Jan. 10, 1926 – July 20, 2015
Wayne Asay Blackburn, 89, of Gillette, died on Monday, July 20, 2015, at Close to Home Hospice House in Gillette.
Memorial services for Wayne will be Friday, July 31, at 2 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home. His cremains will be joined with his late wife Gloria’s at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Gillette.
He was born, the second of six children, on Jan. 10, 1926, in Lovell to Hyrum and Gladys Asay Blackburn. He had four brothers Hy, Ken, Donnie and Ed and one sister Marjorie Stevens.
Upon graduating from Lovell High School, he joined the Navy to fight for his country in World War II.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46 in the Asiatic Pacific Corridor. He attained the rank of Machinist Mate Third Class and received medals for the following: American Area, Asiatic Pacific Campaign, Philippine Liberation, WWII Victory, Expeditionary Service, National Defense, Sea Service and the American Campaign. His ship was in Tokyo Bay when the treaty was signed ending World War II.
Upon returning home from the war he married the love of his life, Gloria Lee Hovis, in Fromberg, Mont., on Jan. 24, 1947. There were three children from their 60-year union: Susan, Steve and Cindy.
His career path was varied and he received many certifications in various areas of study. He was
a lifelong learner and visionary. He was an innovative, creative problem solver and a U.S. Patent inventor of a fluid metering apparatus. He worked as a chemical salesman in the oil field for most of his life, which took his family on adventures to Vernal, Utah, Glendive, Mont. and Williston, N.D. He then moved the family back to Lovell, where he was not only a chemical salesman but began blending and selling chemicals in bulk.He then incorporated his expertise into forming an oilfield corporation.
In 1999 he and Gloria moved to Gillette to be near their daughters. Their home was always the family hub and Sunday dinners were special and will be forever cherished.
He always had a great sense of humor, a quick wit and a smile. He was a family man and loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a powerful influence on his family and joyfully watched the little ones grow. The mere sight or thought of them lit up his entire being.
After his wife, Gloria, died, he lived at Primrose for four years. Every family member had their birthday party in the pub or ice cream shop while he lived there. His next home was Close to Home Hospice House where he was loved, respected and adored by the hospice staff. While living at Hospice, he told his daughters that he was living on a beautiful ranch and that he really loved it there.They won’t forget him anytime soon. One of the many adorable stories is when he lost his call button he would get the staff’s attention by throwing various items out of his door.
He is survived by two daughters: Susan (John) Blackburn Hall-Edwards and Cynthia (Stan) Blackburn Bay of Gillette and one son, Stephan (Cathy) Wayne Blackburn of Denver.
He leaves six grandchildren, Jefferson James Bay of Palmyra, N.Y., Wesley Dwayne Bay of Cheyenne, Melissa Lee Bay of Honolulu, Timothy Wayne Hall of Gillette, Anthony James Hall of Rock Springs, Stephan Wayne Blackburn Jr. of Denver and 12½ great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by brothers, Ken (Sharon) and Ed (Janet) and sister Marjorie Stevens.
He was preceded in death by his wife Gloria, his parents Hyrum and Gladys Blackburn and two brothers, Hyrum and Donnie Blackburn.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Close to Home Hospice House in Mr. Blackburn’s name.
Memorials and condolences may be sent to the family in care of Walker Funeral Home 410 Medical Arts Court Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be sent via the web at www.walkerfuneralgillette.com.
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101