Funeral services for William August Semlek, longtime Crook County rancher, were held Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Gillette, Wyoming, with Pastor Jared Tucher officiating. Interment followed at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Mr. Semlek , age 92, of Rozet, Wyoming, passed away from natural causes on October 21, 2011, at his home.
William was born September 24, 1919, on the family homestead in Crook County, Wyoming, to Alex and Anna (Saar) Semlek, immigrants from Estonia. He attended Moorcroft High School where he graduated in 1937. William worked locally until entering the US Army in February 1942 as a member of the 35th Division. He served in the European theatre, where he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received during battle in France and was also held in a German prisoner of war camp for eight months before being liberated. After the war, William received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army. He worked several jobs in the Southern California area where he met his future wife, Louise Glotzbach. They were married in Yuma, Arizona, on June 19, 1947. He returned to the family homestead in 1950 where he remained for the rest of his life. This year his family ranch commemorates its centennial. William served on the Crook County School Board for many years and was a lifetime member in the Moorcroft chapter of the V.F. W. He was also an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his children: Jeanne (John) Witkamp of Salt Lake City, Utah; Jerry (Victoria) Semlek of Henderson, Nevada; Mark (Sheila) Semlek, and Vicki (Shawn) Cook, both of Moorcroft, Wyoming; and by twelve grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Louise, parents Alex and Anna, brothers: Robert Semlek and Frank Semlek; and sisters: Hertha Larsen and Erna McCaughin.
Memorials may be given to the William Semlek Memorial Fund to benefit local veterans and military personnel. Memorials and condolences may be sent in William’s name, in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th Street, Gillette, Wyoming 82716 or condolences can be sent via the internet at www.gilletttememorialchapel.com.