NLJ Staff


May 31, 1931-Oct. 2, 2020

David Paulley, 89, of Osage, passed away on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, at the VA Medical Center in Ft. Meade, S.D., after a long battle with cancer. A military service at the National Cemetery will be held at a later date with a reception held in Upton to be announced closer to the date. 

David was born May 31, 1931, in Midwest, Wyo., to Francis (Hooper) and Gordon Paulley, the oldest
of three children.

The family moved to Osage when he was 2 years old. He attended Kitty Moats School through the eighth grade and graduated from Upton High School in 1949. He attended college one year at the University of Wyoming and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Boot camp was in San Diego, Calif. From there he was stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., and then to Moffatt Field, Calif. He was honorably discharged in 1955,
after serving in the Korean War.

He married Marian Hogart in 1950 and to this union a daughter, Kristine, was born. The couple later divorced. 

The family moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., where Dave worked as an aviation mechanic (ANE). He also taught aviation lessons and worked dismantling wrecked planes.

In 1964, he sold enough art commissions to last a year and quit the aviation work to begin his art career full time. From that time on he fulfilled his dream of being an artist. A highlight of his career was a trip to the South Pacific with Governor Ed Hershler and lifetime friend Don Thorson.

Paulley moved back to Osage in the late 1980s, relocating to Colorado in 1995. He married Elsie Woodard in 2002 on a beach in Hawaii at sunset, in their bare feet. The couple lived in Osage after their marriage. 

Paulley specialized in aviation art, but he was also known for his western art. His topics covered many venues, though. Paulley art is displayed all around the world — Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, and all over the United States. Of particular pride to him was the art displayed in the U.S. Naval Museum in Pensacola, Fla., an aviation series which hangs in the Honolulu International Airport, and the paintings hanging in the Wyoming State Capital in Cheyenne. He painted the 36 Wyoming History Exhibition paintings, and the Lewis and Clark series. A career total of 1250-plus paintings, his paintings adorned many magazine covers and he attending many airshows around the country with his aviation art. He continued his painting until the week he went to the hospital. His last finished piece is owned by his best friend, Don Thorson.  

David is survived by his wife, Elsie; his daughter, Kris (Ernie) Lovato of Cheyenne; three step-children, Carmen (Jim) Diehl and Lisa (Ben) LeVasseur, all of Upton, and Bruce (Marilee) Woodard of Spearfish, S.D.; sister, Diane Tunison of New York State; brother-in-law, Ralph Hammond of Colorado; sister-in-law, Margaret Judd of Rapid City, S.D. He is also survived by grandchildren, Dave Lovato and Eric (Shelly)  Lovato of Cheyenne; nine step-grandchildren, Buffy (Jeff) Helwig, Gerald (Kitta) Haynes, Melaynee Trandahl, Jaki (Dan) Gustaf, T.J. (Salumie) Trandahl, Nick (Brittany) Trandahl, Matthew Woodard and Abbie Woodard; four great-granddaughters, Trinity, Isabelle, Miley and Tatum; 14 step-great-grandchildren, Andrew, Kade, Lily, Emma, Addison, Reece, Holly, Sophia, Connor, Kate, Bella, Tommy, Story and Micah; and five nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Donna Hammond; and his brother-in-law, John Tunison.

Memorials have been established to Alley Cat Rescue, c/o Ginger Fields, 17 E. Main Street, Newcastle, WY 82701 and Pacific Ghosts, P.O. Box 859, Hyde Park, NY 12538 USA.


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