Duane F. Wroe


(Jan. 18, 2001)

Memorial services for Duane F. Wroe, Powell's first full-time city administrator, were conducted Monday afternoon at Union Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wroe, 71, died early Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Powell Hospital.

The Rev. David Hunter officiated at the 4 p.m. memorial services. A reception followed in the Powell City Council chambers across the street.

Mr. Wroe was the first administrator hired after the city council reorganized the structure of city government in 1990. He served as full-time administrator from April of 1990 until his retirement in September of 1995. He returned as interim administrator from November of 1996 to February of 1997.

Mr. Wroe was born June 26, 1929, in Manley, Minn., the oldest of three children of Floyd W. and Inez O. (Egge) Wroe. He was raised in South Dakota, graduating from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D.

At the age of 17, he joined the Army Air Corps and flew in the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War as a fighter pilot in the 190th fighter-bomber squadron. After his military service, he moved to southern California and attended college, majoring in public administration.

He worked as a police officer in Los Angeles and as a parks and recreation director and assistant city manager in southern California. His first city manager's job was in Placerville, Calif., where he met his future wife, JoAnne Reed. They were married on Nov. 5, 1965, in Placerville. They had four children, daughters Casey, Jenny and Amy and son Nels.

They moved to Wyoming in 1973 where he was the city manager in Jackson and Douglas before his tenure in Powell. The family also spent three years in Polson, Mont., operating a small business.

He was a past member of the Jaycees and Rotary, and held memberships in the professional organizations of Wyoming Spaces City Managers Association (a founding member) and International City Managers Association.

He will be remembered for his cutting wit and colorful use of the English language. He was a frequent contributor to the letters to the editor column in many newspapers with pointed observations.

He learned to value the great open spaces of Wyoming and was never afraid to speak in defense of the environment.

His family notes that he lived his life according to one of his favorite sayings, "Don't sit down; you ain't staying long."

Survivors include his wife JoAnne of Powell; one son, Nels A. Wroe and wife Teresa of Longmont, Colo.; three daughters, Casey J. Lee and husband Richard of Liberty Lake, Wash., Amy J. Bechtel and husband Steve of Lander, and Jenny O. Newton and husband J.W. of Laramie. Amy Bechtel has been missing since July of 1997 when she disappeared while running in the Wind River Mountains west of Lander.

Other survivors include two sisters, Delores Shanks and husband Harold, and Jeanne Abbott and husband Richard, both of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and two grandchildren. His parents preceded him in death.

For those who wish, the family would appreciate memorial contributions to the Amy Wroe-Bechtel Recovery Fund, in care of Central Bank and Trust, P.O. Box 70, Lander, WY 82520 or to the Powell Hospice, 777 Avenue H, Powell.