Landscapes 12

Pepper Grosjean

December 1, 1925 ~ September 8, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old


A longtime resident of Afton passed away on September 8. Pepper was 97 years young. She always said that age is just a number.

 She is survived by 7 children, Paul, Robin, Jon, Julie, Curt, Gina, and Eric, 11 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.

Pepper was born in Billings, Montana to Magdalena and L.G. Brannon. She had an older brother, Willard. She and Willard were on their own a lot while their parents ran the family owned and operated Brannon Cafe. They wandered Billings and killed rattlesnakes on the rimrocks, getting into plenty of innocent trouble.

She got her lifelong nickname, Pepper, when she was a counselor at a girls camp. She liked summer camp and visiting her uncle’s or grandmother's ranches. She rode horses and swam in the creeks and never wanted to go back home.

When she finished high school she went on to 6 months of business college and then on to work at her parents cafe. She started at the bottom peeling potatoes and washing dishes, then moved up to making sandwiches, salad, and pies. She was an excellent pie maker. During this time she joined the Civil Air Patrol and would go at night to guard the airplanes at the Billings Airport. She loved watching the planes and wanted to learn to fly. Pepper received a medal in recent years for her contribution to the Civil Air Patrol and was honored by having the Governor of Wyoming present it to her.

She met her husband, Phillip, while working at the cafe. They started dating and going to clubs to dance. They danced the Jitterbug and won prizes and people would surround them and watch. After a year and a half of dating, Phillip’s job ended and he moved back to Afton to live with his sister. They were both so lonesome that Phillip called her and said, “let's get married.” They married June 11, 1946 and moved to Afton where they started a photography studio called Grosjean Studio and together they learned how to take pictures and run a photo business. Pepper was a good model for Phillip to practice their craft together. She also became proficient at hand painting black and white pictures before color film and was an excellent technician in the darkroom.

Between working and raising 7 kids they enjoyed living in beautiful Star Valley. Swift Creek Canyon was one of Pepper’s favorite places. She took a lot of pictures there and when digital cameras came out she was always carrying her camera and shooting pictures to share on the computer with other people. Pepper loved the leaves in the fall, hummingbirds, lilacs, sweetpeas, rocks, clouds, and especially deer in her yard. She will be missed for her smile, laugh, and love of life

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