Dyllis Mae Gose, age 97, passed away January 13, 2018, at Westward Heights under hospice care with family present. She was the oldest of three, born October 9, 1920, in Sundance, Wyoming, to Maibell (Harvey) Wakefield and Bert Wakefield.
Along with younger brother Harvey Sutton and sister Delcie, she grew up hardscrabble in a large extended family on several family homesteads between Upton and Sundance. She was about five when their parents divorced and they were mostly raised by a grandmother while their mother did the ranch work.
Dyllis often missed school because she was needed for work, was snowed in or ill. As early as six years old, she would be sent to cook and clean for relatives. She could garden, can, sew, cook, milk, break horses, ride for cattle, drive teams, plant and hay.
She graduated from Sundance High School where she met Neil Gose from a neighboring ranch family. Neil went to UW to major in Mechanical Engineering and she followed, completing her cosmetology training in Laramie.
The war cut short Neil’s UW years. Both went back to work on the family ranches. They eloped in 1944 and had daughters Valerie Adele born in Gillette, 1945, and Dulcinda Ann in Belle Fourche, 1950.
In 1955, they left ranching and moved around with road construction which was booming in the west. Construction brought their first cash wages and relief from unmechanized ranching in Wyoming winters. After living five years in five states and 15 towns, they missed Wyoming and moved to Lander in 1960 with the mine.
Wherever they lived, Dyllis worked part time in beauty shops. She always had a large garden and was known for her cooking. Cooking for all the relatives in hunting camp was one of her favorite things.
Nearly every weekend of their married life when they were able bodied, Dyllis and Neil shared the same love of getting away from civilization, by car, on foot or horseback into remote areas. They were avid rock hunters and loved to show family and friends special places they would never have found on their own. They took great joy in finding a rare rock, an old stage stop or teepee ring, wildlife or wide open scenery.
They were perfectly suited to rough life in Wyoming. They loved everything old and hand made. Dyllis was interested in growing vegetables from ancient seeds, locating disappearing types of apples trees, finding rare berry patches, trying very old recipes.
She could dress out a deer with flint tools, make jerkey and tan hides the old way. She was a good potter, tole painter and seamstress.
She grew up poor, went through the drought, depression, the war and the winter of ’49 but never sought out many luxuries or pretended to be something she wasn’t. Dyllis’ hair never turned gray, her mind stayed sharp and she didn’t want to go. She was still filled with wonder.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her daughter, Valerie; and her brother. She is survived by her sister, Delcie Materi of Newcastle, Wyoming; her daughter, Dulcinda (John) Schumacher of Lander; granddaughters, Natalie Basolo of Laramie, Wyoming, Marni (Jim) Edmiston of Billings, Montana and Paige (Tony) Chytka of Belle Fourche, South Dakota; two great grandchildren, Tucker and Haley Chytka; nephew, Dr. Lon Wakefield of Santa Rosa, California and niece, Sharon Materi-Huber of Newcastle, Wyoming; and several first cousins.
Cremation has taken place. There will be a small memorial service in Lander at a later date and a service in June 2018 in the Black Hills with ashes placed in the Upton cemetery.