Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Kathleen Yvonne (Schmeltzer) Gibbons

Kathleen Yvonne (Schmeltzer) Gibbons passed away on June 26, 2020 with her son by her side at Washakie Medical Center in Worland. Kathleen was born on May 13, 1929 to Mary Della and John Edward Schmeltzer, in Bowman, North Dakota, the youngest of four children.

Her father was a restless sort – moving often to either be a barber or a farmer – neither job being very lucrative, resulting in frequent moves from one town to another in South Dakota.

In high school, her family moved to Gillette, Wyoming and then to Worland, Wyoming her junior year. Her dream in life was to be a nurse with the intention of going to school at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings. Unfortunately, she was unable to because her family was unable to pay for the tuition. This remained a regret of hers the rest of her life. During this time, she fell in love with and married Terrill Gibbons. The summer prior to their marriage in November of 1947, Kathleen worked at her parent's café in Basin, Wyoming. During their courtship Terrill wrote Kathleen letters almost every day. Rereading these loving messages during her last months of life brought her great comfort and deepened her desire to be reunited with Terrill in heaven.

For the first few years of Terrill and Kathleen's marriage, Kathleen was a homemaker, raising their three children, Yvonne, Clay and Anne. She was very involved in the Catholic Church, both locally and statewide and served for many years on the Board of the Wyoming Council of Catholic Women. She was also on the board of the Cloud Peak Counseling Center and worked there as a secretary. Her true calling was with St. Mary Magdalen Church, where she worked as secretary for many years. On any given day she could be found preparing the bulletin, counting the collection, setting up for Mass, serving as lector or Eucharistic minister, and doing anything else that needed to be done.

Kathleen was predeceased by her parents, her two brothers and their wives, Charles and Irvine Schmeltzer and Edward and Mary Jane Schmeltzer and her brother-in-law, Bill Craft. Her sister Ione (Schmeltzer) Craft survives her, as well as her children, Yvonne (Kent Johnson) Gibbons, Clay Gibbons and Anne (Chris Barrett) Gibbons. Also surviving are her 13 grandchildren, Cassie (Peter) Miller, Damon (Kiera) Gibbons, Neely Wadden, Taylor (Shelly) Gibbons, Whitney Schneider, Brady (Amanda) Gibbons, Caleb Gibbons (Amanda Dixon), Bailey Gibbons, Katie (Terrill Beverly) Olsen, Annie (Rob) Olsen-Meehan, Dominic (Susan Hill) Barrett, Zachary (Molly McCurnin) Barrett, and Adella Barrett (Sarah Nolan), and 18 great-grandchildren.

Kathleen savored memories of her travels, especially trips shared with Terrill and adventures enjoyed with both her daughters over the years. During her later years Kathleen lived in Kansas City for a time where her daughter Yvonne was devoted to her care. Eventually she chose to move back to Worland where her son Clay ensured that she was able to enjoy life even with the limitations of aging.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff of Willow Creek Assisted Living in Worland for their love and care of Kathleen during the last three years of her life.

Kathleen's family will forever miss the presence of this loving wife, mother and grandmother. We will miss her faithfulness in prayer, her quick wit and humor, her skills playing rummy, and countless ordinary ways that she touched our lives. Her life was a blessing to us all and we are grateful for her legacy of love.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2020 at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. She will be laid next to her beloved husband at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery following the Mass. A Prayer Vigil will be recited 7:00 Wednesday evening at the church. Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Magdalene Church and sent to PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at Due to Covid-19 masks are required at the church services and social distancing encouraged, with family units sitting together with 6 feet in between families.

Livestreaming will be available on the St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church Facebook page.

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