A Celebration of Life, Catholic Mass, for James Lee (Jim) Read Sr., 96 years young, will be held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Saint James Catholic Church in Douglas, Wyoming with Father Lucas Kazimiro Simango as the Celebrant. A Vigil for the Deceased will be held at 7:00 P.M. Friday, February 18, 2022 at the Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel. Interment will be in the Douglas Park Cemetery with military services accorded by Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 and Wyoming Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors.
Jim Read passed away Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas after a brief illness stemming from years of chronic lung disease. Before going home to be with his wife, Barbara, his family, and The Lord in Heaven, he was surrounded by his loving family who adored him. In true form as to who is was as a loving dad and grandfather he gave beautiful advice to all and filled the room with much laughter.
Jim was born Friday, July 17, 1925 into the family of Charles David Read and Iole (Cambell) Read residing west of upper LaPrele Creek in Converse County, Wyoming. He was the only son and the 2nd of four siblings.
He received his early education at Orpha, Wyoming, just north and west of Douglas. He graduated as Valedictorian of this class from Douglas High School in May of 1943. That following December he was drafted and chose to enter into the United States Army Air Corp. He was trained to be a high speed morse code operator. He was sent to Johnston Island in the Pacific, between Midway Island and the Hawaiian Islands. While there he was a morse code operator and was promoted to be a personal communications teletype operator for the Commanding General. After his military service to his country, he returned home in the Spring of 1946. He later joined the Army Reserves and the National Guard.
After returning home to Douglas for entertainment young Jim frequented the local movie theater. Immediately the beautiful big brown eyed girl, Barbara Brow, who worked at the Princess Theater selling show tickets, caught his eye. After a summer courtship they were married on November 20, 1943. They moved to the family ranch west of Douglas. Jim and Barbara began their family when Jeannie was born on February 8, 1949 during the “Blizzard of 49”. On November 3, 1951 son James Lee Read Jr. was born. Daughter Janet was born April 29, 1955 and in that same year he sold his cows and his family left the ranch and moved to town. During his time at the ranch, and following moving to town, he enjoyed playing the saxophone for dances with his Uncle Fritz Read’s band.
Upon leaving the ranch Jim worked for one year for Leroy Lewis at Bear Alignment. A great friendship was birthed between the two families that lasted for years. In 1957 he went to work for the Wyoming Dept. of Agriculture inspecting potatoes in the winter months and sprayed noxious weeds in the summer. In 1962 he became the state auditor for the Wyoming Dairy Marketing Order and served in that position until 1980. It was then that he retired after working for the state for 24 years. After that retirement he served as Converse County Treasurer from 1982 to 1992. Following that Jim and Barbara spent their winters in Tucson, Arizona where he could spend cherished time with his sister Joanne (Read) Trumper. What a great time they had together. They would travel around with their motorhomes making precious memories that are still talked about to this day.
Jim and Barbara loved their mountains and their LaBonte Canyon cabin south of Douglas. The family spent many years making memories there and will continue to enjoy it together as it has been passed on to their son Jim and his wife Molly. Jim also loved the mountains for hunting and for snowmobiling, He and his friends, Leroy Lewis, Earl Shatto and Warren Goodrich would take off for the hills and spend the whole day out breaking trails on their machines. Jim and Barbara would hike the mountains looking for arrowheads and anything else they could find that added to the “treasures”. Jim was very mechanical and a “tinkerer”. There wasn’t anything he couldn't fix. He was very meticulous and organized, which made him so good at his jobs.
Through the years of his life Jim was a member of the Douglas Indoor Shooting Team. He was an active member for years of the LaPrele Farm Bureau and served for a time as the Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Douglas. He was a 75-year member of the Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8, having served as house committee member for several years. He and Barbara spent many years up at the Legion eating meals and attending Veterans Day breakfast and celebration. He was a member of Saint James Catholic Church.
Jim was a family man who nurtured and loved his family greatly and was honored and loved by all. His greatest joy was spending time with his family. He was funny and quick minded to the
end of his life. He was a structured man with high principles and expectations. He was a “creature of habit”… nothing out of order in his life. He was a man of honor and integrity. He set
great examples for how to be a father to his family that will last for generations to come. Stories will be told over and over of Papa Jim by his children and his many grandchildren. Oh, how he
made us all laugh! He will be greatly missed by all. He is now at peace with his Heavenly Father, his beloved wife Barbara, and his grandson Brady.
Jim is survived by his children, Barbara Jean "Jeannie" (Gary) Rightmire of Casper, Wyoming, James Lee (Molly) Read Jr. of Wheatland, Wyoming, and Janet Susan (Gene) Pexton of Douglas; sisters, Alice Joanne Trumper of Tucson, Arizona and Donna Iole (Ernie) Douglas of Wheatland; nine grandchildren; thirty-one great grandchildren; and eight great-great grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Charles David Read, on December 12, 1991; mother, Iole Read, on December 7, 2003; his sister, Mary Barbara “Bobbie” Read on November 7, 1954; his grandson James Brady Read, on May 20, 2001, and his wife, Barbara Dawn (Brow) Read on November 19, 2016.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8, P.O. Box 1, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 or Saint James Catholic Church, P.O. Box 1500, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 would be appreciated by the family.
Serving as pallbearers are grandsons Jesse Bowen, Tom Read, Brody Read, Travis Pexton, Dustin Pexton, and Tristan Pexton.
Serving as honorary pallbearers are grandchildren Michale Medina, Tracy Hudson, Dawn Bowen, Erin Milburn, Lane Read, and Dax Read.
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