Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Mary Catherine Ruland

Mary Catherine (Kester) Ruland, 93, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at Crook County Long Term Care in Sundance, Wyoming.

Born on August 17, 1927, in Buffalo, Wyoming, to Albert and Grace (Osborn) Kester, Mary lived on a ranch in the Nine Mile community in Johnson County. She was educated in a country school until moving to Buffalo to attend high school.

After graduating in 1945, she attended college at the University of Wyoming, where she met Dale Ruland. They were married on November 27, 1947, in Buffalo.

Dale was a County Agent-at-Large for two years before they moved to the Ruland family ranch located between Alva and Aladdin, Wyoming. Their two children, Dan and Elaine, were born during that time.

Mary was never officially employed, but filled her time pursuing her many interests. She worked as a hunting guide for short time. She loved to fish, raised bountiful home gardens, was a fine furniture refinisher and an avid bird watcher.

She took keen interest in the communities in which she lived. She was instrumental in helping to establish the throat-swab-for-strep program in the Glenrock schools in the early 1960s.

She and Dale were early Civil Defense coordinators for Crook County, leading shelter management training. She was on the Sundance War Memorial Committee, the Board of Directors for Green Mountain Estates, and the Crook County Museum Board. Mary also managed the Ruland Ranch since the passing of her husband in 1990.

Mary was active in a number of organizations including the Rebekahs, Order of Eastern Star, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Civil Defense, bridge clubs and the American Legion Auxiliary, of which she was a 56-year member. She held many unit, district and state department offices, culminating with the office of Wyoming Department President in 1983-84.

Mary and Dale and their children lived all over Wyoming as Dale was transferred from one government posting with the USDA Soil Conservation Service to another, spending years in Gillette, Glenrock, Glendo, Baggs, Cokeville and Sundance, where they eventually retired. Mary helped her husband build two houses, one in Glendo and their retirement home in Sundance.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Harold Kester and Edwin Kester; two sisters-in-law, Bonnie Jane Kester and Rose Kester; and her husband Dale. She is survived by her son, Dan (Donna) of Casper; her daughter, Elaine (Hal) of Sundance; three grandsons, David Maurer (Vicky) of Chandler, Arizona, Dillon Ruland of Laramie, Wyoming and Clayton Ruland of Laramie; one granddaughter, Megan Maurer of Phoenix, Arizaona; and one great-grandson, Ian Maurer of Chandler; several nieces and nephews; and many, many friends.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to Crook County Long Term Care or Crook County Senior Services.

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