On Nov. 16, 2019, Janet Lee Davis Hegg, held closely and grasped gently by her hus- band Larry, daughter Tobi and son Chad, surrendered her soul to our Lord and Savior, despite the best efforts of the Welch Cancer Clinic in Sheridan and the Issels Clinics in Mexico and California.
Janet’s pain and suffering were eased by the compassionate, loving care of the Big Horn hospice nurses and clergy. Janet had once commented that her life occurred in stages, and this would be the last stage before her eternal rest. Previous weeks found their home filled and their driveway jammed with family and friends from all over. Janet’s sis- ter Nancy, brothers Ken (Carol), and Danny (Lori) loved and supported her throughout her battle. Her lifelong friend Janeen Cap- shaw King and dear friend Neesy Harris were there nearly to the last minute, preparing food, house cleaning, errand running and giving all they could to assist.
Janet Lee Hoyt was born on Sept. 16, 1952, in Hot Springs, S.D. The second child of Ken- neth and Lois Hoyt, she spent her younger years growing up in the Continental Oil patches at Meadow Creek, and Linch. Janet’s early education began at the tiny elementary school in Linch and the wide-open fields of the oil patch. She believed the freedom to roam those oil fields on bicycles with her sib- lings positively shaped her first stage of life. The family then moved to Glenrock, where she graduated from Glenrock High school in 1971.
Her second life stage began in 1972 when Janet married Charles Davis. This union was the beginning of Janet’s true calling – mother, homemaker and rancher. Their daughter Tobi was born in 1973 and son Chad in 1975. Fol- lowing employment at ranches in the Glen- rock area, the family moved to Cora to operate the Black Butte Ranch for absentee owners. It is here Janet found her passion for ranch- ing. She thoroughly enjoyed the hard work of mountain life and raising her family in the deep snow. Besides, Janet somehow always managed to find time to be a good neighbor. Although she seldom mentioned it, she was recognized by President George H.W. Bush for his 1,000 Points of Light Award in 1990. He advocated “points of light” to demonstrate how “a neighbor can help a neighbor.” Janet traveled to Washington, D.C, to accept the distinguished award.
It was in her next stage of life where Janet began a whole new journey when she found a reflection of her soul in Larry Hegg. Mov- ing south 800 miles, they purchased property 5 miles from Alto, N.M. With Janet’s design and their 100 percent, sweat equity resulted in a beautiful log and stucco cabin. After build- ing their home from scratch, it was mutually agreed that the bond they shared had to be made to last, and with each new season, they joined their lives more tightly together.
Not long after they completed their first home, Larry was asked to be the chief me- chanic in Glacier National Park. Together they said, “Hell yes, let’s do it!” While at Glacier, Janet would become one of the famous “Jam- mers” driving Red Bus No. 85. Canvas rolled back, entertaining and tutoring 14 visitors at a time over the twisting and dangerous, Going To The Sun Road. Next, she would own and operate her own touring company “Northern Exposure,” taking visitors from the hotels and lodges to the elegant Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton, Alberta, seven days a week. Following that, she would become grounds supervisor at the Glacier Park Lodge, oversee- ing the grounds, golf course, and enormous flower gardens. One thousand miles north in Montana in the deep snow of Glacier National Park, phase three was accomplished.
Then, Magnum Well Service Company in Sheridan would take the couple back home to Wyoming, where Larry would operate and maintain their vehicle fleet. While Larry kept busy with the fleet, Janet worked as Mag- num’s office manager for several years. After retiring, she found a “hobby” job working at a local greenhouse and nursery. After extensive
house hunting, they located a beautiful prop- erty several miles outside Sheridan. Six acres of hay ground, in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, with Little Goose Creek running along one side and on the other, an irrigation ditch would become her final home. The prop- erty was lush with many trees and willows, some over 50 feet tall, copious berry bushes, 2 acres of lawn, and 4 acres of hay. A dairy barn, shop, and a shabby farmhouse rounded out its appeal. One and a half years later, it would be transformed, again with sweat eq- uity from both, designed by Janet, for Janet. A gorgeous home evolved ultimately with a grand 12-foot ceiling room, lined with aspen wood and a large kitchen designed by the chef for the chef. Huge bedrooms were designed for the anticipated sleepovers in mind, every room was filled with green plants and every plant was decorated with caricature dragon- flies.
Their house quickly became home to Jan- et’s extensive collection of “usable” antiques. Most notably is the large chrome-plated par- lor stove that warms not only the home but the heart. The casting reads manufactured in 1913. The bathroom adorns a 1913 cast iron claw-foot bathtub restored by Larry as a Christmas gift. Her 1918 baker’s cabinet is stuffed plum full of endless dessert recipes, and the 1920 oak icebox houses at least one hundred of her favorite cookbooks. On cold winter days, she would cook a country break- fast and later bake a pie with her 1937 cook stove.
It wasn’t until the last stage of her life where her ultimate destiny would be revealed through her grandchildren. Every summer, Tanner, Taia, Davis, Stella, Adele, Noah and Lily would spend their long summer days, with Mamma Janet, aka Grandma Janet, in Sheridan enjoying the freedom her 6 acres had to offer. Her children and grandchildren passionately understood and could count on her extremely protective nature. Under the watchful eye of their Labrador Jas, they would swim, ride bikes, build a treehouse and tube in the gentle current of the irrigation canal. They each would learn how to drive on the red riding mower, eventually graduating to Grandma Janet’s Suzuki Jeep. Hours upon hours were spent driving up and down the quarter-mile driveway and trips to the moun- tains in her beloved Mustang convertible. Here she found her perfect life, grooming ex- tensive flower gardens, tending a big garden and picking berries, much of this canned for future use. Simplistic complexity describes Janet profoundly. Her purse was hardly larger than a man’s wallet, but you could always find a needle-nose pliers and a pocket knife.
When the deep snow of the Wind Rivers and the Upper Green have subsided, Jan- et’s ashes accompanied by one or many of her cherished caricature dragonflies will be spread over her favorite view of the Upper Green. Mamma Janet, Grandma Janet, we still hear, but cannot see you.
Janet was preceeded in death by her par- ents Kenneth and Lois Hoyt. A celebration of life will be hosted at her home in Sheridan during a safe time when her flowers are in bloom.