Cover photo for Don Waldrop's Obituary
1944 Don 2023

Don Waldrop

July 28, 1944 — February 20, 2023

GILLETTE, WY

 

A memorial service for Don Waldrop will be held Friday, March 10, 2023 at 11:00 am at the First Assembly of God Church in Gillette, Wyoming.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to 1st Assembly of God Church.

Don passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 20, 2023 surrounded by family and a dear friend, Charlotte Dower. He was born July 28, 1944 in Seminole, Texas to Charley Lavelle and Johnie Marie Waldrop.  In his senior year of high school, Don fell into hard times and became a foster child to Ollie Kane. The entire family took him in and treated him as if he were their own family member.

Don was very close to her son, Frank Kane and her daughters, Karen (Kane) McCurley, Joy (Kane) Voiles, Kathleen (Kane) Reynolds, Myra (Kane) Addison, Zoe (Kane) Allee and their families. Ollie M. (Wright) Kane passed way In 2005. Her son, Frank (Wright) Kane, passed in April, 2009. Karen (Kane) McCurley passed in 1999, and Joy (Kane) Voiles passed in 2013.  Zoe (Kane) Allee passed in 2007 and Kathleen (Kane) Reynolds passed in 2021.  Rodney Addison, Myra's husband passed in 2010. Don and Carolyn were very close to the entire family, and stayed in touch with all of them until their demise.

Don always liked to run into Clarky Reynolds or Myra Addison at the Gillette Post Office and catch up on family matters, and visiting Rusty Allee in Billings, Montana while shopping and eating out at all the various restaurants! Specifically, he loved to visit Candy Town and shop for taffy. Don was known for giving away taffy or Huckleberry Chocolate to anyone he came in contact with. It was his get away from Gillette for a couple of days with his wife.

Don served in the Navy for four (4) years from 1963 to 1967. Upon military discharge he moved to Arlington, Texas where he worked at Ling Temco-Vault, an airplane Manufacturing company. Carolyn Sisson (Waldrop) worked for a lawyer in Irving, Texas. She attended Assembly of God Tabernacle in Irving, Texas. Don had a relative, Pat Borden of Irving, Texas, who was giving Carolyn piano lessons, and was the choir director at the Assembly of God Tabernacle.

In March of 1968, at one of Carolyn's piano lessons, Pat thought to herself, "They would make a cute couple", and so began her match making. During one of Carolyn's piano lessons Pat maneuvered a way for Don to take Carolyn home. Later, in a conversation with Pat, Carolyn exclaimed, "I don't like him, he smokes!" LOL

Pat talked to Don and he let her know he thought Carolyn was cute. So, she told him he had to give up the cigarettes, because Carolyn would not date anyone who smoked. He was sick for three (3) days, although later he swore it was not because of quitting cigarettes!

So, Carolyn and Don began dating and 6 months later, August 9, 1968 they were married. They lived in an apartment in Irving, Texas for the first year of their marriage and then moved to Lemon, South Dakota where Don worked on a farm. This lasted for only a few months and Don realized this was not his calling, at which time in 1969 they moved to Gillette, Wyoming.

Carolyn remembers driving into this dusty, dinky oilfield town thinking "Where in the world have you brought me?"  At that time there was nothing East, South or North, just one small town with a laundromat, Decker's Grocery Store, a couple of motels and an Assembly of God Church, which she quickly joined.

During the oil boom Don and Carolyn lived in a mobile home on the North side of the tracks and on November 25, 1970, their son, Levi Paul Waldrop, was born. Don worked in the oilfield on the rigs with his brother, Sid, during this time. On July 13, 1973, Carolyn gave birth to their second son, Bart Lee Waldrop. Eventually Don got out of the oil rig business and became an oilfield pumper. He began with Exxon Mobil during the 1980's working at the Hartzog Draw Oil field Southwest of Gillette. During the 35+ years as pumper he transitioned from ExxonMobil to Cities Service, Occidental Petroleum, XTO Energy and finally back to ExxonMobil, from which he retired in 2011.

Don was a very hard worker, but Don and Carolyn were always involved with the boys' sports events. Those early years were filled with traveling for wrestling, football, and swim team events.

After both boys graduated and left home, Don and Carolyn began their traveling. Carolyn worked for the County Attorney's Office from 2002 until 2014, at which time Don insisted that she retire because they were going to Israel! They made 3 trips to Israel in total (2014, 2015 and 2017). Don fell in love with the Holy Land and wished he could have gone back. He also loved visiting Branson, Missouri. They made numerous trips to Branson and Arkansas, visiting with friends. Their son, Levi, was stationed in Yakouska, Japan and They were blessed to go to Japan and visit and see their adopted Japanese granddaughter, Emiko Nozomi Waldrop, which means "Beautiful, Gracious Hope".

When they were first married, They didn't have a honeymoon because Don was sick with the flu!! So, in 1976, they went to Montreal, Canada for the 1976 Olympics. During the years from 1980 until November, 2022, they traveled several times to Seminole, Texas to visit family. They visited Bart and Trevor in Kansas and went to Wisconsin to visit Bart and his fiancee, Amy.  Yes, Don loved to travel and Carolyn intends to carry on that traveling love as long as she can.

Don will of course always be remembered for his 42 years of committed service to the Gillette American Legion Post #42 and the Color Guard Military Honorsmen.  His dedication to our local veterans and the Gillette community as a whole shall not be forgotten.

Don is survived by his wife, Carolyn Waldrop, married 54 years; two sons, Levi Waldrop of Sheridan, Wyoming and Bart Waldrop (Amy Olson) of Ellsworth, Wisconsin; his brother, John Waldrop (Paula) of Medfrord, Oregon; sisters, Mary (Jerry) Joslyn of Pine Haven, Wyoming, Theresa Sykveland of Billings, Montana, and Debbie (Denny) Brown of Texas;  Grandchildren, Trevor Waldrop of Newton, Kansas, Ian (Katherine) Waldrop, Ethan Waldrop, Emiko N. Waldrop, all of Houston, Texas and Sheldon and Brooke Olson of Ellsworth, Wisconsin; Numerous nieces and nephews, John (Trisha) Waldrop of Moorcroft, Wyoming, Kassi (Jimmy) Aasen, Johnathan and Jackson Aasen, Justin (Hope) Joslyn, and Tony (Dane) Joslyn all of Gillette, Wyoming, Melody Waldrop Davis and Matt (Carolyn) Waldrop both of Medford, Oregon, and Travis and Sean Brown of Texas, and Tarla Richardson, of South Dakota.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Charley and Lavelle; brother, Sid Waldrop; sister, Cecilia Davidson; niece, Tina Percifield; and nephew, Paul Gates.

Rest well sweetheart, until we meet again, I love you, your Sweet Pea!

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, March 10, 2023

11:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

First Assembly of God Church

601 Carey Ave, Gillette, WY 82716

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