Sharon Ann Eslinger quietly slipped away March 22, 2023, in Sheridan, Wyoming at Cascades of Sugarland Ridge Assisted Living.
Sharon was born at home in Wakonda, South Dakota on July 25, 1941 to Norman and Esther Ness. She was the second child of four and was the last survivor. Her early years growing up were spent helping out with the family farm. One summer she visited her cousin Valerie in Custer, South Dakota and met Willis Powell and fell head over heels in love. The couple married and were blessed with four children. Willis lost his life in a work accident. A few years later Sharon met Jack Eslinger and they were married. Sharon was always appreciative to Jack for helping raise her children. A long-time resident of Newcastle, Wyoming, Sharon wore many hats and you might have met her working at the package liquor store “Cap-n-Bottle” or as a retail clerk at Gambles. Jack and Sharon enjoyed helping out at Cheyenne Crossing and Buckhorn Bar and Grill. Her grandsons will always remember working alongside them during those fun summers. The couple also spent a few years together crossing the country over-the- road trucking seeing many beautiful parts of America. Always a good cook she also loved to garden, identify and feed the birds of the Black Hills as well as enjoy her many dogs throughout the years. Her grandchildren will tell you how they looked forward to her homemade cookies and treats. When Sharon’s children were young they would help her make (and eat) holiday treats to send to her parents in eastern South Dakota. Those who loved her will remember her apple trees from which she made the best apple jelly and frozen apple pies. Chokecherry jelly was another favorite. She and Jack along with the grandchildren loved to find and pick the berries. Sharon loved and was always loyal to her parents, often making solo trips across South Dakota riding her “trike” to surprise them. Her grandparents immigrated from Norway and her Norwegian stubbornness was always apparent…UFFDA!! Sharon enjoyed playing cards, cribbage and was still playing Mexican Train shortly before her passing. One great granddaughter questioned how great grandma always seemed to win. Mount Rushmore and Sharon both turned fifty the same year and she even had a picture to prove it. Beanie babies were a favorite passion for a few years, there still may be some of them hidden under beds. JC Penny and Herberger’s were her favorite stores to shop as she felt they had the best clothing. She was a lifelong customer of First State Bank and her cupboards were full of bank giveaways that we still love. She kept her home “uncomfortably” warm and we all knew to wear light clothing when visiting.
Sharon was a long time resident of Newcastle, Wyoming until 2021 when she relocated to Sheridan to be closer to her daughter due to failing health. While living in Sheridan she loved trips to Dairy Queen and Kendrick Park for ice cream. During her final days the staff at Cascades made sure she had an ample supply of vanilla ice cream cups. Recently Sharon started collecting stuffed gnomes and her family made sure she had some for every holiday and season. The Caregivers at Cascades and the great grandchildren received gnomes from her collection as keepsakes to remember her by. One grandson mentioned that she never realized the impact and importance she had and how big her family had grown as it all began with her. Sometimes we forget it all starts with family.
A birthday party that was planned for this summer on July 30th at the Story Woman’s Club will now be a Celebration of life for this woman who will not be forgotten.
Sharon was preceded in death by her loving husbands Jack Eslinger and Willis Powell, her parents Norman and Esther Ness, siblings Debbie Smidt, Larry Ness, Rodney Ness and son Robert Powell. Sharon is survived by her daughters, Robin (Steve) Schilling, Rachelle (Steve) Murrell, Bonnie (Kevin) Sweet, grandchildren David Wright, Nicholas Wright, Brent Schilling, Preston Schilling, Justin Murrell, Ethan Murrell, Darrell Sweet, twelve great grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews. Donations in Sharon’s name will be appreciated for Hospice or the animal shelter.
The family is beyond grateful for the excellent loving care that was provided by the staff at Cascades of Sugarland Ridge. We will always consider them as extended family.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.