The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Alta Kottraba

Funeral service for Alta Kottraba was held Friday, March 31, 2023 at Walker Funeral Home with Pastor Donavon Voigt officiating.

Alta Mae "Babe" Kottraba was born on January 24, 1931 in a house that belonged to her grandmother on the Crook County and Campbell County borderline. She was born to Earl and Katherine (Thompson) Mellott and joined a sister, Phyllis and a brother, Melvin.

She was the baby for nine years, hence the name Babe. She kept that nickname all her life even after her little sister, Dorthy was born. Babe passed away at Primrose Assisted Living on March 27, 2023 at the age of 92.

Babe attended country school and later school in Moorcroft, Wyoming. She ranched and worked tending sheep with her brother, sisters and parents. She also worked as a telephone operator in her younger years.

She met Charles Kottraba at a country dance. And soon they fell in love and were married. They lived in various places in the Campbell County and Crook County areas.

They settled on a ranch north of Moorcroft and raised five children, Creg Kottraba (Kathy), Laray Askin (Frank), Lonny Kottraba (Jovita), Pat Kottraba and Bruce Kottraba.

Babe enjoyed her many ranch and homemaking activities. At one time she was on a bowling team. She was a 4H leader as well as a gardener. She liked knitting her grandchildren sweaters, doing cross stitch, playing pitch with neighbors or crib with Chuck.

She enjoyed making jigsaw puzzles and sewing. She could make the best boats out of nothing more than a folded gum wrapper.

She also became known for her domino games throughout the countryside. The little neighbor kids knew where she kept her game and would enthusiastically set it up to play.

Babe was a great cook and particularly liked to bake cookies and cakes, make jelly and prepare her garden foods. She loved helping on the ranch. She was great at fencing, haying and raising cattle and kittens.

Babe had five kids, 11 grandkids, 21 great-grandkids and two great-great grandkids. Friends and neighbors were considered extended family and knew her by many names: Aunt Alta, Aunt Babe, Sis, Hon, Kitty Grandma, Grandma Grape, Grandma and Mom.

She had a kind generous nature and was a sweet soul, who particularly loved spring in Wyoming with the song of the meadowlark, the sighting of the first robin and the simple beauty of the first buttercup. We will miss her sweet smile and the twinkle in those bright, blue eyes.

She is survived by her sister, Dorthy Mulholland (Gene) and her sister-in-law, Donna Mellott; many nieces and nephews; her children and grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the great-great grandchildren.

At 92, Babe has lost many friends and numerous family members including her husband, Chuck; her parents, Earl and Katherine; her in-laws, Ray and Kathryn; one sister, Phyllis; her brother, Melvin; as well as all her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law on the Kottraba side; and some nieces and nephews.

We remember them as she did with much love. Many helped care for Babe over the years. Their kindness did not go unnoticed by her and her family.

We remember Babe (Alta) Kottraba, a life well-loved and lived. Memorials are suggested to benefit the Primrose community's annual Rock-a-thon to benefit Alzheimer Care.

Condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at

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