Donald Edward “Don” Van Pelt

A funeral service for Donald Edward “Don” Van Pelt, 94, will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at the First Christian Church in Wheatland with Pastor Casey Schroeder officiating.  Interment will be in the Wheatland Cemetery.
Don Van Pelt passed away Friday, March 29 at the Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland.
Don was born on Saturday, April 19, 1924 in Banner County, Neb. the son of Carl Pleasant and Rose Irene (Waters) Van Pelt.
On May 20, 1950, he married Mary Weitzel and then in January 1953 they moved to Wheatland.
They bought a farm where they worked hard during the drought to raise cattle and feed.  In the beginning, he grew beans, alfalfa, and corn.  He also milked cows for several years before he finally went to just raising alfalfa, corn, and beef cattle.  Later, they started raising Charolais and Charolais cross cattle.  They won numerous ribbons and trophies with their “pen of three” entries at the local fair.
Don served on the Platte County Fair Board for several years.  His hobbies were hunting, fishing, and painting.
In about 1977, Don and Mary opened the Boot Barn with their son, Tim.  They originally just did boot & shoe repairs.  That progressed to building custom saddles & tack and custom boots.
Don is survived by his daughter, Dianne (Billy) Smith of Clayton, N.M.; son, Tim Van Pelt of Fairbanks, Alaska; brother, George Van Pelt of Banner County; grandchildren, Jenny (Jared) Klein of Jay Em, Josh (Barbie) Van Pelt of Jay Em, and Cotton Smith of Pocatello, Idaho; seven great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Van Pelt on July 3, 2018; his parents; four sisters; and three brothers.
Serving as pallbearers will be Steve Zavorka, Jamie Schindler, Tim Moran, Billy Dawson, Dale Dawson, and Tim Karlberg.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be George Van Pelt, Huey Dawson, and Tony Testolin.
A memorial to the Platte County 4-H Shooting Program, 57 Antelope Gap Road, Wheatland, WY 82201 would be appreciated by the family.  Please make a note that it is for the Don Van Pelt Memorial on the memo line.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland are in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at


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