Wyo4News suffers the tragic loss of Amber Grace Hamblin, one of its two owners


Amber Grace Hamblin

Amber Grace Hamblin, 32, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, completed her life journey on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Her family was at her side as she died from surgery complications.

Am Ham was born on May 31, 1983 in Green River, Wyoming to Jerry and Cindy Hamblin. She graduated from Green River High School with the class of 2001. She received an associate’s degree from Western Wyoming Community College and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood special education from Boise State University. She was working toward her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University.

Auntie Am was a family woman. No one in the world mattered more to her than her daughter Lakaya; her nieces Xzylee, Josellyne, and Brooke; her nephews Zayden, Corbin, and Tyler; her mother Cindy; her father Jerry; her sister Katie; and the love of her life, Ryan.

“Being a Hamblin” was a big deal to Amber. She was raised on hard work in the fresh air of Wyoming’s rugged desert prairies and mountains. She idolized her “Unky” Jack Zimmerman. Like Jack, Amber never met a stranger and had a fun, outgoing personality.

Amby was always a caregiver with unrivaled generosity and humility. She sacrificed constantly for those around her, often caring for others at her own expense. She raised her nephews Patrick and John Paul Debaun for several years in Rock Springs after graduating from Boise State. In 2015, she adopted Lakaya Mykelle Hamblin, a young woman whom she promised to always love and never abandon.

Before she got to know you, Amber could be shy. But to her close friends and family, man, was she the life of the party! Loud and funny, outgoing and full of energy, you knew it was going be a fun, late night at the bar when Am Ham walked through the door.

Her students called her Miss Amber and she had known since Kindergarten that she wanted to be a teacher. It was her passion and calling in life. She always found a way to reach and bond with children and she had a soft spot for the innocence and pure hearts of children with special needs. She moved to Rock Springs after graduating from Boise State to work at the Sweetwater County Child Development Center, teaching lifelong skills like speech, reading, and self-confidence to numerous children with special needs. Her work at the CDC will have an impact on Sweetwater County for generations to come.

Amber was the director of the Children’s Center at Western Wyoming Community College at the time of her death. Despite having no management experience prior to being hired, she dedicated herself to her work, gracefully balancing the needs of the children, teachers, parents, and college administrators. She was highly respected by her colleagues and will be greatly missed by her countless friends at Western.

Amber founded and owned the local media company Wyo4News by encouraging her boyfriend Ryan to start his own business. Amber and Ryan worked diligently to make Wyo4News a valuable, ethical, and respected community news source. She was a savvy journalist and business planner, so badly wanting this website to become financially successful so Ryan could be happy. We have lost our most valuable team member.

Ryan and Amber met in the summer of 2011. They were deeply in love and spent almost every day together for the three years before she died. After the surgeries that led to her death, Ryan cared for Amber in their house and at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. He was at her side comforting her as she died.

Amber Grace Hamblin is survived by her daughter Lakaya; her nieces Xzylee, Josellyne, and Brooke; her nephews Zayden, Corbin, and Tyler; her father Jerry Hamblin and mother Cindy Hamblin of Green River, Wyoming; her sister Katie Martin and brother-in-law Jose “Pepe” Martin; her surrogate grandmother and great “Aunt Cheryl;” cousins Patrick and John Paul Debaun; numerous aunts and uncles; and Ryan, her boyfriend and the love of her life.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents Clarence and Ruth Sorensen, her paternal grandparents Frank and LaRue Hamblin, uncle Jack Zimmerman, and cousin Blaine Hamblin.

A memorial service was held at the Western Wyoming Community College Theater on Wednesday, March 16 at 1 p.m. As a tribute more in Amber’s style, her family hosted celebration of her life at the Fish Bowl in Green River, Wyoming at 6 p.m on March 16, 2016.

Her family would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to the community for the outpouring of love and sympathy they have received in this sad, painful time.

Amber was the kind of person that a community has the fortune to call its own once a generation at most. She was very accepting of fate and the inevitability of her own death. She wanted those who lost her to find the strength to live meaningfully by cherishing all their good memories with her and carrying her legacy into the world.

Her life was far too short and she will be missed terribly, but her beautiful soul lives on in the hearts of those who loved her. Amber Grace Hamblin was an angel without wings.