William George (Bill) Dahlin took his “last snort of terra firma” on Tuesday October 17th, 2023 at 68 years old. He passed on to the next great adventure while surrounded by his family.
Born to Edward and Florence Dahlin in Sheridan Wyoming, Bill was the second of five children. He adored animals from a young age and wanted to be a dog when he grew up. He had his first BB-gun when he was 5 years old and would walk for miles with his brother Gary to set steel traps to catch skunks and muskrats.
Bill was a self-reliant, hard-worker. He started working as a child delivering newspapers on horseback and continued working through high school breaking horses, pumping gas, and as a hired hand at Norris Dairy and the Wurthier ranch.
Bill was physically strong and athletic. In his teenage years he played baseball, boxed and was a bull and bronc rider (saddle and bareback). Legend holds that he was once the toughest street fighter around. His father suggested he should start using his head, not his hands, and he took that advice to heart.
Bill was an incredibly charismatic, winsome, charming guy. There was nobody who met him who didn’t love him (including many fellas he’d fist-fought in his younger years but won over as time went on). Black-balled from the Elks as a young man for his reputation as a fighter, he returned years later as Exalted Ruler, serving two terms.
After high school he went to work on the railroad, initially as a laborer, building and repairing railroad tracks. He moved up the ranks of the railroad with his work ethic and natural leadership, to Foreman, Roadmaster, and Maintenance Engineer before he started his own business at the age of 36.
His company, M-Bar-D Railcar Tech, a railcar service and cleaning business grew to operate in more than 13 states. With his business partner Bill Pladson, Bill and Bill (Dahlin and Pladson) invented and registered nine patents for railcar servicing and cleaning technologies.
Bill and Bill sold M-Bar-D, keeping only a small part of the operation – a landfill converted from an old coal mine in Western North Dakota. They grew this small operation into their second successful business—Gascoyne Material Handling and Recycling (GMHR).
Bill was an ultra athlete. He competed in many marathons including two Boston Marathons, where he averaged 6 minute miles. In 2002, he helped scout and set the inaugural Big Horn Mountain Wild and Scenic ultramarathon 100 mile course, an extreme mountain endurance event that is one the top 10 most difficult ultras in the nation. He ran the 50 and 100 mile courses six times in total and offered his motorhome as race operations HQ.
Bill hosted his own half marathon/fun run for the Sheridan running community, the Beaver Creek Slide, which started and ended at his home, looping through the Big Horn mountain foothills, complete with hot chili, t-shirts, and prizes.
Bill was a jokester. His click-clacking karaoke performances won over audiences. A night of celebration would routinely include Bill standing on his head. He would use a special wristwatch to secretly change the channel away from sporting events at bars, causing patrons and staff to create wild theories as to how the channel was changing.
Bill was a wordsmith, and his funny stories included physical comedy and now famous Bill-isms; “Chillimongs” (Children) “last snort of terra firma” (last day on earth) , “Formosa” (mimosa), “finer than a frog’s hair,” and “Oh Reeaaally?”. His sense of humor is captured in the children’s book he authored at age 44, The Pig and the Whale.
Bill deeply loved Wyoming and wanted to serve, spurring his run as gubernatorial candidate in 2018.
He loved to fish and hunt for elk and pheasant. He prioritized getting meat for the winter and planned his yearly schedule around hunting season and fishing trips, often coming home with trophies he called “Bill Bull #4”, “Bill Bull #8”, etc.
His words of advice to us are: “Love Life, Love Wyoming.” Bill sincerely loved us and he never wasted an opportunity to say so. He would tell you “Love ya” and you knew he meant it.
So, to you dear reader, Bill Dahlin wants YOU to know, he loves you.
Bill is survived by his wife Val, his children Kaydee (Lucas), and Tanner (Erin), his step-children Morgan (Arty) and Tessa (Braydee), his grandchildren Flora, Leo, and William, and step-grandchildren Barrett, Amir, Walker, Henry, and Aurelia, his mother Florence, brothers Gary, Wes, Eric, sister Joni, the mother of his children Laurie Helvey, and many loving nieces and nephews, friends and loved ones. He is preceded in death by his father Edward Dahlin, and former wife Rachel.
There will be a celebration of life on January 13th, 2024 at 2 PM at the Elks Lodge #520 in Sheridan.
In lieu of flowers please send any contributions in Bill Dahlin’s honor to; Elks 520, PO Box 624, Sheridan, WY 82801 or call Lodge secretary Chelsey Roberts at 307-674-7297.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.