William R. “Bill” Vollman, 99, passed away in his home near Douglas, Wyoming Wednesday, April 21, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.
Bill, son of WR and Flora “Flo” (Brown) Vollman was born as an only child in Douglas on Friday, August 5, 1921. Immediately his parents took him to the family homestead 30 miles northwest of Douglas, an area known as Hyland Loop. As an only child, Bill enjoyed spending time with his cousins, Kenneth, Tuffy, and Iola Taylor. He attended grade school at the Hyland School and went to high school in Casper and Douglas, graduating from Douglas High School in 1939. After graduation he went to the University of Wyoming for one year and then went to California where he worked for Lockheed Martin. Not too long after moving to California his father asked him to return to the ranch as their ranch hand had been drafted to the war. Three years later, Bill was also drafted in 1944 and happily served in the United States Navy. He went to Farragut Naval Training Center in Idaho, and from there was assigned to a Naval Troop Transport, the USS Botetourt. It was a new ship and the cargo was not tied down yet and things shifted in rough water. The crew all got seasick and only three of the men (Bill being one) were well enough to get things secured. That night, Bill had been assigned a night watch but his Ensign (superior) excused him from that duty since he had worked so hard. On one stop the ship made, they picked up Bill Lindmier, and Bill was happy to see him; on two other occasions he met up with Tuffy Taylor, Bill’s cousin who was also in the Navy. After the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, the ship was ordered into Tokyo Bay and was near the Battleship Missouri during Japan’s surrender ceremony. Bill was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home to the ranch.
In 1946, Bill met Alice Leeling during a dance at the LaPrele Dance Hall. They married on June 29, 1947 and made their home at the Vollman Ranch. Together they raised three children, Vicki, Robert and Lori. In 1967 Bill lost his dad, and within a year, they lost their daughter Vicki and Bill’s mother in an automobile accident.
He took great pride in his cattle, always studying Angus genetics to improve his herd. Bill enjoyed the harvest season of dry land farming and later being part of the progress and improvements made by Bob on their newly acquired irrigated farm. He valued having good neighbors. Through the years Bill was active with the Weed and Pest board, Farm Bureau, 4-H, and the Wyoming Pioneer Association and he was the first FFA state degree recipient from Douglas. He loved square dancing and polka dancing. Also, listening to music was a favorite past time, especially in the later years.
Around 1987, Bill and Alice retired and moved to Douglas from the ranch. Bill wasn’t ready to quit just yet and drove to the ranch most every day to work. He enjoyed driving the pastures checking water, salting cows, fixing fence, and was still climbing windmills at 90 years old. He worked hard to pass on traditions that were taught to him. Even when he was unable to continue working livestock, he still enjoyed going to the ranch and watching his grandsons and great grandchildren using the skills that he had passed down through each of his children and onto the future of his ranch. Bill and Alice took many adventures together around the world, such as Australia, New Zealand and Alaska to name some of the favorites. They never spent a night apart in their 73 years together, until the last couple years when health issues would necessitate one or the other stay a night or two in the hospital, and of course Bills short stay with the Douglas Care Center at the end.
Preceding Bill in death were his grandparents; father on April 5, 1967, his mother on March 25, 1968; and daughter, Vicki, on March 28, 1968.
Bill is survived by his wife, Alice, of 73 years; son, Bob (Sherry) Vollman of Douglas; daughter, Lori (Darrell) Brown, of DeKalb, Missouri; grandsons, Brady (Roni) Vollman and Jared (Mandy) Vollman both of Douglas; Aaron (Rachel) Brown and Eric (Katie) Brown both of DeKalb; and great grandchildren, Joslyn, Cadence, Lauryn, and Zander Vollman all of Douglas and Hunter, Shelby, Erin, and Dodge Brown all of DeKalb.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, April 29, 2021, 1:00 P.M., at the Upper Ag Building on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming with Pastor Bill Williamson of the First Baptist Church officiating. A private Interment for the family will be in the Douglas Park Cemetery with military honor accorded by the Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 and the United States Navy Funeral Honors.
A memorial to the Wyoming Pioneer Association, P.O. Box 1545, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 would be appreciated by the family.
Serving as pallbearers will be Travis Dickau, Jess Dickau, Robert Fink, Ed Fink, Greg Kruse, and Warren Manning.
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
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