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Alva 'Joe' Doak


Surrounded by his family, Alva "Joe" Doak, 74, passed away from Liver Cancer on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at the Billings Clinic in Billings, Mont. 

Joe was born April 25, 1949, in Thermopolis, Wyo., to Betty Earl and adopted by Alva W. and Lillian Doak. He attended school in Thermopolis until 1964 when his family moved to Ten Sleep, Wyo., where he graduated with the Class of 1967. After college at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., Joe returned to Thermopolis and purchased the Sideboard Café. In 1988 he began working at the WY Boy's School and retired after almost 30 years of service.

Joe was active in many organizations over the years: Elks Club, Cowboy Joe Club, Thermopolis Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Recreational Basketball and Softball, Police Commission, Director for the Wyoming Liquor Dealers Association and all things relating to the VFW including bartender, Auxiliary Member and Stewart.

Joe's passion was sports officiating which began in 1977, lasting close to 50 years as a Certified Football and Basketball Official. During this time he was proud to officiate three Wyoming-Montana All Star Games and two North-South Shrine Bowl Football games. He also officiated 44 State Football Playoffs, 4 State Championships, 28 District Basketball games, 5 State Tournaments and 1 State Championship. Active as a Registered ASA Softball Umpire, he found time to work 3 Regional, 1 National Qualifying, 4 National and 62 State Tournaments. He was awarded a Lifetime Membership for ASA Softball, National Indicator Fraternity Award, along with both Silver and Gold Medal Awards. In 2008 Joe was inducted into the Wyoming ASA Softball Hall of Fame.

Some of Joe's proudest moments were being awarded the Bobcat Athletic Hall of Fame as an official in 2010, receiving the "Ox Zellner" Football Official Career Achievement Award from the Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation in 2018 and in 2019 being inducted into the Wyoming Sports Officials Hall of Fame.

Preceding him in death were his parents; grandparents; and birth mother, Betty Delaney. 

Survivors include Linda, his wife of 55 years; son, Sean of Belgrade, Mont; daughter, Valerie (John Reifke) of Casper, Wyo .; granddaughter, Kyra (Gage Cechovic) of Bozeman, Mont .; half-siblings, Kathy (Ron) Wolfrum, Jim and Bill Delaney.  Also left behind is his beloved community of Thermopolis, extended family and friends as well as his many officiating and umpiring partners who were so much a part of his life.

Please join the family at the Hot Springs County School Auditorium, Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. for a Memorial Service and a meal to follow at the VFW to share memories of Joe. Give your time and energy to someone or something you care about, in his name, which Joe would really appreciate.

Mortimore Funeral Home has been assisting the family and messages may be offered at


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