Lillian M. (Zednick) Barnett, 82 of Lander WY passed on to her heavenly home on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 at Westward Heights Care Center in Lander. She had been a resident there since February of this year and succumbed to complications from pneumonia, COPD, and end stage rheumatoid arthritis. The first funeral service will be held on Sat. Nov. 14 in Lander, WY at Hudsons Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 p.m. with viewing and visitation one hour before the service. The second service will be held on Sat. Nov. 21 in Wilber, NE at Kuncel Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 p.m. with viewing and visitation one hour before the service. Burial will follow in the Wilber Cemetery next to her parents.
Lillian was born Mar. 12, 1933 in Wilber, NE to Frank A. and Anna B. (Shestak) Zednick. She graduated in 1950 from Wilber High School and pursued a teaching degree from Peru State College in Peru, NE. She took a grade school teaching position in Greybull, WY and taught that position for one year before getting married to cattle rancher Wayne F. Barnett on June 12, 1953 in Lincoln, NE. From that union, a son Fred and a daughter Judy Ann was born. Lillian and Wayne divorced in 1971, but came to be friends in the early 1980’s until his death in September of 2013. A year after her divorce, she and Judy moved to Chadron, NE to start a new life and she obtained a Bachelors degree in elementary education in May of 1975 at 42 years of age.
Lillian and Judy moved to Lander in August of 1976 when she took a teaching position at Ft. Washakie Elementary School. She taught there 21 years and retired the end of May in 1997. Her family says she greatly enjoyed her 19 1/2 years on the ranch in Shell Lillian M. (Zednick) Barnett Valley despite dealing with moderate to severe asthma and allergies. Her favorite memories are moving cattle on her favorite horses, raising bum calves on a bucket, raising a large garden, helping Fred with his 4H steers, Judy with her barrel racing and pole bending on Judy’s first horse, Sorrel and going with Fred in the old Willy’s jeep working his trap lines and hunting deer. She also liked hunting deer and elk with her 243 rifle and got the nickname “deadeye Lil” because she hardly ever missed a shot.
During the 1980’s and 90’s Lillian and Judy rode their horses in the mountains and BLM land in and around Fremont County. Those outings were her passion enjoying every minute on her most loved horse Junior. She also enjoyed traveling with Judy on an annual trip to various places such as Alaska, the Oregon Coast, San Juan mountains of CO, Glacier National Park, airshows, the Grand Canyon, up to the ranch in Shell Valley to visit Fred and Jan, and to Nebraska to go antiquing with the Shestak cousins and then on to Iowa to visit a Zednick cousin and her husband where they would take Lillian and Judy on tours of western Iowa.
Judy credited her mom on her horse showing accomplishments winning Grand and Reserve championships in Amateur and Open Showmanship at Halter for ten years in a row at local open horse shows. Lillian would play the “judge” while Judy and her late horse Mr. Royal Invester would practice their maneuvers and skills in the various patterns around orange cones placed in certain places in the arena. Lillian loved going to horse shows with Judy and Royal and when she wasn’t able to anymore with Judy and her new horse Good Classy Wrapper she was heart broken! She however made it a point to still go travel with Judy to feed the horses, goats and barn cats.
In the last couple years, as Lillian’s health deteriorated and it started to limit her activities, she called friends and family on the phone or wrote cards and letters, did puzzles, and watched her favorite tv shows and movies. Thru all her surgeries and illnesses, she always had a positive attitude with a great sense of humor and always showed kindness to other people.
The staff at Westward Heights told Judy that no matter how much pain she was in, she was a joy to have around and they got a kick out of her wit and sense of humor. Judy was her caregiver and advocate thru all her health issues and she will always be thankful to God for helping her mom beat the odds many, many times. Along with some tough memories, there are a lot of wonderful ones that Lillian and Judy shared thru sickness and health.
Lillian is survived by son Fred and wife Jan of Greybull, daughter Judy and husband Forrest of Lander, two step grandchildren, six step great grandchildren, and numerous Shestak side cousins and Zednick side cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, brother in-law Pearl H. Hines, sister Irene A. Hines, her parents and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and by her beloved horses, dogs, cats and goats.
Memorials in Lillian’s memory may be made to the Lander Pet Connection in care of Hudson’s Funeral Home, 680 Mount Hope Dr., Lander, WY 82520