Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Weldon Althoff

 

Weldon John Jay Althoff, 80, passed away on May 8, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz.

Weldon was born on June 17, 1937, in Powell, Wyo., to Leo and Myrtle (Hardee) Althoff. He grew up in Badger Basin, Wyo., an oil field boomtown located in the Clarks Fork Valley of the Yellowstone River, with sister, Dona (Gruel) Althoff, and brothers, Eugene and Douglas. The family ran the Badger Basin Store, which provided the small community with a postal service, groceries, gas, bar, and entertainment. His youth was filled with a rough-and-tumble outdoor life where he learned to hunt, manage livestock, and take long rides on his trusted horse, Pal. He attended the one-room Clark school and spent many days fishing along the river on his way home. He loved hearing his mom tell stories and considered himself lucky to be a part of the Hardee Clan where laughter and spinning yarns were part of everyday conversation. Weldon attended high school in Belfry, Mont., where he met his first wife, Marlene (Mourich) Matranga. He loved sports and was captain of the Belfry Bats football team. Weldon's most treasured athletic experience was being a part of the Belfry basketball team, a group of hard-working boys who pooled their skills together and helped the basketball team win the Class C State Championship during his Junior and Senior years. In 2016, he had the extraordinary opportunity to reunite with the remaining members of the team in Red Lodge, Mont. State and local news crews joined members of the community to commemorate the team's glory days as the Golden Bats of 1952-1954. For a few brief days, the pain from his multiple myeloma cancer was forgotten as he and his teammates recalled the unbreakable team spirit and their ability to play in sync with each other during the games.

Weldon and his growing family moved to Cody, Wyo., from Billings, Mont., after being transferred by the Safeway Corporation to manage the Cody store meat department. Yearning to strike out on his own, Weldon became self-employed by starting A&S Sanitation Company, which serviced garbage pick-up to the many rural households who lived outside the city limits. The small business grew, and he and Marlene soon owned and operated the commercial paving company, Althoff Construction. He loved working big equipment and his favorite past times were running loaders, pavers, and dump trucks or attending a heavy equipment auction.

After his retirement, Weldon and his second wife, Donna, developed Sage Valley Inc. in Thermopolis. They eventually set up a winter home in Arizona and enjoyed visiting the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was dedicated to forming special and unique relationships with every family member both young and old. Always ready to share a meal and game of cards, Weldon and Donna hosted many a BBQ with family and friends. His mean grilling techniques and sly poker-face will always be remembered, along with his infectious laugh and engaging smile.

He is survived by his wife, Donna (Geraets) Althoff; children, Sedaj (Robert) Tesch of Phoenix, Ariz., Michealann Althoff of Phoenix, Ariz., Tracy (Ron) Moore of Greenville, S. C., Kent (Christina) Althoff of Red Lodge, Mont.; and Kim Nieters of Cody, Wyo.; 22 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; son-in-law, Thomas O'Malley; and son John Althoff.

Celebration of Life Funeral Mass to take place at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Clark, Wyo., at a later date.

 

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