The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Bob D. Rufenacht

1930 to 2015


Bob D. Rufenacht, 84 years of age, a long time resident and businessman in Casper, Wyo., died peacefully at home Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, concluding his brave fight against advancing difficulties due to ALS disease. Such a full life; so much to say. Bob was born in a rural farmhouse north of Lodgepole, on Dec. 9, 1930, the son of Walter and Mattie (Bruns) Rufenacht. He grew up on the family farm north of Lodgepole along with one sister, Mary Ann (Horst) and four brothers, Carlton, Lester, Walter "Pete", and Jack "Butch". Bob very much valued his roots and has kept in contact with family and many Nebraska hometown friends throughout life.

Bob walked or rode a horse and buggy to attend a one-room country school until later when he went to high school in Lodgepole and met his life's love, Ginny. He graduated as Valedictorian of his class of 1948 and earned a full Scholarship that allowed him to attend Nebraska's Kearney State Teachers College. During school summers and during college, he worked as a hired hand for local farmers and dated Ginny whenever time and transportation allowed for them to get together. After graduating college, he was hired to teach a one-room school north of Lodgepole. After one year of teaching grade levels K-12, he was sure that teaching wasn't his life's calling. He found his next job as a clerk at the Army Depot north of Sidney.

He married Virginia (Ginny) Hoffman soon after college on March 3, 1950, in Lodgepole. Their family grew in Lodgepole over the next five years with the births of Cynthia Lee and then Steven Dale. While living there, Bob worked first at the Army Depot then as a clerk for an oilfield equipment/services company named Black, Sivalls & Bryson (BS&B). It was during his years and positions at BS&B that Bob found that the best applications for his knowledge, skills, and talents were as a businessman and operations manager.

The family moved in May of 1955 to accept a transfer to work in the BS&B district office in downtown Denver. In September 1957, another work transfer offering more responsibilities and learning opportunities led them to Vernal, Utah where Douglas Lynn was born. While in Vernal, Bob met another talented BS&B employee, John Williams, which led to many shared discussions regarding how they were sure they could do it all better.

Bob accepted a partnership to join his friend in an oil field equipment and service business John was starting (J. W. Williams, Inc.) and the family moved to Casper, Wyo. in 1965. Initially, it was a small operation offering oil & gas producers assistance with equipment troubleshooting, servicing, and parts sales. The company became established and began a long and continuing history of growth in Casper. Bob was very committed to its success and proud of his contributions as J. W. Williams, Inc. developed to be a successful major Casper employer benefiting many families and friends. He also had several other successful business activities in Casper throughout his life.

Bob was active for years in community service with the Casper Bowling Association, served on the Wardwell Water Board, and was involved in the efforts related to the creation and early development of the town of Bar Nunn, north of Casper. Bob also has donated over five gallons of blood over the years, as he considered this as an important community service to help others.

Bob was an active bowler enjoying fellowship on many Casper leagues in the 70s and 80s. Bob, friends and family found great joy and relaxation for decades at the Casper Municipal Golf Course and other courses in Phoenix, Ariz., Georgetown, TX, and many others across the West. It is certain that many of his happiest days were spent on the golf course with the views of Casper spread out below. One especially great day was a hole-in-one at Casper Muni in 1994.

Bob and Ginny enjoyed boating and fishing at nearby Alcova or Pathfinder, card games with family and friends, evenings at the Elks Club, and going out dancing to live music for fun. Watching football was a life-long passion with Nebraska and the Broncos always being his favorites, through thick and thin. From the 1950s to the 2000s, Bob and Ginny traveled far and wide through the western US and saw it all, including great fun celebrating both their 25th and 50th anniversaries in Hawaii.

After Bob was confident that he was leaving the J. W. Williams company in capable hands, Bob retired in 1988 and he and Ginny were able to spend more time together. Casper was always considered their home during retirement, but for 20 years they spent Winter months golfing and enjoying life with friends in Phoenix and later at Sun City in Georgetown, TX before again deciding to settle down back in Casper.

Bob was an amazing, dedicated, loving, care-giver for Ginny until she preceded him in death in late 2010. Many thanks to dear friends who helped him cope before and after Ginny's passing.

Survivors include one daughter, Cynthia L. Nikkel and husband, Robert, of Fort Collins; two sons; Steven D. and wife, Phyllis of Evansville, Wyo., and Douglas L. and wife, Angela, of Peyton, Colo.; one sister: Mary Ann Horst of Gurley; thirteen grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, his parents and four brothers; and one grandson; John Eastlund, of Evansville, Wyo.

Services will be held at the Newcomers Funeral Home at 1 p.m. Fri., Jan. 16, 2015 with interment to follow at the Highland Cemetery in Casper, Wyo. A reception will be held at the Caddie Shack Restaurant at the Casper Municipal Golf Course from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. after the interment.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bob's name for ALS research to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., or give locally in Casper to the "Reach 4A Star Riding Academy" or the "National Historic Trails Interpretive Center".


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 01/12/2019 00:08