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

Newton Bleak


Newton Y. Bleak passed away at his home in Wind River Canyon on Jan. 9, 2017, with his wife, daughter and son-in-law by his side.

Newt was born in Lincoln, Idaho, on Nov. 2, 1921. He graduated from 8th grade and attended one year of high school before going to work on a large farm/ranch operation in the southwestern Idaho region. He boarded at the farm and sent his wages home to his family in order to help support his parents and siblings. He enlisted in the Armed Forces in March of 1941, attended Boot Camp in Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he was assigned to work with the mule teams used to transport artillery and supplies to the troops. He was then transferred to Ft. Sill, Okla., as a Pack Master and Saddler. He was in the Asiatic Pacific Theater from January of 1942 until August of 1945. During his years in the Pacific Theater the mule teams were disbanded, and he was then assigned to the 6th Ranger Battalion for the rest of the war. During his career he was decorated with the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Phillipines Liberation Medal, two Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, and was Honorably Discharged on August 22, 1945.

He met and married his wife of 68 years, Bonnie M. White Bleak, on May 15, 1948, in Dubois, Wyo. He and Bonnie lived in the Dubois area where Newt worked on local ranches cowboying. They relocated to Bonnie's hometown of Thermopolis in 1952. They raised their 5 children, Douglas (Margie), Bonnie (David) Murphree, Donald (Laura), Dava, and LaVita (Roger) Kraushaar in Wind River Canyon on the original homestead of J. Bob and Mary White, Bonnie's parents.

Newt was a man of strong character and principles. He had a work ethic that would put most people to shame, and much of the canyon home's current beauty is due to his hard work. He and Bonnie built their home in the canyon, and he crafted wooden furniture in the winter months after retirement, and tended his gardens during the spring and summer. While he expressed his opinions strongly, he also was a man who loved others deeply (and very practically), and he did not let past offenses stand in the way of his relationships, but was willing to forgive.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie M. (White) Bleak; son, Douglas; daughters, Bonnie, Dava, and LaVita; 24 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; and 24 great, great-grandchildren.

Newt was preceded in death by his son, Donald J. (Laura) Bleak; two grandsons; one great-grandson; his parents; and his 9 siblings.

The family invites you to join them in a Celebration of Life of Newt's 95 years of life at the local VFW Post in Thermopolis on January 14 at 2 p.m. All are welcome to bring their memories of Newt and share them.

Donations can be sent to Bonnie Bleak, PO Box 968 Thermopolis WY 82443. Flowers can be sent to 128 Meadowlark Lane, Thermopolis.

A Military Tribute and internment of ashes is planned for June of 2017, with date and time to be determined.


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