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Independent Obituaries: October 16, 2019

The following obituaries appeared in the October 16, 2019 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

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Carl Fuller

Carl Eugene Fuller, 84 of Afton passed away peacefully on Monday, October 7, 2019. Carl was born July 20, 1935 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Lavern and Olive Fuller. He is the oldest of four children.
Carl married the love of his life Sylvia Jean VanKatwyk on September 3, 1954 in the Salt Lake Temple. Together they raised seven children Laura, Mark, Jeff, Connie, Karen, and Kathleen in South Jordan, Utah. Carl and Sylvia have 24 grandchildren,40 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.
Carl was a good father and grandfather who loved his children and did the best he could to teach and guide them. He loved working on all sorts of Volkswagens from bugs and vans, to homemade three wheelers. He was innovative and creative with his designs and projects. He served in various church callings. Carl served in the Army National Guard and served as a Sheriff Reserve for Salt Lake County.
Carl is survived by his wife Sylvia, his children Laura (Mike) Wilcox, Mark Fuller, Brent (Jeannette) Fuller, Jeff (Connie) Fuller, Connie (Kevin) Kay, Karen (Mark) Jensen, Kathleen (Jim) Holst, his sisters Maurine Todd and Ruth (Dale) Broughton, his grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In addition to many other extended family that he loved.
Carl is preceded in death by his parents Lavern and Olive Fuller, brother Robert Fuller, daughter in law (Mark) Cherri Fuller, grandson Michael Ray Wilcox, and granddaughter MacKenzie Murray.
A viewing will be held Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 6-8: p.m. at 2901 W. 9000 S. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, October 18 at 12 Noon at the 2901 West 9000S at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A viewing will be held prior to the service from 10-11:45 a.m. Interment will be at the Valley View Memorial Park Cemetery. 4335 W 4100 S, West Valley City, Utah.


Dee J. Hokanson was 85 years old. He was a fun loving man and teacher. He taught many years in a variety of settings. Dee had a story or a joke to tell you, no matter whom or where you were. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle and bishop. He passed away peacefully at home on Oct 7, 2019 with his wife by his side.
Dee was born in Afton on Aug 8, 1934. He was the oldest son of Orlin and Eva Hokanson. He has two sisters Verla (Jim) Crook, and Nyla (Al) Merchant, and two brothers Gary (Carole) Hokanson and Van (Joyce) Hokanson. In his youth he rode race horses for his father and chariot raced horses and loved to hunt and fish. Dee married his high school sweeatheart Ida Lynn Ranzenberg on the 9th of June 1953 in the Idaho Falls Temple. They have been married for 66 years. They have seven children: LinDee (deceased) (Annette) Hokanson, Jaralee (Bill) Wettstein, Randy (Suzie) Hokanson, Bob Hokanson, Laurie (Bobby) Gibb, Kenny (Monica) Hokanson, and Kris (Gary) Foreman and 30 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. He loved to play cards or a game with all who would play!
Dee was a lifetime resident of Freedom, Wyoming. He was a farmer, truck driver, teacher, Principal, horse lover, fisherman. He went to grade school in Freedom, and Star Valley High School. For the Higher Education Dee went to Utah State University both for his Bachelors and Masters Degree. He was employed by the Lincoln County School District. He was an active member in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of his life and served in various calling throughout his life; scout master, bishop and serviced eight years as a High Councilman, to name a few. Dee and Ida served two full time missions; one in Africa and one in Nauvoo, Illinois. He was a Bishop for eight years, and teacher for 30 years, a Principal for some of those years. He was a lifetime friend to all.
Funeral services were held in the Freedom Ward Chapel on Saturday, October 12 at 12:00 with a veiwing Friday from 6:00 – 8:00 at the Thayne Schwab Funeral Chapel and one hour prior to the funeral service.


