Farm Animals 32

Philip Marton

January 15, 2024
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Philip Marton Obituary

Philip Ellis Marton- 1953- 2024 God needed a Caretaker, so he made a Rancher.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Philip “Phil” Marton on January 15, 2024 after a hard fought battle with esophageal cancer.

Phil was born on May 29,1953 to John and Helen Marton in Buffalo, Wyoming where he was raised alongside his three siblings: Sheila, Randy and Ann. Phil was a third generation Basque rancher, something of which he took great pride in.

Phil had a very full life which included adventures that he happily shared with those that grew to love him. He attended Assumption Abbey in Richardton North Dakota and then went on to graduate from Buffalo High School in 1971. His college years included playing basketball and football at Rocky Mountain College (Montana) and Chadron State College (Nebraska). In the spring of 1981, he and his brother Randy purchased what would become Marton Ranch and spent the next 34 years raising cattle and sheep.

Phil met and started a family with Debbie Gillett and from that marriage came three beautiful daughters: Katie, Molly, and Jenna. Phil’s girls were the light of his life. Phil was a devoted father who raised his girls on the ranch, teaching them the value of hard work, importance of family, and in their teenage years: the art of running from law enforcement. He loved watching his girls show their 4-H animals at the county fair, coaching their sports teams, and guiding them through life’s challenges.

Phil lived a remarkably active life, dedicating over 25 years to refereeing basketball before retiring in 2000. His passion for sports was further acknowledged when he earned a well-deserved place in the Wyoming Sports Official Association Hall of Fame. Beyond the sports arena, Phil found joy in the great outdoors as an avid hunter and guide. Through his tales, he shared vivid accounts of the diverse people he encountered, the locations he guided, and the clients who evolved into cherished friends. Despite the demands of ranching full-time, Phil always made time for his love of golf, showcasing his commitment to the game and his ability to balance multiple passions throughout his life.

For 25 years, Phil traveled to Baker City, Oregon to visit his good friend Alan Elsberry and attend the Miner’s Jubilee. It was during one of these visits that he was introduced to his life partner, Andrea (Andi) Walsh. They enjoyed 10 beautiful years together. Haines became a second home to Phil, often finding solace at his cabin in the Oregon mountainside.

Phil's sense of humor added a delightful touch to his social interactions, as his family claimed him to be the man of "1,000 friends." Phil had the unique ability to connect with people, always finding a common thread with those he met. He truly embodied the role of a best friend to many, showcasing his willingness to lend a helping hand where needed. This unwavering support extended to his family, emphasizing his genuine and caring nature.

Even in retirement, Phil's love for ranching persisted, and he found joy in assisting others with cattle work. His bond with Tommie, fondly dubbed 'the smartest dog on earth,' was evident during their drives around the valley, particularly when on the lookout for coyotes. Phil's commitment to relationships, whether human or canine, left an indelible mark on the lives he touched, making him not just a best friend but a cherished companion and ally.

Phil is survived by his partner Andi Walsh of Haines, Oregon; daughters Katie (Nate) Slaughter, Molly (Brian) Northrop, Jenna (Ethan Lipp) Marton; grandchildren: Evie, Kennedy, Graham, and Johnny. Andi’s children: Sami (Lane) Loennig and Jake Sexton; his siblings: Sheila Camino, Randy Marton, and Ann Wille. He is preceded in death by his parents John and Helen Marton. We know Phil is watching over all of us, encouraging us to continue on and he is enjoying time with friends and family that have passed. A private graveside service will be held at the Haines Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life on January 27th~ 2p.m. at the Frontier Restuarant and Saloon in Haines, OR. An additional celebration of life will be held in Casper Wyoming at a later date.

Phil’s family would like to extend their gratitude for the support and care provided by St. Luke’s Oncology, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Heart n’ Home Hospice, and his friends and family. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation or through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, PO Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences can be shared at

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