Roger Lee Dutton was the 14th of 15
children born to A.W. and Mildred Dutton on September 12, 1940, in Cody,
Wyoming. He was the first baby boy born
in the original Cody Hospital. Roger was
raised on the family farm on Lower Sage Creek and attended Cody Schools. He served in the Army reserve and completed boot camp at Fort
Leonard Wood, Missouri. After returning
home, Roger worked in the parts department of Webster Chevrolet.
Roger eloped with his high school
sweetheart, Janet Ballinger, to St. Anthony, Idaho. A daughter, Susie and son, C.W. were born in
Cody. The young family spent eight
years in Great Falls, Montana where he
worked at Gus & Jack's Tire Shop, in the early 60's when Boeing was
installing the Minuteman Missiles.
His father-in-law invited them to return
to Wyoming to work on the Rocking R Ranch in Wapiti Valley. This presented the opportunity for Susie and C.W. to attend a small country
school and experience a working ranch of cows, horses and blue heeler dogs.
In 1976 Roger and Janet began operating
Dutton's Texaco and Repair Shop on Beck Avenue in Cody. They continued there for 27 years, including
snow removal for neighboring businesses and jump starting vehicles in sub zero
weather as well as employing young men
during the busy tourist season. For
relaxation Roger could be found grooming his acreage on 29th Street as well as
growing a big garden to share with friends and family. It was a place the grandkids loved to
visit. One of their favorite pastimes was
patiently waiting for Grandpa to create little wooden boats with his band saw
so they could float them down the little irrigation ditch. It was also a gathering place for big 4th of
July picnics for family. He spent the
next twenty years improving and beautifying their property.
Roger was credited with having "magic
fingers". A self taught handyman as
well as being a gifted mechanic, he could fix ANYTHING from sewing machines to overhauling vehicle
engines and everything in between! He
could be counted on to show up to rescue a niece stranded with her old clunker
along a country road or to help a nephew and friends keep their demolition
derby cars fine tuned for the Powell Fair.
If he came across a challenge, Roger spent many sleepless nights until
he figured out a solution, even conquering the complexities of a computer; once
spending 17 hours figuring out how to make labels for the statements Janet sent
After the station sold in 2003, Roger and
Janet enjoyed the best years camping, RV'ing, and exploring the back country on
their ATV's with their dog, Stormy.
During these years they spent winters in Casa Grande, Arizona where he
enjoyed the warm weather, playing pool and not needing to wear his oxygen
because of the low altitude. Roger's
health was compromised by emphysema and
diabetes. This led them to relocate to
Meridian, Idaho to be closer to daughter, Susie and her family for their help
and support. They found a lovely home
near an irrigation canal where they enjoyed feeding ducks and watching finches
at the feeders and bird bath. He also
followed the grandkids as they played soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball,
and softball. Lots of family meals and
games and cards were shared with the kids.
Roger succumbed from complications of COPD
on November 27, 2016 in the comfort of his home with the loving care of his
family and the support of encompass Hospice.
Roger is survived by his wife, Janet, of 58 years, daughter Susie and
son-in-law John Wantulok as well as his grandchildren, Carly Wantulok, Kellen
and Carly Mika Wantulok and great grandaughter, Jordan, Erin and Christian
Spearow and Kobi Wantulok. Roger is also survived by brother Ray and
Judy Dutton of Billings, Montana, his sisters Mavis Reintsma of Great Falls,
Montana and Pat and Dave Dimzoff of Albany, Oregon as well as sisters-in-law
Luree Dutton of Laurel, Montana and Sue Dutton of Thousand Oaks, California
along with a host of nieces and nephews.
Roger was preceded in death by parents
Wayne and Mildred Dutton, brothers Harold, Donald, George, Merle, Larry, Merton
and Darrell, sisters Frances Buell, Lois Salsbury, Lillian Musser and Jocelyn
Lang. His son, C.W. Dutton preceded him
in death in 1987.
The family expresses much gratitude to
Encompass Hospice services. They are
truly, "angels on Earth", with special love and gratitude to Roger's