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Obituaries: Rivera; Allen; Butz; Calkins; Griego; Lee; Wegner

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Maime Sadie Rivera

Maime Sadie Rivera: 1943 – 2024

On Friday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m., a celebration of life will be held for Maime Sadie Rivera. The service will be held at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, officiated by Fr. Ray Rodriguez, in Casper, Wyoming.

Kenai Alaska resident, Mrs. Maime Sadie Rivera, 80, went to be with her heavenly father on December 16, 2023.  Her wishes were to have her remains taken to Wyoming and be buried with her mother at the Highland Cemetery.                     

She was born on March 18, 1943, in Casper, Wyoming, as the 9th of 10 children to Sadie Mora and Ernesto Rivera.  Maime’s life was full of wonderful adventures.  In 1961, she married John Mahaffey and had a daughter they named Kathleen. 

Her second husband was Gus/Larry Sprague.  She raised and raced greyhounds for many years with her late husband Gus, traveling from Florida to South Dakota.                                                               

In 1975, they move from South Dakota to Wyoming with their three kids in tow.  Jeri and Larry Sprauge, and Kathleen. She loved to cook, crochet and have family gatherings. She also loved to hunt, fish and camp.  Her passion was entertaining people and making them laugh.  Maime worked at the Casper Boat Club and other fine restaurants; she was an amazing cook.

She moved to Alaska in 2018, living with her daughter Kathleen in Kenai.  So thankful we had that time with her.                                                                                         

The family wrote, “She is loved and, in our hearts forever.”       

She leaves behind in Alaska: her daughter, Kathleen (Mahaffey) Fuller and  husband Frank Fuller of Kenai; grandson, Chris Fuller of Kasilof; great-grandson, Kaizen Fuller and great-granddaughter, Wren Fuller and their mother, Lelia Mitchell of Kenai; and, of course, the family black lab (Champ), whom she loved dearly. She leaves behind other loved ones: her nephew, Michael Rivera, residing in South Dakota — her late brother, Roy Rivera’s son; her nephews, Gilbert, Patrick and Andrew Romero; and niece, Diana Lucero, all residing in New Mexico; her late sister, Mary Romero’s sons and daughters; her nephew, Jake Romero, and nieces, Julie Romero, Jenette Orozco and Joyce Chavarria, all residing in New Mexico; her late sister, Beatrice Romero’s son and daughters. her nieces, Pricilla Romero resides in Wyoming, Tina Greenberg resides in Colorado, and Cecilia Gottfried resides in California. And her nephews, Paul Rivera and Roy Mestas residing in Wyoming, her late sister Pauline Montoya Jimenez’s daughters and sons; Pauline’s husband, Fernando Jimenez still resides in CO.  Her nephew/godson, Dana Mestas, and (niece) Rachel Mestas
residing in NM, Her late sister Margie Mestas, son and daughter; her sister, (8) Frances & (Joes Jr) Arguello and their sons (nephews) Joe Arguello III and Mark & (Laurie) Arguello, all residing in New Mexico; her sister, (10) Elizabeth & (John) Romero of Mora, New Mexico. and their son (nephew) John Romero and daughter (niece) Natalie Volza, all residing in New Mexico.                                        

She is preceded in death by her parents Sadie Mora and Ernesto Rivera. And their children that preceded after them. 

Her brothers and sisters and their families:                         
(1) Ernest Rivera Jr., (2) Roy Rivera (Lovey), daughters Renee and Rita Rivera.                  
(3) Mary Romero (Esequiel), sons Bobby, David Romero and daughter Lucille Fernandez. 
(4) Beatrice Romero (Milner)
(5) Pauline Montoya Jimenez, (Jake Montoya) and sons Louis, Jake, Richard, Andy, Roger and Anthony Montoya.
(6) Genero Rivera, son Genero Jr. and daughter Monica Rivera
(7) Margie Mestas (John)
(10) Maime Rivera (John Mahaffey), Gus/Larry Sprague

Oliver Dean Allen

Oliver Dean Allen: 1945 – 2024

Oliver Dean Allen, age 78, of Cheyenne, Wyoming went to be with our lord and savior on Sunday, May 26, 2024. 

