Obituary: CHARLES “CHUCK” A. SANGER
October 7, 1937 – August 4, 2022
Charles “Chuck” A. Sanger
Carbon County resident, pioneer rancher, cattleman and outfitter Charles “Chuck” A. Sanger, 84, passed away Thursday, August 4, 2022.
Chuck was born October 7, 1937, in Rawlins, Wyoming, to Charles J. Sanger and Millicent Enberg Sanger and was a lifelong Upper North Platte Valley resident, as well as a fifth-generation cattle rancher. His great great grandfather, Elijah Moore, homesteaded a portion of the Sanger Ranch in the 1860s after which other generations continued as cattlemen and outfitters.
Chuck’s first transportation around Sanger Ranch was a Shetland pony named “Snowball” but he quickly transitioned to a horse. He never missed an opportunity to move cattle and by age eight he was riding in the Medicine Bow National Forest with the ranch crew to work cattle and pack salt.
As an adolescent Chuck spent much of his time with his grandparents, Katheryn and Al Enberg, who were pioneer ranchers in Carbon County. In the summer he helped trail cattle sixty miles from Jack Creek Ranch to the summer range at the Sulphur Ranch on the Muddy Creek. His time there was spent moving cattle and gathering horses. Some of the horses were broke and trained for saddle horses on the ranch. All the cattle work and sorting were done on horseback and the remainder of his summer was spent in the hayfield on both Jack Creek and Sanger Ranch.
Chuck attended school in Saratoga, Wyoming, where he graduated from high school in 1955. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Wyoming where he was a member of Sigma Nu and Alpha Zeta fraternities. During college, his summers and many weekends were spent working on the family ranches.
After college he dedicated his life’s work to full time management of the family ranches. Chuck was an early adaptor of holistic management practices using rotational grazing and balancing ranching with wildlife habitat. In the Upper North Platte River flowing through the Sanger Ranch and in French Creek he created a trout habitat which continues to benefit those fisheries today.
In 1966 Chuck met Barbara “Bobbie” Mitchell at a snowmobile demonstration on Snowy Range. Chuck married Barbara (Bobbie) Mitchell on December 1, 1967, in Encampment, Wyoming, and in the ensuing four years they had a son Ladd and daughter Shawndra.
Chuck was always intrigued with aviation and learned to fly in 1969. The airplanes were a valuable tool for locating cattle, monitoring the irrigation water, and traveling between the ranches. Chuck infused his passion for aviation with his son Ladd, who he taught to fly, and they spent many hours together flying the skies above the Platte Valley.
In 1979, Chuck was named Wyoming Flying Farmer of the Year at the group’s 32nd annual convention at the A Bar A Ranch. He also presided over the meeting as president of the WFFR.
Chuck was a past Master of Saratoga Masonic Lodge No. 14, A.F. & A.M., and upon his death was the longest surviving member.
After a lifetime of achievements as a cattleman and cowboy, in 2016, Chuck was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The outdoor life was Chuck’s passion. While he was always doing ranch work, he found time for some hunting and fishing. October was his favorite time of year. After completing the hay season and moving the cattle to the winter range, he turned his attention to hunting and guiding hunters. Even after retiring from full time ranching, Chuck relished spending time at the Muddy Creek Ranch, guiding hunters and enjoying the solitude the ranch offered.
For many years Chuck continued the Sanger family’s 130-year tradition of ranching during which time the properties ranked among the top working, as well as superb hunting and fishing spreads in the country. Today, Chuck’s sister, Kathryn, continues the Sanger family’s long ranching legacy.
In recent years Chuck and Bobbie enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren, teaching them to fish, taking rides, telling stories about times gone by and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle he cherished.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, Millicent (Enberg) and Charles J. Sanger, and is survived by Bobbie Sanger, his wife of 55 years; son Ladd Sanger (Kristen); daughter Shawndra S. Barry (Shawn), grandchildren Austin and Ellie Barry; sister Kathryn Sanger. He is also survived by special nephew, Clay Janssen (Sally) and other nephews and sisters-in-law.
A private family and Masonic graveside service is scheduled for Friday, August 12, 2022, at the Saratoga Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Chuck’s memory to the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame http://www.wyomingcowboyhalloffame.org or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation http://www.themmrf.org