Obituary Details

Donald Glenn Dooley

(06/30/1926 - 07/24/1984)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 08/02/1984

Donald G. Dooley

Donald Glenn (Don) Dooley was killed instantly shortly after dark on July 24, 1984, when his motorcycle collided with a road construction vehicle on Highway 20 near Manville.

Don was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Omaha, Nebr. On June 30, 1926 to Bernard and Clara (Shroyer) Dooley. His parents divorced shortly after his birth with Bernard getting custody of Don's sister, Mary, And Clara was given custody of Don.

Don was raised by his uncle, Jesse Shroyer, his grandmother, Georgia Watts, and numerous foster parents until at the age of 16 his mother signed a notarized affidavit stating that Don was 18 and therefore was old enough to go into the military service. At this point in his life he was introduced to motorcycles when he was trained to be a motorcycle patrol officer. After training, he was sent to Recife, Brazil where the U.S. Army was stationed to prevent a suspected invasion by the Germans from Africa.

After his discharge, he traveled for a time with a dare-devil show where his specialty act was to crash his motorcycle through a flaming board wall. Despite the scariness of this feat, due to the safety measures Don used he never sustained a single injury.

He met Frances Sloan in her hometown of Belle Fourche, S. Dak. When he was 25 and she was 19. Three months later on April 20, 1952, Don and Frances were married in Alzada, Mont. The ensuing years were busy with the birth of their only son, Patrick James, in Belle Fourche on April 15, 1954. Their first daughter, Kathianne, was born in Butte, Mont. On June 25, 1955. She died in infancy and is buried in Butte. Their last daughter, Shawn Donya, was born in Grass Valley, Calif. on December 18, 1958.

During the years he raised his family, Don became a copper miner in Butte, a silver miner in California, a phosphate miner for a Canadian-owned mine in Montana, and the last mine he worked in was Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S. Dak. Fifteen years ago, Don and his family came to Wyoming where he went to work in the old fields. Ten years ago the family came to Lance Creek where Don finally found the "home" he had long been searching for.

The light of his last years was his grandson, Joshua, born to his daughter after her divorce. He steadfastly refused to let Shawn have "his little boy".

On the last day of his life, Don had gone to Wheatland to shop for a mobile home. According to the salesman at Miss Molly's, he was hurrying home with a credit application for his wife to fill out because he had found the style of mobile home they wanted to buy. At the highway construction site between Keeline and Manville, he was third in line behind the pilot vehicle.

For some unknown reason, Don drove his motorcycle out of the line and later upon realizing that he was being left behind pulled back into the traffic lane and hurried to catch up with the others. In that last second before the collision, Don tried to use the evasive action he had been taught during his training over 40 years ago.

His 10 year-old grand-daughter, Dena, with whom he had taken three long distance trips totaling 3,000 miles, has the explanation as to why he pulled out of the line of vehicles. She explained that her grandfather would stop often to smoke part of a cigarette and rest his back by the side of the road before continuing on.

Don went to his final rest in the Lusk Cemetery on Friday, July 27, leaving behind his widow, Frances; his son, Patrick; his daughter, Shawn; grandsons Joshua, age 3 and Dustin, age 4; granddaughters Dena, age 10, Misty, age 2, and Amanda, age 1; his sister Mary Richards, Coos Bay, Ore. And his half-brother, Bernard Dooley, Chicago Ill.

Don loved his family, his God, his work, his friends and his motorcycle. He was a good and caring man who only wanted to make an honest living and take care of his family.

He will be forever loved and forever missed.

Services were held at Peet Mortuary Chapel in Lusk July 27, 1984 with Rev. Daniel Gainer officiating. Music was by Rose Kremers, organist and Carolyn Hammond and Jeanie Gainer who sang "Rock of Ages: and "Somebody Touched Me".

Active bearers were Michael Kant, Sr., Patrick Kant, Bradley Kant, Charles Robinson, Leroy Krejei, Gene Bryson and Raymond Moore.

Interment was at Lusk Cemetery.

Arrangements were by Peet Mortuary.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Showers, Shawn (12/18/1958 - 06/30/1987) View Record
Obituary Dooley-Baker, Frances (05/20/1932 - 04/29/2009) View Record