LaVern Ritchie

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Funeral services for LaVern Ritchie, 83 year old Buffalo resident who passed away early Tuesday morning at the Johnson County Health Care Center, will be held Saturday March 8th at 2:00 p.m. from the Harness Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo with Reverend Dave Limmer officiating. Visitation will be held from the funeral home chapel on Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the funeral. Donations in Mrs. Ritchie’s memory may be made to the FFA Scholarship Fund in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Condolences may be left on the Harness Funeral Home Website at

Lula LaVern Ritchie was born on February 19, 1931 in Alva, Wyoming to Aubrey and Alice Slaybaugh. She spent her early childhood in the shadows of Devil’s Tower, often regaling friends and family with stories of riding horseback through the Black Hills to attend school. She moved to Buffalo with her family when she was in Jr. High, and attended both Buffalo and Sheridan High Schools. During high school her first job was at Woolworth’s in Sheridan where she became extremely good at wrapping Christmas packages. She was married on her birthday, February 19th 1948 in Hardin, Montana to Norman Bulkley and they made their home in Northeast Wyoming, where they worked on various ranches and in logging camps as they raised their five children. Mr. Bulkley passed away in 1956 and in 1957 LaVern married W.W. “Bill” Ritchie and they ranched on Clear Creek north of Arvada until 1961 when they moved the family to their ranch northwest of Buffalo on Rock Creek. LaVern was a good hand on the hay wagon or irrigating pastures and was a terrific cook and homemaker. During the 1970’s she provided homemade donuts to the FFA Chapter to sell at football games. There were never any left over to take home at the end of the games. She was an accomplished and self-taught accordion player, she loved dancing to country music and was very difficult to beat at Scrabble. She also enjoyed fishing for catfish on the Powder River or fishing in Clear Creek. She was good at crafts and enjoyed crocheting and hand quilting. She loved spending time with her family and many of her children and grandchildren have wonderfully crafted handmade special mementos from her.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Bill Ritchie of Buffalo; four sons, Don Bulkley and his wife Connie of Pampa Texas, Floyd Bulkley and his wife Dixie of Douglas, Wyoming, Clarence Bulkley and his wife Cheryl of Springfield, Colorado and Dale Bulkley and his wife Jeanne of Worland, Wyoming; three daughters Norma Jean Carr and her husband Alan of Casper, Wyoming, Linda Lulias and her husband Tom of Buffalo, and Janice Keffer of Gilbert, Arizona; one sister Francis Breuer of Homestead, Florida; thirteen grandchildren, three step-grandsons, and sixteen great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her first husband, her parents, one brother, three sisters, and two infant children.