Dean was born on August 9, 1945, in Yuma, Colorado to Oliver Joseph Allen and Vernadine Dilka Allen. He graduated from Yuma High School in 1964.

Dean met the love of his life, Meredith Allen, in 1967, and they married on June 9, 1968. He was the first person in his family to pursue a college education. Dean achieved an associate’s degree in ministry in 1980 from Rhema Bible College. A devout Christian, he was a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel. He was the co-pastor and administrator of the Yuma County Christian Center in Eckley, Colorado. Dean served on a mission trip in Haiti and led a youth ministry program focused on growing closer to God while gaining survival skills in Medicine Bow National Forest and Vedauwoo. He was a pillar in the Family Harvest Church community. Dean served as the associate pastor and was co-founder and dean of Cheyenne Bible Training Center. He was known for his powerful prayers and his unwavering belief in God’s love.

Dean cherished creating memories with his family in the mountains. He loved camping with his children and grandchildren, passing on his love for the outdoors to the next generation. From an early age, he had a passion for horticulture and was an avid gardener. This beloved hobby provided a peaceful haven where he could nurture life and find solace, especially through his final days.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Vernadine Allen; his siblings, Bonnie Lovett and Joyce Allen; and great-grandson, Teagan Holz. 

Dean is survived by his wife of 56 years, Meredith Allen; son, Michael (Tracy) Allen of Harrisonville, Missouri; daughter, Brenda Allen of Cheyenne, Wyoming; son, Jason (Carly) Allen of Cheyenne, Wyoming; and two sisters, Lynette Stegman of Yuma, Colorado and Vernita Jo Crowder of Doniphan, Missouri.

Dean had seven grandchildren: Amanda (Scott Ezzell) Allen, Alexandra (William) Barnes, Alicia (Tanner) Holz, Jayden Allen, Jackson Allen, Jace Allen, and Rylee Rivera. He is also survived by eight great-grandchildren: Adelyn, Nora, Jackson, Aynsly, Maxwell, Tayven, Adalyn, and Emilia.

A viewing will be held on June 3, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at the Family Harvest Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. A burial will take place at Mountain View Memorial Park following the service. 

Live stream link to the funeral service: https://churchcasting.io/CFzvu4D6fIYNueO0AbuG0ULjF9EoTSSw/channels/1/event/513/public/view?signature=6e804bdb74a529de2cd5177999aa09d4256637bf6906a047e14e6497912130cc

Richard LeRoy “Dick” Butz

Richard LeRoy “Dick” Butz: 1928 – 2024

Richard LeRoy Butz, 95, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2024 at the V.A. Medical Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming following a good, long life.

On December 16, 1928 in Ft. Collins, Colorado, Richard entered the world as the firstborn child of Benjamin and Frieda (née Getz) Butz, and over the next 16 years, starting in 1931, he became the big brother to his siblings, Dorothy, Kenny, Margie and Sandy.

Ben and Frieda’s growing family relocated to Denver and eventually Brighton by 1936, and Richard was both graduated from Zion Lutheran School (please note the “graduation”-related grammar; our dad was a stickler about this phrase!) and became a confirmed member of Zion Lutheran Church in 1942. He remained an active and loyal member of Zion for the rest of his life; in fact, Richard celebrated his final Easter morning there on March 31, 2024.

