A memorial service will be held in the springtime at his family plot in Upton, Wyoming for Francis Levi Wellman, 78, who passed away at his home on December 17, 2012 in Casper from Alzheimer disease.
As much as Francis loved trees, his family suggests contributing a memorial to Casper Mountain Fire District to purchase a much needed fire truck on Casper Mountain. If you so desire to help with this memorial please send your checks to Casper Mountain Fire District, 1000 Lemmens Rd., Casper, WY 82601.
Francis was born April 30th, 1934 in Newcastle, Wyoming, the son of Levi Dewitt and Esther Elizabeth (Davis) Wellman. He attended schools in Newcastle and Gillette, graduating from Campbell County High School in 1953. Francis played high school basketball, was an active member of FFA, an honor roll student and still maintained a part time job after school at McClellans Market in Gillette. He also spent memorable summers working for the Eric Rule family on their ranch, south of Gillette.
He married Marlene Loraine Rassbach (of Gillette) in 1953. They met while judging livestock at Barkley’s Ranch. They had 2 daughters, Linda Lee Wellman and Julene Leda Wellman. Francis first worked in Sundance for Sioux Oil Refinery in Newcastle for 3 years. Then his career took him to Casper, where he worked for Mobil Oil. At age 27, he became one of the youngest Mobil Oil employees to assist in starting up the ‘ATAS’ refinery in Mersin, Turkey. Francis, Marlene, and daughter Linda, lived 3 years in Turkey and did a great deal of traveling throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Returning from Turkey, Francis helped shut down the Mobil Oil Refinery in Casper and then spent 6 months in Singapore, working for Mobil Oil. Upon his return to Casper, he went to work in the Midwest oil fields.
Francis was a member of the Round-Up Horse Riding Club at Fort Caspar for many years and was chosen to ride the 1960 Centennial Re-run of the Pony Express. He took the same solemn oath, and carried replicas of the Bible and medal used by the Pony Express of 1860. Francis rode the west-east coast at 1 a.m. over rough terrain and crossed the North Platte River, on a horse that shied when the mailbag was thrown on his back.
Divorcing in 1971, he married Billie Jo Hawley of Casper, who had a son, Roy Dea Geer. Francis and his wife Billie had their own business, “Wellman Backhoe Service,” which they spent 27 years in. Francis retired in 1998. He and Billie worked well together in their business and enjoyed the same outdoor activities.
Throughout his life, he was an avid hunter, boater and loved fishing, often spending every weekend enjoying Wyoming Lakes and Mountains. He loved nature — animals, birds and koi fish. He created and made numerous wooden bird houses and often burned and etched designs in them. Caring for his dogs, cats, wild birds, squirrels and his koi pond in his yard gave him many hours of enjoyment. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, snowmobiling and snowshoeing on Casper Mountain.
Francis is survived by his wife Billie, children Linda Wallace - Friedland of North Carolina, Julene Wellman Allen of Demotte, Indiana, and Roy Dea Geer of Sparks, Nevada. He has 3 Grandchildren, Emma, James Wellman and Sawyer Allen in Indiana. Francis has several cousins and was especially fond of Georgia Lawrence of Newcastle.