Wilbern L. Keith, husband, father, grandfather and friend to many passed away peacefully on Dec. 15, 2018. He was born to Sarah “Alice” and Ray Olin Keith on March 28, 1934, in Shafter, Missouri.
Wilbern graduated from Jamesport High School in Jamesport, Missouri, in 1952. He went on to join the Army in the 57th Engineering Company, serving from 1953 to 1956 and spending some of his time in Germany.
After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Missouri and worked as a welder for Dairy and Creamery Equipment Company in Kansas City for more than 20 years. He married his first wife, Karen Sue Caselman of Jamesport-Trenton, Missouri, in 1959 and they welcomed a son, Patrick, in 1960.
In 1976 he moved to Kemmerer, Wyo., and continued his welding career with FMC Plant and Mine where he made many lifetime friends.
He married his wife Darlene Sadler of Kemmerer in 1992. Together they enjoyed antique auctions, mushroom hunting and fishing. Wilbern took pride in his work and craftsmanship. He was a skilled leather and wood craftsman, braiding leads for the mules he broke and trained, and building grandfather clocks. He enjoyed mule shows and loved to ride in parades from Kemmerer to Missouri. Wilbern was an expert shot and won the town turkey shoot 10 years in a row. He never let a hunting season pass without a trophy to show, and he prided himself in using every part of the animal he hunted, sharing the meat and crafting with leather, teeth and horns. Wilbern tipped his hat to many and made friends wherever he went.
He earned the nickname “cowboy” for his low drawl and large hat and boots and was often seen around Kemmerer with his best friend, Cheyenne the Jack Russell Terrier, in tow.
His family would like to express their appreciation to the Kemmerer community for the support and love they have offered through this difficult time.
Wilbern is preceded in death by both of his parents, his brother Dale Keith and sister Carolee Keith.
He is survived by his wife Darlene, son Patrick and family, daughter Christie and son-in-law Casey, granddaughter Lacy as well as siblings Virginia, Lula, Bonnie and Jerry and extended family.
Services will be held Thursday, Dec. 20, at 11:00 a.m, with a viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Ball Family Chapel in Kemmerer. In lieu of flowers a donation in Wilbern’s name to the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation would be appreciated.