July 5, 1939 – October 28, 2017
Sharon “Sherry” Lee (Irion) Koltiska of Lander, Wyoming passed away surrounded by her daughters on October 28, 2017 in Casper, Wyoming. A celebration of life for Sherry will be held later in Lander in the spring of 2018. Sherry was born July 5, 1939 in Broadus, Montana, the only daughter to Stanley Kenneth Irion and Leona Lee (McLain) Holbert. She grew up on the Irion Ranch, a ranch raised girl on Mizpah Creek where she learned hard work ethics as well as the importance and fondness for well bred horses which was an ability she acquired at the hand of the amazing Irion horsemen passed down from generation to generation. She was proud of her Montana heritage and liked telling about her early childhood days, the best stories included the families legacy of horse racing, ranching and rodeo plus providing thoroughbred remount horses to the United States Calvary, her dad roping wolves for the government and the race between the rivers, a 127 mile endurance horse race that their horse Drifter won in 1948. She married the love her life Jim Koltiska on December 22, 1956 and was devoted to him until her last breath. She was the driving force behind the success of Jim and the raising of their five children, all of whom she was devoted and proud. She traveled and supported her family as the wife of a Navy man before settling down in Sheridan where her and Jim ranched and in the summers raced horses throughout the north. Over the years it was her that made any place the family lived a real home. As one of her friends said she was the toughest and hardest working women she had ever met and could stretch a meal for four into a meal for eight and not even think anything about it. Jim and Sherry ended the last chapter of their life by settling down in Lander, Wyoming and enjoyed the quaint little valley town that had the amazing backdrop of the Wind River Mountains, a place she enjoyed camping and exploring the great outdoors. Her most treasured things besides her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were her race horses. Her accomplishments in horse racing are something she always cherished included owning two time World Champion Paint Running Horse, PF Chief Runnin Bear, she truly adored him, he was a once in a lifetime horse. She also has the honor of being named 2006 Texas Quarter Horse Association Accredited Texas Bred Owner of the Year, the only owner that has received the honor that lived outside the State of Texas. She was always known to be a spit fire, very outspoken and kept everyone on their toes but she was as loyal, loving and true of a person that you would ever meet. She enjoyed spending time with her family, going to yard sales, collecting antiques and was talented at making the most beautiful crocheted afghans, a true family treasure. Survivors include daughters Tauna (Les) Powell, Jamie (Dan) Lyons of Lander and Brande Koltiska of Casper. Son Scott (Teresa) Koltiska of Green River and daughter- in- law Rhonda Koltiska of Augusta, Kansas. Grandchildren including Tyrel (Megan) Powell, Lacey (Jake) Braun, Mary Hunt, Scotti Koltiska, Shana Lyons, Kailee Koltiska, Sierra Lyons and Kade Koltiska. Great grandchildren Kolden and Timberlee Braun. Step grandchildren Garth Powell, Daniel Powell, Chad Feeback and Cody Feeback and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by husband Jim Koltiska, son Shawn Koltiska, parents Leona & Charles Holbert and Stanley K Irion along with granddaughter Shaylyn Lyons.