Jul 14, 2017 - From staff reportsNed L. and Betty Jean (Starks) Case of Riverton celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this weekend.
They were married in Casper on July 15, 1942.
They graduated Pavillion High School together in 1940, high school sweethearts, (part of the time.) That fall, while Ned trucked supplies to DuNoir for the tie hacks and helped on his parents' farm, Betty attended college.
Two years later, when Ned graduated from Machinist School in Casper, and Betty from Greene's School of Beauty Culture in Rapid City, S.D., they were married in Casper's Methodist parsonage.
Both were employed in Casper and Cheyenne before returning to the Pavillion area, where they owned and operated a farm for several years. While Ned farmed and served on community boards, Betty was employed as secretary/bookkeeper to the Pavillion school system.
Son Gene, was born in 1944, described by Betty as "our life blessing."
The family sold the farm, and Ned returned to college in 1953,where he won scholastic honors and earned a degree in agronomy at the University of Wyoming in 1957. Betty worked in the Air Force ROTC of@257;ce, and Gene delivered newspapers.
Upon graduation, Ned was appointed manager of the University of Wyoming Soils Laboratory in Riverton, one of four such labs in the state. Betty helped establish and operate an o@257;ice for Federal Gas Hills Partners. Gene worked for Riverton Ranger Inc. during non-school hours.
In 1960, Ned was hired by Phillips Petroleum Company and appointed Director of Agronomy in their Corporate of@257;ces in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he worked with universities across the nation on soil fertility research. During this time, he co-authored two college textbooks on soils, and he published numerous papers on soils and fertilizers. His work included an consulting assignment to Brazil.
Betty was employed in the Phillips Engineering Department offices and studied and honed her writing skills on the side, winning several state writing awards. Son Gene proceeded with his college education in Washington state.
Twenty-three years later, Ned and Betty retired and moved to Pheasant Crest Farm near Midvale, where they lived for nine years, hosted family, church and neighborhood gatherings, "and welcomed visiting moose, deer, foxes, skunks (maybe) and a wide variety of beautiful birds," Betty said.
Ned's retirement was soon interrupted by a World Bank consulting job in Colombia, South America, followed by another for a @258;edgling fertilizer company in Boston. Declaring herself a "late-but-lasting bloomer," Betty began a 30-plus-year career as a columnist and occasional feature writer for The Ranger, plus a year for the Lander Journal. Her @257;rst book, "Maggie: Set Free in The Wyoming Rockies," along with her
Ranger columns, earned state and national honors, plus a Wyoming Press Association Pacemaker award.
While continuing her Ranger work, Betty authored a second book, "This is Wyoming -- Live," taped for the blind and named "A Talking Book."
She also served as state president of the 200-member organization Wyoming Writers Inc. and won the Governor's Arts Award for that organization in 1995.
The Cases later moved to Riverton, where Ned was employed with Central Wyoming College for three years and did volunteer work in many areas.
The couple's retirement years included many trips of "heading for the high hills," to @257;sh, camp, "and absorb the gifts of mountains and wildlife," said Betty.
Naming their 75 years together "an awesome adventure," Ned says, "She helped me believe in myself."
Betty added, "He showed me where the stories grow."
Son Gene and wife Connie live in Spokane, Washington, and make frequent trips to Wyoming. The Cases also get occasional visits from nieces and nephews and step-grandchildren.
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