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Independent Obituaries: February 21, 2024

The following obituaries appeared in the February 21, 2024 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.

For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.


Letta Jo Case

Letta Jo Case

Letta Jo Case, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and dedicated advocate for animals, passed away on February 15, 2024, in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 88.

Jo was born on May 29, 1935, in Shawnee, Oklahoma to her parents, Joe Smoykeifer and Lava Smith Maggert, and half-sister, Beverly Smoykiefer. On February 15, 1958, Jo married her husband Doug at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. Their journey together led them to various places including Taipei, Taiwan; Washington, D.C. area; New Fairfield, Connecticut; and landed in Jackson, Wyoming, where they raised their son, Jeff, before retiring to Tucson, Arizona and Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming.

Jo’s life was marked by her devotion to her family, her faith, and her love for animals. She was a passionate advocate for animals, having owned many dogs and horses throughout her lifetime. A devout Christian, Jo found solace and strength in her faith and dedicated her time to volunteering at the Golden Goose Thrift Shop, as well as many other organizations, where she generously gave back to her community.

Jo is survived by her husband Doug of 66 years, her son Jeff (Melissa), and granddaughters Karenna and Kaitlin. The family is grateful for the love, support, and condolences during this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider sending donations to the Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, in honor of Jo’s passion for animals.

Memorial arrangements are still being made, and updates will be provided at a later time.

Condolences can be sent to


Ruth Swenson

Ruth Swenson

Ruth Putnam Swenson was born February 26, 1941, to Euvern Frank and Ruth Alice Putnam at home in Auburn, Wyoming. She is the youngest of twelve children. She was raised on the family farm in Auburn. Before she started public school, she would occasionally accompany her father on the trap line. She learned how to skin and stretch beaver pelts from her father. She was taught from a young age about animals from her father and grew to love animals. She told us that at one point they had a pet deer. Her best friend and sidekick as a child, was her dog Shorty. When she was eight years old, she was riding her bike and crashed. She broke her leg and had to be in traction for 30 days. She had her knee pinned and had a big indention in it. As children we would ask if we could put our finger in it.

She attended school in Auburn until she was high school age when she transferred to Afton for school. No one messed with mom. She was small but feisty. She played catcher in fast pitch softball and was known to hit home runs. From the time she was a freshman in high school, she had to get up before school to milk cows, by hand. Mom helped haul hay. Her brothers would put the hay up on the wagon and it was her job to stack it. She could lift a bale in each hand. She had well defined back and arm muscles.

Mom had a love for music. She was always singing or humming. She participated in choirs and operettas in high school. She and dad have sung at many funerals and in church. She has sung in all the various locations that they have lived throughout the years.

After graduating from high school, she worked at Fred’s Café in Afton. My dad’s older brother Eldon told dad that he should ask mom on a date. There was going to be a dance at the Valley-On. Mom loved to dance. Dad went and watched her all night. He finally got up enough nerve to ask her to dance and they danced the last two dances. He asked her if he could take her home and she told him no. She explained that she had her mom with her and needed to drive her home. Grandma didn’t drive so mom would drive her and grandma was a chaperone. He asked her for a date for New Year’s Eve. She said yes and they went to the movie The Big Gun. After the movie they took the back road to Auburn. At that time, the road was dirt. There was thick fog, and it was -40. Due to the fog dad didn’t see the end of the road and ran through the T intersection and into the snowbank. They were stuck. They walked to her house and had to wake grandpa up. He tried to pull them back on with no success. He drove dad home and dropped him off. The rest is history. They were married February 20, 1960, at the old Auburn Church. They were sealed on July 6, 1962, in the Idaho Falls Temple.

To their union they had fourteen children. They lived in Laramie, Albany, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Star Valley. They moved home to Star Valley in January of 1974.

She was primarily a homemaker. She went to work when James was finally in school. She was the Meals on Wheels bus driver. She loved taking the Senior Citizens on outings. She got to see Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot. She was also a cook at the Senior Citizen’s Center, Afton Elementary School, and Star Valley Medical Center. She retired when dad retired.

Mom was a great cook and baker. She made the best homemade bread. Nothing like coming home to the smell of fresh baked bread, hot with melted butter. When most of us were at home she made twenty loaves of bread a week. She made delicious donuts and pies.

Mom was a great seamstress. She made multiple wedding dresses, prom dresses, baby blessing dresses for most of her granddaughters and great granddaughters. She made baby blankets for all her grandkids. She also made beautiful quilts for her children as they were married, each had the names and wedding date embroidered on them. She upholstered furniture for herself and others. She was incredibly talented. She even redid the car seats and door panels in Frank Brog’s Mercedes in cream colored leather.

