Pioneer Day | Parade marshal Marguerite Strom known for her business and volunteer work

Marguerite Strom was born July 11, 1941, to Vern and Lizzie Simmons and was raised on Simmons Corner in Cowley.

Her brother, Neil, was born four years later and 1½ years later her brother Roland was born. She attended school in Cowley and graduated from Cowley High School, where she participated in many activities. She was in the chorus, pep club, cheerleading squad, junior class play both her sophomore and junior years and the all-school play her senior year. She was the junior prom queen and was the class Snow Queen her freshman, sophomore and senior years.

After graduating from Cowley High School, she worked in Powell for Laing’s Studio. While there she learned many things about photography and framing of artwork.

Marguerite Simmons Strom (pictured with her late husband Moody) will be honored Saturday as the Cowley Pioneer Day Parade grand marshal.
Courtesy Photo

She married Moody Strom in September 1960 and they moved to Salt Lake City where Moody was to attend a technical school. The school did not work out and they returned to Wyoming and made their home in Lovell, where Moody worked at Lovell Lumber.

Their two children, Lori and Rudy, were born while they lived in Lovell. In 1967 they moved to Worden, Mont., where Moody managed a lumberyard. While they were in Montana, Moody and Marguerite started raising horses and showing them at horse shows around the Billings area.

Lori and Rudy attended school in the Project School District. While living in Worden, Marguerite worked at the Project Merc and George’s Pharmacy. She was also involved with the Girl Scouts. In the Winter of 1976 they moved back to Cowley so their kids could grow up and attend school in their hometown. They had the intention of starting a lumberyard, but Moody got a call from Gene Lyman in Cody asking him to come and work for him and help set up AAA Builder’s Supply.

They figured there might be a good future in this move, so Moody went to work in Cody, but the situation and hours away from home made life tough, so once again they started the process of opening a lumberyard. Then they got a call from Tom Palette of Builder’s Mart in Billings and Tom wanted to know if Moody would be interested in setting up a lumberyard in the area. It sounded like a good opportunity.

The lumberyard was set up at the Oasis Junction and called Big Horn Builder’s Supply. Marguerite was hired as bookkeeper and it became a full-time job. Moody and Marguerite then built their new home on Simmons corner. They were informed by Tom Palette that he had spread his finances too far and had decided to close Big Horn Builder’s Supply.

Back to the drawing board, they decided to open Cowley Lumber. In June 1982, it was open and ready for business. Marguerite continued to do the books and take care of customers. The business prospered, but Moody passed away June 30, 2006.

Rudy took over the business, while Marguerite continued doing books and serving the customers. She retired from Cowley Lumber in 2009, and in March 2014, she started working part-time at Greenhouse Gardens in Lovell. Some of her favorite things to do are to paint anything (but walls).

She likes to make things from reclaimed lumber since she doesn’t have access to a lumberyard. She makes quilt blocks and loves scrapbooking and working in her yard. She also loves to hang out with friends and her family.

She has been involved with the Pioneer Day Committee, Cowley Pioneer Museum and the Beautification Committee. She is known as “Grandma GG” to seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She loves the town of Cowley and is grateful and proud to be the grand marshal of Pioneer Day this year.