Hilda H. Anderson, Jan 1940-Jun 42, Graduated College, June 1942

Hilda Anderson was born in Grover to Joseph and Emma Hepworth Anderson on the 4th of July, 1920, the fourth child in their family of five; Hazel born in 1911, Eva in 1915, Roice in 1917, Hilda in 1920 and Byron in 1925. Hilda passed peacefully away October 11, 2019 in Afton below the east mountains she loved so much. Hilda’s friends and cousins would gather at the Anderson home at the mouth of Grover Canyon, running the hills as they played. At chore time Hilda would sit on a one legged stool, milking cows almost as fast as her mother. After a short walk to the west, she would attend church and school in the center of town.
Following her graduation from Star Valley High School in 1939 and the University of Wyoming at Laramie in 1942, she took her first teaching job in Burlington in the heart of Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. Hilda returned to Grover teaching elementary children in the very school that she had attended. She next taught in Cathlamet Public School in Washington then moved on to teach in Oregon with her assignments being in the Portland area until she retired in 1976 after 33 years. While teaching in Washington, Hilda was introduced to Alvin Wayne Stitt by her sister Hazel’s former mission companion, Laretta Stitt. Hilda and Alvin were married on June 14, 1950 at the Logan temple and settled down in Portland, Oregon where Alvin worked as a baker and Hilda taught elementary school.
Hilda and Alvin were never blessed with children of their own but their love and support were felt by many. Each summer they planned a vacation to Star Valley where they involved many of their nieces and nephews in camping, fishing and games. Over the years, these wonderful times were followed by taking kids, a couple at a time, to spend a few weeks hosted at the Stitt home where one and all were shown a great time. They were father, mother, grandfather and grandmother for many family members.
They served many people in addition to family. Hilda served in ward and stake positions including a calling as Primary president when she was 84 years old. Alvin served as a Stake and then Regional Director of Sports for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which took them all over the Columbia River Basin, which they loved. The service included many hours doing genealogy work. Hilda was a stake missionary and they both served as full time missionaries in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission working with the Sioux Nation. They were temple workers in the Seattle and the Portland temples. Hilda loved to travel, camp, fish, pick huckleberries, press fresh apple cider, enjoy the beauties of nature and family with her beloved Alvin.
Alvin passed away October 1, 2007. Hilda was the last of her siblings to pass with Byron in 1969, Roice in 2004, Hazel in 2013 and Eva in 2019 just one week before Hilda. These two sisters had lived together in Grover for the last six years.
At her request, there will be no services. Hilda will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery next to her husband Alvin who had served with the 83rd bomb squadron (The Black Angels) during WWII.


Marilyn Lancaster Johns

Marilyn Lancaster Johns was born April 2, 1928. She was the second child and daughter of Ella Harriett Crook Lancaster and Robert Thomas Lancaster. She was born at home on the family ranch approximately three miles from Smoot. She returned home to the loving arms of her parents and husband, Roland Johns, October 13, 2019.
Marilyn was the second oldest of ten children. She spent her childhood in Smoot, Wyoming, working on the family ranch. Roland and Marilyn were married on January 10, 1948 and later sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple. They worked side by side on the ranch raising their seven daughters and one son in Cokeville.
Marilyn was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in various callings in the church, as well as being a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.
Marilyn is survived by her eight children, Elayne (Kitt) Finlinson, Ellen (Tim)Williams, Janet (Todd) Dayton, Rowleen (Lyn) Keetch, Lila (Keith) Rigby, Donna (Dan) Peart, Alan (Barbara) Johns, and Gwen (Don) Toomer. She is also survived by her sisters Delsa (Kay) Erickson and Julia (Garland) Kennington.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 1 p.m. in the Cokeville 1st Ward chapel. There will be a viewing prior to the service from 11:30-12:45. The interment will follow at the Afton, Wyoming cemetery.


Martin Miller

Martin G. Miller, 71, passed away at his home in Walla Walla, Washington on October 7, 2019. A Private Family service was held, Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, Walla Walla, Washington.
Martin was born to Martin P. and Anna L. (Wirtz) Miller in Grants Pass, Oregon on September 27, 1948. Martin graduated from East High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1967 and in November of 1967 he entered the Army. He attended the Army Aviation School at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and graduated in 1969. Martin was sent to Vietnam, and completed two tours of duty flying air evacuation, medical, troop extractions, and gunship missions. His military encompassed serving in two wars. He retired from his active duty and Wyoming Army National Guard service of 28 years on June 18, 1996. On the civilian side following his return from Vietnam, he began working with his father as a carpenter. Martin took great pride in perfecting his craft. Some of the positions he held were Quality Control Supervisor for the SOHIO Endicott Project on Prudhoe Bay, Alaska from 1985-1987. He was also a full time technician in the Army National Guard as a Flight Operations Specialist. After moving from Cheyenne to Star Valley, Wyoming, he returned to his love of carpentry. In 1999 he and his wife, a registered nurse, opened a medical equipment and supply store in Thayne spanning ten years until selling the business in 2009.
On the personal side, Martin was a loving husband to his wife Susan. He was a devoted father, grandfather, and friend to many. He had a deep abiding faith, Martin accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in March of 2000. He was secure in his salvation and life ever after. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Martin is survived by his wife, Susan Olson-Miller, daughter, Amanda Jo McClanahan, son, Martin J. Miller, brother, Joseph Miller, and granddaughter, Molly Ann Miller.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Jack Miller.
Memorial contributions may be made to Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center or the Blue Mountain Humane Society through the funeral home at 1551 The Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Washington 99362.
Friends and family may share memories and sign his online guestbook at


