In loving memory, Barbara Kay Starrett


Barbara Kay Starrett was born on December 12, 1941 in Chadron, Nebraska to Ruby Marie (Mefferd) Gusner and Henry Wayne Gusner. She graduated from Chadron Prep on May 28, 1959 and married Robert Larry Starrett on May 29, 1959.

They promptly moved to Wyoming where Bob took a teaching job in a one room schoolhouse in Rockypoint approximately 60 miles north of Gillette. Their daughter Deborah was born in Gillette on April 15, 1960. Barbara worked as a waitress. In 1962 they moved to Thermopolis where Bob took a teaching job at the local middle school. While there Barbara worked as a waitress, police dispatcher and medical assistant.

On January 19, 1966 a little boy was born in Sheridan, Wyoming. On May 13, 1966 he became Edward Wayne Starrett and the Starrett family of 3 became the Starrett family of 4! In 1967 they moved to Chadron, Nebraska for Bob to complete his college education and teach at the local middle school. They moved in next door to Barbara’s Mom where Barbara opened a very successful daycare.

Upon graduation in 1970, Bob accepted a Guidance position at Mill Creek School on the Wind River Reservation outside of Lander. They moved to the school grounds where Barb became involved in the kids’ activities of 4-H, bowling and other activities of her own including EMT classes.

When Bob had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery in 1972 Barb went to work full time for New York Life in Lander. In 1974 the family moved into town.

In 1977 Bob and Barb decided it was way past time for Barb to go for her lifelong dream of being a nurse! She attended 1 year of general studies at CWC in Riverton, making both the Dean’s and President’s list. After 2 years in Casper in the Nursing program she was finally an RN! In 1980 She went to work at the Lander hospital as a floor nurse.

In January of 1981 their grandson Robbie was born. Barb continued to love her job at the hospital and became a recovery room nurse at which this position she stayed for many years.

In November 1987 Bob passed away. In March of 1988 her second grandson Greg was born. During subsequent years Barbara worked very hard to help develop the nursing program at Central Wyoming College.

In 1995 she left the hospital and decided to try her hand as a traveling nursing. After several years, she decided that wasn’t her thing and worked at several senior care facilities in Fremont County.

In 2001 She retired from Nursing and became a Foster Grandparent. Years of Happy, Happy followed! In 2016 she left the program and began working at the Museum of the American West in 2017. There she guided tours and talked to folks from all over the world about our local history until shortly before her death on October 18, 2021.

Barbara is survived by her daughter Debbie (Carl) Olson, son Eddie Starrett, one grandson Robbie Olson: 6 great granddaughters: Kaelie Olson, Bridgetta Brown, Arriannah Olson, AshLynne Olson, Ruby Olson and Destiny Miles. 3 great grandsons: Karter Dodson, Keagan Dodson and Weston Miles. One Great, great granddaughter Amelia Olson.

Barbara was preceded in death by both of her parents, all three of her siblings Patricia Nelson, Claudine Brill and Albert Gusner, one stillborn daughter Anita Ann, one unborn son, her daughter-in-law Joanna Disbrow Starrett and her Grandson Greg Olson.

UPDATE: The family is now in quarantine with COVID 19 restrictions. The service is now postponed until further notice.

In lieu of flowers, Barbara wished for folks to donate to any of her favorite charities that they wished. They are as follows:

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital 501 Saint Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105

Make-A-Wish America, Gift Processing 4742 North 24thStreet, Suite 400 Phoenix, AZ 85016

Boys Town Organization 14100 Crawford Street Boys Town, NE 68010

Central Wyoming College Foundation 2660 Peck Avenue Riverton, WY 82501 With designation to the Nursing Program.

Please sign the family registry

Hudson’s Funeral Home and On-Site Crematory, 680 Mount Hope Drive, Lander, WY 82520