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Obituaries: Farris; Fertig; Ginn; Simon

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Bert Joseph Farris

Bert Joseph Farris: 1936 – 2024

Bert Joseph Farris, born October 12, 1936, to Robert Wesley Farris and Gladys (Kirkbride) Craig, passed away June 12. Bert grew up in LaGrange where he developed his love of hunting and fishing. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he trained as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He later attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina where he met his future wife, Ellie.

Bert and Ellie moved to Cheyenne in 1961 where they raised their three sons. Bert worked as a mechanic for Bob Bruner Motors, Tyrrell Chevrolet and Taylor Pontiac; he later worked at Ringsby Trucking. Bert eventually founded his own trapping and fur trading business.

Bert spent his “free time” playing men’s fastpitch and slow pitch softball and participating in local theater. He was a frequent fixture at the softball complex in Cheyenne.

Bert was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ellie; and his brother, Larry Harris.

He is survived by his sons: Tony (Tracy Taylor) Farris, Charlie (Arika) Farris, Joe (Otty) Farris, all of Cheyenne; grandchildren: Christian (Heather) Farris, Anthony (Kiera) Farris, Danielle (Zach) Satton, all of Denver; Cody Farris of Cheyenne; Devany (Ryan Zuniga) Farris of Denver; Cheyanne Farris of South Dakota; and Skye Farris of Cheyenne; great-grandchildren: Lucas and Logan Farris of Denver; and Bexley Ayala of South Dakota; sisters: Doris (Lou) Snider, Marjorie (Paul) Kissel, and Sue (Dale) Sands; brother, Mike (Olga) Craig.

The family will hold a private memorial.


Monte Dean Fertig: 1938 – 2024

Our dearly beloved husband, father, papa and great-grandpa passed from this earthly realm on June 14, 2024.  

Monte Dean Fertig was born to Alexander and Fern Fertig on December 23, 1938. He was born into a large German family of 12 children in Wheatland, Wyoming. Nine of those children grew to adulthood and oh! the stories they could tell!  

At age 12 after his mother’s passing, he worked odd jobs for neighbors, with his favorite being a ranch hand for Bob and Julie Sturgeon on their ranch near Laramie Peak. He joined the National Guard at 17 and met his future wife at 19, but as she was a young lass of 14, he opted to leave Wyoming until she was of age to marry.  He joined the Marine Corps and was stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms, California.  Once she was of age, and with her parents’ consent, he married his love, Jayne Rizor, on her seventeenth birthday.  After their tiny wedding with only two witnesses, they headed back to Twenty-Nine Palms.

Monte Dean served in the Marine Corps Reserve upon his Honorable Discharge from the Corps and also attended Officer Candidate School.  He served a total of nine years in the Military. Monte Dean and Jayne were married just shy of 64 years, until his passing.  

From that union came Monty of Cheyenne; Janea (Mike) Bruner of Coeur d Alene, Idaho; Kevin (Julie) of Rathdrum, Idaho; Julie (Bryan) of Cheyenne; Rebecca (Matt) of Sheridan, Wyoming; Derek (Amanda) of Casper, Wyoming; and an infant son who passed at birth.  

Upon leaving the military, Monte Dean worked construction with his brothers all over the Dakotas.  He then moved the family to British Columbia, Canada.  There he homesteaded and worked as a bridge builder, and logger.  Upon returning to the States, he started Fertig Construction and built homes all over Boulder, Longmont, Loveland, and Ft. Collins, Colorado.  

In 1972, he was involved in a near death experience from a plane crash and was in intensive care for six weeks.  He was finally released from the hospital after three months. He went on to father two more children after his plane wreck: Rebecca in 1974 and Derek in 1981.  

Not being one to sit idle, once he healed, he finished his construction projects in Colorado and moved the family to Douglas, Wyoming, where he continued to build Fertig Construction. He built his sweetheart their dream home on the river, but with interest rates hitting 21 percent in the early 80’s they were forced to leave their dream home and relocate to Cheyenne.  

There, he began again.  

Framers Group and Fertig and Sons Construction was born.  He worked until his injuries from his plane wreck became unbearable and he was forced first into a walker, and then a wheelchair.  As a father, he was tireless.  He led church sponsored backpacks for young teens and their parents into the Big Horn mountains each summer from 1993 to 2003. He was the ‘Old Man with the walking stick” and heaven help the teenager who didn’t stay in line behind him. He was an avid outdoorsman, taking his own children and grandchildren hunting, fishing and floating the Platte River, with his sweetheart Jayne by his side.

