Don C. Werner, the son of Carl Werner and Mable (Forester) Werner, came into this world on April 25, 1930 in the tiny oil town of Tippville, Mont. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Cut Bank, Mont. where Carl established an oilfield equipment, metal fabrication and welding business.
In 1937, when Don was seven years old, his mother Mable passed away. He and five of his six siblings were placed in St. Thomas orphan’s home in Great Falls, Mont. The family was reunited when Carl married Mildred Castlemen in 1940.
Much of Don’s young life was spent working with his father in the family business, and wrangling horses on his uncle Herman’s ranch in Wyoming. He also rode saddle broncs at rodeos throughout the western United States. In later years, he enjoyed attending the NFR in Oklahoma City and then in Las Vegas.
After graduation from Cut Bank High School in 1948, Don traveled throughout the west laying oil pipelines from the Canadian border to the Gulf Coast, and from California to the eastern plains.
In 1951 he came to Sterling, Colo. with the pipeline and there met the lovely young woman Joyce Elaine Schaefer, who would become his future wife of 67 years.
In 1956 Don established his own pipeline company and the young family traveled the inner mountain west until 1963 when they returned home to Sterling. There he and Joyce built a home where they raised four children, Sherry, Kim, Doug, and Wendy.
Don’s professional life was as colorful and interesting as he was. He was a rancher, and oilfield equipment manufacturer, and worked with implement modification and design. He never saw a piece of equipment that could not be tinkered with or improved upon.
He possessed an insatiable curiosity and love of words. He would never use a 6-letter word when a 16-letter alternative was available. Don had a limerick or anecdote for every occasion, some of which we cannot relate here. He delighted in telling stories and jokes to friends and strangers alike. In fact, no one he ever met was a stranger for very long.
One thing is certain, Don was not a boring man. He could charm, amuse, and earn your respect with the breadth of his knowledge and the warmth of his heart. His warmth, his wit, and his wisdom will be missed by his family, friends, and community.
Don is preceded in death by his father Carl E. Werner; mother Mable (Forester) Werner; stepmother Mildred; siblings Ben, Colleen, Lyla, Carl, Annette, Jimmy; stepsister JoAnn, and daughter-in-law Lynnette Werner.
He is survived by his wife, children, eight grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren: Joyce, Sherry Cook (Norm) and their children Cortney Haugen (Will) and Brad (Brooke), Kim Hillson (Jeff) and their children Kevin and Molly, Doug Werner and his children Dustin (Haley) and Levi, Wendy Hathaway (Steve) and their children Jackson and Nathan.