The Saratoga Sun -

Obituary: Marion Grace Huston Barkhurst


Marion Grace Huston Barkhurst, 84, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Sept. 30, 2013 with family gathered at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie.

Marion was born June 17, 1929 to Nina Mary (Taylor) and Aubry Raymond Huston on the family ranch on Cow Creek. Marion is a descendant of one of Wyoming’s pioneer families. Her great-grandfather was Albert. H. Huston who was a pioneer rancher and guide for the wealthy English sportsmen. While here in the Valley, A.H. Huston prospected and found a strike in Purgatory Gulch which touched off Encampment’s copper boom in 1896. Before coming to the Valley, Albert hunted for the Oregon and Overland Trail Stage Stations on the Laramie Plains beginning around 1857.

Marion and her sister Nina Louise grew up and flourished on the Huston Ranch. Winter days were filled with riding in a sled behind the big feed sled pulled by horses, pretending the marbles were cows, herding them from one pretend corral to another. They could be found huddling up to a coal or wood “pot bellied” stove for warmth and also acquiring an occasional burn while trying to warm up too fast.

Summer fun was making mud pies on the porch of the log house. A cast iron stove about 8 square inches , complete with four lifting lids and an oven served many mud pie meals complete with seeds from the wild iris pods serving as peas that had been canned in the tiny, old vaccine bottles with the rubber insert lid.

Grade school found Marion in Saratoga staying with her grandmother Huston during the week. She started taking piano lessons and tap dance lessons along with her studying. Free time was spent rollerskating with friends, and during the winter months, some ice skating at the pond behind what is now the Saratoga Resort and Spa. Recesses were spent playing “Fox and Goose”, “Run Sheep Run”, marbles, jacks and hop scotch. 4-H played a very important role in Marion’s life as she learned to sew, raise Southdown lambs and Hereford market steers. She showed calves in Salt Lake, Ogden, and the National Western Stock Show in Denver. She also learned to judge and won a trip to Chicago in 1946 representing the state of Wyoming Marion was the top beef judge in the nation that year and her team placed sixth in the contest , a wonderful climax to her 4-H career.

Marion could always be found outside helping with the haying, which included running the trail mower, raking or cutting the hay. Marion ran a dump rake and team of horses. As she got older she could even harness the team and hook them up to the rake or wagon. In the winter she would go along with the sled and feed team to drive them while her father pitched off the hay. Moving, branding and working cattle were always great times for Marion, something she liked to be involved with a lot.

High school days found Marion in the halls of Platte Valley High School in Saratoga studying hard, helping with school organizations and playing her favorite sport of baseball whenever she could. First base was her favorite and she was a pretty good hitter as well. Marion was Valedictorian of her class when she graduated in 1947.

Besides her normal routine of studies at PVHS, a young man from Brush Creek came there to go to high school as well, adding a new spark to Marion’s life. Sixty six years of a unique, blessed and devoted union began on Sept. 9,1947 with husband Dick Barkhurst.

After a short stint at the UW Stock farm, Marion and Dick moved back to Cow Creek to help her parents on the ranch. They spent 20 years ranching there and raised their family: Shirley Orlene (Jim) Miller, Elaine Marie (Ron) McQuay, Leslie Leonard (Tammy) Barkhurst and Raymond Jay Barkhurst.

In 1967, Marion and Dick moved their family back to the Barkhurst homestead on Brush Creek. Marion, Dick and family all worked hard to make the ranch successful and progressive. Marion was very instrumental in every aspect of the ranch there too, making sure the kids were all fed, off to school, feeding cows, gardening, taking kids to 4-H meetings, getting calves ready for sales, haying, calving, lambing, working cattle, bookkeeping and helping Big Bale Co. to be successful. Later on, one of her biggest highlights was loving on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Marion loved to sew, embroider crochet, all crafts which she loved to pass onto her grandchildren when she needed solitary times. She was a devoted and unselfish wife. Marion was by Dick’s side every hour no matter what they were doing.

Marion was first and foremost dedicated to her Lord and Savior and her church. She served many years as Superintendent of the Sunday school, elder of the church and teacher. You could count on her making calls, sending cards and “fussing over” and caring for others before herself.

Marion is survived by her husband Dick of 66 years, four children and their families, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents and a granddaughter.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Encampment Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 745, Encampment, WY 82325.

Services were held Oct. 3, 2013 at the Encampment Presbyterian Church under the direction and care of Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home. Rev. Pat Jeffrey and Pastor Laws officiated.


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