Richard Lee “Spike” Kozeal, 78, passed away at his home March 31 in Marbleton. Richard was born Nov. 11, 1934, in Burwell, Neb. He came to Sublette County in his late teens. He hopped a train in Nebraska that brought him to Kemmerer, and from there, he rode a wagon up to the Daniel area, where he was hired on as a ranch hand working for the Miller Ranch. He worked for several ranches before he began his career in the oil and gas industry as a roughneck then worked his way up to driller, then tool pusher. He left the gas and oil industry and ended his career working as an equipment operator for RS Bennett
Construction in 2009.
He married Barbara Olson after meeting her while working on her dad Elmer Olson’s ranch in 1954, and together, they raised six children; they later divorced in 1977. Richard loved the outdoors and to hunt and fish. He was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church.
He is survived by his children, Terry Moser, of Gillette; Becky Kozeal-Wilson, of Burlington, Wash.; Joe (Margaret) Kozeal, of Big Piney; Bob Kozeal, of Big Piney; Bill (Renee) Kozeal, of Van Orin, Ill.; Doug (Tammy) Kozeal, of Big Piney; 16 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his mother Margaret Bentley, stepfather Max Bentley and brother John Kozeal, of Burwell, Neb., as well as numerous aunts and uncles.
A funeral mass was held Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Big Piney.
For the complete article see the 04-09-2013 issue.
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