Richard then WAS GRADUATED from Brighton High School in 1946, and shortly thereafter, proudly enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces , eventually joining the Army of Occupation in Hokkaido, Japan as a paratrooper in the 152nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 11th Airborne Division. Though he strongly considered immediate re-enlistment after his tour of duty, Richard ultimately opted to pursue a college education under the GI Bill, and earned his finance degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1952—thus inspiring a long line of future Buffs throughout the Butz family; several who also became CU graduates, and ALL who became long-suffering football fans, often echoing his famous season-ending declaration of, “well, just wait’ll next year!” He held season tickets at Folsom Field until well into his 70s, and was glued to either the television or KOA 850 for every game thereafter.

After CU, Richard embarked on his insurance career by joining USF&G’s Denver office as an underwriter. At the age of 25, he met Betty Hull, a recent Denver transplant from Iowa. Richard and Betty married just a few months before Richard was transferred to Roswell, NM as a field rep, and the couple’s first child (Janet) was born four years later. Soon after, Richard was sent to open USF&G’s newest office in Albuquerque, where the family welcomed another daughter, Lori.

Eager to return to Colorado, Richard and Betty eventually seized the opportunity for Richard to purchase a local insurance agency in Brighton, which became the RB Agency. That same year, Richard became a co-founder of the Adams County Insurors’ Association and served as its first president, and Betty gave birth to their third daughter, Susan. Five years later, after seven granddaughters in a row, Richard and Betty finally presented Ben and Frieda with their first grandson! Just kidding; they had yet another daughter (Sara), and the granddaughter streak continued.

Beginning in 1980, Richard and Betty, by then long-divorced but re-established as friends, repeatedly showed both delight and absolutely zero surprise when the first four of their grandchildren also turned out to be girls. Eight grandchildren ultimately arrived before Betty died in 1993; Richard was blessed with two more over the next two years, and all have been and will continue to be cherished by both, even in the afterlife.

Richard continued to grow the RB Agency over a 26-year period; first through clever ad campaigns such as buying ad space before movies shown at the then-Brighton Twin Theater or by publishing his young daughters’ purely objective, handwritten testimonies touting him as the best insurer in the entire world, and always through relentless and honest hard work and customer service. Richard sold his agency in 1988, and “officially” retired by 1995, but never stopped providing free advice and guidance to anyone who asked for it.

Throughout and after his career, Richard supported his church and his community by volunteering regularly around town, showing up for multiple one-off endeavors as well longer-term stints—serving as a driver/EMT for the Platte Valley Ambulance in his 40s and into his 50s, mowing Zion’s lawn into his mid-80s, and delivering for Meals on Wheels until well into his 90s.

Beyond his business skills and volunteerism, Richard was also a talented (though renowned only to his family) songwriter; he possessed a natural affinity and joy for composing alternative lyrics to popular songs, whether to help his oldest daughters remember their home address as toddlers, or making all of his daughters laugh…which served as a brilliant entertainment strategy during long road trip vacations throughout the western U.S. These songs, like dad himself, will never be forgotten.

In addition to the activities and people above, other things that Richard loved (in no particular order) include: performances by The Kingston Trio and the Chad Mitchell Trio, Santiago’s breakfast burritos, Gunsmoke¸ getting the goat of his liberal relatives, a good chianti or Bloody Mary on a rare occasion, reading historical accounts of WWII, the Civil War, or the Volga River Germans, Saturday morning catch-ups with his fellow old fogeys at McDonald’s, driving under the speed limit and NEVER with less than a quarter tank of gas in the car, vanilla ice cream, complaining about email spam while simultaneously responding to all of it, the memory of his mother’s fried chicken, pretending to not like his daughters’ dogs but always having treats for them in his house, and a long, long list of family and friends not already mentioned above—most of whom had already left this world and are surely as elated to be with him again as we have been devastated to let him go.

Richard is survived and mourned by his youngest sister, Sandy; his four daughters and three sons-in-law: Janet and Michael Neil, Lori and Hubert Maier, Jr., Susan and Glen Rayder, and Sara; eight grandchildren; one great-grandson; eight nieces and nephews; and about a gazillion other Getz and Butz family members, by both blood and marriage.  

