Obituary Details

Gary Lee Greenly

(07/20/1951 - 02/19/1955)
Courtesy of Lusk Free Lance, 02/24/1955

Kathy Ann Greenly, 5, Dies instantly When Truck Rams Car, Explodes Tank; Burns Claims Life of Brother Saturday.

An accident on U.S. Highway 20, barely one-half miles west of the Lusk city limits shortly after 8 a.m. last Friday morning, claimed the life of five-year old Kathleen Ann Greenly at the site, and fatally burned her only brother, Gary Lee, three-years old. He died at the Spencer Hospital here at 11:40 p.m. Saturday night from the results of extensive third degree burns on the face, both legs, and left arm, and from searing inhalation of the lungs. The dead are children of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Greenly, who have been employed at the Leo Thompson ranch near Lance Creek.

Other victims of burns in the collision and resultant explosion are the parents, and their elder daughter, Donna Jean, six years old. The father suffered severe facial burns as he attempted to rescue his daughter who was trapped inside the car, Mrs. Greenly was found to have deep burns on her head and face and also about her body. Donna Jean's burns were less severe and were principally on her face. She has been dismissed from the hospital. Both Mr. and Mrs. Greenly are still under treatment at the Spencer Hospital, where the four survivors were rushed by Gene Perry and Russell Cramer, N.E.A. linemen, who, on their way to the N. E. A. offices west of here reached the scene only seconds after the explosion. The remains of Kathy Lee were brought back to Lusk by the Peet ambulance.

According to the official report on the accident, and from information of witnesses of the tragedy, three vehicles all headed east were involved. Car No. 1, a 1952 Pontiac sedan was driven by Glen E. Parmely of Lusk, when the engine fouled out and stalled when the gale-driven snow shorted the ignition system.

The Greenly car, a 1952 Dodge Sedan, came up behind the Parmely machine, and seeing it in time, stopped a short distance to its rear. Greenly who was driving did not attempt to pass the lead and stalled car due to the blinding snow storm in fear that he might encounter traffic from the opposite direction.

It was while the two cars were thus stopped that the No. 3 vehicle, a 1951 GMC truck and trailer belonging to R. B. Wilson and driven by Marion Earl Evans of Rapid City, S. Dak. came along. Evans did not see the Greenly car in time to stop, and was unable to turn out because of the density of the storm. The Greenly car, with the parents and Donna on the front seat and the two little victims, Kathy and Gary in the rear seat, was telescoped by the impact, which tore the gas tank off completely, and simultaneously exploded, supposedly from a spark made when the vehicles clashed. In a fraction of a second the interior of the car was a mass of flames, trapping the occupants.

When the N. E. A. workers came along just after the explosion, both Cramer and Perry, who were accompanied by Mrs. Ion Lewis, also of the N.E.A. staff, rushed from their car to the flaming Greenly machine. Greenly and his wife had managed to get out of the car, and the father, with the help of Perry, pulled Donna Lee through the window of the left door which had jammed.

Meanwhile Cramer pulled little Gary from the back seat. The clothing of all had caught fire, it was said, but was smothered as quickly as conditions would permit.

Mr. Greenly then rushed back to the burning machine in an attempt to reach little Kathy. Frantically he sought to find her among the blanket, suit cases, and other family possessions, but was unable to reach or find her. He had to be pulled away by Perry, Cramers and Evans, but not until he had been badly burned about the face.

The four surviving victims were placed in the Perry car and he brought them into Lusk, stopping long enough at the highway check station to report the accident. The local volunteer fire department and the Peet ambulance were called immediately and the county fire truck rushed to the scene. The firemen kept the blaze down but were unable to completely extinguish the flames until they burned out.

As soon as the car cooled so that it could be approached the probe for Kathy Ann began. Her remains were found amidst the burned rubble. It is believed that she might have died from the effects of the impact when the car and truck collided.

