Trigg Galen Marquiss

Trigg Galen Marquiss

October 25, 1948 - August 30, 2023
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Trigg G. Marquiss



Trigg Marquiss left those who love him with broken hearts when he departed his earthly body on August 30 after an ATV accident in Story, Wyoming.

He was born Oct. 25, 1948, in the old rock hospital in Gillette, the middle child of Quentin and “Toots” Marquiss. Both his Wagensen and Marquiss grandfathers amassed historic ranches along the Belle Fourche River and helped nurture the fledgling town. From the Wagensen side came Trigg’s love of horses; from the Marquiss side his quirky humor and inventive spirit. Trigg kept an affinity for the number 13 and chose it whenever possible.

He grew up on the Little Buffalo Ranch 45 miles south of Gillette, attending a one-room country schoolhouse and always favoring the color purple (he once made his favorite white cat that color with some dimestore dye, then “didn’t see much of that cat for a while”). Trigg graduated from Campbell County High School in 1966, two years after his dad’s fatal plane crash. He’d spent summers working for his Uncle Don Wagensen, as well as for the Hartnagle family at a Colorado sale barn. Throughout, he was badgered, teased, mentored and influenced by some tough cowboys including his grandad, Fred Wagensen, and the likes of Bob Davidson and Ronnie Bloxham.

After a wild year at Casper College, Trigg figured he knew all there was to know and returned to run the ranch with his brother Gary until about ’73 when he took over his Grandpa Fred’s Beaver Creek Ranch on Napier Road southwest of Gillette. He had an exceptional eye and abiding love for horses. Aside from raising and selling hundreds of outstanding performance horses in his lifetime, Trigg purchased two phenomenal blue-roan stud colts that both matured into world champions.

Over Trigg’s 19-year marriage to Denise, they raised three kids immersed in 4-H and rodeo and employed a handful of colorful ranch hands throughout the 1980s and ‘90s. Trigg always had his neighbors’ backs and kept his door open for friends. Trigg and Denise threw epic parties, hosted an enormous yearly team roping and produced an extravagant annual production sale “under the chandelier” in Gillette.

In fact, Trigg infused that spirit of excellence into everything he did, from the shirts he creased himself to his immaculate mustache; from his spotless barn to his meticulous landscaping. He concocted his own version of Hoof Alive before it existed and put together an impressive collection of vintage silver bits and spurs – even patenting one of his own.

He collected great silver like he did great horses. And he raised all three kids to be cowboy-tough. In 1991, just before Stephanie rode into that Oklahoma arena to do a reining pattern in competition for Miss National High School Rodeo, he told her, “Don’t you go in there and ride like a rodeo queen; you ride like a cowboy.” She won.

In the late ’90s, a longtime Gillette schoolteacher named JoAnn fell for Trigg the moment he first tipped his hat to her. They eloped in 2002 and have been inseparable for more than a quarter-century, traveling the country while sticking to back roads and spontaneous decisions – her saying “yes” every time he asked, “Wanna ride along?”

The pair enjoyed summers in Story punctuated with good times at the Wagonbox, and winters in Carefree, Arizona, where Trigg was a welcome sight at jackpots greeting old team-roping buddies. Trigg and JoAnn hosted fun-filled family Christmases that rivaled the late Toots’ holidays at the Little Buffalo Ranch.

And Trigg delighted in his grandson – his namesake born on his own 60 th  birthday.

During every visit for more than a decade, little Trigg and his “Papa” dreamed up their own “bedbugs” game to play, and remodeled a treehouse together, while talking horses and everything cowboy.

Trigg was an amazing teacher because his time and patience never ran out, for his own kids, neighbor kids, or whomever needed help. In fact, his patience behind the wheel was also legend. Notwithstanding the white Corvette he bought for his 70 th  birthday, Trigg drove so slowly that one friend said flashers should automatically come on whenever he turned the key.

His favorite truck acquired the sarcastic nickname “Swifty.”

Unafraid to lead, Trigg served at different times on the Campbell County Land Board, in the Wyoming Quarter Horse Association, and more recently as a founding member of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo’s Gold Buckle Club.

Tait likes to say that “Trigg threw a big loop,” meaning he was interested in many different facets of life. He provided horses and Longhorn steers to TV and movie sets. And there was nothing he didn’t know how to do, build or fix. Trigg was a proponent of “tough love,” and at the same time was quite proud of the accomplishments of his kids, his grandson, and of the horses he bred and raised.

Tait describes him as first in line to help you out, regardless of the wisdom in what you might be doing. And Trigg never met a stranger. He fit in anywhere, with or without smoking his cigar or sporting his favorite Hawaiian shirt – but always with that trademark chuckle.

Like his brother Gary, Trigg was an epic storyteller and thoroughly enjoyed a good laugh (you didn’t necessarily want to be the star of a Trigg story). Stacy summed up in simple terms what all his friends knew when she said, “He lit up the room.” Trigg’s attention to detail, recollection of great stories, quick humor and big heart will be dearly missed. 

He’s survived by his wife, JoAnn; his daughters, Stephanie Gies (Jason) and Stacy Marquiss; his son, Tait Marquiss (Jennifer); his grandson, Trigg Marquiss; and his stepdaughters Jennifer Newson and Jessica Newson. He’s also remembered by his brother, Gary Marquiss; his sister, Glo Clark; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, a lasting contribution in his memory can be made in the form of a donation to the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association (WHSRA), “In Memory of Trigg Marquiss.” Checks can be sent to: Shelly Thompson; 4180 Rd 44; Yoder, WY 82244.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 from 3-6 pm at the Equestrian Center.

Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.

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September 6, 2023
Start Time:
3:00 -6:00 PM
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 from 3-6 pm at the Equestrian Center.


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