Cover photo for William Engstrom's Obituary
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1927 William 2018

William Engstrom

August 22, 1927 — April 9, 2018

William Raynar "Bill" Engstrom, 90, of Laramie and former longtime resident of Rawlins passed away April 9, 2018 in Laramie. He was born to Ragnar "Rags" Engstrom and Anna Valentine Miller on August 22,1927, William R. "Bill" Engstrom was raised in Rawlins, graduated from Rawlins High in 1945 and served in the United States Navy in San Francisco. Bill met the love of his life, Lavona Memmer from Wheatland, at the University of Wyoming in the marching band (Bill on trumpet and Lavona on snare drum)! They never stopped making music together from that day forward. Lavona has been waiting for Bill in heaven since 2006. Bill graduated from UW with a business degree and a music minor, married Lavona on September 4, 1949, and moved to Cheyenne, where daughters Lorie and Connie were born. Daughter Betty Claire arrived after the family moved to Rawlins. After selling life insurance, working at a meat locker, and playing professional music gigs, Bill got a job at the Rawlins National Bank and stayed there for 25 years. Bill then moved a block north to work at Westland Federal, then finally retired another block north at the Korean Temple as their recorder. Bill was choir director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church for more than 20 years. His Dixieland Dance band entertained hundreds of folks across the state of Wyoming. He belonged to Wyoming Bankers' Association, Lion's Club, Toastmasters, Chamber of Commerce, numerous other organizations, and was a founding member of Jubilante Ensembles of Carbon County. Bill will be known for his friendly smile, twinkle in his eye, playing taps in the cemetery and raising the flag in front of his home. He is also known for playing charge with his bugle at the University of Wyoming football games. He was very generous; had quite the sense of humor; played a sweet, sweet trumpet; and was devoted to his beautiful sweetheart Lavona, always holding hands! Survivors are: his sister Betty (Richard) Wald; daughters Lorie (Fred) Harrison, Connie (Jay) Grabow, and Claire (Dennis) Hitchcock; grandchildren Kimberly, Kathryn, and Jared Harrison, Jane (Cody) Crawford, Westin Grabow, Ryan (Ashley) Grabow, Dana (Keith) Dodd, Byron (Tori) Hitchcock, Emma (Ryan) Guidry, and Teresa Hitchcock; and 13 great-grandchildren. Nieces and nephews include Rick Wald, Anne (Wald) Wallace, and Rob Wald; Don, Ashley & Kai Memmer; Becky (Sintek), Cindy, and Hardy vonForell. Among his numerous beloved relatives are Rosella Gustafson, Kathleen Johnson, Dalene Nichols, and Judy Wolcott. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the Laramie Valley Chapel in Laramie, with Dr. Paul Martin officiating. A visitation will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Jacoby Funeral Home Chapel in Rawlins. Graveside services with U.S. Navy military honors will follow the visitation at 11:00 a.m. in the Rawlins Cemetery with Rev. Terry Wiley officiating. A reception and light luncheon will follow the graveside services at Christ Lutheran Church in Rawlins. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill's memory to Hospice of Laramie at 1754 Centennial Dr, Laramie, WY 82070 or to Jubilante Ensembles of Carbon County at PO Box 2253, Rawlins, WY 82301.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:00pm

Laramie Valley Chapel

4801 Quarter Horse Dr.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:00am - 10:45am

Jacoby Funeral Home Chapel

702 W. Walnut St.



Rawlins Cemetery

915 Third St.


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