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Ralph Wensky was born in Cheyenne on Feb. 6, 1941, to Robert Louis and Flossie Wensky. His first words were “buh-buh-buh” after his favorite John Deere tractors. He was the third of four children, with siblings Robert, Frank, and Charlene.
Ralph died on Feb. 8, 2023, at Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody, just two days after his 82nd birthday. He will be greatly missed.
After losing his father at an early age, Ralph quit school at age 16 to become the sole provider for his mother and sister after his older brothers left the house. He began working on the Lummis ranch and always loved ranch work, especially calving season. Charlene still talks about Ralph coming home and handing over his entire paycheck to his mom to pay the bills. And with those paychecks, the family was fed and the home was modernized with indoor plumbing and hot water.
Ralph also worked for the City of Cheyenne, where he started his lifelong career as a mechanic and machinist.
Winters were hard in Cheyenne, and Ralph talked about one especially cold winter in 1949. Ice formed on the inside of the walls a couple of inches thick and a little bird came in and stayed most of the winter with them. He loved telling stories about Cheyenne.
The Wensky family moved to Powell in 1963 after brother Bob purchased some land north of town. Ralph loved to farm and often bragged about the height of the corn they raised reaching the tops of their outstretched arms while standing on the tractor. He also loved hunting trips with his brothers and camping in the Beartooths with his family.
He moved to town and began working for Frank and Dexter Dearcorn and met many lifelong friends. After Dearcorns closed, he cashed out his retirement to purchase automotive machinery and open Polecat Manufacturing, which he operated the rest of his working life. A lot of life lessons came out of the shop as that is where he truly loved to spend time with family and friends.
Ralph met the love of his life on a blind date and later married Betty Johnston in 1972. Two children came along to complete their family, Ralph, Jr. and Carla.
They built their home from the ground up, hauling logs from Rattlesnake Mountain and milling them in the sawmill Ralph built by hand. He was very creative and inventive, and also a talented woodworker. He loved his garden and especially the fresh tomatoes it produced.
His family was always his priority, and that included his dogs throughout the years, who held a special place in his heart. He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend.
Ralph will always be remembered for being happy, caring, kind and greeting everyone with gusto. His faith remained strong throughout his lifetime.
Ralph is survived by his children Ralph Jr. (Deanara) and Carla (Ben Horton); grandchildren Jordan and Carlee Wensky, Sebastiaan Robertson, Austin and Brandon Horton; sister-in-law Ann Wensky; nephew Shawn Burke; nieces Cindy Asay, Sandy Wilson, Robbie Wensky and Patty Dalke and their children.
He was preceded in death by wife Betty; his parents; stepfather Tom Dowty; brother Bob; sisters-in-law Gladys McNeil and Miriam Wensky; and nephew Justin McNeil.
Graveside services are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. at the Deaver Cemetery with Anna Sapp officiating.
Thompson Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements and online condolences may be sent to www.thompsonfuneral.net.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
2:00 - 3:00pm (Mountain time)
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