July 22, 1911–June 3, 2013
Ireta Lynn Fuller Musgrave, 101, was born in Lovell to William Henry and Fannie Louise Stratton Lynn on July 22, 1911. She was one of seven children. Her parents, who were descendants of Mormon pioneers who settled the Big Horn Basin died within three months of each other in the typhoid fever epidemic when she was 4 years old.
Ireta was raised by her Uncle Leonard and Aunt Dot Lynn, who already had nine children. Living on a farm taught Ireta the value of hard work and she learned at a young age how to “just tear in and get it done.” She and her siblings did farm chores and worked in the sugar beet fields, weeding, thinning and harvesting beets by hand.
As a member of the Lovell High School class of 1929, Ireta was the first of her many cousins and family members to graduate from high school. She worked many different jobs in her youth, which included cleaning homes, working at early Lovell clothing stores and even being a live model in window displays.
On March 2, 1932, Ireta married John T. Fuller, who moved to Lovell to manage the gas company for the Ohio Oil Company. To this union were born John William, Helen Joan and Dustin Lynn Fuller.
Ireta was active in many community organizations, and volunteered at endless events. She belonged to the LDS Church, was a charter member of the Lovell Woman’s Club, the Community Concert Association, the Grey Ladies hospital auxiliary, Eastern Star and was a charter member of Lovell Newcomers Club, among other organizations including school and scouting functions.
The young family delighted in trips to the Big Horn Mountains as often as possible. One of their annual duties was to drive up the face of the mountain as soon as the road was open to hook up the water fountain where so many stopped to drink the pure, cold water. The family loved to camp, picnic and hike.
Ireta could always outfish anyone who tried to wet a line. Trips to the Fuller family ranch near Shoshoni and Lysite was another outing the family enjoyed.
Ireta worked for a time in what was then known as the Rose Bowl Café. She was known for her wit and her sense of fun. She later catered community dinners and bridge clubs, as she was an outstanding cook.
After John retired, the couple worked at Jenny Lake Lodge in the Tetons and at Pahaska Teepee near the entrance of Yellowstone Park.
Always a perfectionist, Ireta was a superb quilter and an avid bridge player, a hobby she enjoyed all her life. She was known far and wide for her beautiful Peace Rose gardens that lined her front walk.
John died in November of 1977 and Ireta went to work at the Whitney Art Gallery Gift Shop in Cody. She worked there for three years until she was wooed and won by an old family friend, William Shephard Musgrave. They were married in Oklahoma City on Jan. 19, 1981. They made their home in Hyattville on the banks of Paint Rock Creek.
Ireta, who always loved driving, drove them to Mexico for several years to spend the winter. They traveled to some exotic places, including Spain and to Machu Picchu in South America. Ireta also made many trips to Alaska to visit her daughter’s family. She became known there as “the Intrepid Ireta,” due to stories Joan wrote about her in her newspaper column. Ireta and her sister-in-law drove the AlCan highway by themselves when Ireta was 83 years old.
Ireta and Bob moved to Lovell in June of 1989 and made their home there. Bob died in 1990. Ireta entered New Horizons Care Center in 2008, where she remained until the end of her life.
Always a people person, Ireta touched the lives of everyone who knew her. She was known for her optimism, her sense of humor and her spunk. On her 90th birthday, she got the thrill of her life riding on the back of a Harley Davidson in Alaska.
Ireta was the ultimate grandparent, always needing to know where her family was and how they were. Her friends were important to her and she was beloved by all who knew her.
She is survived by 11 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild. She died on June 3, 2013, in Lovell and was buried in the Lovell Cemetery.