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

Joan LaDelle Gourley Lassiter


Joan LaDelle Gourley Lassiter

On an early day in May, 76 years ago, Jack and Ruth Gourley brought a beautiful baby girl into this world. They named her Joan LaDelle. Joan had fond memories of growing up in small town Linch, Wyo. with her younger brother Ed, baby sister Linda and a bobcat named Bobby.

The family later settled in Sheridan where she completed high school and she began her adult life with zest. Sometime early on she went to beauty school, but there were a few haircuts that made everyone suspicious of how well she took to the training. Her oldest daughter Melissia (Misty) cried for 4 days after one and made her promise to never cut her hair again. Her boys never minded her buzz cuts and she did give a wonderful perm.

Joan gave birth to 4 children; Melissia, Pete, Tony and Shawna. She was a foster mother to others, but many were "adopted" and better for it. Her family grew greatly when she married the love of her life William "Bill" Lassiter. His large family became hers and she finally felt the peace she'd looked for all her life.

Joan was always the big sister to Ed and Linda. She constantly worried about Ed during his tours in Vietnam and his motorcycle racing days. Linda was never far from her thoughts and phone calls, even more so when Jack and Ruth passed. Joan then took over the mother role in Linda's life and was happy to do so.

Later in life Joan met her older siblings, Gene and Ruth. She enjoyed having a big brother and new sister in her life. The Gourley house was always extra loud when all of them were together.

Joan had a natural talent for art. She was a wonderful painter, cake decorator (even the ones that went up in flames) and gardener. She was almost giddy when she was working on something new. Her passions were for law enforcement and animals. She worked hard for justice in different avenues in law enforcement, including Probation and Parole, for many years. She eventually retired from probation and parole having helped hundreds of those in need of her guidance. At a very young age Joan had a love for animals. She was always picking up strays, no matter the species, and caring for them. She was most fond of poodles and was always curled up with one when she stopped long enough to take a rest.

Joan is survived by her husband, Bill Lassiter; brother, Ed Gourley; sister, Linda Gourley; children, Melissia (Jon) Kershner, Pete Myers, Tony (Rosa) Greub, Shawna Shankle, Will (Julie) Lassiter, Shane Lassiter and Cathy (Steve) Stoddard; 113 grandchildren and great grandchildren (not really, there's a lot though, she always said she was going to live to be 113 so we had to use it).

She will be greeted by her parents, Jack and Ruth Gourley; children Chuck Greub and Jeanna Greub; as well as many other family members and friends.

Per her request there will be no services. However, if you'd like to do something in her honor please donate to a local pet shelter in her name.


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