YODER – Douglas S. Essert, Head Coach of Yoder Dame, 98, lifelong resident of Yoder, passed away May 16, 2020, at his daughter, Becky Essert’s, home in Cheyenne.
Born July 19, 1921, in Torrington to William J. and Margaret (Shanstrom) Essert. He graduated from Yoder High School in 1939, where he participated in all activities. He attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and walked on to the UW baseball team until drafted into World War II.
Oct. 8, 1943, he entered the Army Air Corps (United States Air Force). He was transported from Fort Lawton, in Seattle, Wash., on a Dutch Holland ship, the Noordam, serving in the Asiatic Pacific (Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Island, Saipan, Tinian and Guam) as Corporal in the 20th Air Force; 19th Bomb Group; 314th Wing on the ground crew.
Upon his return, he attended the University of Denver, where he was an Honor Society student and walked onto the Pioneers baseball team as shortstop. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching and coaching. Even though he was hired to become a teacher and coach he returned to farming and ranching with his brother Bill Essert in Goshen County. He also worked in the lab at Holly Sugar and drove sugar beet trucks for Transystems, LLC for years.
He dedicated himself to playing town team basketball, baseball and softball for decades. In addition, he organized and coached kids’ basketball and baseball leagues. He enjoyed coordinating benefit basketball tournaments, organizing town teams to compete against each others and occasionally the Denver Broncos. These benefits helped establish Diversified Services Inc. and proceeds to St. Mary’s Children home in Torrington, WY and many others. Starting in 1952 he organized the Yoder Class Reunions, continuing that until his death.
A Cowboy Joe Club Member, he helped extend its membership in Goshen County and other areas during its inception. A lifelong University of Wyoming Cowboy fan, Doug attended football and basketball games.
He was a member of the Last Squad Club; The 19th Bomb Group; Moose Lodge; Torrington Elks and the American Legion, all since the 1940’s. He was President of the Wyoming Wheat Growers Association, going to Washington several times representing the farmers plight in the 1970’s and had articles written in the US News and World Report. He retired at age 87.
Doug had an especial memory for people’s name, places, and events. He knew a number of people from everywhere and continued making friends, handing out his signature red and white business card that read “I Am Doug Essert, Who The (red devil) Are You?” His hardy laugh and great sense of humor will be missed.
Doug was married 56 years to Betty F. (Anderson) Essert of Hemingford, Neb., who proceeded him in death. His sister is Elizabeth (Bob) Quade (deceased) of Torrington, and brother William M. Essert (Deceased) of Yoder.
He is survived by his children: Becky Essert, Cheyenne; Casey (Pam) Essert of Torrington; and Leah (Gordon) Knopp Cheyenne. Grandchildren: Caleigh Essert; Rachel and Abby Knopp.
Services are unknown at this time.