Drew Clifton Dierking

After living life as he wanted, Drew Clifton Dierking, 68, of Lander, Wyoming died on June 11, 2016 at his home in Lander. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30am on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the Living Water Fellowship located at 150 Baldwin Creek Rd in Lander. Born on May 15, 1948 at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, Drew spent his younger years hunting, fishing, camping and roaming around Atchison, Kansas and Wolf Creek. He graduated from Atchison High School in 1966 and attended college at Highland Community College and Kansas State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wyoming in 1988. Life as a rambler, backpacker, roamer and wanderer came easy and early to Drew. Soon after graduating from high school, he would ask his mother to drop him off at a nearby highway and start hitchhiking, usually without any idea where he was going or might end up. He met Joanne Hugg in Atchison where she was an elementary teacher and they married in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1977. After a great adventure of an 80-day honeymoon in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in 1978, they settled in Lander -- and found a home for their hearts. In his rambling and roaming across the U.S., as well as in Lander, he worked countless, diverse jobs as a shrimp boater, ranch hand, manufacturing worker, elementary school teacher, realtor, information specialist, construction worker, gold mining employee, antique dealer, furniture refinisher, milk deliveryman, pizza worker, bartender, gas line worker in Pinedale, garbage truck driver and restaurant host. Over the years, he held various jobs with the U.S. Forest Service, at Yellowstone Park, and the Bureau of Land Management. Of all these, his favorite jobs were selling antiques, working for the Forest Service, and being a realtor. In 2003 he was recognized as the Lander Realtor of the Year. Never afraid of danger, he volunteered with the Lander Rural Fire Department and served with distinction being awarded the Lander Rural Fire Department Fireman of the Year in 1993. At various times, he served as the president of the Lander Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the parks and recreation, the Pioneer Museum Board, and church council. A person of uncommon tastes and habits – some might even say odd -- he would drink his favorite drink, Diet Pepsi, from shot glasses, repeatedly filling the glass. He was known to squeeze a line of catsup on each individual French fry and marvel at a triple Cheez-it, and he said he liked to eat his lunch at the Lander Dump because it provided the best view of his beloved Lander. When camping, he’d spend the time moving rocks and boulders, creating trails, while others relaxed, and never left a campsite without chopping a supply of wood for the next camper. He often wandered off to visit people at campsites or along the trail. It was often said that he never met a stranger and many noted that he was a people pleaser. Some knew him to be laid back – and he was. But others knew the intensity and wide breadth of his interests in music, a particular artist or author, reading, sports, writing poetry, fantasy football, and genealogy. Whatever he decided to explore and do, he did – with intensity and to the best of his ability. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Joanne Dierking of the home in Lander. He is also survived by his son, Otis Dierking and wife Erika and their two children Jude and Scarlett, and his daughter Hannah Dierking and her daughter Andi, all of Lander. Also surviving are his sister Cassy (Jerry) Venters of Kansas City, Missouri, and two step-sisters Janet (Mike) Schooler of Riley, Kansas and Kay (Ron) Gammon of Oak Harbor, Washington. His parents, Andrew Kurtz Dierking and Bette Louise Brun, preceded him in death in 1972 and 2006, respectively. His stepfather, John Harper, of Frankfort, Kansas, preceded him in death in 2015. Paternal grandparents were Otis Leroy Dierking and Madeline Lucille Kurtz, and his maternal grandparents were William Christopher (Bill) Brun and Hattie Marie Tinklin. His beloved Dachshund/Pomeranian dog, Rosie (the Realtor), who accompanied him at his work for many, many years (mooching off of every office in Lander), also preceded him in death, and also left many people broken-hearted. He loved so many “with his whole heart” and we are grateful for the love and support that was returned to us in abundance, for such a very long time. #county10 #obits