Mary Elenor (Fanok) Holbert (March 26, 1925 – November 3, 2022)


Mary Elenor (Fanok) Holbert, 97, died of natural causes early Thursday, November 3, 2022 at the Mission at Castle Rock Rehabilitation Center in Green River, Wyo. She lived in Rock Springs, Wyo., for 60 years before her. death.

She was born on March 26, 1925, to Rusyn and Ukrainian immigrant parents, Stephen B. and Kathryn (Patriska) Fanok in Jere, W.Va. She was the seventh of 10 children.

Mary graduated from St. Francis De Sales High School, Morgantown, W.Va., on June 4, 1944. She attended Western Wyoming Community College from 1988 to 1989 to study Russian.

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She married the love of her life, Paul Merritt Holbert, on January 29, 1946. They lived on a farm near Morgantown before moving to Rock Springs in 1963. Together they raised five children: Gary, Cathy, the late Paul “Terry” Jr., Steve and Deb.

Mary was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Catholic Golden Age, AARP, Young at Heart Senior Center, Sashay Pardners Square Dancing Club, Rock Springs Woman’s Club, Red Hat Society in Rock Springs and Thermopolis, the Rocky Mountain UFCW Union, and the Rosary Makers of Notre Dame.

She was associated with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Sister Dorothy Henschied her mentor. She has won 29 gold medals and one silver as a field and track participant at the Wyoming State Senior Olympics since 2003. She was a lymphoma cancer survivor since 2007.

Mary enjoyed crocheting, knitting, tatting, tai chi and square dancing. She made cord and bead rosaries for missions all over the world.

She worked for Safeway for 20 years, managing the Bake Shop. She was active in her church as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, serving Communion to the homebound, Sage View Nursing Home and Sweetwater County Memorial Hospital.

Mary enjoyed cooking, especially for her family, and was known for her potica. She hosted and cooked funeral dinners for the church, feeding hundreds of people for many years. In her later years, she enrolled in various art and writing classes and learned to play the violin.

She and her husband have spent many summers enjoying their home in East Thermopolis.

She is preceded in death by her parents; mother and stepfather; husband; brothers Pete, Stephen, Paul, Adam and George; sisters Catherine, Eva, Stella and Sophia; son Paul “Terry” Jr.; and his sons-in-law Robert McQueen and Steve Sutton.

She is survived by her sons Gary (Joanne) Holbert of East Thermopolis, Wyo., and Steve (Dora) Holbert of Bremerton, Washington; daughters Cathy McQueen, OSF, of Casper, Wyo., and Deb Sutton of Rock Springs; grandchildren Shauna Holbert and Tami (Jerry) Love of Rock Springs, Robert (Tamie) McQueen of Peoria, Arizona, Stephen (Jae) McQueen of Denver, Colorado, Robin (Rob) Schauss of Casper, Matthew (Laris) Holbert and Jacob Holbert of Bremerton and Trevor Page of Utah; great-grandchildren Jordan Love and Dillon Love Rock Springs, Tyler Kroll and Shelby Schauss of Casper, Adeline Holbert and Lucas Holbert of Bremerton, and Jesse Page, Kylee Larson, Makayla Tarin and Josie Shelley of Utah; and great-great-grandson Beckam Snell of Casper.

Cremation will take place. Services and burial will be scheduled for spring 2023.

Donations in his honor may be made to the Memorial Hospital Foundation or the Red Desert Humane Society.

Condolences to the family can be left at


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