David Wagon Sr.

by | Dec 10, 2019 10:17AM

David Wagon Sr., 88, was born on August 24, 1931 in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. David passed away December 7, 2019 in Riverton, Wyoming. A Visitation has been arranged to begin at 5pm, Thursday, December 12, 2019 in the Rocky Mountain Hall, Fort Washakie, Wyoming. The Wake will be at 7pm. The Funeral will be 10am, Friday, December 13, 2019 also in the Rocky Mountain Hall, Fort Washakie. Burial Will follow in the Sacajawea Cemetery, Fort Washakie.

As a child he grew up on the Wind River Reservation. Enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, David Wagon Sr, 88 passed away December 7, 2019 at Riverton’s Help for Health Hospice Center with his family beside him.

David attended Flandreau Indian School and while there he was introduced to Carpentry and many other skills that he brought back to the Wind River Reservation. He became involved in rock laying for many of the older buildings on and near the reservation. David’s work can be seen on the recent Shoshone Rose Casino. While working as a carpenter, he was drafted by the United States Army and fought in the Korean War. He started in the Army as Private and discharged as a Corporal. David while in the Army received an Army Occupational Medal (Germany), a National Defense Service Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Returned from the war, being punctual was a must for David, his boss while working would tell people who were late, “We don’t need you.” This created David to be on time to everything. Being asked if he wanted to know how to lay brick, stone, and cinderblock, he said, “Yeah.” They showed him. He worked on the buildings for Smith’s Food, the Bank of the West, Central Bank and Trust, the Riverton Branch Library, the Fort Washakie Head Start building, the Warm Valley Senior Center, the Fort Washakie Post Office and Tribal Buildings, The Rocky Mountain Hall, and the Big Wind Hall in Crowheart. He also worked on a lot of homes near the Smith’s Food, the ones with big swimming pools. He did so much work. He worked on the Fremont Vocational High School, and the new high school in lander. He worked all the time. David took a training with the National Park Service to repair old historic buildings, and sometimes, he made a lot of money. The reason he worked all the time was because he never wanted to be poor again. His dad used to have to put wires on his shoes.

Eugene Goggles sent David to the University of Wyoming. He never turned down anything, he was always anxious to learn. When his sister Lena came home from high school in Flandreau, she told him it was really, good they had food and never went hungry, so when he finished elementary school in Fort Washakie which was a day boarding school, he wanted to go. If he didn’t understand anything, he always learned about it. He took a lot of math classes, utilized the tutors and took every chance he could get to learn all those things.

He used to tell people he would work with two rabbits, “Bunny and Gumbo.” He led quite a life. Many old military pictures from the war, he went to Holland and said he couldn’t believe how pretty the flowers were. He took a tour after the war was over. One of his great memories was of his late son Donny who would read to him. David said, “He memorized it even though he couldn’t read.” The book was upside down.

David learned to ski in Alaska, he said, “It was pretty to see the lights there when it was dark and cold. When he was up there his dad passed away and when he came back to the reservation, he received notice he was discharged from the military service. While in Alaska he was on a ski team. He was going to try cross country but hurt his leg and never had the chance to. David led a fascinating life. He always liked to carve and paint and build, he even was good at beadwork making buckles and anything else he put his mind to. David enjoyed watching public television.

Him and his girlfriend Betty Hill put a shed together beside his house, with the wind blowing they were both determined. “The shed blew in the next field,” she said. He loved to play bingo on Friday nights at the Auxiliary Legion Hall in Lander, Thursday at the Knights of Columbus, and Sunday at the Auxiliary Legion Hall.

David was even asked to help with construction of the Wind River Hotel and Casino unfortunately he was no longer able to.

David is preceded in death by his parents Roger Wagon Sr. and Matilda Pingree-Wagon, his children David Wagon Jr., Gary Wagon, Michael Wagon and Donald Wagon, siblings; Roger Wagon Jr., James Wagon, Edward Wagon, Wilfred Wagon, sisters, Alvena Teton, Rosie Braman, Lena Aaron, granddaughter Robyn Wagon, Francesca Teton and many other friends and relatives.

He leaves behind his daughter, Sharon Wagon, his grandchildren; Marisa Wagon, Donald Wagon, Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk(Byron), Joseph Myers(Jen), Alison Myers(Tamara), Robert Wagon, Chelsea Wagon, Amanda Wagon, Allison Wagon, Kaylena Piper, Edward Piper, Joseph Piper, Jessica Teton, Clint Wagon, Margaret Wagon, Wilma Wagon, Liz Wagon; niece/nephews; Auggie Teton, Rhoda Timbana, William Wagon, Kay Pingree, Alicia Cook, Brian Peahrora, Whitmen Niedo, Warren Niedo, Gary Niedo, Arlen Shoyo, Bernie Shoyo and families of Pingree’s/Niedo’s/Shoyo’s/Clair’s along with other numerous grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and many other relatives.

David led a fascinating life and will be missed greatly by many.

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