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Edward Cardwell Yegen

Edward Cardwell Yegen died in Casper, Wyoming, on March 11, 2016, after complications of surgery. Cardwell was born on October 26, 1926, the younger son of Zellah Cardwell Yegen and Peter Yegen, Jr. He was born in Billings, Montana, and lived in the same house where his mother was born and lived all her life, originally the home of the Cardwell family. ​ Cardwell attended the McKinley School, graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1944, and joined the Navy January 1945 when he was only 18. He graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in 1949 after attending a number of other colleges. He married Betty Lee Moore in June of 1950; they were later divorced. From this union was born their son, Edward Cardwell “Wayo” Yegen, Jr. Cardwell later met the woman who would prove to be a match for him over 45 years, Donna Senter Thomas. Donna and Cardwell eloped and were married in 1970. Donna’s children, Valerie, Syd, and Steven, were part of their household. Cardwell and Donna lived in Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Arizona over the course of their marriage. Donna died in Casper November 1, 2015. When he was a boy, Cardwell was slightly built. His father worried that he would not be able to defend himself against bullies, so he sent the boy to boxing lessons. Peter Yegen Jr. need not have worried. Cardwell became a large, vital man and a forceful personality. He worked for a time with his brother Peter Yegen III and his father, Peter Yegen Jr., in the family real estate and insurance business in Billings, Montana. However, it seemed that Billings could not contain him. He wanted to make his own way in the world, and he did. Upon leaving Billings behind, in the mid 1950’s, Cardwell reinvented himself as an independent oil producer. He made his fortune over the years in the oil patch, in Wyoming, Oklahoma and most other oil producing states. He didn’t wear a suit or sit behind a desk. He toiled and sweated in tee shirts and jeans, with his stalwart employee Dave Frazier, putting in long days and many miles. Cardwell began his successful oil-drilling career by buying old oil leases and using whatever equipment he could cobble together to pull out the casing from the old wells. He sold the used casing and invested his earnings in more leases and more old equipment. Regrettably, much of this old stuff he still owned on the day he died. He was a hard-working, hard-headed, hard-drinking, hard-muscled roustabout. Stories about Cardwell dealing with other hard-living persons in the oilfields abound, but the tale that paints the truest picture of Cardwell is the one about the dog: Cardwell went to see a man about an oil lease. He climbed out of his pick-up and passed the dog house from which an apparently vicious dog on a chain emerged, barking. Cardwell pounded on the door of the trailer house to rouse the owner inside. The dog, whose chain was longer than Cardwell had surmised, lunged to the door of the trailer and bit Cardwell. Enraged, Cardwell chased the dog back into his doghouse, hauled him out by the chain, and clamped the dog’s jaws together with his hands. He then bit the dog on the nose. Cardwell ran his race and fought the good fight. His favorite combatant was Donna, who was up to the challenge. Their love affair was volatile, but their devotion to each other was legend, if sometimes noisy. He was caring for Donna at her death. Cardwell loved all his family. When he played with his grandchildren and great-nieces and nephews, he liked to pretend he was The Black Cat, prowling and growling through the house to chase and - almost - catch the delighted toddlers. “May the Black Cat pass in peace,” said Carolyn Yegen, and so we pray. Cardwell is survived by his son, Edward Cardwell “Wayo” Yegen, Jr., (Karen), his grandchildren Lacey Delea Yegen and Edward Cardwell “Ted” Yegen III, (Julie); together with Nancy Ellen Smith (Karen’s Sister) and her son, Connor Finnerty Smith. Also surviving are Peter Yegen III, Cardwell’s beloved older brother; Pete’s children, Peter Yegen IV (Anne), with their son Peter Charles Yegen; and Charles Govern Yegen (Carolyn) with their children, Brenna Yegen Weaver (Chris and sons Charlie and Sawyer), and Patterson Govern Yegen (Mia). Also surviving are Donna’s daughters, Valerie R Akin (Steve) grandchildren Jena and Reed, Sydney J Tervort (Mitch) grandchildren Colter and Dylan, and her son Steven L Thomas (Tammy) and grandchildren Jesse (son Rylan) and Alyssa (daughter Leila). Cardwell was predeceased by his wife Donna and his parents, Zellah Cardwell Yegen and Peter Yegen, Jr. The family will receive visitors on Wednesday March 16, 2016 from 5pm – 8pm at Bustard’s Funeral Home 600 CY Avenue at 12th Street, Casper, Wyoming Funeral services will be held at St.Mark’s Episcopal Church in Casper on March 17, 2016, at 10am. Cardwell will be buried March 18, 2016, at 2 pm at the Mountview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favorite charity, Meadow Wind Assisted Living Garden Club in Casper, or the Humane Society of Casper. Should you have your own “Cardwell” Story please send it to Wayo by email yegenfin@yahoo.com or by mail 11001 Huntover Drive, Rockville, MD 20852. We all celebrate the life of Cardwell Yegen a man who was larger than life, worked hard, loved hard, played hard and lived his life to the fullest. We will all miss him. Bustard’s Funeral Home is assisting Cardwell’s family with arrangements. #oilcity #obits