Ronald E. Materi – 1951-2011

On December 1, 2011, Ronald E. Materi, 60, of Upton, Wyoming, went to be with the Lord after a courageous battle with cancer. Ron was born on June 19, 1951, in Spearfish, South Dakota, to Dean and Wanda (Canfield) Materi.

Ron grew up on the family ranch south of Upton. He received his education in Upton and later attended the University of Wyoming. He returned to Upton where he worked as a carpenter. For the past 20 years, Ron worked at Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder mine, retiring in March of 2011.

In 1978, Ron married his soul mate, Carla Benson. Many people have said that they have never seen two people more in love. Ron would leave a love note on the kitchen stove for Carla every morning. Together Ron and Carla raised three children, Kirby (Tanya) Eisenhauer, Kori (Ryan) Meredith and Kati Materi (Jeff Virchow).

Ron was loved and respected by everyone he met. He enjoyed spending time with his family, arrowhead hunting, skiing, going to Deadwood, watching the History Channel and the evening news, and listening to the radio. In addition, Ron was a perfectionist, especially when it came to his cars. He also took pride in designing hundreds of little gadgets to make things easier around the house.

Ron is survived by his loving wife; mother; mother-in-law, Lita Benson; children; grandchildren, Mya, Faith, Tyler and Owynn; his siblings, Randy (Wanda), Doug (Sharon), Paul (Trudy) and Donna Jo; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Ron is preceded in death by his father, Dean.

Services celebrating Ron’s life were held at the Upton Community Center on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.

Memorials and condolences can be sent in Ron’s name in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St. Gillette, WY 82716 or condolences can be sent via