Used with permission from photographer Gary McClenahan
(July 19, 1954 - September 22, 1968)
The Lusk Herald
September 26, 1968
Billy Vondra Dies of Burns received In Fighting Moore Springs Grass Fire
William (Billy) Vondra, 14, died Sunday in a Denver hospital of burns he received Saturday, Sept. 14, when he fell from a truck which was engaged in fighting a grass fire near Jay Em. Reports were that 80 per cent of his body was burned.
He was first taken to the Children's Hospital in Denver, but was transferred to Denver General Hospital when his kidneys would not function properly and he required specialized treatment.
William Richard Vondra, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Vondra, was born at Torrington July 19, 1954. He lived with his parents and brother, Jim, on a ranch 14 miles west of Jay Em, in the Moore Springs area. He completed his elementary education in Torrington last spring and had entered University of Wyoming Prep School at Laramie.
His family feels perhaps it was Billy's drive to show that he was almost a man which led to his death. He had a habit of working longer and studying harder than was required, just to prove himself.
Philip King, pastor of the Forest Mound Chapel in Jay Em, presided over the services which were held from Colyer Funeral Home in Torrington. Mrs. Lester Wilburn was organist and Gordon Cruse sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Beyond the Sunset."
Casket bearers were Duane Lively, Keith Dennis, Lee Pugsley, Lee Williams, Bob Erickson, Max Robinett.
Burial was in Valley View Cemetery at Torrington.
In addition to his parents and brother he is survived by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Vondra and Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Eggers all of Torrington.
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