Frances “Fanny” Korfanta, 96 of Pinedale, died in her home on June 11. Born April 19, 1918, in Rock Springs to Frank and Mary Golob, her family included sisters Mary Bogataj and Gaile Bertagnolli and brothers Vince, Frank and Frank Golob Jr. Her parents emigrated from Yugoslavia to Rock Springs, where Frank worked in the coalmines. Fanny married Albert “Sunny” Korfanta in 1937 and moved to Pinedale in 1939.
Fanny is survived by four daughters, Alberta McAndrews, Deanna Larkin, Karen and Fran Korfanta; five grandchildren, Danner Boone, Kevin, Sean, Tim and Michael Larkin; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Frank; husband, Albert “Sunny;” sisters Mary and Gaile; brothers, Vince, Frank and Frank Jr.
Fanny and Sunny operated the Pinedale Drug Store until their retirement in 1980. In the early years, Sunny coached most all sports in Pinedale, while Fanny supported all of his endeavors. In addition to serving the chili and hot chocolate at the Surveyor Park Ski Area, she manned the Pinedale Drug Store on a daily basis. She looked after the sundries, the candy case, made the ice cream, kept the coffee pot full and served specialty drinks to the daily customers. Every young person growing up in Pinedale prior to 1980 knew where to get the best penny candy and malt or milk shakes.
Fanny also welcomed local kids into the warm store in the winter to put on their ice skates before sliding across Main Street to the skating rink. Special friends and family were always welcome for food and a good time.
In the early years, Fanny’s “coffee friends” included Ruth Wenz and Shortie Cantlin. More recently, Fanny enjoyed “Tuesday Tea” with her best friend, Sally Mackey, along with the Tuesday Tea group, Ruth Noble, Ellen Reed, Jane Johnston, Mary Lynn Worl, Jo Crandall, Jill Tegeler and Daphne Platts. Fanny was always up for an impromptu picnic and to the very end enjoyed a ride up to Fremont Lake and the scenic view of upper Fremont.
She loved her daughters’ “four-legged furry” friends and always had a treat for them in her pocket.
A highlight of Fanny’s year was the NBA season. She had some favorites, such as the Jazz, and she was joined many times by her small friends and fellow NBA fans for popcorn and sorbet, watching the games while wrapped in her basketball fleece lap blanket.
Any child, and sometimes adults, always eyed the jellybean jar on Fanny’s coffee table. They would usually remember to ask before sticking their fingers in it. And Fanny never forgot to fill the Halloween bags and Christmas bags with the jellybeans.
Fanny’s side of the family included many nieces and nephews residing in both Pinedale and Rock Springs. Fanny kept in contact with the Majahonovich clan and enjoyed phone calls and frequent visits with Angie, Brownie, Jay and many others. Fanny especially enjoyed visits from the youngest generation.
Fanny’s nephew, Jay Majhanovich, recalls the many summers he spent with the Korfantas during the days of his youth.
“I still remember the days working with her behind the fountain counter and the candy case at the Pinedale Drug Store. I still consider myself very fortunate to have been able to spend all of those summers ... I’m sure that had a very big impact on my being here today and able to raise my own family here,” he said.
Fanny was a devout Catholic. She was a lifetime member of Our Lady of Peace. She served as president of the Altar Society when the church was built. In addition to mass every weekend, Fanny attended all the church functions. Fanny had an incredible memory. When working on Pinedale history, Ann Chambers Noble would often call Fanny and Sunny and ask to come over for help.
“I can’t remember anything, Cookie,” she would always say. But Ann would go over to their home anyway with questions. Sunny often remembered events and places, but Fanny would fill in with great details. Fanny would have seen and participated with Sunny in most of the town’s growth. Pinedale was little more than a dusty cow town when they moved here in the late 1930s. She would have seen the first streets paved, construction of nearly all of the buildings, the razing of many of the older structures.
“She helped support the town in so many quiet and appropriate ways,” recalls Susie Mackey Riske. “She showed up for the events that marked the completion of various projects or annual celebrations.”
Susie’s mother, Sally Mackey, always admired how Fanny knew absolutely everything that was going on in town and was usually quite proud of the town’s growth and progress through the years. Fanny and Sunny attended many funerals, always taking time to help families mark milestones and continuing to share those families’ memories often. Never wanting to be the center of attention, Fanny loved to hear about others. Fanny enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends who told her the news about those she knew. She wanted to know what people were “up to” and loved hearing stories of success.
She did not judge others; she was very patient and caring with those facing daily challenges and was always available to cheer up those who most needed it. She made a positive difference in the lives of all she knew and certainly left Pinedale a better place with her care and compassion. For almost 100 years, family, friends and the community have been benefactors of Fanny’s love, support and kindness.
Memorial contributions can be made to Kickin’ Cancer of Sublette County, P.O. Box 687, Pinedale; Our Lady of Peace Building Fund, P.O. Box 70, Pinedale; or to a charity of your choice.
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