Ellen Butner passed on from this world to the Heaven that she longed for on December 31, 2020, after a very full 97 years of life. She used to tell the story of how she was born in Poland. Poland, Ohio that is! Her family moved to Wyoming while she was still young. She was the third of four girls. Growing up, she loved to play baseball and ride horses. She met Wilbur “Joe” Butner. They trailed horses from Casper to Dubois and then eloped in Thermopolis WY. They soon settled in Dubois and Ellen opened a laundry and worked in the library and other businesses. She and Joe spent many an hour horseback tending cows in the mountains of Dubois, Wyoming. After the kids were gone from home, you would often find them living in a one room cabin or the sheep wagon or various ranch houses they called home. They also lived in Riverton and Lander, where she was a house mother and a daycare provider at the Wyoming State training school until retirement. After retirement she continued living in Lander, where she worked in her garden and yard and attended church.
Ellen could grow a garden in the worst of conditions, and the flowers were abundant. She attended church regularly and would make sure if someone needed a ride to church, they got one. She learned to play the organ and would play at the church or in her living room in the wee hours of the night when she couldn’t sleep. Ellen sewed clothes for herself, Joe, and their three children Carol, Joe, and John. She even made rodeo shirts for some of the girls in Fremont county. Most of her family was blessed to receive socks, sweaters, afghans, or baby gifts that she had knit by hand. Ellen was also quite the artist. Horses were her subject matter of choice. Ellen always had a horsetail to tell and would tell them to whoever would listen. Ellen also loved music. She would sing the old hymns and make up songs if she didn’t have one readily available. Ellen would share her talents with anyone who wanted to learn and share her garden yields as well.
As the years took their toll and she was no longer able to live alone, Ellen moved back to Casper, where she lived with family, and then to Life Care Center where she could have 24-hour care. Her dog Dusty was her companion through it all.
Ellen was preceded in death by her spouse Joe, her parents, her siblings, one grandson, and one granddaughter. She was also preceded in death by many horses and dogs. She is survived by her children Carol (Lynn), Joe (Twilla), John (Carol), 9 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way, and numerous nieces and nephews. As cantankerous as she could be, we all loved her, and she will be missed.
A memorial service will be planned for early summer in Lander with the internment of her ashes in Dubois.
Memorial donations can be made to a local animal shelter or horse rescue of your choice.
Her greatest wish would be that we all know Jesus as our saviour and join her in Heaven.
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