Marietta Dinneen, a strong Wyoming woman whose knowledge of horse drawn carriages was astounding, and whose love for preserving the past led her to make a huge list of lifelong friends, passed away peacefully at the Davis Hospice Center on June 3rd, 2023. She was 93.
Born in Superior, Nebraska on October 17, 1929, she moved to Saratoga, Wyoming with her parents, Elton and Irene Trowbridge, and her little brother Tom in 1934 to escape the Dust Bowl. There the family built a dairy cow operation. Marietta could do anything her brother could do and actively participated in raising 4-H livestock. She would go on to the University of Wyoming, where she was a member of Tri Delta Sorority, and graduated with a degree in Home Economics. While in Laramie, Marietta met the love of her life, William J. Dinneen, “Bill.” They married in 1951 and moved to Cheyenne where Bill went into the family automobile business with his father.
Marietta was always a “volunteer” and worked through the years in many organizations. She was especially proud of the work with her PEO sisters, Blue Stockings, Laramie County Community College, Women's Civic League and CFD W-heels. Most importantly, Marietta was instrumental in following the lead of her dear friends Shirley Flynn and Mary Liz Carpender in getting involved in the establishment of the CFD Old West Museum and the preservation of its carriage collection. Truly an expert in carriage construction and history, she attended many national conferences and always came home with new ideas and contacts. Today, two carriages regularly featured in the Frontier Days Parade, the Dinneen Oil Wagon, and a reproduction Stagecoach are testament to her commitment to preserving not only the history of Cheyenne, but to having one of the finest collections of horse drawn carriages in the country. In the last few years, she continued to help collect and catalog information about the Old West Museum collection with her friend Mary Hartman. There was no one Marietta respected more than her wonderful “Wagon Doctors,” who tirelessly worked to keep the wheels turning on all those wagons!
While Bill and Marietta were raising their two boys, John and Jim, Marietta taught Home Economics at Carey Junior High. She loved seeing her students master their sewing projects and learn their way around the kitchen. Several former students stayed in touch with her long past their high school days. Marietta made life-long friends with her fellow teachers Marcy Helser and Louise Cole.
Perhaps Marietta's best role was that of wife, mother, and grandmother. Having married into a large family, she hosted a myriad of dinners, showers, and holiday parties. As Bill Dinneen neared retirement he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and for the next dozen years, until his death, Marietta was his best friend and caretaker. She kept Bill active attending Cowboy football games, the Cheyenne Symphony, and other events. After Bill died, she kept active with her Cheyenne Frontier Days work, many organizations and Friday Night Dinners with her buddies, Cindy, Paula, Linda, and Jane. Marietta received many accolades but was always quick to give the credit to everyone she worked with. She was a great dog lover, a good friend, and a proud polio survivor.
Marietta was preceded in death by her Husband Bill Dinneen Jr, her parents, her brother Tom Trowbridge and two infant children.
Marietta will be missed by her friends and family. Survivors include her son John (Eileen), son Jim (Ray), five grandchildren; Ryan O'Neil (Sean), Tom Dinneen (Adina), Elizabeth Dinneen, Will Dinneen, and Claire (Gabe Barille) Dinneen, two great grandchildren, Mae O'Neil and Beatrice O'Neil and sister-in-law Shellie Powley. Extended family are the Smiths, the Murrays, the Lynchs, the Roedels, the Rhoades, the Cunninghams and the Trowbridges.
In the last couple of years, dementia robbed Marietta of many of her memories, but it did not take away her spirit or her mischievous smile. Marietta enjoyed her caretakers, JoAnn Weickum and the Home Instead staff. She thought of these women as good friends who helped her each day.
A celebration of life will take place on Thursday June 8th at the Schrader Funeral Home , 2222 Russell Avenue at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow at Little America.
Memorial donations can be made to the Old West Museum, LCCC Foundation, or charity of choice.