Loren Altaffer, 81, of Moorcroft, Wyoming, passed away on December 21, 2013, at the Crook County Long Term Care Center.
Loren James Altaffer was born on June 18, 1932, to James Harry and Larena Ella (Blake) Altaffer, and was the eldest of five children. Loren was married to Carol Schleichardt on March 25, 1962, and to this union two sons were born, Fred and Wayne Altaffer. They were later divorced.
Loren spent his life in the Pine Ridge area. He owned the Hillcrest Store just north of Moorcroft in the early ’50s, but for most of his life was involved in production agriculture. He owned a farm on Thorne Divide for a few years and then bought the home-place from his mother and was there until health issues forced him to move to Sundance in November of 2012. Always one to help neighbors in need or with whatever needed to be done, he offered many get-together times, including many fire-fighting experiences.
Having grown up in the ’30s, life was tough for Loren and the family. Money was scarce, schools difficult to reach, and work on the ranch and in his Dad’s sawmill made for long hours. His school was interrupted by a bout of appendicitis when he was 14. He was in the hospital 53 days and received one of the first shots of penicillin by anyone outside of the Military.
He enjoyed working on the tractors during the winter and liked the farming aspect of rural life more than the ranching aspect; as long as he could drive an Orange tractor he was happy!
Drafted in 1953, he served two years in the Army, including one tour of duty in Korea – arriving just after the conflict was resolved. He was in Korea 21 months with an engineering battalion and helped rebuild some of the country. While in Korea he took many pictures (slides) and after he returned to Wyoming, he delighted in showing them to anyone who was interested in seeing them. Those slides sparked a love for photography that led to a professional role in the business for years. He was also active in the Veterans organization for many years.
Of course he had a love for hunting (an Altaffer trait), and made several trips to the Jackson Hole area with family and friends! The ranch hosted many out-of-state hunters from the ’50s on.
He was very active in the community, having served on the Board of the Pine Ridge Community Church for many years. He helped in church projects, cleaned, and made sure the furnace was blazing warm for Sunday services. Loren was a firm believer in Farm Bureau and was very active at the county level for many years, serving in various officer roles.
Loren was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Richard Elmer. He is survived by his sons, Fred Altaffer of Sundance and Wayne (Jodi Clark) Altaffer of Moorcroft; two grandchildren, Austin Altaffer and Stacia Altaffer both of Sundance; one sister, Eleanor Franklin of Coram, Montana; and two brothers, William (Norma) Altaffer and Arnold (Penny) Altaffer, both of the Moorcroft area.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 26, 2013, at Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel in Sundance. A memorial has been established to benefit the Fire Zone 16 and the Pine Ridge Community Church.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance.