Robert Bent “Bob” Taft – 1929-2012

It was a damn sad day to hear spurs jingling and see another fine cowboy ride off into the Wyoming sunset! Robert Bent Taft Senior, 82, died Sunday, January 1, 2012, in Sheridan, Wyoming, at the VA Hospital. Robert Bent Taft (RBT), usually known as Bob, hung his hat at the Taft Ranch on Dry Creek Rd, Upton, Wyoming.

Services will be 11 a.m., Friday, January 6, 2012, at the Taft Ranch near Upton. Burial will be at the Taft Ranch on a sunny south facing hill. A memorial fund will go to Weston County Home Health and condolences may be sent to 406 Dry Creek Rd., Upton, Wyoming, 82730.

He was born at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, on February 27, 1929, to Mildred Bent and John Ailes Taft. Bob attended grade school in Kenilworth Illinois, summers (1938, ‘39, ‘40) at Culver Military academy, and graduated New Trier High School in Winnetka Illinois, in 1947. Following high school, Bob attended Northwestern University for over two years from 1947-49, before deciding to join the family business full time. In 1951 he went into the military service (Army) and served a two year term in West Germany. He directed everyone’s aim as a Master Gunner in a regiment with the 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillary (AAA) Battalion. Upon returning from the service, he continued to work at family businesses, and met Claire Arndt, his wife from 1961-1979. It was 1963 and with one son in tow, they headed out west, after selling some of the family businesses, Dr. Pierre Chem. Co. and Partola Co. Settling on a ranch near Lander, Wyoming, he built up a notable campground/ranch business complete with the old west ghost town, horse rides, and movies under the stars. Besides horses, Bob mostly raised beef cattle- Herfords, Brown Swiss Herford cross, and registered Murray Greys, as well as some sheep. By 1980 he split off the campground, focusing more on the Twin Creek (Medicine Wheel) ranch and P’ville place. Bob remarried for a few years in 1983 to Vivi Marie Hanson. In 2008, he moved the ranch to Dry Creek (where it is today), north of Upton, and split off the Twin Creek and P’ville places.

Bob had an unusual health problem, I.B.M. muscular dystrophy, that didn’t show up until late 1990’s, yet he fought it and prostate cancer to the very end, while being surrounded by his four loving children and their families, including 15 fabulous grandchildren. Besides being an avid beef cattle rancher, he was very well versed in monetary systems, political structures, religions and spiritual sciences, always seeking to understand their true purpose and how they could work fairly for all. He was always very studied in political news, helping with different movements as a younger man, and keeping a strong opinion of an ideal form of government. Always, he was steadfast that everyone should be ethical and take responsibility for their own actions, which would mean the need for much less government rules. He had been active in Freemasonry to the extent that he was a Master Mason, as well as a 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite. His spiritual endeavors ultimately lead to Scientology, and the FreeZone. Bob wrote several articles published in different Wyoming papers and posted to several web groups as well.

Bob had an older brother, Jack (deceased) and wife Portia of Iowa City, Iowa, and two younger sisters, Margot Taft Wigley and husband Phil of Green Valley Arizona and Ann Taft Wetterlund (deceased). He is also survived by his son Rob Taft and his wife Roxie of Upton, Wyoming, his son John Taft and his wife Jana of Buena Vista, Colorado, his daughter Gwen Taft Patten and husband Tom of Sheridan, Wyoming, and his daughter Beth Taft Johnson and husband Kent of Lynnwood, Washington.

Online condolences may be written at

Please add to his memory book by clicking the link below: