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Wayne-Bessie Schwab

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 1 month ago

Wayne & Bessie Schwab are both Wyoming natives and have lived all of their married life in Sublette County. Bessie was born in Superior, WY in 1927 in the middle of 10 Radakovich children. Wayne smiled and said, “With that last name, they all knew the alphabet when they started school”. Bessie’s family moved to Boulder in 1939. Boulder had no high school and the family couldn’t afford to pay room and board for her to go elsewhere. She said, “I tried to join the service, but you had to have a high school education. So I did what I could. I moved to Pinedale in 1941. I worked in a laundry that paid 35 cents/hour and that was just for 2 or 3 days a week in winter. So, I got a job waiting tables at The Club, which is now the Stockman’s. I stayed at the Woods Hotel. That’s the old Fardy hotel. I lived on a hamburger a day and an orange drink. That’s all I could afford.” She also worked at the Fremont Café (where the town hall is now) and the Chuckroom Café. Bessie was a hard worker and never had any trouble finding a job. She said, “The only trouble was I didn’t have a car and had to bum a ride or walk. I walked a lot!”


Wayne was born in Smoot, Wyoming in 1926. He spent 2 years in the service in the Philippines and Okinawa and when he got out in 1946, jobs were scarce. “So”, he said, “I came to Pinedale looking for an opportunity. I bought a 160-acre homestead and water rights from CC Feltner. I made a down payment and then I was so broke, I had to go hungry!” The ranch was about 3 miles down Pole Creek Road and is now the Jack & Vera Roberts home.


Wayne used to go and eat at the restaurant where Bessie was waiting tables. They were married in 1950. Then Bessie homesteaded 160 acres adjacent to Wayne’s land. They raised grain, hay, cattle and sheep. Wayne said, “We had to break the ground and then one year there was a hailstorm and that was it. I had to go work for wages. You can’t do both. It’s one or the other.” He worked at several of the service stations in Pinedale and did whatever needed to be done. He was a mechanic and he delivered fuel oil all over the county. In 1968 he became the high school custodian and drove an activity bus. Bessie joined the school staff in 1970. She washed dishes for 3 hours each day. In 1989 they both retired.


Bessie and Wayne have 3 children: Mike, who married Gwen, lives in Pinedale; Carol who lives in Salt Lake City; and Dwayne who married Connie, lives in Cheyenne. Wayne and Bessie have 6 grandkids and 3 great-grandchildren.


Bessie said, “I’ve enjoyed my life. It’s been good. Work is all I’ve ever known, hard work. I don’t begrudge my life, working hard. My education came from working and I’ve enjoyed it, especially the kids at school. I’ve had a good home and a good married life. I have a nice family I can be proud of and I’ve always gotten along.” Someone commented on Bessie’s pure white hair. She laughed and answered, “I’ve earned every bit of it.” Wayne and Bessie often come to Rendezvous Pointe for lunch. They deserve to have someone else do the dishes.

Printed in Rendezvous Pointe (Pinedale, WY Senior Center) Newsletter, Dec. 2006.


By Judi Myers

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