WHEATLAND – Although Dan Kirkbride who is no longer a sitting state legislator in Wyoming, the former Representative from the 4th District has taken on new responsibilities both with PBS’ Foundation Board and also a part of the judicial nominating commission.
“I so appreciate these two very different yet worthwhile opportunities,” Kirkbride said. “One puts my journalistic background to use, the other puts my background from my time on the judiciary committee in the legislature. Both have the potential to positively impact the state.”
His new responsibilities include:
Being a part of the Wyoming PBS Foundation Board
--Eleven-member board whose statewide mission is fundraising and support of Wyoming Public Television based out of Riverton.
--Appointed in December. Three-year term.
Being a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission
--Mission is to vet candidates for judgeships when they come open; we narrow the list to three candidates and then the Governor chooses from the three.
--There are around 50 judgeships in the state at the Supreme, District and Circuit Court levels.
--Appointed by Gov. Gordon March 1 for a single four-year-term.
--The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the commission chairman--Currently Chief Justice Michael Davis. Justice Kate Fox will take over July 1.
--Three of the commission members must be active members of the Wyoming State Bar;
three are non-attorneys.
The Kirkbrides are residents of Chugwater where they run a Wyoming ranch.
Dan is a Wyoming boy, born and raised and Lynn is a Wisconsin girl. The proximity of the two states is a fair distance from one another, and they grew up approximately 1,022 miles from one another. So the question begs to ask, “how did a Badger and a Cowboy find each other?”
“I have a good story,” Lynn said. “I think God had to go to a lot of work to get me to Platte County. I grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I came to Wyoming in 1986 with my first husband who came to pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Cheyenne and then a couple of years later got a brain tumor. We had just had our third son and my husband died 11 months after the brain tumor in 1991.”
Almost prophetic, the couple when they were pastoring, traveled on Highway 25 toward a church conference in Casper. She glanced down over the overpass in Chugwater and wondered who would live there. Little did she know, she would.
Lynn had three boys and Dan had two girls and they were all raised in Platte County.
As a girl, growing up in Wisconsin, Lynn’s family had an acre of land which was sometimes rare in the larger suburbs to be able to have that.
“My dad was a stickler for the yard and I can remember raking leaves and picking apples and just having room to grow up,” she said. “I loved that. I had a great big pine tree out of my window and remember listening to the mourning doves.”
Lynn, who says that she had a great childhood was adopted when she was eight months old and also had a brother that was adopted. That brother encountered a serious neck injury while Lynn was away at college and it affected her life greatly.
“That kind of just changed my whole world in so many different ways,” she said.
It altered her path as she changed colleges and ended up graduating with a BA degree in psychology from Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois.
As for Dan, he grew up about 40 miles east of Chugwater and graduated with 10 classmates from Albin High School.
“We didn’t have any neighbors, but we did have a great time growing up,” Kirkbride said. “It’s been a wonderful life, two brothers and great parents.”
Dan graduated from high school and then went on the University of Wyoming and graduated with a journalism degree.