Funeral Services For Greenly Tots Wednesday
Double funeral services were held for tiny Kathleen Ann Greenly and her younger brother Gary Lee Greenly at two o'clock Wednesday afternoon, February 23, at the chapel of the Peet Funeral Home, with Rev. Otha Holcomb, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lusk officiating.

During the rites two selections, "Beyond the Sunset" and "Jewels" were sung by Miss Phyllis Johns and Mrs. Emerson Bonner, Lee Johnsonbaugh and Rex Yocum.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery with Buster Penfield, Jerry Norris, Dave Armstrong and Joe Traphagan all of Lance Creek serving as casketbearers for Gary, with Leo Thompson, Luther Penfield, Geo. Deuel and Jim Thompson , also of Lance Creek bearing the remains of Kathleen.

Inquest Set For Wednesday, March 2nd
According to information from Geo. Earl Peet, county coroner, an inquest into the accident that claimed the lives of Kathleen Ann and Gary Lee Greenly will be held at 2:00 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, March 2nd, at the Peet mortuary.

Kathleen Ann Greenly
Gary Lee Greenly

Kathleen Ann Greenly and Gary Lee Greenly, daughter and son of Gerald and Betty Greenly, were born respectively: Kathy, May 12, 1950 at Torrington, Wyo.; Gary, July 20, 1951 at Lusk, Wyoming.

Kathy passed away February 18, 1955; and Gary on February 20, 1955 at the Spencer Hospital in this city. Both died in consequence of a highway accident that occurred the morning of February 18, 1955.

They leave to mourn their passing, their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Greenly, a sister Donna Jean, 6-years-old, their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Greenly, Morrill, Nebr., and Mrs. Clyde Kuskie, Fort Laramie, Wyo.; one uncle, Glen Kuskie, Fort Laramie, Wyo.; five aunts, Mrs. Charlie Scott, and Mrs. Art Black, of Lusk, Wyo., Mrs. Frank Mead, Parkland, Wash., Mrs. Roy Mead, Visalia, Calif., and Naomi Hennesey, Morrill, Nebr., a number of cousins and other relatives.

Deep in our hearts lies a picture
Of Kathy and Gary, loved ones laid to rest;
In memory's frame we shall keep it,
Because they are now God's guests.

The flowers we place upon their grave
May wither and decay,
But love for those who sleep beneath
Will never pass away.

The Lusk Herald
February 24, 1955
Two Children Are Killed As Result of Truck-Car Accident During Blizzard

Kathy Ann Greenly, 4, and Gary Lee Greenly, 3, are dead as a result of a truck-car accident a half mile west of Lusk at 8:05 Friday morning during the week-end blizzard. Donna Lee Greenly, 6, and Mr. and Mrs. Gerald M. Greenly all suffered burns in the fire which followed the crash.

The accident occurred when the visibility and temperature both hovered around zero. The big R. B. Wilson truck-tanker smashed into the rear of the Greenly 1952 Dodge which had stopped behind Glen R. Parmely's stalled car. The front of the truck came to rest just behind the front seat of the Greenly car. Kathy was killed instantly and Gary died late Saturday night in a Lusk hospital.

A fire broke out. It was apparently fed by the gasoline from the smashed tank of the Greenly car. The fire resembled a forced furnace fire as the strong wind kept the flame confined but extremely hot. The Lusk Volunteer Fire Department put out the fire but not without difficulty as the wind and blowing snow were major obstacles. What little the truck left of the car the fire destroyed. The front tires of the truck were burned. The damage to the truck was estimated at $500.

Parmely's car became stalled when he was returning to Lusk after taking his wife to work at the Niobrara Electric Association. Mr. Greenly stopped behind the Parmely car. Just as Parmely started to get out to ask Greenlys for a push the truck smashed into the Greenly car. The damage to Parmely's car is estimated at $350.

Marion Earl Evans of Rapid City, driver of the truck, listed the speed of the truck on the acident report at 35 miles per hour.

