Vernon Lee Reynolds, 83, of Gillette died Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Gillette.

Memorial services begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at Family Life Church with the Rev. Marty Crump officiating.

The family invites everyone to join them for a luncheon immediately after the services with burial to follow at Mount Pisgah Cemetery with military honors.

Mr. Reynolds, or "Vern" as friends and family called him, was born Oct. 27, 1936, the youngest child of Aldin and Ethel Reynolds and grew up on a ranch north of town at Rockypoint.

His dad died when he was only 9 years old, so after some time his mother decided to move the children who were still at home to Gillette.

He chose to leave school and join the military and enlisted into the Marine Corp — and was a very proud Marine. He was stationed in California from 1954-57, when he was honorably discharged.

During Mr. Reynolds' time in the Marine Corp, he met his true love, Irene Barela. After dating for a short while, he knew she was the one and they married in Kingman, Arizona, on Aug. 20, 1955. 

Into this loving marriage three children were born.

After he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp Mr. Reynolds decided to move back to Gillette. He wanted to give his family the ranch life that he loved, and enjoyed ranching and teaching his children that life. He worked for a few ranches for about 25 years and raised his own cattle.

In 1981, he decided on a career change and went to work for the Campbell County Road and Bridge Department as a truck driver. He retired after 22 years to stay home and take care of Irene.

In his younger years, he would rodeo locally. The couple enjoyed going to rodeos and Deadwood to gamble, where he didn't always win, but would take her winnings and keep on playing.

In 1997 and 1998, they went to Cody for the Fourth of July rodeo and then toured Yellowstone National Park for the first time. They traveled to Las Vegas to watch the National Finals Rodeo.

As the grandchildren got older, Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds started traveling to watch them rodeo, play basketball, tennis, volleyball, track, school concerts and other activities.

He never met a stranger and was known to be a big jokester and flirt, especially towards his nurses.

He was an active member of the American Legion Post 42 Drill Team and enjoyed his time and all the visiting they did at the post.

Mr. Reynolds is survived by his sister, Vera Clements; children, Aldin, Darrell and Debra; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Irene; brothers, Ellis, Clark, Earl and Herbert; sister, Lucille; and great-grandson, Willie.

A memorial has been established in Mr. Reynolds' name to benefit the American Legion Post 42 Drill Team.

Memorials and condolences may be sent to the family in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. Fifth St., Gillette WY 82716.

Condolences also may be expressed at gillettememorialchapel.com or attached to the obituary at gillettenewsrecord.com.

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