Obituary – Stella McKinstry
Original post November 2, 2016 | Updated November 8, 2016
Stella McKinstry of Pinedale, Wyoming, passed away peacefully at the Jackson, Wyoming Living Center on October 25, 2016. She was 93. Stella is survived by nephew, Bruce McKinstry of Phoenix, Arizona, nephew John Wright of Akron, Colorado, niece Karen Willeke of Otis, Colorado, niece Kathy Nelson of Castle Rock, Colorado, numerous great nephews and nieces, and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Linda and Harold McKinstry, sister Jeanne Wright, brother Neal McKinstry, nephew Fred Wright, and niece Betty Dumph.
Stella was born in Jackson, Wyoming on October 12, 1923 to Linda and Harold McKinstry, who were homesteading in Jackson Hole. In 1926 the family moved to Casper, Wyoming, and then to Colorado where her father operated a silver fox farm and small livestock ranch in Gilpin County. Stella and her brother and sister attended schools in Denver (Edison, Skinner and North High) and later moved to Fort Collins where Stella completed high school. Stella went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Colorado State University, and her master’s degree from Washington State University.
Stella worked for 60 years, in 13 counties, with the University of Wyoming Extension service; although her home was here in Sublette County, where she settled in 1952. She was a knowledgeable and approachable source of information to homemakers and 4-H participants. Her work as an extension agent took her all over Wyoming, and her resilience and dedication to her career was exemplified by surviving at least one blizzard on a mountain pass by crawling into a sleeping bag in the back seat until the storm passed! During this time, she held several offices with the Wyoming Association of Extension Home Economists, participated in countless committees at both the state and national level, and received numerous awards and honors including awards for NAEHE Distinguished Service, the Pfizer Scholarship, Friend of 4-H for Sublette County, Green River Valley Friend of Agriculture, and the UW Creative Excellence Award. She was initiated into the organizations of Who’s Who for American Women and Gamma Delta and belonged to DAR, UCC Church, VFW Auxiliary, the Old Timer’s Club, the Sublette Red Cross, AAUW, Escapee’s RV, Loners on Wheels, Bronx Community Club, and was a member of PEO Sisterhood Chapter BE of Wyoming. She organized the B&PW club in Pinedale and was an alumni member of UW. Of these varied and numerous accomplishments, she felt that her greatest achievement was the success of her many 4-H members through the years.
Stella enjoyed traveling, including 18 cruises, camping and exploring with her RV, snowmobiling, fishing and hiking. She had many friends who joined her on these adventures. Stella lived a rich and abundant life, deeply cherishing her friendships with so many.
A memorial service has been planned for Wednesday, November 16, at 10:30 in the morning at the Pinedale United Church of Christ. A luncheon will be provided at the church, following the services. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stella’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sublette County 4-H program or the Pinedale United Church of Christ.