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

Dorothy Grace Milek


December 6, 2018

Dorothy Grace Milek 83, passed away November 29, 2018, in Thermopolis. 

She was born in Thermopolis on Nov. 14, 1935, to Samuel Reese and Grace Ann (Skelton) Buchanan. She was raised on the Buchanan farm in Lucerne and the ranch on Copper Mountain. She attended schools at the Sunnyside School and high school at Hot Springs County High School, graduating in 1953.

She studied home economics at the University of Wyoming and Logan, Utah.

Lifelong residents of Thermopolis, she married Bob Milek on Aug. 29, 1954. They made their home and raised 5 children in Thermopolis.

While raising her children, she worked many jobs around Thermopolis, including reporter and various other positions with the Thermopolis Independent Record, independent feature writing for the Billings Gazette, Northern Wyoming Daily News and Casper Star Tribune. She worked as a cook and secretary at the Thermopolis School. She worked as head librarian at the Hot Springs County Library, and director of the Hot Springs County Museum and was instrumental in moving the museum to its current location. 

While working these jobs, she also had articles published by various western publications, including "Old West" magazine. She published historical articles for the Wyoming Historical Society and publications. The leading expert on the history of Hot Springs County, she published two books on the county history "Hot Springs, a Wyoming County History", and "The Gift of Bah Guewana", a history of Hot Springs State Park.

In addition to her research and writing, she was a long time 4-H leader in the county, and was a founding member of the Hot Springs County Pioneer Association. 

She had widely varied interests, and was a member of several groups and organizations, including the Thermopolis music club, the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, served on the school board, and the Hot Springs County Resource committee. She was proud of the fact that she was honored by selection to the Hot Springs County Hall of Fame in 2016.

She is survived by her children, Barbara Love, Bob (Deb) Milek and Becky (Rooster) Kersten of Thermopolis and Margy (Dudley) Irvine, daughter-in-law Helen Milek of Lander; grandchildren, Donny (Heather) Love, Jenny (Brandon) Blakesley, Shawn (Lindsey) Milek, Karsten Milek, Skylar (Hannah) Kersten, Josh (Betsy) Milek, Nate (Whitney) Milek, Heather (David) Goddard and Resse (Stephanie) Irvine; 13 great-grandchildren; and 1 great, great-grandchild.

 She was preceded in death by her parents; sister; four brothers; husband, Bob; son, Bill; and son-in-law, Danny Love. 

Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 at Mortimore Funeral Home. A reception will follow at the Hot Springs County Museum. 

 In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to the Hot Springs County Pioneer Association, PO Box 11, Thermopolis. 


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