A memorial service for Richard will be held Saturday, June 15 at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Brighton, with inurnment/military honors held at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Monday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, our dad would certainly prefer that worthy charities are the recipients of any memorial gifts. Some of his own favorites included Zion Lutheran Church & SchoolLutheran Indian Ministries, and Quilts of Valor Foundation/Piecing Patriots branch.

Christine Calkins

Christine Calkins: 1952 – 2024

Christine A. Calkins of Cheyenne, 71, passed away at her home with her loved ones by her side on May 5, 2024. She was born on June 24, 1952, in Rawlins, yomingY to Virginia Halloway and Pete Knight. Christine worked at a nursing home in Loveland, Colorado. She also worked at Target and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne.

Christine is survived by her husband, James E. Calkins; daughter, Michele Dunn (Thrasher); grandson, James Kopper Dunn Moore; son-in-law, Jeffrey Thrasher; half-brother, Terry Bashford; stepbrother, Mike Bashford; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Halloway; stepfather, Leonard (Bud) J. Bashford; grandparents, Mildred and Exie Halloway; aunt and uncle, Janice and Jimmy Holloway; in-laws Leota and Irvina Calkins; and brothers-in-law, Timothy and John Calkins.

Services will be held at Loveland Memorial Park at a date and time to be determined.

Antonio Luis Griego

Antonio Luis Griego: 1970 – 2024

Antonio L Griego passed away peacefully at home. He was born on March 25 1970, in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Joe and Evangelina Griego. He was superintendent for Reiman Corp.

He is survived by his daughter, Justina Griego; brother, Jose Griego; sisters: Rose Mary Garcia, Charlotte Hernandez, Margurite Reese.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Evangelina Griego; and brother, Magdaleno Griego.

Funeral Liturgy will be 2:00 p.m. on Saturday June 1, 2024, at Wiedersphan-Radomsky Chapel.

Nelda Ellen Lee

Nelda Ellen Lee: 1928 – 2024

Nelda “Nel” Lee, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, died May 17, 2024 in Cheyenne. Nelda was born Oct. 27, 1928 in Fort Morgan, Colorado. She is survived by Robert, her husband of nearly 73 years; daughter, Debra Lee, Cheyenne; son, David Lee, Newnan, Georgia; and grandchildren, Stone and Kaylin Lee.

Nel met young airman, Robert, at F.E. Warren Air Force Base on a blind date and the two married in August, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. She traveled the world with Robert during his 30-plus-year career in the Air Force before returning to retire in Cheyenne.

Nel was a dental office receptionist in Cheyenne for 31 years, working for Dr. Harold Ellis and Schmidt Family Dentistry. She loved animals and had a passion for gardening, taking great joy in sharing her tomatoes, and in planting flowers each summer in the containers outside the dental office on Pershing Blvd.

Nel will be buried in Cheyenne National Cemetery following cremation.

At the request of the family, no services will be held. In remembrance of Nel, the family asks that charitable donations be made to Cheyenne Animal Shelter, Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Susan M. Wegner

Susan M. Wegner: 1970 – 2024

Susan Wegner passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2024 from complications brought on by Alzheimer’s. She was born and raised in Cheyenne and attended Special Education classes at Rossman and Alta Vista schools and at East High School.

She was a very good swimmer and received numerous swimming awards in Special Olympics, and participated in other events as well. She was also involved in several programs sponsored by Magic City of Cheyenne.

She worked for many years at Little America coffee shop. She also worked at the Magic City Recycling Center, as well as helping out at a laundry facility where she learned to count money and do laundry.

For the past 15 years, Susan was a resident of a group home administered by Magic City of Cheyenne, where she was well taken care of. She loved the staff and the other residents very much.

She was preceded in death by her father, Alwyn Wegner. She is survived by her mother, Esther Wegner; her brothers: Ed, Bob, Don, and Russ, along with their wives and children; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at Schrader, Aragon & Jacoby on June 1, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.