Cover photo for Joseph O'Melia's Obituary
1945 Joseph 2014

Joseph O'Melia

May 17, 1945 — February 17, 2014

Joseph Emmett O'Melia was born on May 17, 1945, to Joseph Murray and Ona Winifred "Peg" O'Melia in Rawlins, WY. He died at the Memorial Hospital of Carbon County on Monday, February 17, 2014, with his family at his side. He was known by all as "Skip". Skip graduated from Rawlins High School in 1963 and attended college at the Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley, CO. He married Darlene "Pink" Thomas on December 19, 1970, in Rawlins and raised two children there. He achieved his Master's Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wyoming in 1975. He was a language arts teacher for 5 years and then became the beloved principal of Mt. View and Sinclair Elementary Schools, where his tenure lasted for 28 years. He loved every child and staff member as part of his family. Many lives were in some way influenced by his beautiful heart and soul. Students grew to know that what lay beneath the stern exterior was a caring and loving man. In his high school days, he participated in drama, student council, national honor society and sports. He was the RHS student body vice president in 1963. In college, he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. Skip was an avid outdoorsman and loved his cabin in the Sierra Madre Mountains. He spent many summers there riding four-wheelers with his friends and family. He enjoyed hunting with his buddies, wife and son for many years. He also enjoyed entertaining and enjoying all of the people who loved him. With his bright red hair and wonderful smile, he had a knack for lighting up the room with a funny story, joke or wise crack. He was a member of the original "Hole in The Wall Gang" for the 1968 City of Rawlins Centennial celebration, and was a member of the B.P.O.E Elks lodge #609 of Rawlins for 47 years. He served many times as a master of ceremonies, and was a wonderful public speaker. Skip is survived by his wife, Darlene; two children, Shhon (Melissa) O'Melia of Rawlins and Marnie (Greg) Garner; grandchildren, McKayla, McKenzie, Kasadie, Kenadie, Korbin, and Hope; sister, Patty (Jack) Haggarty of Kirkland, WA; brother, Mike O'Melia of Cheyenne, WY; numerous special nieces and nephews; and special "son", Sam Earl. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Winnie and a sister-in-law, Nita O'Melia. A visitation with viewing will be held on Friday February 21, 2014, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Carbon County Funeral Home in Rawlins. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Father Sam Hayes will be the Celebrant. Interment will follow in the Rawlins Cemetery. Pallbearers are Sam Earl, Jack Engstrom, Jim Engstrom, John Engstrom, Mark Kulmus and Chris Murry. Honorary Pallbearers are Skip's hunting buddies and special friends and family members. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the "Skip O'Melia Children's Literature Fund", c/o Carbon County School District #1, 615 Rodeo St, Rawlins, WY 82301. Tributes and condolences may be offered online at


Saturday, February 22, 2014 10:00am

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

207 W. Pine



Friday, February 21, 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Rawlins Cemetery

915 Third St.


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