NLJ Staff


Oct. 8, 1923–Jan. 18, 2020

Wilma Laurene (Trail) was born Oct. 8, 1923, in Thornton, Wyo., to Charles Clinton Trail and Dotte Belle (Gordon) Trail. 

She passed away on Jan. 18, 2020, with her family by her side at home.

She had two sisters, Opal Fay and Elsie May, that died before she was born. She had a brother, Reo Clinton, who was two years older than her. He preceded her in death at the age of 97. She was also preceded in death by her husband and granddaughter. 

She loved horses and her special horse “Clipper.” Her dad trained horses and she helped him diligently. She liked the outdoors better than being inside. She liked being a trick rider at rodeos. She was known for riding a horse through fire hoops while her best friend Della did tricks on her horse. They were supposed to appear at Belle Fourche but Della’s horse “Dan Patch” died.

Wilma met “Smokey” Japp at a dance in Upton and they were married Nov. 17, 1941. They had two children, Georgia Evelyn and Kenneth Clinton, who became the most important parts of their lives.

She helped Smokey when he went to work in the oil field. He bought her a special pair of overalls which she wore quite often. They were a great pair together. One of their favorite things to do was go gamble at Deadwood, S.D., which she continued to enjoy for many years. 

Her family said, “She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. She will be missed for her sweet smile and her wit that was immeasurable.”

A memorial has been established per her request to Newcastle Ambulance Service. Funeral service for Wilma Japp were held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23,  at Meridian Mortuary; interment followed at Greenwood Cemetery. A celebration of life for Wilma was observed after the services at the VFW on West Main Street in Newcastle. 

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Meridian Mortuary, 111 S. Railroad Ave., Newcastle, WY 82701. Condolences may also be expressed at meridianmortuary.com.


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