Dorothy “Snookie” Hirschfeld Minihan was born February 25, 1933, in Casper to Art and Dorothy (“Dot”) Hirschfeld.
She attended Park Elementary School and graduated from NCHS in 1951. While at NCHS, Snookie made lifelong friends. As an only child, she grew up very close to her cousin, Janelle Terriere Chilcote (they were more like sisters) and Janelle’s daughter, Danelle (Tom) Johnson.
As a teenager, she worked at the B & B Drive-In, the Casper hang out in 1950. After her children were in school, she worked part-time at the Jiffy Drive-In and the first Casper Burger King; the local owner gave her a trip to Las Vegas for being such a dedicated 25-year employee (she probably still holds the BK employment record!). She made many friends working who remained in contact until her death.
She married Thomas Richards and had one daughter, Bonnie Trapkus (Gary). In August 1956 she married Denis Minihan. They were married 53 years until his death in 2009. Together they had daughters, Mary Minihan (Pete Schulte) and Sally Minihan-Ayers (Greg) to join Denis’ two daughters, Denise (Lindsay) Pattalochi and Maureen (Ray) Sternberg.
Earlier in life, Dorothy and Denis loved traveling to Las Vegas, usually to meet up with Bill and Elaine Minihan. She was a lifelong Elvis fan, and was able to see him in concert in Las Vegas in 1971. She also enjoyed dancing, carnivals, and played volleyball on the “Minihan Oldtimers” team for years. She was also known for her fried chicken and potato salad. When her girls were young, she rarely missed a school program, parade, or other event. She enjoyed sharing many of her interests with grandchildren, Brian (Jennifer) Boyle and Brenda Boyle Rettke.
Later in life, she looked forward to playing bingo and heading down the road to a casino, and acquired good friends along the way. She also enjoyed watching old westerns, war movies, Sunday football and drinking a Pepsi “with lots of ice”, and was often referred to as the “QVC Queen”. She looked forward to phone calls from her nieces and nephews in Oregon, and traveling to birthday parties in Riverton for visits with family members living there.
Her family as well as the “holidays” were Dorothy’s reason to live! Every birthday was celebrated, she shopped all year to make Christmas fun and memorable, looked forward to traditional Denver trips with her mother and daughters, and insisted on family dinners. She promoted people to have fun, play games, and never missed dressing up for Halloween, winning many first place prizes at the bingo hall. She and Denis hosted many memorable Fourth of July picnics with full firework displays – and a mishap or two! Even on the day she passed away, she was planning Thanksgiving’s menu.
Dorothy loved “to give” and would go without in order to do so. She was an independent woman to the end.
Probably the biggest passion and sense of purpose throughout her life was rescuing dogs. Dorothy rescued dozens and dozens of the most needy and unwanted dogs over the years, bringing her husband and daughters on the journey and teaching them the rewards of saving a life and unconditional love. More than once she went to a shelter to adopt the oldest, scruffiest, most unwanted dog, and came home with several. She was a volunteer at Casper Humane Society where she made friends sharing the common interest.
Dorothy is also survived by step-grandchildren Rayne Faubion, Ferris Sternberg, and Carrie Beard, and nieces and nephews Karen Minihan, Carol Bartram, Bill Minihan, Tom Minihan, Luci Graham and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; grandparents, Clifford and Bonnie Adoue, Emil and Elizabeth Hirschfeld; and aunts, Jennie (John) Terriere and Ethel Hirschfeld.
Dorothy passed away on November 17 after a short stay at Life Care. She will be missed by all the family, friends, and dogs she leaves behind. In her honor, please provide a good home to an unwanted animal through adoption or the family would be grateful for a memorial in her name to the Central Wyoming Spay and Neuter Foundation, P. O. Box 1062, Casper, WY 82602, or other charity of choice.
Services will be held at Bustard’s Funeral Home at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 25, with a reception to follow. Private interment will be at Highland Cemetery.
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