EDGERTON — Sandra (Vidness) Jones Schutte peacefully passed away on August 7 in her Edgerton home, surrounded by her children.
She deeply loved the Salt Creek area in which she grew up. After leaving in the 1960s to marry, she and three of her children returned to the area in the early 1980s. Her dedication was evident in the many positions she held and community activities in which she participated, from being Office Manager at the Community Health Center to the hand-picked curator of the Salt Creek Oilfield Museum by Pauline Schultz, the founder. Under Sandy’s curation, the museum upgraded and updated its collections and displays and became a valuable jewel of the community; her devotion and passion is evident in every room. She served as the mayor of Edgerton for four years, spearheaded the “Old-Timers’ Picnic” at the annual Salt Creek Days celebration for many years, and in 2015 was honored as Grand Marshal of the Salt Creek Days parade. Always making sure her community had a voice, Sandy served for years on the Natrona County Travel & Tourism Board, was instrumental in establishing the historic “Black Gold Byway” between Casper and Midwest, and was a contributor to “Natrona County: The Place We Call Home,” a district-wide history book for third-grade students. She was nominated for a Jefferson Award for her volunteerism, which also included serving on the Salt Creek Senior Center Advisory Board and being the Supervisor for the Senior Companions program, a service that she later used.
Sandy had a big heart and a soft spot for children, and touched the lives of two generations of them. While raising her own children, she was known as “Mama Sandy” to many others in the community, and in later life she was everyone’s “Gramma.” Favorite days at the museum were when the third-grade classes would visit. Her greatest love was her family; she proudly displayed many photographs in her home and enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s athletic events and programs. Her “happy place” was Meadowlark Lake in the Big Horn Mountains, where she spent part of every week as a child and then as an adult went camping, fishing, and played in the lake with her grandchildren. She always welcomed a drive to Kaycee to enjoy a good meal.
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Sandy is remembered for her kindness, big smile, contagious laugh and quick, comical wit. She was preceded in death by her parents, Genevieve and George Vidness; her sister, Eunice (Kieffer) Lynch; and her second husband, Richard “Slim” Schutte.
She is survived by her first husband, Bill Jones, children Jaime Jones, Nanette Cain, Yvette Unger-Tripp and Heidi Jones, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at 1:00 on Thursday, August 15 at Bustard’s Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Salt Creek Oilfield Museum or Salt Creek Emergency Services would be appreciated.