James Clayton Kochevar, age 89, passed away at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, WY on January 6, 2024, with family by his side. He was born on April 19th, 1934, in Kemmerer Wyoming, the son of John and Lucille Lavonne (Clayton) Kochevar.
Jim attended school in Kemmerer and graduated in 1952, participating in football, basketball, and high school band. Post graduation, Jim attended The University of Wyoming. He was then employed as a telegrapher for the Union Pacific Railroad working as a relief at stations from Granger Wyoming to Nyara Oregon and Sandy Utah to Butte Montana.
He married his high school sweetheart, JoAnne Koci, on March 4th, 1956, then enlisting in the US Army and served until 1959. To this union was born two children, Laurie, and Russell. Jim was a devoted husband, father, and later grandfather and great grandfather.
Jim was employed by El Paso Natural Gas Plant in in Opal from February 1959, which later became Northwest Pipeline Corp, and is now owned by The Williams Company. He retired as a supervisor on January 1st, 1990, after thirty-one years of service. He spent his career primarily at the Opal gas Plant but did work at the Kemmerer Compressor station for several years. Later he was sent to Argentina to help start up an LPG plant to which he often spoke fondly of the many memories. After retirement, he then worked many years in consulting as a construction inspector for Northwest Pipeline, The Williams Corp, and Kern River Pipeline.
Jim spent his years of retirement as an avid snowmobiler and loved spending time fishing up the Hams Fork River. They spent many summers enjoying family and the outdoors camping, especially later in their favorite place together, “The Beave”. Inevitably always catching “the big one” out of the fishing hole. He was also a devoted fan of the Wyoming Cowboys, Kemmerer Ranger sports, and The Denver Broncos never missing the opportunity to listen to or catch the games.
Jim is survived by his dearly loved wife JoAnne, daughter Laurie (Kim) McKee, son Russell (Anne) Kochevar of South Carolina, grandchildren Candy (Shad) Leggett, Nicki (Kade) Minchow, Jackson Harrison and Alyssa Kochevar, and great grandchildren Alexis and Josilyn Leggett.
Jim was a member of The Masonic Lodge 53, Lincoln Chapter #15, Royal Arch Masons, Teton Commandry #15, Knights Templar and the Korein Shriners A.A.O.N.M.S. of Rawlins Wyoming, the Lincoln County Snowbears, and Berta A. Penny United Methodist Church.
Memorial donations can be made to The Shriners Hospital, Fairfax Road at Virginia St. Salt Lake City, UT 84403.