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Donald Edward Carey

Donald Edward Carey, 86, passed away peacefully at his home in Thermopolis, Wyo., on May 31, 2022, surrounded by family. 

On November 23, 1935, Don was born to John Edward Carey and Frieda Caroline Schmitt in Thermopolis, Wyo. His father was the youngest Fire Boss in Gebo, Wyo., and his mother was a school teacher in Kirby, Wyo. They moved to Thermopolis and sold coal out of their shed, and then later opened Carey's Grocery next to their house. This is the house that Don grew up in and raised his family in. He attended Hot Springs County High School, was active in sports, and graduated in 1954. After high school, Don served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the West Central States Mission in Northern Montana from 1955 to 1957. He joined the United States Army in 1957 and served his country until 1966. While stationed in Germany, he had the opportunity to become acquainted with his mother's side of the family. 

Don met his sweetheart, Earlene, when her father brought their family to Thermopolis to construct the current LDS meeting house. He fell in love with her almost immediately and soon proposed marriage, which she declined. A few months later he proposed again by sending her an engagement ring through the mail. This time Earlene accepted the proposal, and they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Logan, Utah, Temple on September 30, 1959. Eight children were born in the space of 14 years, 5 boys and 3 girls. They came faster than the paycheck increased to accommodate them, but Earlene and Don were blessed. 

Don loved his family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, instilled the Gospel in his family, and raised his children to love the Lord and our Savior. Family prayer and scripture study were part of daily life for the Carey family. He served as Ward Clerk for the Thermopolis Ward for 27 years along with several other callings. In his later years, he indexed for family history, over 500,000 entries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Don led by example, being a very hard worker all his life. Some of his jobs included custodian at the administration building for Hot Springs County School District, janitor at the National Guard Armory building, and custodian and grounds maintenance at the Thermopolis Ward meeting house. He was the butcher at Carey's Grocery, the Highway Market, and Consumers. He also processed wild game and other animals at his home to make extra money for the family. 

While raising their children, Don always made sure the needs of the family were met. He helped each of his children develop their talents and taught them to work hard. He instilled in them many good attributes including daily prayer, scripture study, service, honesty and love for each other and their fellow man. He loved music and would often burst into song and the family would join him. He enjoyed playing the piano and listening to his children play as well. As an only child, he has left behind a legacy. He was a steadfast and humble husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He was admired and loved by his family, friends and all who knew him. He will be greatly missed! 

Don was preceded by his parents; wife, Earlene; sons, Dean Gerald and Mark Edward; 9 half-siblings; granddaughter, Lily Carey; and grandson, Wyatt Maser. 

He is survived by Carlene (Roger) Thompson of Portland, Ore.; Calvin (Michelle) Carey of Casper, Wyo.; Craig (Maggie) of Las Vegas, Nev.; Cheryl (Chris) Maser of Marble Falls, Texas; Joyce (Jeryl) Tippets of Thermopolis, Wyo.; Aaron (Cristalle) of St. George, Utah; and adopted daughter Kayla Draper of Thermopolis, Wyo.; 26 grandchildren; and 33 great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at 9:30a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022, and funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Thermopolis. Burial will follow at Mount View Cemetery in Basin, Wyo., at 1:30 p.m. Online condolences may be made at


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