Dennis R. Dailey of Pinedale, Wyoming 12/26/1943-5/5/2020
“If my world should end today, I will have led a good life. My bucket list is not overflowing with unfilled dreams. Oh, there are a lot of things that I’d still like to do, but most of them I’ve done already and simply want to do again or do in new places. My regrets do not involve unfulfilled dreams, they involve leaving the people behind that are most dear to me and have comprised the fabric and color of my life.
As a boy growing up in South Dakota, I was inspired by the movie cowboys – Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Randolph Scott, and others – of heroes on horses or sitting at a campfire singing and playing a guitar while the sun set in the west, and then, of course, riding off into the sunset with a beautiful girl at my side. I was never a cowboy, but I’ve ridden many miles of high country trail, smelled horse sweat and listened to the creak of a saddle, and I’ve been blessed with the love of a good woman, my wife, life partner, and best friend, and the company of a number of good horses and dogs. Money cannot buy the experiences I’ve enjoyed. I did it all. I have lived my dreams. While many people hope they are able to take a vacation once a year, my life has been a vacation. My work has involved two very important elements of my dreams: working with horses and working in the wilderness. I never had a job in the Forest Service that didn’t involve wilderness, including some very spectacular wildernesses – the Bob Marshall, the Bridger, and the Selway-Bitterroot, and I was able to enjoy them from horseback.
After the Forest Service, I worked with the Back Country Horsemen of America for 16 years working to preserve the opportunity for equestrians to enjoy horses and mules in wilderness and backcountry. For me, work and recreation seemed to merge into one. I have spent most of my adult life preserving and protecting God’s resources. Unless we can feel the beauty of our wildlands down deep in our souls and understand that they are a gift from God, we can foolishly believe that God created the earth and its resources for the sole purpose of our exploitation. The Bible tells us to “Follow the desires of your heart and your eyes, but know that God will bring you to judgements for all these things.” Ecclesiastes 11:9. Geoghegan and Homan interpret this passage to mean: The chief aim of life – given the inevitability of death – is to enjoy life before we grow old...but live life to the fullest while still living right.” (The Bible for Dummies) I pray that by following my passion that I have recognized and used the tools and abilities that God gave me to accomplish the purpose that he had in mind when he created me.”
Dennis leaves behind his wife, Liz, children: Lesley (Chuck) Wenz, David Dailey, and Michael Dailey (Stacey) and Michael’s children: Rylee and Sam. Dennis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force.
In lieu of formal services, Dennis and his family encourage you to stroll the trails at the CCC Ponds outside of Pinedale, Wyoming, and allow God’s gifts of nature to feed your soul in any way you choose.