James "Jim" Kruger Ellifritz

James "Jim" Kruger Ellifritz, 67, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, December 18, 2022. He was a resident of Rock Springs, Wyoming for 50 years and former resident of Colorado. He died following a lengthy illness.

He was born December 3, 1955 in Rifle, Colorado; the son of William Ledell Ellifritz and Darlene Hampton Ellifritz.

Mr. Ellifritz attended schools in Colorado before also attending Job Corp to further continue his education. Later in life he obtained his GED with such outstanding scores he was immediately offered a teaching position. He graciously declined as being a full-time father was something he enjoyed.

He married Patricia "Trish" Lynn Watson on February 11, 1982 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They spent every weekend adventuring together for almost a decade before starting in on their biggest escapade yet, becoming parents. They spent the rest of their 45 years together as best friends tackling all of life's challenges hand in hand.

Mr. Ellifritz learned a lot from his father, being lucky enough to have worked side by side with him over many years. Packing apples at age 8, ride along as they plowed the deep snow from the Colorado mountain passes, and later at the zoo, showing each animal love and compassion. He learned many lessons and a work ethic he would later pass on to his own children. Mr. Ellifritz worked locally at ABCO for 20 years, having retired in 1997 as a Mechanic. He loved the trade so much he spent the rest of his life working on his own cars, constantly acquiring new projects to help keep him busy.

He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandson. Mr. Ellifritz enjoyed being an artist and a craftsman; carving antlers and emu eggs; working on and building cars; camping; fishing; hunting and bringing his custom hand built 1934 Ford to car shows around the state; winning numerous trophies and awards for his incredible work.

Survivors include his wife Patricia "Trish" Ellifritz of Rock Springs, Wyoming; two daughters, Jamie Lynn Cantu (Kurt) of Pinedale, Wyoming; Jessie Dee Ellifritz (Travis) of Rock Springs, Wyoming; three sisters, Norene Ann Lubick of Rock Springs, Wyoming; Rita Mae Ellifritz of Riverton, Wyoming; Nita Gay Royer (Tony) of Indianapolis, Indiana; one grandson Kurt "KJ" James Cantu; four nieces; Kimberly, Lauri, Mitzi, Dena; four nephews; Matthew, Robert, Jason, Danny; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his parents William and Darlene Ellifritz; one brother Dean Lorane Baker; his paternal grandparents, Paul Kruger Ellifritz and wife May and maternal grandparents, Theodore Hampton and wife Myrtle.

Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be conducted at a later date.


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