S: Conn Astle
FC: Conn Astle | Prepared by Abby Johnson
1: Prepared for Conn Astle, in honor of his 80th Birthday. And to many more. We love you. | Prepared by Abby Johnson November 15, 2011
4: On October 29, 1931, Conn Astle was born to E. W. (Skeeter) and Effie Astle. He was the fourth of five children, Melba, Ken, Ressa, Conn and Rex. Until the age of 5, Conn lived in Grover, Wyoming, after which the family moved to Afton to a house on Lincoln Street (across from the home of Ken and LaDean Astle). Shortly after, the family relocated just two blocks east to the home on the corner of 5th Avenue and Adams Street where they lived from 1938 to 1956. | Melba, Ressa, Conn, Rex, Ken. | Conn and Rex. | Conn Astle, 2005. | Conn Astle
5: E. W. (Skeeter and Effie Astle) .
6: Freshman | Junior | Senior | Sophomore | Conn spent his school-age years in Star Valley. At Afton Elementary he particularly remembers Fourth Grade; his teacher was Mrs. Papworth, the Second World War began. Conn's older brother, Ken, and his two brothers-in-law, Sol Baldwin and Bruce Gardner joined the Army and went to war. During this time Ken was wounded in Okinawa and spent time in a hospital on the Philippine islands. Conn was very relieved when they all returned home safely. | School
7: Conn attended Star Valley High School from 1946 to 1950. He played basketball and football, and ran track. Skeeter wanted Conn to go to college so gave him $800 to do so. After graduation Conn worked for Skeeter through the end of 1950 and in January 1951 went to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming. He stayed for about six months before returning home to work.
8: Conn went to work for the Wyoming Highway Department on a survey crew in Jackson and Pinedale. After this he was brought on by Newell Gardner with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department hauling hay to feed the elk in the Spring of 1952. Military Service In January 1953, Conn was drafted into the United States Army for the Korean War. His time spent on the survey crew with the highway department proved to be very useful and fortunate; after basic training he was transferred to a survey company and was sent to the Philippine islands. After six months they were sent to Korea; the war had just ended and they spent the majority of their time settling affairs before going to work. Five months later, Conn was sent to Tokyo, Japan where he worked another five months on aerial photos. He was sent back to Korea for the remainder of his time and in December 1954 was shipped back to San Francisco. In January 1955 he was discharged from the Army. | Conn Astle | Preparing for a Christmas celebration.
9: After this, Conn quit the telephone company and took Rex's place with the highway department survey crew. He worked for the department until 1986 when he retired. The survey crew consisted primarily of the same four men, Larry Taggart, Verd Erickson, Vernon Lancaster, and Conn. They all started and retired around the same time. Over the years they worked on most of the roads in Star Valley, and at times worked outside of the valley as well. A couple of the larger projects included Teton Pass and the South End. The crew spent two winters at Little America surveying the Interstate from there to Church Butte. In 1972, Conn took a job as the county judge which he held until 1982. He also served as the city judge from 1974 to 1980. In 1972 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for which he served until 1982. | After returning home, Conn went to work on a line crew for Mt. Bell Telephone out of Jackson. In September 1955 while working in Lyman, Conn's brother Rex and cousin Delmar Miles were killed in a car accident near Evanston. Ironically, Conn had driven to Evanston for a movie that evening and upon returning to Lyman had a message to call Melba in Rawlins. She told him of the accident and at that point Delmar had passed away and Rex was in the hospital. Conn drove back to Evanston and found that Rex had passed away just before he arrived. This was a very sad time for the family, particularly Ken and LaDean, who lost two brothers. Skeeter was also greatly affected. | Rex and Delmar | Work
10: Elk Hunting Lost Creek October 1955 | Top: Conn, Skeeter, Lee. Middle: Lee, Skeeter, Ken. Bottom: Lee, Ken, Skeeter.
11: Top: Conn and Lee. Middle: Effie and Conn. Bottom: Betty, Jennifer, and Effie.
