Cover photo for Roger Lee Dutton's Obituary

Roger Lee Dutton

Roger Lee Dutton

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 out monthly.

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 nurse, Emily.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Roger Lee Dutton, please visit our flower store.


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