Gene Dearcorn


(Oct. 16, 2006)

Funeral services for Eugene Otto (Bill) Dearcorn, 87, who died in Billings, Mont., Monday, Oct. 16, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at the First United Methodist Church in Powell, with military services to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.

He was born Nov. 24, 1918, in Sunrise, Wyo., to Otto and Hortense (Smith) Dearcorn. He was raised on their homestead north of Fort Laramie. After his father died when Gene was 15 years of age, he and his mother farmed several more years until he went to work at the Whittaker Ranch north of Cheyenne where his Uncle Paul was foreman.

In June, 1942, while stationed at Indiantown Gap Base near Harrisburg, Pa., he met Frances Straw before serving overseas for three years. As an enlistedman in the Army during World War II, he served with the Big Red One, the 1st US Infantry Division 4, in battles and campaigns. While serving overseas he was in the following areas: Algeria French Moreno, Ardennes, Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Sicily, and Tunisia.

He returned to marry Frances Straw on Sept. 8, 1945, at Straits Corners, N.Y., at the home of his mother Hortense (known as “Hearty”) and stepfather Nate Hollenbeck. He and his life-long wife, Frances, enjoyed 61 years of marriage after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. He operated and did maintenance work on all common types of cars and machinery. He had the ability to figure out what made things operate and how to get things put back together after taking them apart. He farmed for nearly 40 years, most of that on Heart Mountain.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Frank; and sister, Irene Wilson.

He is survived by his wife; four children, David Dearcorn (Nancy) of Dayton, Valera Jeanne (Terry) Swenson, Duane Dearcorn (Judy) and Joann Lee (Jim) Cross, all of Powell; eight grandchildren, Eric (Teri), David Jack (Liz) and Erin Dearcorn, Travis (Heide) Swenson, Jennifer (Greg) Wilson, Casey (Brandi) Dearcorn, Paul Dearcorn, and Nicholas (Trisha) Cross; 15 great-grandchildren, Taylor, Heston, Shattuck, and Shea Swenson, Ryver, Delaney, and Ivy Dearcorn, Holden, Taber, and Elle Wilson, Ty, Bo, and Jordyn Dearcorn, and McKenna and Cayden Cross; three step great-grandchildren and five step great-great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.