Betty May (Hornecker) Mathisen

Nov 8, 2012 Staff

Betty May (Hornecker) Mathisen, of Lander, died Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Westward Heights Nursing Home in Lander. She was 84 years old.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the First United Methodist Church in Lander. Pastor Calhoun will officiate. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery next to her husband, Bob, and son-in-law, Ron Haugen. Viewing will be at the church, under the direction of Hudson's Funeral Home of Lander.

Betty Hornecker was born May 10, 1928, at the old stone Kimble-Schneider house still standing in Milford, the sixth child and second daughter of John and Mary (Doane) Hornecker.

She grew up on the Hornecker Ranch where her grandfather had homesteaded in 1884 and her father was born in 1890. She was descended from several pioneer families in the Lander area including the Horneckers, Doanes, Averys and Crittendens. She graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School in 1946.

Her family said she loved to go to dances at liams Barn and at the Grange Hall at Milford. She met local cowboy, Bob Mathisen, and became engaged to him in the fall of 1945 while he was serving in World War II as a sailor aboard the U.S.S. North Carolina. They were married shortly after his return from the war, on June 4, 1946, at the Hornecker Ranch.

Their first home was a small homemade trailer that sat at the south end of city park. Later that year they lived in a sheep wagon at Pacific Springs to help put up hay, and in the winter they helped move sheep camps for Art Faulkner of the Yellowstone Ranch.

She later worked in the Fremont County Clerk and Fremont County Clerk of Court offices from 1948 to 1951 and also helped run a bowling alley she and her husband helped build on North Second Street.

The couple's only daughter, Jean Ann, was born in 1951 in Lander. Mr. Mathisen joined the Wyoming Highway Patrol in 1952, and the family moved several times over the years and lived in Casper, Kemmerer, Lander, Rock Springs, Jackson and Sheridan.Mrs. Mathisen worked in the Lincoln County Clerk's Office, later in the Fremont County Assessor's Office, and became first deputy in the Teton County Clerk's Office in Jackson. She worked a total of 20 years in private enterprises and county government, retiring in 1980.

The couple moved back to Lander in 1977, and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 4, 1996.

The Mathisens knew no strangers and had many friends across the state of Wyoming and other locales. After Mr. Mathisen's final retirement in 1986, Mrs. Mathisen helped him in teaching 55 alive defensive driving courses for AARP for 10 years.

Mrs. Mathisen was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Lander.

Their family said the couple loved to travel, and they visited all the Western states, except Alaska and Hawaii, with their daughter. They also loved to attend cowboy poetry gatherings in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and spend time at their daughter's cabin in Atlantic City and roam the hills and countryside around Lander. Mrs. Mathisen was in 4-H as a girl and was a 4-H counselor in Kemmerer and a longtime member of the Windmill Homemaker's Club at Lander. When she was younger, she loved the outdoors and riding horses, working cattle and going hunting with her father.

She is survived by her daughter, Jean Mathisen Haugen of Lander; step-grandson Josh Haugen of Fairbanks, Alaska; great-granddaughters Alyssa and Kaylee of Alaska and Iowa; brother Donald Hornecker and his wife Shirley of Sqauw Creek; sister Marietta Twitchell and her husband Anciel Twitchell of Fort Washakie; sister-in-law June Hornecker Smail; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and many friends across Wyoming.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, on April 29, 2002; son-in-law Ronald R. Haugen; parents John and Mary (Doane Hornecker); mother- and father-in-law Pearl (Ross) and Walter Mathisen; sister Edna Jean Irvine and her husband K.C. Tex Irvine; brothers Albert and his wife Betty Lou (liams), John M. "Jack," Harold Kenneth "Kink," and Ralph Hornecker and his wife Minetta; brothers-in-law Bill Mathisen, Darrel "Bub" Mathisen and Loren "Babe" Mathisen; nephews Duane Irvine and Mick Hornecker; nieces Charlene and Darlene Mathisen; sister-in-law Shirely Mathisen; and grandparents Frank and Anna (Avery Doane) and Albert and Carrie (Crittenden) Hornecker of Milford and Lander.

Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church, the Lander Senior Center or the Museum of the American West.

Print Story
Read The Ranger...