Paul Knutson

Paul Isaac Knutson, from Star Valley, Wyoming, passed away on October 11, 2019 at the age of nineteen. He was born on November 9, 1999 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Paul graduated from Star Valley High School in Afton, Wyoming and completed seminary.
Paul is survived by his father, Douglas Knutson from Idaho Falls, Idaho, his mother, Barbara Merritt and step father, Dan Merritt from Bedford, Wyoming. He has five living siblings, Spencer, Lauren, Stephen, Blake and Bryce Knutson, and his three step-siblings, Emma, Millie and Chance Merritt.
Paul’s greatest joy in life was bringing laughter to those around him. He had a tremendous love for all eight of his siblings, and they were a strength to him throughout his life.
Funeral services will be held at the Thayne LDS Community Church on Saturday, October 19, at 11:00 a.m. A visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service, in the same location. The support of friends and family is greatly appreciated.


Ruth Cranney

Ruth S. Cranney, much-loved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, passed away on Friday, October 11, 2019.
Ruth was born August 4th, 1931, the sixth of seven children, to Martin Henry Schwab and Mary Hale Schwab, in Afton, Wyoming. She grew up there surrounded by all her siblings and loving parents who taught their children everything they needed to know, gathered them together for drives in the car, and took them to nearby Cottonwood Lake for family picnics and fishing.
Ruth’s childhood was filled with the activities of a large, busy family—driving out to the South end of Star Valley to hike up the snowy hill in search of that year’s Christmas tree, riding their toboggan down the steep hills on the highway with their father waiting in the car at the bottom of the hill to pick them up. She and the other children worked with their mother on chores that functioned as a disguise for lessons in math, reading and other skills they’d need in life. Before she was old enough to go to school, she was charged with counting the number of people who would be having dinner and setting a place for each one. In an essay she wrote in her later years, she described one occasion when the table was one plate short. As she puzzled over the error her mother suggested that she may have forgotten to count herself. As she got older, these chores included cooking—increasing the amounts of ingredients as she doubled recipes. She had no trouble in school with multiplication and fractions.
In the summer of 1946, at the end of her freshman year at Star Valley High School, she met Ted Cranney, who grew up across the valley in Auburn and had just come home from the army at the end of WWII. They married on November 8th of that year in Idaho Falls, Idaho, settled on the Cranney family farm and had two daughters.
In 1954, they and their daughters moved to Salt Lake City and over the next four years added two sons to their little family. They purchased a home in the growing community of Kearns and raised their family there.
Ruth took great interest in her children, encouraging them in school, making sure each of them had music lessons as they grew up, keeping them active in their church, and teaching them by example to be compassionate, helpful and caring. In 1970 she received an Associate degree in nursing from Utah Technical College and began working at Cottonwood Hospital as a licensed practical nurse. A short time later, she continued her nursing studies in a program from Weber State College and became a Registered nurse. She continued at Cottonwood Hospital until she retired in 1989.
She was extremely gifted in sewing and other needle arts, which she learned from her mother and others throughout her childhood, and which she taught to her children and many 4H groups . Besides sewing to help make a living for the family, she also made exquisite quilts, gifts for her family and friends (those friends are still using and talking about the quilts, slippers and other gifts they’ve received over the years), and award-winning needlework art pieces.
After all her children had grown and left home she became interested in writing, which she studied at the Eddie P. Mayne Senior Citizen Center in Kearns. She went on to take further classes and describes in one of her essays how being in a class with students who were much younger was exciting and opened her mind to new perspectives. Her children all treasure the collections of her writings, which she copied for each of them, and more than one of which were published in their class magazine. Our mother was a published author.
After her husband passed away in 1988, Ruth continued to lead an active life with neighbors and her church, and as her children’s families grew she cherished her relationships with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She continued to be active and interested after moving to Sunridge Assisted Living facility in 2016. She enjoyed the community, the outings and activities, and visits with her children and their families until she finally passed away in a peaceful sleep in the very early morning.
Ruth is survived by her children and their families: Mary Lynne, Patricia Ketcham (Warren), Claude (Deborah), and Russell (Jane), grandchildren: Tait Ketcham (Mandy), and Caryn Melonas, Lindsey Cranney, and Chad and Jay Cranney, and seven wonderful great grandchildren: Treyton Cranney, Khadra, Brody, Ella and Josie Ketcham, and Kaileigh and Nico Melonas.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward W. Cranney, parents Martin and Mary Schwab, brothers Anthon, Gene and Max, and sisters Arlean, Belva and Melva.
Please join Ruth’s family for a viewing on Thursday, October 17 from 6-8 p.m. at Mc Dougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road in Taylorsville, Utah. Funeral services will be at the same place on Friday morning at 11:00. Friends and family may gather one hour prior to the service. A graveside service and burial will be in Afton, Wyoming on Saturday, October 19 at 1 p.m.

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