Wendy Michele VanOosten, was born in a U.S. military hospital in France on July 8, 1966 to Boyd and Sandra Owens, where her career Air Force-father was stationed.
The family soon transferred back to a stateside air bases, Leavenworth, Kan., and Selma Ala. Wendy and her sisters grew up in several locations. But they finally settled in Huntsville, Ala., where she graduated from high school and went to work at electronics assembly. She then moved to Cody, Wyo. She worked at a dude ranch and the Y-Tex cattle and Tag factory.
In 1993, she married Gene Van Oosten. She became his best friend, help mate, and a working ranch wife. Two wonderful children, Ashley and Cody, were born to this union.
Wendy always had horses, even in Alabama. In Montana, she learned to participate in the sport of reining and competed successfully in a number of shows.
She also collected and custom painted model horses. She competed in many shows in Montana and the northwest. Her custom painted horses had to be beautiful, but totally natural. Wendy traveled to the National Breyer Model Horse Fest in Kentucky twice.
Always a person of faith, she spent several of her last days listening to praise music and reading the Bible. Wendy was a member of the Columbus Baptist Church and Emmanuel Baptist on Shiloh Road. Early in her marriage, she brought her husband to Jesus and baptism. Two weeks ago, barely able to walk, she attended Bible Study one last time.
Wendy was a fighter. In December, after the Billings Clinic had exhausted its nastiest chemo, she flew by herself to Mexico for three weeks of alternative therapy, which almost worked.
Wendy leaves behind her husband Gene; children Ashley (Chance) Conner of Columbus, son Cody of the family home.
She is also survived by her parents of New Hope, Ala.; sisters Kerry Lemley of Tallahassee; Stephanie Owens and Susan (Mike) Watson.
Wendy was preceded in death by a baby brother and brother-in-law Russell Lemley.
Special thanks to Charlotte for the endless trips to Billings Clinic and also the Emmanuel Bible Study group and the staff at the infusion lab and her friend Joan Branstetter.
And, to Wendy herself, thank you for all the good things and good times you brought to my life.
Funeral Services were held Jan. 25, 2016, at Smith Funeral Chapel in Columbus and burial in the Mountain View Cemetery has taken place.