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Carol June (Blake) Filkey
May 20, 1935 ~ August 31, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
Carol June Filkey, 88, passed away August 31, 2023 at Hot Springs Health Hospital in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
Being one of three girls, Carol was born May 20, 1935 in Faith, South Dakota, thedaughter of George and Inez (Anderson) Blake. Shortly after the family moved to Fort Meade on the outskirts of Sturgis, South Dakota where her father had secured the job as head electrician for the VA Hospital at Fort Meade. It was there that Carol had a marvelous opportunity in her growing-up years to learn her riding talents and enjoy her love for horses and riding skills in the surrounding of the Fort’s stables facilities and their Black Hills riding trails. As for schooling, Sturgis schools provided her education through her Senior graduation. In the mid1950’s she was encouraged to enter the Miss South Dakota Beauty Pageant wherein she was awarded the second place winner! Following High School she attended Black Hills Teachers College earning her ‘Bachelor of Science in Education’ in August, 1959. She was immediately offered a job and moving to Thermopolis in 1959 began her twenty-two years of teaching in the Art Department and the girl’s Physical Education Department. Carol coordinated and escorted the various years of the school’s Cheerleaders and their on-going Pep Club at Hot Springs County High School. She had a heart of gold, loved her students and fought for all her girls were entitled to when the initiation of ‘Title IX’ was created and activated for girl’s sports – especially Volleyball and Basketball! In a later year, their varsity team won first place in the State’s Class A Championship Basketball Tournament! Quite a feat! Carol also participated for years assisting in coordination of the annual ‘Gift of the Waters’ Pageant and designing the teepees.
On December 16, 1967, Carol married Reg Filkey In Jackson, Wyoming. During their years in Thermopolis (when the school wasn’t involved), she’d either be riding her horse with her close friends or, she’d be at A & W Bowling Lanes enjoying bowling in the Winter leagues or, bowling on the Thermop’s woman’s traveling team for their monthly competition against Lander, Riverton and Worland’s women’s teams. Very competitive! The couple moved to Cheyenne in 1981 where Carol was a substitute teacher at the Laramie County School District for fifteen years. In 1982, she was invited to join the ‘Foxy Trotters’, a women’s competitive horse riding group, that annually participated in numerous parades throughout the State as well as performing and competing in various invitational events! They also reached out for a few distance trips – such as Cody’s 2 -day Fourth of July celebration and the ‘Days of 76’ in Deadwood, South Dakota. For both of these efforts, they brought home the 1st place prizes for riding group entries. Quite an honor! She took pride in being asked to be their ‘wardrobe chairman’ – as well as being proud of her designing and fabricating their various years of uniforms and outfits! She also became their President for a term in time! Being ‘Foxy’ was always their goal! AND . . . THAT, they were! Every year, their club’s calendar would indicate a parade somewhere, so many weekends were usually quite involved, therefore, there were always some husbands and or boyfriends that would also be in attendance in case of breakdowns, flat tires,accidents,whatever! Uniquely enough, another riding group called the ‘Cheyenne Sheriff’s Posse’ in which, Carol’s husband was a member, also participated in most of the same parade activities acting as ‘Cheyenne’s Goodwill Ambassadors’ ! One way or another, their back-door was always covered! And, of course, one can’t forget the annual, ‘Daddy Of Em All’ - CHEYENNE FRONTIER DAYS; a 12 day event that has four parades, mixed-in with a rodeo, every day and a night show every night! Overall, it required total involvement! However, even though Carol and her husband were always involved with horses and their close riding friends, years of repetition finally took its’ toll! It was time for someone else to get involved! This was truly a young couple’s game!
Carol and Reg returned to Thermopolis in June, 2016 to again enjoy their new, relaxing home, marvelous atmosphere and the quiet life of Thermop’ that they used to love and truly missed! They were glad to be back home!
Survivors include her husband Reg of 56 years; nieces JaDee, Sherry, Ty, Kirsten and Kathy; and nephews Eric, Scott, Cory and Brad. She was predeceased by her parents, sisters Shirley Remington and Donna Moore and nephews, Les, Rick and Darcey. Graveside services are pending at Monument Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to Worland Humane Society, P. O. Box 1704, Worland, Wy 82501. A ‘Celebration of Life’ is being scheduled for a later date and will be announced!