children; 14 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The Viewing will be from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 30 at Schrader Funeral Home 2222 Russell Ave. Cheyenne.  Funeral service will be from 10-12 PM Friday May 31 at the LDS Church 309 Western Hills Blvd, Cheyenne.