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    In loving memory, Mary Dell Long

    Mary Dell Rey (Clark) Long of Cheyenne, WY (and formerly of Lander) died on February 9th, 2024, with family by her side. She was 77. Mary Dell had been receiving hospice care at home following many years of treatment for recurrent metastatic cancer. A memorial service is planned later in the spring; cremation has taken place.

    Mary Dell was born in Casper, WY on August 28, 1946, the youngest child of Veronica (Nolan) & George A. Clark. She was preceded in death by Gary Long, her husband of nearly 52 years; her parents; and her three older siblings, Philip Clark, George V. Clark, and Carol Ann Clark Wilson. She is survived by her daughters Alicia (Erik) Larson of Tucson, AZ and Brooke Long of Portland, OR, her grandchildren Lillian Long and Sadie Larson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

    Mary Dell was raised in Casper and attended St. Anthony’s, Dean Morgan Junior High, and Natrona County High School (Class of 1964). She attended Casper College, but followed what she called her “Bright-Eyed Kennedy Idealism” and joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in 1965, serving for two years in Peshawbestown, MI and on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona. Her itch for volunteerism and service still unscratched, Mary Dell joined the Peace Corps, and served in Ethiopia. She returned to Laramie to continue her studies at the University of Wyoming in the fall of 1968; she and Gary met soon after and were married on August 30, 1969. She earned degrees in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Early Childhood Education and embarked on a lengthy and diverse career.

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    While masterful at providing speech language pathology services to clients of all ages, Mary Dell delighted most in serving young children in developmental preschools. She founded and operated Pooh Corner Preschool in Rawlins, WY, and through the family’s relocations worked for Dynamic Communications in Anchorage, AK, Child Development Services of Natrona County in Casper, Child Development Services of Fremont County in Lander, and STRIDE Learning Center and the Laramie County School District in Cheyenne. Mary Dell was appointed to the Wyoming Board of Medicine in 1987, one of the first two non-physician – and female – members to join the panel. She served on the Board for eight years, including a term as its President. She also served as an advisor to the Wyoming Professional Assistance Program. After retiring from formal practice, Mary Dell continued volunteer work in the Laramie County School District, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, and the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

    Initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986, Mary Dell spent the rest of her life as an advocate and fundraiser for breast cancer awareness and support, and was a stalwart resource for friends and community members facing new cancer diagnoses of any kind. She was insatiably curious about the world, instilling in her children and grandchildren the importance of broad education and lifelong learning. Mary Dell supported and facilitated her husband’s and children’s dreams and pursuits and was equally as comfortable in a tent in the mountains as in a European hotel. Her warm and gregarious nature (which she chalked up to her Irish roots) made her a natural hostess, and through the family’s moves she and Gary formed a large and devoted group of friends. Mary Dell leaned ever more on these friends in the years after Gary’s death, and we are grateful for this love and support.

    Mary Dell asked that donations in her memory be made to either the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens or the Cheyenne Chamber Singers. Arrangements by Schrader, Aragon, & Jacoby Funeral Home in Cheyenne.

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