Earl J. “E.J.” Root
Services for Earl J. “E.J.” Root, 88, a longtime Casper, Wyo., resident were held March 12, 2013, at the Oregon Trail Veteran
Cemetery, Evansville, Wyo., with military honors.
He died March 6, 2013, at Central Wyoming Hospice after a lengthy illness.
Earl, the eldest son of seven children was born in Capa, S.D., to Earl Charles Root and Helen Elizabeth (Waller) Root, on June 22, 1924. He was raised and educated in Midland, South Dakota. While attending High School he was active in sports, lettering in both football and basketball.
As was common during the Great Depression, he left school his Junior year to work and help support the family and his siblings ... thus starting his long career with the Chicago North Western Railroad.
Earl enlisted in the U.S. Army in July, 1944 and was honorably discharged in June 1946. He served in the European Theater as Squad Leader of the 505th Parachute Infantry Squad. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, and was also an expert Rifleman. While in the Service he was awarded the Victory Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon, Bronze Battle Star, and the Good Conduct Medal. Earl rarely discussed the War, but he loved his County and was proud to have served it. Upon his discharge from the Army, he returned to Midland and resumed his employment with the Chicago North Western Railroad.
In March of 1948, he met his beloved Helen Mavee Stotts. After a year courtship they were married on April 30, 1949, in Philip. They were blessed to have spent 63 years together. To this union was born a son and two daughters.
Earl’s main interest and joy in his life was his family. He was a great provider for his family and possessed strong work ethics in his everyday life, which he passed on to his children and grandchildren.
As section foreman with the railroad, they lived in several small towns in South Dakota, before returning to Midland. With his promotion to Roadmaster, he moved his family to Casper in 1964, where they have resided since. Earl retired from the Chicago North Western Railroad in 1987 after 43 years employment.
Following retirement, he was able to pursue his passions which included hunting, fishing, camping, and traveling. Earl and Helen thoroughly enjoyed their many trips made to Mesquite, Nev., with their dear friends.
Many fishing derbies were attended by Earl, as well as countless weekends spent with family and friends at Pathfinder Lake. He always had a fish “wager” for the day and collected it quite often.
His life revolved around his wife, children and grandchildren, above all else. Earl loved entertaining at his home and having his family and friends surround him. He especially enjoyed a good laugh with all that knew him. Holidays were a reason to gather at his home to celebrate. He especially enjoyed Christmas, and preparing for the traditional “drawings” held every Christmas Eve.
He was a member of the Eagles, Elks, Pathfinder Boat Club, and a lifetime member of VFW #10677.
Earl is survived by his wife Helen; son, Gary (Becky) Root of Mills; daughters, Marla (Dan) Elston, and Luann (Fred) Trujillo, both of Casper; 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters, Evelyn “Brownie” Platt of Redding, Calif., Gladys Sanchez of Ramona, Calif., brothers-in-law, Gabe Sanchez, Ramona, Calif., Roy Stotts, Sioux Falls, Carl Stotts of Missoula, Mont., and sister-in-law, Lois McFall of LaBelle, Fla., as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Charles Root and Robert Root, and sisters, Mary Jane Root and Clara (Root) Roscamp.