Funeral services were Monday, November 28, 2011, at the First Presbyterian Church of Moorcroft with Pastor Donavon Voigt officiating. Burial was at the Moorcroft Cemetery.
Juanita was born March 17, 1926, in Lusk, Wyoming, to Otis Marion and Vera Katherine (Mattox) Deeder. Juanita, the oldest daughter of four, learned early how to care and serve others. She spent her early elementary years in a variety of Wyoming schools as her dad owned trucks and had jobs on various road building projects. When Juanita was nine years old, the family moved to the Mattox place on Thorn Divide. There, Juanita and her sisters attended school for two years before the rural school closed and they moved to Sundance. In 1939, they moved back to the family ranch, and Juanita eventually finished her high school years in Moorcroft where she graduated at semester time in 1944 in a class of five students. Following graduation, Juanita attended Spearfish Normal (now Black Hills State University) where she was trained for teaching in just a few short months. By the fall of 1944, Juanita was teaching at the Pine Ridge rural grade school.
In Juanita’s words, “1944 was a full year!” On October 28, 1944, Juanita Lucille Deeder married Lyle Ernest Griffith in Broadus, Montana. To this union were born three children: Otis Charles, Carol Lea and Sandra Mae. It was in tending to her children in illness, both in their early years and their adult years, where Juanita’s true gifts of nurture and care for the sick were discovered. Throughout her Life, Juanita was known for her compassion and tender care for those who needed her. A source of strength and an example of perseverance, Juanita often said, “one day at a time.”
Lyle and Juanita worked hard on the family ranch raising children, cattle and crops. Juanita enjoyed playing music and dancing at local dances, scrapbooking, crafts of all sorts and gardening. In her younger years, she worked a variety of jobs. After the death of her husband, Lyle in 1981, Juanita worked at Devils Tower National Monument for several years. Juanita was involved in many Pine Ridge Community Church functions and was a member of the Carlile Livewires Homemakers Club during its active years. She was also a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorcroft.
Juanita is survived by her sisters, Vera Hall of Gillette, Wyoming, and Mary Gauthier of Moorcroft, Wyoming; her children, Otis (Linda) Griffith of Moorcroft, Carol (Bill) Dewey of Carlile and Sandra (Pat) Wilder of Gillette; seven grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Otis and Vera, one sister Jessie Sowa, and husband Lyle.
Memorials to benefit First Presbyterian Church of Moorcroft and Pine Ridge Community Church, and may be sent to Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.