He was born on March 4, 1932, in Powell, to Lyle and Clara (Althoff) Gillett.
Don was raised on a farm just west of Powell. He graduated from Powell High School and was offered a scholarship to play football for the University of Wyoming Laramie. He gave college a try; however, he decided that he could not live by the house rules and make curfew, so he only made it a few weeks in Laramie and chose to move back to Powell.
He came home to help his parents on the farm, and later found employment as a roughneck in the oil fields. Eventually, he decided that farming would be his occupation of choice and bought a place just west of Ralston and began his farming adventure.
He married Billie Carpenter in May 1962. They bought a home and farm on Heart Mountain full of lifelong memories with their children. They were married for 51 years, in which they raised seven children, were blessed with 19 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Don was a devoted, hard-working and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He took pleasure in family time and hard work. Don enjoyed the farm and especially the cattle herd that they had built up.
At the time of his death, he was still able to help on the farm every day. He looked forward to going with his son, David, to feed the cows and drive around the farm, checking cows and making sure all of the gates were closed and all of the livestock were in the fences and not out on the road.
On occasion, Don would take an afternoon to go fishing or take a drive through the mountains. His favorite drive was over Beartooth Pass in the summertime. He also took great pleasure in spending time with his sister, Margaret Shumway, who was like a mother to him.
Don is survived by his wife, Billie Gillett; their children Debbie (Jeff) Wambeke, Gary Gillett, Carol (Bob) McLeran, Judy (Bart) Bullinger, Jeri Gillett, Donnie (Dana) Gillett and David Gillett; grandchildren Janice Wambeke, Laurie Schuler, Scott Wambeke, Kristy Fields, Ronnie Gillett, Kimberly Garcia, Michelle McLeran, Kayla Bullinger, Randy Bullinger, Kurt Bullinger, Mark Bullinger, Andy Gillett, Ashley Silveria, Trevor Gillett, Tracy Gillett, Travis Gillett and Trent Gillett; 12 great-grandchildren; and sisters Margaret Shumway and Patricia Ley; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and Clara Gillett; grandchildren Melissa Gillett and Nicholas Gillett; and his sisters Lois Lynn and Joyce Miller.
Funeral Mass services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, at the St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, 115 E. Third St. in Powell. Vigil services will be Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m., also at the church. Viewing will be one hour prior to services Wednesday and Thursday. Burial will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Arrangements were handled by Thompson Funeral Home and Crematory. Memorials may be sent to St. Joseph Children’s Home in Torrington. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.thompsonfuneral.net or P.O. Box 807, Powell WY, 82435.