12: In 1959 Conn joined the Afton Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department was a great source of pride and enjoyment to Conn for many years. He was elected Fire Chief eight different times for a total of 16 years. In 1972 he was elected President of the State Fireman's Association for one year and was appointed to the Volunteer Firemen Pension Board in 1969 and remained on the board until he retired from it in 2005. Conn was on the drill team at Convention for 22 years and continued to go to Convention for 24 more years. For 20 of those years he was a timer for the competitions. Throughout the years he had the pleasure of meeting many good men from around the state as well as attend numerous University of Wyoming football and basketball games. He retired from the department in 1996. | Fire Department
13: 1963 | 1970 | 1978 | 1991 | Afton Volunteer Fire Department
15: Conn's 65th Birthday. 1996
16: Lusk 1973 | Lusk 1973 | Date Unknown | Wheatland 1974 | Date Unknown | Thermopolis 1977
17: Fire Convention - Lander 1981
18: 1982 | 1982 | 1982 | 1982
19: Date Unknown | Torrington 1980 | Date Unknown
21: Tribute to Conn Astle June 19, 1982 By Geppy | Every ten years, convention held here We're glad this ones over, cause we're out of whiskey and beer. My poems have been know to just go on and on, I'll get right to the point, this ones for Conn. When it's time to fight fires, Conn is there always ready And answering the phones in the night is Conn's lovely wife Betty. One night at the station when talk was quite cheap, Out of retirement the old team they decided to creep. Well the whiskey was poured and the bets were all called, Afton Rural was formed and two on that team are bald. Two teams we would have and each one would get a turn, Conn and Alvin, Blake and Keith, Ron and Francis and Ern. Now they're old and they're slow, but entered just for fun, And when the dust finally settled, second place all events they had won. Well they had some good fortune and they had some good luck, And it helps when the Wright brothers are driving the truck. Conn's wife Betty was sure proud and so was his daughter, Conn said "Way to go guys, now for some Walkers and water." It's been a long week, and some mornings Conn hasn't been well, But when night comes you can be sure he'll be raising some hell. Conn will do anything once and though some of its not very pretty, When they had a man get hurt, well, he clamped for Jeffry City. Drinking Walkers, clamping hose or even playing Ping Pong, Put your money on Astle and you'll seldom go wrong. Well I've rambled on and I know I promised to be brief, You're a good man Conn Astle, and a hell of a chief.
22: Honorable Times
23: Top two on left: Torrington. Bottom left and top right: Afton. Bottom right: Former Presidents of State Fireman's Association. Rick Gardner, Noel Sessions, Marvin Sessions, Bob Robinson, Keith Robinson and Conn Astle.
24: Justice of the Peace Lincoln County, Wyoming 1972 - 1982 | As Justice of the Peace, Conn has officiated over 250 wedding ceremonies, several for children, grandchildren, and family members.
25: Conn Astle Day February 8, 2003 Afton, Wyoming | Mayor Chad Jensen named February 8, 2003 Conn Astle Day in honor of the years of service and dedication that Conn had provided to the town and community. For 45 years Conn prepared and maintained the city ice skating rink at the town park (1960 - 2005).
26: Family In 1955 Conn married LaJette Erickson of Fairview, Wyoming. They were divorced after two months and in 1956 she had twin daughters, Sydney and Sindy. The twins were adopted by her husband Jack Johns and were raised in California. In May 1956, Conn married Mary Lynn Chapman of Etna, Wyoming. There were married for ten years and had three boys, Jay (1956), Rex (1958), and Dru (1960). Later, in 1969, Conn married Betty Wirthlin Clark. She had three children, Sandy (1960), Cheryl (1961), and Doug (1963). Conn and Betty had one girl, Christine, in 1970. Together they raised their seven children in Afton at 473 Adams Street at the home where Conn and Betty still reside. In 2009, Conn and Betty celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Today they have 17 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Their home has hosted many holiday gatherings, celebrations, and weddings.
