Obituary for Col. Winferd "Fred" O. Oyler
Winferd "Fred" Oren Oyler, 86, was born on March 30, 1931, the son of Fred Elso Oyler and Minnie Marie Russell Oyler. He passed away at home following a heart attack in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on December 29, 2017, where he had resided since 1977.
Fred was born in Ingalls, Kansas, where his extended family was engaged in farming operations. His parents moved to Wyoming when he was about five, where his father worked in the ranching business. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1949. Having enrolled in ROTC in high school, he enlisted in the Army in 1949 and was honorably discharged in 1952. He married Elizabeth "Betty" May DuVall on December 5, 1954, in Kimball, Nebraska. They had two sons, Jess and Fred, and his family was the light of his life.
His first occupation followed in his father’s footsteps. He worked on the Bell and Hirsig Ranches north of Cheyenne, as well as ranching in Miles City, Montana, for a time until joining the Wyoming Highway Patrol in 1959. His first duty station was Riverton, where he served for five years, at which time he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Rock Springs in 1964 where he was stationed for four years. A promotion to the rank of Lieutenant moved him to Rawlins in 1968 where he lived and worked until he was promoted to the rank of Major and re-located to Cheyenne in 1977. Thereafter he was raised to the rank of Colonel/Director of the Wyoming Highway Patrol in January, 1982, where he served until his retirement in 1985. He loved the Highway Patrol. He gave so much of his life and expertise to it, always seeking to make it better for the public and for the patrolmen, and his contributions succeeded in accomplishing this mission.
Not ready to fully retire, however, he returned to his roots and re-joined the ranks of ranching, dabbling in "cowboying" once more and operating heavy equipment to build roads, bridges, dams, etc. on the Polo and Bell Ranches. He also found his way out to the Farthing Ranch to lend a hand there from time to time
Fred was a man of many talents and interests. He loved the outdoors where he was active in hunting for most of his life. He was still engaged, and usually successfully so, in elk hunting right up to the present. He also enjoyed his ranch days and never lost his touch with a horse. He additionally rode and enjoyed the motorized version, owning and delighting in a variety of motorcycles over the years. His skills in the automotive realm were extraordinary and well known to many. He worked on and restored many of his own vehicles, and assisted family and countless friends with theirs. Not to mention he could weld with the best of them.
Leatherworking was another of his specialties, producing everything from belts, wallets, and briefcases to saddle work and tack. Trying his hand at woodworking, he became accomplished in this skill as well. Even beyond that, he could fix about anything and often built from scratch whatever was needed. In many areas, his abilities seemed boundless and his generosity in helping others.
He will be much remembered for his special sense of humor and quick wit. That recollection will bring many a smile to all who knew him. He has been described as a good husband, father, neighbor and local sage. His friends were very meaningful to him and recalling the loyalty he held for them will be a fond remembrance to be treasured. Fred has been a blessing to his loved ones with his big heart and caring spirit. Those who cared for him are sure to affirm how their lives have been enriched because of Fred. He brought happiness to the lives of many who crossed his path and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his sons, Jess (and wife Susan) Oyler of Cheyenne, and Fred (and wife Julie Ann) Oyler of Cheyenne; two grandchildren, Shawna (and husband Brandon) Mandros of Green River, and Levi Oyler of Cheyenne; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth "Betty" May Oyler; and his parents, Fred and Minnie Oyler.
Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, National Processing Center, P. O. Box 758540, Topeka, Kansas, 66675-8540.
A memory service will be celebrated on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at the Lakeview Chapel at Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home. The Reverend Daniel Clark of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Cheyenne will officiate. A reception will follow at the Schrader Reception Center. Cremation is under the care of Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home.