February 23, 2023
Funeral services for Willene Elsasser, 85, of Gillette, were held Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at New Life Church, with Pastor Mike Wilson officiating. Interment followed in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Reception followed in the Mt. Pisgah Community Room. Willene was in her home surrounded by her family when she was "welcomed into the arms of Jesus" on February 16.
Willene Mae was born in Torrington, Wyoming to Grant and Elva (Dailey) Wonch. She was raised in Arnold, Nebraska and moved as a young lady to Cheyenne.
It was in Cheyenne that Willene met Willus Elsasser. They had their first dates during Frontier Days and after their whirlwind romance married just three months later on October 18, 1958 in Cheyenne.
In February of 1959, the couple moved to Casper where they raised their family. In 1980, the couple moved to Sundance for a couple of years, before moving to Moorcroft, where they resided for 16 years.
In 1997, Willene and Willus moved to Gillette where they have resided since.
Willene's primary love was raising her family; she delighted in caring for her husband and children. Willene worked a few jobs when the kids were older, including owning her craft shop in Moorcroft and helping run Blimpies Subs in Gillette.
Her hobbies included crocheting, crafting with her grandchildren and putting together jigsaw puzzles. Willene and Willus were incredible dancers. They were great at square dancing but their dances of choice were round dancing and bar room dancing. They could jitterbug with the best of them! Willene loved spending time with her family.
Willene will be dearly missed by her husband, Willus, of 64 years; children, Speed (Jan) Elsasser of Garnett, Kansas, Elva (Doug) Malsom of Casper, Bill (Ellen) Elsasser, Kelli (Kenny) Miller both of Gillette; 18 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; sister, Donna Yalowizer and brother, Allen Wonch; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Lethia Ann Elsasser and three brothers, Elvin, Warren and Roland "Pinky".
Memorials in Willene's name are suggested to benefit Hospice of CCH, Heptner Cancer Center, or New Life Church. Donations can be sent in care of Willene's name to Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences can be shared online at http://www.GilletteMemorialChapel.com.