Catherine Ida (Larkin) Pexton was born Sunday, August 16, 1936 in Casper, Wyoming the only child of Miles Joseph Larkin and Anna Catherine (Kirn) Larkin. Her grandparents were John J. Larkin and Bridget (Gibbons) Larkin and Mathias “Matt” Kirn and Mary Anna (Scobe) Kirn.
She passed away in her sleep of natural causes on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Central Wyoming Hospice Home in Casper, Wyoming at the age of 82.
The Larkin family moved from Casper to Douglas in the spring of 1939. They bought five lots on Jefferson Street from the Town of Douglas for $25 and built their home there with the help of Catherine’s uncle Frank T. Kirn.
Catherine was educated at South Grade School and graduated from Converse County High School with the class of 1954. This class was the last one to graduate from the high school which was located at the corner of South Fourth and Oak Streets.
That fall she started to work at LeBar Motor Company as assistant bookkeeper; she worked there a year before enrolling at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. She then returned to Douglas. She was employed by the Town of Douglas, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company in Douglas and in Casper, Rocky Mountain Tire and Supply, before she became the first full time District Clerk on the Medicine Bow National Forest in Douglas in August, 1957.
WY-LU-21 (later Thunder Basin National Grasslands) was transferred to the Forest Service from the Soil Conservation Service and had combined office space with the Laramie Peak District and between the two they could hire a fulltime clerk, It was here that she was given the nickname “Kati” by District Ranger Clayton B. Pierce, Jr. As the office grew from five employees, she became the District Clerk for only the Laramie Peak District. She worked for the Forest Service until April, 1974. She liked her job - especially acting as Dispatcher for the many forest fires. As she said, “Work was never routine and I never knew what I would be doing from day to day.”
Catherine was a charter member of the Jackalope Victory Gardeners Garden Club (now the Cottonwood Garden Club); life member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., Wyoming Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., Wyoming Pioneer Association, American Iris Society, American Hemerocallis Society, and Tall Bearded Iris Society; a member of Fenton Art Glass Collectors of America, Inc., The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation, White House Historical Association, American Horticulture Society, B-29s over the Marianas, AARP, Saint James Catholic Church, and Wyoming and Converse County Farm Bureaus.
Honorary pallbearers were her cousins Alice Jean Kirn of Lusk, Wyoming Jan Hill of St. Louis, Missouri, Ronald Wolf of Lebanon, Missouri, Bruce Gordon of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Bob Shockley of Conway, Missouri, Jeanette Pratt Owens of North Carolina, and Kathy Karpan of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Frank Henderson, Marge Porter, Monte Reed, Steve “Shakey” Shadwick, Delia Vazquez, all of Douglas; Duane Walker of Wheatland, Wyoming, Doug Schaaf of Yuma, Arizona, Roger Wesnitzer and Van Harmon both of Casper, Margaret Grant of Glenrock, Wyoming, Jeff Hamner of Helper, Utah, Honey Stevick DeFord of Banner, Wyoming, John Stevenson of Minden, Nevada, Ernestine “Tina” Contreras Bostick of Glendale, Arizona, Edyie Vale of Phoenix, Arizona, Len Sherwin of Hyattville, Wyoming, and Gretchen Wright of Amherst, Virginia.
Serving as pallbearers will be Cory Pexton, Trent Pexton, Matt Pexton, Brett Pexton, jack Meredith, Wyatt Miles, and Marty Miles.
She was preceded in death by her father, Miles J. Larkin, on March 15, 1963; her mother, Anna Kirn Larkin, on September 23, 2008; her husband of 43 years, John R. Pexton, on December 25, 2017; and over 50 first cousins of the Larkin and Kirn families.
She is survived by her first cousins George Peterson of Illinois, Claudia Larkin Smith of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Alice Jean Kirn of Lusk, Mary Ellen (Kirn) Werner and Chuck Kern both of Douglas, Tom Johnson of Cheyenne, and Bill Coleman and Don Coleman both of California; her step-children Frank Pexton (Rita Redig) and Tim (Dawn) Pexton both of Douglas; Mike (Marlene) Pexton of Torrington, Wyoming, Jeff (Marty) Pexton of Coos Bay, Oregon, and Melanie Schroeder (Jack Meredith) of Douglas; nine step grandchildren; eleven step great grandchildren; and many distant cousins.
Funeral liturgy will be held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Saint James Catholic Church in Douglas with Father Demetrio Penascoza and Father Drew Duncan as Co-Celebrants. Vigil for the Deceased will be held at 7:00 P.M. Friday, February 22, 2019 at the Gorman Funeral Homes-Converse Chapel. Interment will be in the John Pexton family plot in the Douglas Park Cemetery.
The family would appreciate memorials to Central Wyoming Hospice Home, 319 South Wilson Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com