Donald R. Nafus


(July 9, 1923 - Nov. 11, 2017)

Donald R. Nafus, 94 of Cody and Billings, died on Nov. 11, 2017, at Vista at Mission Ridge in Billings.

Don was born July 9, 1923, the third of three children to John and Margaret Nafus in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Upon completing high school, he worked in a meat packing firm skinning cattle until 1942, at which time he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He trained as an aircraft mechanic and an engine specialist. He served as a  ground crew chief in a B-17 Heavy Bombardment Group, stationed in England during 1943-45, attaining the rank of master sergeant.

On war’s end, he attended the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1950.

At this point, he was hired by Husky Oil Company in Cody, and performed in various capacities as follows: research chemist, quality control supervision, chief chemist, management technical service, manager — heavy oil marketing, and manager — environment and safety.

Don married Elaine Apostolou in 1952, and they raised two daughters, Carrie and Laurie.

Don loved Wyoming and Montana and was prideful of both. He enjoyed hunting, golfing, and was particularly fond of fishing the Shoshone River Canyon in Cody, which he regarded as one of God’s special places.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Elaine Nafus; his parents; a sister Marjorie; a brother John; and daughter Carrie Gasch.

He is survived by daughter Laurie Farmer and son-in-law Dewey Farmer; son-in-law Kenny Gasch; grandson Leif (Lindsay) Gasch; and granddaughter Dr. Caley Gasch.

Don’s greater family consists of elements of the Mercer, Kousoulos, Apostolou, Martoglio, Nelson, Redding and Nafus family.

Funeral services will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Cody at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, with burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Cody.

Memorial donations can be made to a charity of choice or to the Carrie Gasch Memorial Nursing Scholarship at Northwest College in Powell.

An online memorial is available at