27: Family Reunion, August 2002 | 2003 | Date Unknown
30: Jay and Dru. 1979 | Doug and Dru. 1980 | Jay and Doug. 1980 | Rex, Jay, Doug, Dru. 1980
31: Chris, Conn, Jenn. 1979 | Easter 1982 | Christmas 1979 | Chris, Gina, Jenn. 1980
32: Yellowstone. 1981 | Jenn, Conn and Chris. Cody, WY 1981 | Little Greys. 1981 | Conn and Jenn. Moose Creek. 1982
33: Conn | Betty | Halloween 1982
34: Firewood 1979
35: Christmas Lights. 1980 | 1982 | Conn and Jenn. 1982 | Conn and Jenn. 1982
36: Ping Pong | November 1979
37: Fan for Life Denver Broncos | 2007 | 1979 | 1979
38: Grandpa Conn | Conn and Jenn. | Conn and Jenn. 1979 | Conn, Betty, Mackinzi, Ressa. 1982 | Conn and Vince. 1983
39: Conn and Mackinzi. 1980 | Conn, Mackinzi, Jake. | Jenn, Abby, Conn. 1983 | Tyler, Conn, Cortney.
40: Conn and Jordan. 1996 | Conn and Grace. 1996 | Conn and Rhiannon. 2011 | Conn and Tyler.
42: Conn and Connor. 2006 | Conn and Greydon. | Conn and Gauge. | Conn and Greydon. 2004
43: Grace, Conn, Hope. 2011 | Gauge, Conn, Treyson. 2004 | Four Generations. Jay, Josh, Felix, Conn. 2010
44: Conn and Cortney. | Ole Betsy. | Katie, Conn, Cortney.
45: Bonnie, Conn, Cortney, Better, Doug. | Tyler, Betty, Conn. | Conn and Brayton. | Conn and Betty.
46: Rex and Conn. 2011 | Conn, Eddie, Taylor, Betty. 2011 | Conn, Andy, Abby, Betty. 2011 | Josh, Conn, Jay, Luke, Vince.
47: Liz, Sindy, Tim, Conn, Seth and Sydney. | Sydney and Sindy | Sydney and family.
48: Conn and Betty. 2011 | Conn and Betty with Governor Mike Sullivan and wife. | Betty,Paul, Conn, Randy, Doyne. | Randy, Ann, Conn.
49: Fishing Trip. Conn, Jay and Boys. | New York City and Twin Towers.
50: CONN ASTLE | In 2003, George Thompson, a local horse breeder, named a racehorse after Conn (Conn Astle). Later he also named one after Betty (Betty Astle). | The Horse
52: 2003 Heart Attack On Monday, February 17, 2003 Conn suffered a major heart attack and was life flighted from Star Valley Medical Center to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Because of the damage from the heart attack, the doctors decided against immediate surgery and rather chose to schedule his bypass surgery for two weeks later in order to allow sufficient recovery time prior to his surgery. Later that week, on Thursday, February 20th, he suffered another major heart attack prior to his scheduled surgery date. Because of the weather, the life flight was unable to fly and Conn was taken in an ambulance to Easter Idaho Regional Medical Center where he underwent a six bypass emergency surgery. He also received a permanent pacemaker and defibrillator.
54: Conn Astle October 2011 By Betty Astle | Conn and I were married July 11, 1969 We had six children altogether, Three were yours and three were mine. We moved into your house, which to me was a CASTLE Jay, Rex, Dru, Sandy, Cheryl and Doug All together what a HASTLE Before we knew what happened we added another Her name was Christine To make seven all together Though we often did wonder, What kind of parents we would be Plenty of love, food and lots of slumber To make it all happen We worked hard through the years You for the state me teaching Dancin’ As a Volunteer Fireman and serving as Chief Over 30 years vested Good Grief! And yes we should mention 35 years on the State Pension Board Also State President for the Firemen’s Convention.
55: You lived for the Ping Pong Battle With Rick Gardner and Jeff Heap You never left the house without your paddle. Going out dancing on a Saturday night To Dad’s Bar in Thayne John Humphreys and Don Wooden where quite alright! We had some squabbles, but they never came to blows It was more fun to make up Than to carry any woes. A heart attack in ‘03 Brought us all to attention Six heart by-passes where done. A Pacemaker and Defibrillator where then implanted And to everyone’s relief Your homecoming was granted. To our children I thank you For all the love that you have shown And for our 17 grandchildren that we love so. With 19 great grandkids and hoping for more I am sure we can count on our grandkids To keep upping the score! Happy 80th Birthday I Salute You!