Nov 6, 1934 - Sep 12, 2023
Carol Vinich, of Lander WY, passed away peacefully at home on September 12, 2023, surrounded by family and friends. She was born Carol Lee Morsey on November 6, 1934, in Phoenix, AZ, the only child of Helen and Harry Morsey.
She graduated from North Phoenix High School in 1953 and was a champion artistic roller skater. She married Porter Chopping, Jr. later that year, and had two children, LaDean and Gene. After her divorce, she was introduced to the love of her life Lyle Vinich by her former in-laws Porter and Virginia Chopping in 1961. They met at the El Toro Supper Club in Hudson on a summer evening and danced the night away. They married on November 4 of that same year and were one of the first couples to be married at United Presbyterian Church in Riverton. They welcomed three more children, Mark, Milan and Chris, and together they raised a family of five in Lander.
Her greatest joy was her family. She created a comfortable and happy home, and enjoyed gardening, sewing, and cooking and was always collecting recipes. Her skills were often tested as her children volunteered her for any and every school or club function that involved food. She had a love for animals and instilled that in her children. She could never say no to any animal that mysteriously came home with any her children. Through the years, there were numerous cats and dogs, ducks, fish, turtles, a pony, a lamb and even a pair of raccoons named Bonnie and Clyde for a short time. A very short time! The animals often drew a crowd of neighborhood kids to the Vinich house, including Paul and Sheila, the children of Carol’s dear friend and neighbor Miriam Susich. Carol considered Paul and Sheila as her own children.
Carol went back to work when her youngest children were old enough to stay at home alone. She soon discovered how ornery her sons were when she learned of the shenanigans they pulled on each other and saw the condition of the house! No matter how serious the fun was, the punishment always fit the crime.
She loved Wyoming and the Lander community and was active in Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Hudson’s Frank Homec Chapter of the VFW and Daughters of the Nile, among others. Whenever there was a fundraiser, she always donated rum cakes and other baked goods. She maintained a close connection to Phoenix, where her family lived, and spent many years caring for her aunts and uncle, who never had children, and her mother. While there, she and Lyle were involved in the Serbian Orthodox community and the American Slavic Club. They were actively involved in organizing the ASA’s annual Slavic Tamburitza Festivals. Carol helped make the festival’s food and made many things from scratch including the famous sarmas (cabbage rolls). In their later years, they continued to be involved with the ASA while wintering in Phoenix.
In addition to her parents, mother-in-law Helen Vinich, and her former in-laws Porter and Virginia Chopping, she was predeceased by her husband Lyle. She is survived by daughter LaDean of Hudson; sons Gene, of Hudson, Mark, of Cheyenne, Milan (Amy), of Riverton and Chris (Dayna), of Sturgis, SD; family friends Paul Susich and Sheila Susich Hill (Jon); six grandchildren Ryan Fagen, Megan Chopping, Tyler Chopping, Courtney Wilson, Kyle Vinich, and Madison Vinich; three great-grandchildren Madyson Fagen, Brooklynn Wilson and Rhylee Wilson; niece Mary Helen Sukup (James); and two nephews, Robert Halverson and Jack Wananda.
There will be a private burial at the Hudson Cemetery on November 4, 2023. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials in her honor be made to Lander Pet Connection, 120 Chittim Rd., Lander WY 82520. The family would like to thank Doris Bush, Angie Cook and Andrea Flores, private caregivers, for their excellent care and friendship to our mother. Our mother will be terribly missed but she will live on forever with Jesus and in our hearts and memories. Her light will continue to shine within each of us