Three meals a day were served around the family table with Friday Night dinners being especially sacred. Dean was ordained an Elder in the Worldwide Church of God, and Friday night dinners was where he would discuss his upcoming sermons with his family.  Only a note from God would have been acceptable to miss that evening meal!  Attendance was also required at church, youth group meetings and bible studies.  He was firm, but fair, and required more of himself than he did anyone else. Over the course of his illustrious life, he wrote a book and became a published author in 2022.  

“A Fathers Heart” written for his descendants, became his magnum opus. In it he writes to his descendants of some of his hard learned lessons in life.  

Quoting Monte Dean himself, “I lived a lifetime, proving the wisdom recorded by the ancients for our benefit.  The lessons of their triumphs and failures were intended for us and our children, to guide us toward the hope of a better future for all mankind…….My generation is witnessing and participating in the most amazing advances in technology in the history of mankind. I experienced adventures, not equaled in any generation from the beginning of time. I survived too many self-inflicted mishaps and miscalculations that taught me, through sorrow, the wisdom that only comes from involvement. I have stood on the mountaintop of triumph numerous times.  I reveled in the promises of God to humankind in an amazing overabundance.  But to do so, I had to trust the promises I found in the Word of God.”  

Monte Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Alexander and Fern Fertig; his brothers: George, Duane, Tommy, and Calvin; and twin infant sisters, Wilma May and Mary Jane; and his own infant son who died at birth.  

He is survived by his wife, Jayne; children: Monty, Janea, Kevin, Julie, Rebecca and Derek and their spouses; 23 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren; his brothers: Ray (Idonna) of Cheyenne, Sharel (Carol) of Elko, Nevada, and Larry of Wheatland, Wyoming; his sisters, Evelyn Casebier of Cheyenne, and Susie (Jack) Seiloff of Cheyenne; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

He was our patriarch, our leader and our guide. He cut a wide swath, and our hearts will never be the same.

A Celebration of Life for Monte Dean is being planned at a later date.


Aaron Ginn: 1946 – 2024

Aaron Charles Ginn, 78, of Cheyenne, went peacefully to be with the lord on Tuesday June 18, 2024.

Aaron was born in Kansas City, Missouri on June 17, 1946 to Paul and Valda Ginn (nee Osborne). He grew up near Shenandoah, Iowa with his siblings: Penelope (Penny), Michael (Mike), James (Jim) and Paula.

He left Iowa to join the Navy in 1964. He attended Naval Recruit Training (Boot Camp) in San Diego, California and served as his platoon’s Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO), the highest position attainable by a recruit.

His first duty station was Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he met his wife of 57 years, Penny Ginn (nee Bell). Aaron and Penny raised eight children: John, Kelly, Tanya, Alicia, Stephanie, Aaron (II), Andrew and Anthony.

They lived in Hawaii, Guam, Nebraska (for college), California, Iowa and Wyoming. He served as a Sonar Technician in the Navy and attained the enlisted rank of Chief Petty Officer (E-7). In 1974, with less than 11 years of service, Chief Ginn was selected to serve as a Warrant Officer for the Navy, one of the most highly skilled and respected ranks across the entire military. Aaron retired in 1984 as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3). After his military service, Mr. Ginn worked as a District Manager for the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, ensuring the timely delivery of almost 10,000 papers every day. He also drove a Greyhound bus for many years, across some of the toughest routes in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.

Mr. Ginn retired from Greyhound, and for good, in 2009. Aaron, or “Dad”, or “Senior”, or “Chief”, or “Gigi” as he was known to many, spent his retirement years enjoying the company of his wife of 57 years, Penny, his children, his many grandchildren along with the fellowship of many other relatives and friends.

He enjoyed riding his motorcycles and driving his Corvette. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Valda; and his daughter, Tanya Ginn-Dettmers (1968-2023).

He is survived by his wife, Penny; his seven children: John, Kelly, Alicia, Stephanie, Aaron (Bubba), Andy and Tony; along with 15 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren, all of which loved their “Gigi” dearly.

“When my heart was grieved and my spirit was embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You. Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:22-26


Robert M. Simon: 1929 – 2024

Collector of valued lifelong friends and devoted man of faith. Father to three boys and three girls, was a mostly tolerant dad who possessed a gift of instilling fear of God with just a lingering gaze.

Undeterred by age, Bob was a clever gamesman and competitor; he surprised college tennis players into his ’80s. He played some killer pool games with his only brother Ralph Simon, at a pool hall for hustlers.

We had to be quiet and watch them win.

Dad was a great co-conspirator and engaging conversationalist and was a major contributor to his kid’s sense of humor. He was active in politics; “Rush for President”.

His favorite years were raising a young family as Station Master in the Veteran Wyoming Depot where he was the fastest hand in the west as a telegraph operator.

Dad, we each were your favorite. You will be dearly missed.


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