Gwen Criss, 91, passed away Wednesday, April 21 at Platte County Legacy Home in Wheatland.
Gwen was born Thursday, April 25, 1929 in Buffalo the daughter of Dave and Lila (Patch) Elsom. She was raised on a ranch south of Buffalo, not far from the TA Ranch where the culmination of the Johnson County Cattleman War took place. The house where she grew up was used as a holdup by the townspeople during the war.
She grew up helping care for the family’s sheep and other livestock. She took great pride in caring for the babies born each spring. Each spring they would trail the sheep to the mountain camp in the Bighorn Mountains and return to the ranch in the fall.
She attended county school through the eighth grade, riding horses to and from school. She attended high school in Buffalo and graduated in 1947. She attended University of Wyoming, graduating with a degree in home economics. She later moved to Wheatland, where she was Home Demonstration Agent for several years. She met and married Sunny Criss and moved to the Criss Ranch where she remained most of her life before moving into Wheatland.
She enjoyed being outdoors and caring for livestock. She raised a big garden each year and canned the produce from it. She enjoyed sewing and was an excellent seamstress. Although she was small in size, she had a very independent and “never give up” attitude.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dave and Lila Elsom; her husband, Sunny Criss; and brothers JD and Ellis Elsom.
She is survived by her son Bill Criss of Wheatland, and daughter, Becky Helvig and her husband Steve of Cheyenne and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Platte County Legacy Home, 100 Nineteenth Street, Wheatland WY 82201.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland are in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com