(March 5, 2003)
William A. (Bill) Stambaugh died on March 5, 2003 in Cody. He was born in Cody on Jan. 24, 1922 to Roy V. and Elizabeth Martin Stambaugh.
He was raised on the South Fork family ranch and attended school at Marquette for eight years. He and his sisters Verley and Leola made the trip to school on horseback. He then attended Cody High School, graduating in 1939. In high school he won a state title in the 100 yard dash. He held the record until the 1990s, when it was finally broken.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1942, serving as a turret gunner on a B-27 during World War II. He was stationed at Emeru Island in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
On Sept. 21, 1945 he married Genie Vanderhoff of Cody in Newburn, N.C. After his discharge, he purchased a new Ford convertible in which he and his new bride drove home to Wyoming, where the convertible was promptly sold as it was winter and quite drafty.
Bill and Genie purchased the Lawrence Wagner homestead on the South Fork in 1947. During the blizzard of 1949, the first of their four children was born, twin daughters Julie and Tacie. Their oldest son Grant was born in 1950 and their youngest son Kenny was born in 1957.
Bill had a great love of the outdoors and his personal motto was "Why walk when you can ride?" He had a great many good cow horses which he used for working his ranch and then later while hunting and guiding.
He raised cattle on the family ranch until the late 1960s. He sold his cattle and then raised a few horses mostly for his work as an outfitter and guide. He worked for Don Siggins at the Triangle X Ranch, and Joe and Sam Tilden of the Castle Rock Ranch. He also worked for Skip Glomb at the Elkhorn Ranch, for Paul Grubb at the Tiberend Ranch and for Chuck Poulsen at the Hidden Valley Ranch.
He worked at the Majo Ranch for Bob Model and Vincent Andrus in the early 1970s and was ranch manager for Silas Cathcart at the Majo in 1976 until his retirement.
He guided many summer packtrips for the Cathcart family and their guests. He was an old pro at packing and finding his way around the Absarokas. He still kept an active hand in helping his son Grant, who is now manager of the Majo. Ill health forced his retirement in 1994.
On Nov. 20, 1978, his wife Genie died after battling cancer.
On March 17, 1986 he married Carrol Wilbourn and moved from the ranch into Cody where they resided until his death.
After his retirement he helped his daughters in the business they purchased in 1993, until they sold it in 2000. He was often seen helping with decorations, repairs, running errands or just visiting with customers and friends.
He was a lifetime member of the BPOE, past member of the VFW, American Legion, and the Cody Country Outfitters. He had been a member of the Oldtime Flag Bearers in the Cody Stampede Parade for many years, carrying the Mexican flag.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and "Lizzie" and stepmother Cleda, sister Leola, wife Genie, and son-in-law Gary Haglund.
He is survived by his widow Carrol of the family home, children Julie Haglund, Racie (Kevin) Merrill, Grant (Janet) Stambaugh and Kenny (Debbi) Stambaugh, his four grandchildren Scot (Susan) Stambaugh of Powell, Lori Stambaugh of Billings, Mont., Bill Merrill of Missoula, Mont., and Kimberly Stambaugh of Cody; sister Verley Rickard of Cody; and one great-grandchild Sydnie (Scot and Susan) Stambaugh of Powell, plus a multitude of friends.