Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

James Benjamin Heath

James Benjamin Heath, 78, of Mancos, Colorado, and more recently of Sundance, Wyoming, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at Spearfish Canyon Healthcare. Jim struggled with multiple health challenges for many years, but the stubborn spirit he was known for kept him going until last week, when he finally laid down his earthly burdens.

Jim (or Jimmy, as his childhood friends knew him) was born on September 17, 1945, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Benjamin Taylor Heath and Evelyn Etta (Hill) Heath. He graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 1963 and went on to attend college at the University of Wyoming for two years.

Here he met the love of his life, Marilynn Kay O'Blenness. They were married June 18, 1966, in Cheyenne and raised two children together, Kevin Benjamin Heath and Kimberly Ann (Heath) Heaster.

Jim's talents lay with all things mechanical. He loved tinkering with cars and was also skilled at woodworking.

He had many jobs throughout his life and loved working road maintenance for the National Park Service. His favorite park was Yellowstone National Park, where he groomed the roads for the snowmobiles in the winter and repaired the same roads in the summer.

A day well-spent meant fly fishing on the river or boating on a lake in the family's cabin cruiser named "Margarooti", always with a beloved dog by his side. Though he could be ornery, family meant everything to him, especially his four granddaughters, and he was there when needed, whether it be for help with a move, building fences, changing diapers or voicing a simple, "I am proud of you."

Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marilynn (Sundance), his children, Kevin (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Kim (Sundance); granddaughters, Mia Heath (Cortez, Colorado), Shelby Heaster (Los Angeles, California), Baillee Heaster (Bozeman, Montana) and Rhianna Heaster (Irvine, California); his cousin, Patsy (True) Turner (Umpqua, Oregon) and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Evelyn Heath; his older sister, Janet Lee (Heath) Glasner and his dear uncle, Leland True, who helped to raise him.

A memorial service at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Sundance will be held around Christmas. The exact time and date are yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a local animal shelter. Cards can be mailed to Marilynn Heath, PO Box 293, Sundance, WY 82729.

Cremation arrangements were under the care of Fidler-Roberts &Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance, WY and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish, SD. Online condolences may be written at

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