Laura Eleanor Kinne Salisbury: 1921-2004

Little Snake River Valley resident Laura Salisbury died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2004, at her ranch home east of Savery, Wyo. Laura was a well-known and beloved figure in her community and throughout the state.

She was born Laura Eleanor Kinne on May 28, 1921, in Three Oaks, Mich. Her parents were Zachariah and Charlotte Kinne. The Kinnes had been in North America since the 1600s and Laura had many ministers, teachers and farmers in her family tree.

Laura was orphaned at 8 years old, and at the age of 12, she moved to Riverton, Wyo., to live with her aunt and uncle, Azel and Laura Conant. She graduated from Riverton High School in 1939. She studied home economics and education for two years at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

It was at college that Laura met her husband, George R. Salisbury, Jr. She and George married Aug. 19, 1941. In 1942, their son George III was born. Soon after, George shipped out to the European theater in World War II. Laura and their son moved to the Salisbury family ranch on Battle Creek.

Laura taught school at the one-room Battle Creek schoolhouse for several years. She caused something of a stir as a married schoolteacher -- nearly unheard of in those days. When George returned home, they settled into ranching and raising their family, which grew to include two daughters, Charlotte and Sharon.

Laura was very active as a 4-H leader for 34 years. She drove two generations of boys and girls to countless 4-H judgings, fairs and other activities. She taught scores of young women (and a few young men) to sew, and served as the Savery Savers Community 4-H leader for many years. She was selected to attend the National 4-H Club Congress and, in 1995, was elected to the Carbon County 4-H Hall of Fame.

Laura was very active in local and state CowBelles (now Cattle Women). She was elected state CowBelles president and served from 1988 to 1989. She especially enjoyed attending the state Stock Grower and Wool Grower conventions and visiting with her many friends.

George was active in politics, and he always said he never could have gotten elected without Laura's tireless campaigning and good memory for names. She accompanied him to Cheyenne for the state legislative sessions, and she participated in chorale and artisans groups.

Laura was a talented singer, lending her voice to many weddings, funerals, and the River Queens, a local barbershop singing group. She was also an artist, and her paintings adorn the ranch house, and the homes of her family members and friends. She was a member of the Valley Artisans.

Laura was a great contributor to her community. She belonged to the Rebekahs, the Little Snake River CowBelles, Friends of the Library and St. Paul's Guild.

Laura was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Dixon. She was always there to lend a hand to anyone who was ill or in need. She participated in Bible study.

Laura and George traveled extensively. She visited Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Canada and Mexico. She and George made several trips to Brazil to visit family members.

Laura is survived by her husband of 63 years, George, and her daughter Charlotee Gros and grandson Christian of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also surviving is daughter Sharon of the family ranch, her husband, Patrick O'Toole, and grandchildren Bridget and Eamon O'Toole and Meghan and husband Brian Lally.

She also is survived by her granddaughter Sherri and husband Rob Marthaller of High River, Canada; and a grandson, Joseph Salisbury, of Sacramento. Also surviving are two great-grandchildren, Matthew Marthaller and Siobhan Lally.

She is survived by her sister Mary Roberts of Lenexa, Kan., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents, six brothers Zachariah, Robert, Paul, Harold, Ralph and Theodore; and a sister, Helen.

Her son ,George R. Salisbury III, also preceded her in death.

Services were held Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Dixon, Wyoming with Rev. Warren Murphy presiding. Memorials may be made to St. Paul's at Box 60, Baggs, Wyo. 82321.

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