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Postcard from the Past - A Century of Life Loved, Shared

Written by Dick Perue

A life fully lived and enjoyed for more than a century ended last week with the death of Anna (Yoakum) Pilot Stubbs, 103, who at her passing was believed to be Saratoga’s oldest native.

She died June 12 at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne. Cremation has taken place, and at her request, no services will be held. Her remains will be scattered in the Upper North Platte River Valley by family and friends at a later date.

Anna L. Yoakum was born Nov. 12, 1911 on the Nixon ranch near Saratoga to John O. and Florence (Nixon) Yoakum. She grew up in the valley where she spent her first three years of school in Saratoga then attended country school at the Condict and Young ranches. She joined seventh grade in Saratoga and graduated from Saratoga High School in 1929.

“I married Clair Pilot in 1931 in Saratoga,” Anna wrote in November 2011. “We had 42 years of happiness. When he passed away ...in ‘79 I married Norris Stubbs, and we lived in Rawlins.”

After Norris’ death she moved to Cheyenne in 1992 to live with her daughter Patsy. She was also preceded in death by her parents and step-daughter Diane Hoese.

She is survived by her daughter Patsy Koos of Cheyenne; step-son Darrell Stubbs of Rawlins; and several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Anna was a homemaker, worked at the doctor’s office and bank and enjoyed being “mother” and friend to all who knew this joyous woman. She was an 85-year member of the Sierra Madre Rebekah Lodge No. 27 in Saratoga and belonged to the Saratoga Presbyterian Church.

Over the years, Anna returned to the valley several times to visit friends and to share memories, stories and pictures of her eventful life. On one trip she was videoed visiting her childhood haunts on the Brush Creek Ranch. In the summer of 2011 she visited the Rebekah Lodge and read writings from her mother and attended the Presbyterian Church. During her last visit she celebrated her 100th birthday by dancing at the Senior Center and then led a historic walking tour of the Brush Creek Ranch.

Additional information highlighting Anna and her pioneer family has been compiled by Dick Perue of Historical Reproductions by Perue utilizing the Yoakum/Pilot photo albums, manuscripts and interviews given to him over the years. Anna’s history has been shared with many folks through programs, tours and writings and will eventually be donated, along with several albums, to the Saratoga Museum.

Plans are being made to expand the historic display and research area of the Saratoga Museum with places for photo albums and photographs. Those who wish may contribute to the expansion fund in Anna’s memory at Saratoga Museum, Box 1131, Saratoga, WY 82331.

Condolences may be sent to Patsy Koos, 748 Western Hills Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009 or online at schradercares.com.

Many of the historic photos and stories used in “Postcard from the Past” are taken from the files Anna saved and shared over the years. Her legacy will continue through this column.