She was a hard worker. She never sat. She changed sprinkler pipes, picked worms, milked our cow, hauled hay, picked rocks on the church farm, and was still getting firewood last fall.

Her and dad were such amazing supporters of their children and grandchildren. They would go to every event they could make work. They have traveled for graduations, priesthood ordinations, weddings, baby blessings, sports activities, music concerts, and plays.

She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had many callings in the church. In 2006 Mom and Dad served a mission to the Philippines. They served for 5 months before coming home due to mom’s health issues. She struggled with depression off and on from that time forward. She was an angel on earth. She touched many lives.

She passed away on February 13, 2024, in a house fire. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Val Swenson. Her children: Crystal, Kelly (Gary), Gina (Dave), Valdee (Marge), Nicole (Thoney), Natalie (James), Chantell, Alison (Steve), Rendall (Jeri), Cynthia (Jared), Mitchell (Mariana), Vanessa, Gavin (Chandra), James (Monika), 76 grandchildren, 67 great grandchildren, and her sister Sylvia Pead.

She is proceeded in death by her parents, ten siblings, a granddaughter, Brittany, and grandson, Mikey, and a son-in-law, Michael.


Pups Goglio

Frank “Pups” Goglio

Frank Virgil “Pups” Goglio, 93, passed away February 9, 2024 surrounded by his loving family at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He lived in Star Valley Ranch for 39 years and was a former resident of Green River, Wyoming.

He was born July 14, 1930 in Rockvale, Colorado; the son of Frank Goglio and Anna Syputa.

Pups attended school in Rock Springs, Wyoming and graduated from Rock Springs High School in 1948.

He married the love of his life Cora Jean “Gigi” Horton June 11, 1955 in Rock Springs, Wyoming. They were known as Pups and Gigi to all who knew them. She preceded him in death April 20, 2006.

Pups served in the Army during the Korean War.

He was an Electrical Supervisor at FMC for 35 years until he retired in 1985.

Pups loved making memories with his family and friends. He enjoyed many Sunday visits with his niece Jackie Logan and her husband Bob along with his longtime friend Carol Warren.  He went on many adventures traveling and always managed to sneak in a round of golf.

He is survived by two sons, Kevin Goglio and wife Tina of Green River, Wyoming; Vern Goglio and wife Jan of Elko, Nevada; one sister Catherine McDonald of Hudson, Wyoming; six grandchildren, Kyle Goglio and wife McKenzie; Jarod Goglio and wife Cheznie; Terra Baldus and husband Andy; Saleena Bevard and husband Randy; Kody Goglio; Dan Roberge; seven great grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and one brother Jack Goglio.

Following Cremation, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be left at

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Majken Bood

Together Again

Majken and Rex Bood

Majken Bood

Majken Louise Olson Bood passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 8, 2024, at the age of 86. Although heartbroken, we are happy to know she is having a wonderful reunion with her family and is back in the arms of the love of her life, Rex.

Majken was born February 8, 1937, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Carl Bert and Melva Lenore Fernelius Olson. She grew up in Salt Lake City with a loving family and was a lifelong faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She graduated from West High School, and in 1961 married Rex Lars Bood. They both shared a great love for the outdoors, and although Rex was an avid hunter and fisherman, Majken always held her own and had a knack for bagging the biggest game animal or catching the largest fish.

Majken spent 27 years of devoted service working for the United States Court of Appeals, with 17 of those years as a dedicated senior secretary to Circuit Judge Monroe McKay. Once retired, Majken and Rex spent many happy years traveling the west and living in their fifth-wheel trailer. They finally settled into their hand-built log home on Easy Street in Auburn, Wyoming, near dear and cherished friends.

Although unable to have children of her own, she took every opportunity to enrich the lives of her adored nieces and nephews. Many great memories were experienced doing arts and crafts, knitting and crocheting, puzzles, shopping, and hunting and fishing. Spending time together during the holidays will always be some of our favorite memories. She was a wonderful aunt and a great influence; the relationships we experienced with her will always be cherished.

Majken is preceded in death by her husband Rex, her parents, and her siblings Carl, Melva, and Donald. She is survived by many dear friends, her nieces and nephews and their children; all who loved her deeply.

Future celebrations of life will be held in Wyoming and in Salt Lake City, with times and dates to be determined. Please save your flowers for then, or you may donate to Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, in Majken’s name.


Kate Jackson

Graveside Services for Kate Jackson will be held on Monday, February 26, 2024 at 1 p.m. at the Smoot Cemetery.

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