Funeral services for Charlie Firnekas, 83-year-old Kaycee resident who passed away Feb. 13 at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center in Buffalo with Mike Lavato officiating. Visitation will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Harness Funeral Home. Interment will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with military graveside rites to immediately follow the funeral. Donations in Charlie’s memory may be made to the Occidental Jam in care of Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Online condolences may be made at www.harnessfuneralhome.com.
Charles Russell Firnekas was born Oct. 11, 1935, in Buffalo to Church and Maggie Firnekas. He grew up and started school on Willow Creek west of Kaycee. He attended school in Buffalo for the seventh and eighth grades. He went to Natrona County High School in Casper for two years and graduated from Midwest High School in Midwest with the class of 1953. After high school, Charlie worked for the Graves and Davis ranches. He joined the U.S. Army in the spring of 1957 and did his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood and was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harris in Indiana. In 1961, Charlie and his brother Fred bought the family ranch from their father. He was married on Jan. 4, 1960, in Buffalo to Betty Wolf, and they made their home on the family ranch. Charlie and Betty raised their family on the ranch, and he was active in all the ranch work until his death.
Charlie loved music and his time spent with his band, the Homesteaders, playing all over the county. He loved the Lord and spreading his word. His passion was ranching and spending time following the activities of his grandkids.
He is survived by his wife, Betty of 59 years; one son, Dale Firnekas and his wife Becky of Kaycee; two brothers, Bruce Firnekas and his wife Betty of Powell, and Fred Firnekas and his wife Beverly of Ten Sleep; two sisters, Velma Kruezer of Cheyenne, and Juanita Donathan and her husband Kelly of Thermopolis; eight grandkids and 15 great-grandkids. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Charles David Firnekas, one daughter, Lila Berg; and one brother, Chester Firnekas.