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

Milan Galovich


Milan Galovich, 88, passed away peacefully at his daughter's home in Gilbert, Ariz., March 9, 2017.

He was born outside of Hudson, Wyo., in the coal mining camp of "Poposia" on November 21, 1928, to Boja "Bessie" (Radokovich) and Mane "Mike" Galovich. He was the ninth child born to the family who moved to Thermopolis when he was very young. Milan was a cheerful child, which earned him his lifelong nickname of "Sonny". He learned to work at an early age. His first job was at age 10, working at the creamery. He helped collect milk and make ice cream, which was shipped to neighboring towns via the railroad, even driving the milk truck.

Basketball was a favorite game. There were many Yugoslavian boys with names ending in "-vich", who played a lively game against neighboring rivals. The radio announcers at the games had a hard time keeping the names flowing as the ball jumped from player to player. The teams took home some coveted championships. After graduating from Hot Springs High School in 1946, basketball took him to Central Missouri State College and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. He was even able to play the game for a time as he served loyally in the Military. His service was during the Korean War from 1951 - 1953 as a sergeant in an army artillery unit. His beloved and loyal dog, Bingo, missed and greeted him with great zeal upon his return home.

After returning home from service he went to work for Texaco refinery in Casper where he was employed for 29 years, until the doors were closed in 1982. Sonny married Kathryn Rinehart Dimpflmair in 1956 and raised 6 children. They divorced in 1976. Ruth Skelton Hillman became his wife in 1981. They moved back to their hometown of Thermopolis, staying there most of the year, with Arizona providing them warmer weather in the winter for more than 30 years. 

Sonny loved to hunt and fish. A wall tent was set up for elk hunting outside of Dubois in the Wind River Range for many years. Ruth and Sonny would take the camper to the Big Horns during the summer, many times inviting grandchildren to accompany them on fishing trips. These skills and activities have been and are being engrained and passed down to successive generations. Many memories have been made in the mountains with dad/grandpa. And many memories will be held with the homemade cards and poems that were meticulously prepared through many years for each individual birthday of a large family. These were all efforts of love and service that are cherished.

He is survived by his brother, Peter of Palos Verdes, Calif.; children, John of Guatemala, Tom (Jan) of Spanish Fork, Utah, Paul (Carrie) of Thermopolis, Wyo., Mary (Todd Madsen) of Casper, Wyo., Anna (Alex Jacobson) of Gilbert, Ariz., and Peter, of Thermopolis, Wyo.; 26 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren plus three more on the way; Ruth's children, Debi Marchant of Cowley, Wyo., Karen (Alan) Landwehr of Mohave Valley, Ariz., Bart Hillman of Worland, Wyo., and Donny Hillman of Marysville, Tenn., and six grandsons and six great-grandchildren. 

Sonny was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Anna, Sophie (Nick Zakovich), Lazo (Mildred Cvijanovich), Mildred (Glen Parsons), Nadine (John Vin), Helen, Joe (Delma Hembree). 

Viewing will be held on Friday, March 17 from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Mortimore Funeral Home in Thermopolis. Services will be held at Mortimore Funeral Home on Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m., with burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery.

Please send any donations to Americare Hospice Foundation, 1212 N. Spencer St. Suite #2 Mesa Az. 85203. 


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