Obituary: Margie Lareen Jorgensen Thomas


Margie Lareen Jorgensen Thomas passed away on May 20, 2023. She was born in Rock Springs, Wyo, on January 2, 1934, to Carl T. L. Jorgensen and Rachel Buckles Jorgensen.
Growing up Margie rode horseback to school in Cora with her brother Bud. During the winter her dad took them to school with a team pulling an enclosed sled with a warming stove. They called the sled the Toonerville Trolley.
Later, she attended school in Pinedale with her brother Bud and sister Nancy. One summer Margie and her dear friends Dona Rae and Ellen (Punk) decided to ride steers at the Z bar U Ranch Rodeo north of Cora. Margie came home that day with a broken tailbone.
During haying season her job was to sweep the hay with a team of horses and a buck rake. She was always horseback helping her family on the Green River Drift and spent a few summers working full time for Rex Wardell driving cattle on the desert and up the Green.
She graduated from Pinedale high school in 1952 and attended the University of Wyoming. She was also a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority.
Margie married James M. Thomas on June 20, 1954. She moved to the Great Falls Montana Malmstrom Air Base with her husband Jim. A year later she moved back to Wyoming to cook at Big Sandy Lodge, owned by husband Jim’s parents since 1935. Their first child Joslyn was born that year.
Margie and her husband Jim purchased their ranch on Cottonwood located at Halfway, Wyo., from Margie’s parents. Jim began building the log home that is there today. Their second child Kevin was born. They began to spend the winters in Pinedale when Joslyn started first grade. Their third child Brett was born and finally the youngest Lisa.
On one of Jim and Margie’s adventures to Yellowstone, they had a black bear encounter. While Jim was out of the car photographing one of the cubs crawled into the open door of the car with Mom and began to eat the cake Margie had brought for the day. Jim did capture this on his camera of the cub with the sticky 7-minute icing all over.
Margie was a true ranch woman. While raising 4 children, she would work in the hay field then come into the house and prepare a fully cooked meal for the whole crew then back out to the field. She was known for her homemade pies, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and cream puffs.
She played the piano and accordion and always encouraged music in the family. She was at every event or sporting event her family was involved in. She was an excellent downhill skier. She snowmachined with her family and later cross-country skied with her friends.
She liked to paint, crochet and knit. She was an avid bowler and competed at the state level several times. After her husband Jim passed, Margie moved Jackson, Wyo., and remained there until her passing. Margie was a member of the Pinedale United Church of Christ. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star Pinedale Chapter #39. She was a member of the Campfire Girls with Madge in the early years. She held the first organizational meeting for the Green River Valley Cowbelles and was voted as their first president. She was also a member Wyoming State Cowbelles serving as Historian, Parliamentarian and Secretary between 1971 and 1988. Margie was also chairwoman of the Consumer Relations Committee and the Legislative Committee representing five western states. She was also on the National Beef Cookoff committee for the American National Cowbelles.
Margie is survived by her sister Nancy; children Joslyn White (Howard), Kevin Thomas, Brett Thomas (Christie), Lisa Copeland; grandchildren Rives White (Stephanie), Jacques White (fiancée Stephanie), Jamie Thomas, Shane Copeland (Ramsey), Bailey Headrick (Brady), Caitlin Copeland, great-grandchildren Bransen, Raenie and Wakely.
She is proceeded in death by her husband Jim, her parents Carl and Rachel Jorgensen and her brother Bud.
Funeral services were held at the Pinedale Community United Church of Christ on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 11 a.m.