Etta “Corky” Best

In Loving Memory of Etta “Corky” Best
Sunrise – August 17, 1936
Sunset – November 14, 2021

Corky passed away peacefully with her family at her side, who were blessed to spend her last days and hours with her.

She was born August 17, 1936 to Melvin Patchen and Sarah Schamp Patchen in Evansville, Wyoming. Losing her parents at a young age, Corky was raised by her Aunt Rene Bell & Uncle Eddie Crumpton. After the death of her Aunt Rene, during her early teen years, Corky went to live with her Aunt Dorothy and Uncle John Irwin. At the age of 16, Corky went out into the world on her own living with her best friend Francis “Hank” Howell, graduating from Natrona County High School in 1954. Corky met her future husband Monte Best on a Blind Date in the spring of 1952, just before he went into the service. They continued a long-distance relationship until September 1955 at which time they were united in marriage. They lived at Hunters Point Naval Base in San Francisco, California, while Monte served out his term in the Navy. Upon completion of his service the couple moved to back to the family farm in Kinnear, Wyoming.

Where they began raising their family, three daughters were born from this union, Sherryl, Joni & Patty. After a brief period of time farming in Kinnear area the couple moved to Lander where they opened Best Lockers on South Second Street. Due to the opening of the U.S. Steel mine above Lander, they expanded their custom meat operation located West of Lander on Baldwin Creek Road, “Best Packing Company”. Corky worked alongside Monte in the meat packing business for many years until they sold out and retired.

After retiring they enjoyed traveling to places from Alaska to Mexico, spending winters in the South West along the Arizona Strip. Corky loved traveling and the retired life but being an independent working girl since the age of 16 she had to find something to fill the void. A new chapter in Corky’s life opened up when her and Monte went to work for the U.S. Forest Service packing horses, supplying trail crews and maintaining trails in the Absaroka and Wind River mountains over the next 20 years.

During these years working for the forest service, they continued to spend their winters in Arizona. Where they made many new friends.
Our mom enjoyed Square Dancing and playing cards with friends. Spending time with family and enjoying her grandkids. She was an avid Lander Tiger fan watching her daughters compete in various sports. Mom loved riding horses in the mountains, fishing, camping, hiking, gardening, rock hunting, wood carving and Crafts.

Corky is preceded in death by her parents Melvin & Sarah Schamp Patchen, In-Laws Clair & Juanita Best, Sisters/Brother, Katherine Liesch, Irene Strock, Lena Edgington, Delma Monay & Lawrence “Sonny” Patchen. She is survived by her Husband Monte, Daughters, Sherryl (John) Gores, Joni (Mack) Miller & Patty (Dan) Brubaker, Grand Children, Jake & Shelby Gores, Cody & Clint Brubaker, Great Grand kids, Jada, Chance, Triniti, Bridger & Monte.

A very special thank-you to everyone for their compassion, dignity and caring at Help for Health Hospice House in Riverton.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Corky’s Name to: Help for Health Hospice Home. Please sign the on-line guest book: or Cards & Letters will be shared with family. Send condolences to Monte Best 180 Chase Dr. Unit #118 Lander, WY 82520.

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