Eugene Perry was on his way to work at the Niobrara Electric Association when he came upon the scene of the accident. He was the first to the scene and brought all the injured to Lusk. Perry informed Patrolman Jordan of the accident. Jordan called for the ambulance and the Fire Department and then went to the scene. Jordan took the dead girl out of the burning car.

Donna Lee Greenly, 6, was released from the hospital Monday, and is staying with her Aunt and Uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Scott of Lusk. Mr. and Mrs. Greenly are still in the hospital. Both adults suffered facial burns and lung injuries from breathing flame.

Bud Evans, brother of the truck driver, Marion Evans, was asleep in the sleeping compartment of the truck cab at the time of the accident. When the fire broke out Bud Evans jumped out clad only in his underclothes and helped get the people out of the car. He was brought to town and was an extremely cold man but did not require hospitalization.

Funeral services for Kathleen Ann Greenly and Gary Lee Greenly were being held Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock in the Peet Chapel with Rev. Otha B Holcomb officiating.

A mixed quartet composed of Mrs. Emerson Bonner, Miss Phyllis Johns, Rex Yocum and L. E. Johnsonbaugh sang "Beyond the Sunset" and "Jewels" accompanied by Mrs. J. P. Watson, organist.

The casket-bearers for Kathleen were: Leo Thompson, Jim Thompson, George Deuel and Luther Penfield. Those for Gary were: Buster Penfield, Jerry Norris, Dave Armstrong and Joe Traphagan.

Interment will be in the Lusk cemetery with the Peet Mortuary in charge.

Kathleen Ann Greenly and Gary Lee Greenly, daughter and son of Gerald and Betty Greenly, were born respectively: Kathy, May 12, 1950, at Torrington; Gary, July 20, 1951, at Lusk.

Kathy passed away Feb. 18, 1955; and Gary Feb. 20, 1955, at the Spencer Hospital, Lusk. Both died in consequence of a highwsy accident that occurred the morning of Feb. 20, 1955. (As published)

They leave to mourn their passing: their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Greenly; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Greenly, Morrill, Nebr.; and Mrs. Clyde Kuskie, Fort Laramie; one uncle, Glen Kuskie, Fort Larmmie; aunts: Mrs. Charles Scott, Lusk;; Mrs. Art Black, Lusk; Mrs. Frank Mead, Parkland, Wash.; Mrs. Roy Mead, Vislia, Calif., and Naomi Hennesey, Morrill, Nebr. Besides parents, grandparents, one uncle and five aunts, they leave cousins and other relatives.

"Deep in our hearts lies a picture
Of Kathy and Gary, loved ones laid to rest;
In memory frame we shall keep it,
Because they are now God's guests.

The flowers we place upon their grave
May wither and decay,
But love for those who sleep beneath
Will never pass away.

Images & Attachments

The Greenly Family (l. to r.) Kathy, Gerald, Gary, Betty and Donna Lee.
Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Black, Clarence (10/16/1921 - 08/12/1997) View Record
Obituary Greenly, Betty (11/04/1929 - 07/25/1981) View Record
Obituary Greenly, Kathleen (05/12/1950 - 02/18/1955) View Record
Obituary Kuskie, Elsie (07/09/1891 - 09/01/1981) View Record
Obituary Milnes, Gertrude (12/01/1888 - 06/22/1980) View Record
Obituary Scott, Mildred (04/12/1918 - 10/30/1968) View Record
Obituary Scott, Charles (08/06/1904 - 04/04/1988) View Record
Obituary Scott, Jerry (03/02/1945 - 03/13/1997) View Record
Obituary Kuskie, August (11/30/-0001 - 01/05/1954) View Record
Obituary Scott, Janice (05/31/1950 - 07/19/2011) View Record
Obituary Black, Mabel (02/11/1927 - 10/03/2016) View Record
Obituary Greenly, Gerald (10/05/1939 - 01/01/2020) View Record