James Douglas "Doug" Smith
February 2, 2023
James Douglas "Doug" Smith, 83, of Ten Sleep, Wyoming, passed away on January 29, 2023, at Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, surrounded by his loving wife and daughters.
Doug was born in Gillette, Wyoming on December 12, 1939, to James Burr and Margaret Thelma (Sorenson) Smith. He attended grade school in Arvada later graduating from Sheridan High School. Doug grew up surrounded by family and spent most of his time in the Big Horn Mountains with his Uncle Glen, working with horses. He also worked on the family ranch at Spotted Horse with his Uncle Bob and his family. While working on the mountain, Doug made the decision that one day he would own Deer Haven Lodge. This dream would come true in 1975, but only after working for Sweetheart Bread for several years, first as a delivery driver in Worland Wyoming, then working his way up to a supervisor in Billings, Montana.
Doug met the love of his life, Sonja Kathleen Bjornson, while out trick or treating in 1958 in Billings. They were later wed on May 16, 1959, in Billings. His first two daughters, Melanie and Laurie were born in Miles City Montana and his third daughter, Jodie, was born in Worland.
Doug and Sonja owned Deer Haven for ten years, making numerous friends from across the United States. The young people that worked for them became lifelong friends. Doug loved life on the mountain and all the work that went along with it.
After selling the lodge, he moved outside of Ten Sleep and went back to work for Sweetheart. In his free time, he enjoyed helping Dave Murdoch with the annual pig wrestling and Wyoming State BBQ competitions. Doug was very talented with leatherwork, making many treasured gifts for family and friends. He enjoyed snowmobiling with his sons-in-law, grandsons and anyone who wanted to go riding. He was especially proud of his grandsons and watching them play basketball, football, and run track.
Doug was very community-minded, being a member of the Ten Sleep/Hyattville Lion's Club, the Ten Sleep Merchant's Club, Elks Lodge and the Ten Sleep Rodeo Association for several years. He also served on the Ten Sleep School Board for numerous years, some of which he was the chairman. In 2019, Doug and Sonja were given the Award for Volunteerism in honor of the 15th Annual Wyoming Jefferson Awards.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents, JB and Margaret; beloved uncles, Bob and Glen Sorenson; brother-in-law Bruce Haughey; grandson, Dylan James Crossland; in-laws, Leslie and Elsie Bjornson and his best buddy Scout.
Survivors include his wife, Sonja; daughters: Melanie (Dean) Lund of Kaycee, Wyoming, Laurie (Mike) McClelland of San Jose, California, and Jodie (Jason) Humble of Kaycee, Wyoming; grandchildren: Doug Lund, Beau (Kinzee) Lund, and Jarrett Humble, all of Kaycee; sister, Roxanne Haughey of Prescott, Arizona and multiple Sorenson cousins.
Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 11, 2023 at Mountain View Assembly of God Church in Ten Sleep with Pastor Brandon Weddle officiating. The service will be streamed live on the Mountain View Assembly of God Facebook page. Memorial donations may be made to the Ten Sleep/Hyattville Lion's Club or Mountain View Assembly of God Church. Please send donations to PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at http://www.bryantfuneralhomeonline.com.
Doug's family would like to thank everyone at the nursing home for loving him and taking such great care of him and for his friends that came to visit him.