Carl A. Beavers, retired priest of the Diocese of Cheyenne, died suddenly on July 23, 2020, near Dayton, Wyoming, with his dog “Cooler” by his side. Father Beavers was born on Sept. 16, 1942, in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Clyde A. (Buck) and Edna C. Breen Beavers.
His education began at Dayton until the middle of the fourth grade when the family moved to Powell. After graduating high school in 1960, he attended Northwest Community College in Powell for one year on a football scholarship. A visiting priest from Ireland was very instrumental in his decision to study for the priesthood. Carl entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, in the autumn of 1961 and was ordained on May 24, 1968.
After serving a few months in Powell, he became an assistant priest at St. Laurence O’Toole in Laramie, Wyoming. From there, he took up the reins of superintendency of St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington, Wyoming. He recognized advantages in raising beef cattle to both feed the resident children and make available to them more 4-H and FFA projects. As he saw St. Joseph’s taking on a new role as a treatment center, Father Beavers reflected on the philosophy which had guided the institution during its years as an orphanage and which still inspired its efforts in working with emotionally disturbed children. He, aided by Bishop Newell, articulated that philosophy in 1978.
From Torrington, Father Beavers became the rector at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for 17 years. He was also the chancellor, moderator of the curia and superintendent of Seaton High School. When the Senate was in session, he was asked to offer the invocation each morning for several years.
His next move took him to Jackson, Wyoming, where he became the pastor of Our Lady of the Mountains Parish. While there, he oversaw the planning and construction of their beautiful new church.
His final assignment was to Rock Springs, Wyoming, pastoring Saints Cyril and Methodius and Our Lady of Sorrows Parishes, along with being in charge of the parochial school there.
After retiring on June 30, 2012, he moved back to Dayton. Retirement was in name only as he kept busy with most of the previous functions of the church, with the exception of office duties.
Around the state he became known for his articulate, carefully reasoned sermons and his mastery of every social situation. Poise, combined with a hearty enjoyment of sports (especially the Wyoming Cowboys, Notre Dame, the Colorado Rockies and the Denver Broncos), ranching and hunting (even participating in Wyoming’s One Shot Antelope Hunt when Mike Sullivan was governor) won friends for Father Beavers from all over the state.
Survivors are his brothers Jack (Geraldine) of Laramie, Jim (Barbara) of Powell and sister Jeanette West of Dayton; nephews: Clint Beavers of Laramie, Mark West of Arlington, Massachusettes, Matthew West of Denver, Colorado, and Brian Beavers of Powell; nieces: Beth St. Clair of Laramie, Becky Beavers of Cheyenne and Michele West of Denver. In addition to his parents, preceding him in death were nephews Brad and Bret Beavers, and brother-in-law, Louis West.
Memorial suggestions are: St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, P.O. Box 1117, Torrington, WY 82240-1117; St. Edmund Building Fund, P.O. Box 217, Ranchester, WY 82839; Ranchester Dayton Rotary, P.O. Box 451, Ranchester, WY 82839; or Seminarians Fund or Retired Priests Fund, Diocese of Cheyenne, P.O. Box 1468, Cheyenne, WY 82003.
Rosary will be held on Thursday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. with Funeral Mass to follow on Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Powell.