Former UHS Coach Loses Home in North Dakota

Williston, ND – Former Uintah High School Teacher and Coach Eric Pye and Kathleen Warnberg were jolted awake Wednesday when their fifty foot fifth wheel exploded and left them staring into a sizzling hole in the upper bedroom that quickly engulfed their entire Williston, North Dakota residence, their personal belongings and sadly even their two precious cats.

An explosion in Williston, ND left a former Uintah High School Coach and a Vernal Dental Assistant homeless when their 50 foot 5th-wheel and home of five years exploded.

An explosion in Williston, ND left a former Uintah High School Coach and a Vernal Dental Assistant homeless when their 50 foot 5th-wheel and home of five years exploded.

At about 1:30 am we were sound asleep; there was a huge explosion,” Kathy shudders, “It’s been so cold here, down to -30 degrees at night, so we’ve been putting a propane heater under the front of the 5th wheel.” She takes a deep breathe, “We ran out the door in our pajamas, the dogs ran out behind us but we had no time, we couldn’t find the cats.

Pye & Warnberg are former residents of Vernal and still have family and friends in the Uintah Basin. Eric Pye taught Health and American History at Uintah High School. He also coached tennis, football, girl’s volleyball and boy’s basketball. Kathy Warnberg worked as a Dental Assistant for Dr. Jason Monfredi in Vernal, Utah.

According to Warnberg, “It took 25 minutes for the Volunteer Fire Department to arrive; we are renting three acres in a rural area. It’s been so cold, and the roads were treacherous, so it took some time for responders to get to us. By the time they arrived the fifth wheel was gone.” Warnberg elaborated that they were extremely fortunate that earlier evening high winds had died down. Fire fighters broke down side-walls on outbuildings hoping to save the structures and it worked. “The fire melted the side of our Dodge Ram pickup but the truck is still usable.”

About five years ago, like so many in Utah’s Uintah Basin, they decided to take a chance on the booming economy in North Dakota. Their growing business was the sale of manufactured homes for oil field man camps and private owners.

As we speak Kathy chokes up, “With wind-chill it’s -28 degrees today and Eric is outside sifting through the ashes looking for memorabilia and personal belongings that may have survived, you don’t realize what you have lost until it’s gone.

I ask Kathy what the hardest part of this has been and what her greatest needs are, her response is humbling: “It’s hard to accept things from people; we have always been the givers. We can get through this. We have our work, we do our part and never expect anything back, but our kids are telling us we need to accept help if it’s offered.”

If you would like to help, Kathy says the easiest thing would be gift cards. In Williston they have access to Wal-Mart, Maurice’s, Penny’s, Sinclair Gas, Albertson’s Grocery and True Value. If you would like to send gift cards or make a donation to help them out, you can mail small items to:

Eric Pye & Kathleen Warnberg
P.O. Box 2573
Williston, ND 58801

A physical address for larger shipments is:
Eric Pye
5792 128th Dr. NW
Epping, ND 58843

Eric Pye has two sons living in the Vernal area, one drives for UPS and the other works for Anadarko. Kathy’s daughter, Bree Pye posted this note on her Facebook page, “It would be much appreciated if anybody could help them out with warm jackets, beanies, insulated coveralls, socks, boots or anything at all. It has been nearly thirty below zero in Williston for the past week and they are in dire need of warm clothing.”

Missionary Mom 101

They send the missionaries a handbook, I think they ought to send one to parents too!

Missionary Mom 101

First things first! Even before shopping… The best way to keep up-to-speed on what is going on in your missionary’s specific mission area is to join their email group at

Join the Missionary Moms group for your Missionary’s area and keep surmised of events and occurrences in their region. I recently was able to hear about an earthquake, a mission conference, what to buy in the U.S. and what is better to purchase after arrival, shipping advice and transfer plans before I ever got the email from my daughter. The friendships and advice can begin as early as their mission call. The group has been a life saver for me.

Set up an account at and read up on different ways to correspond and send care packages for the area you missionary is heading. Also know they offer free letter delivery daily at the Provo MTC.

I also wished to tell the Moms whose children just entered the MTC that Post Mart in Provo will deliver to the MTC Mon-Sat – same day service if the package is to them by 10:30 am and it only costs $3. Mine was larger than a boot box. I live in Vernal and the packages I had previously sent had cost upwards of $20 until I heard this. Someone is always going to Provo, so have them drop off your box and save a little.

ADDRESS: 2250 N. University Pkwy , #48
Provo, UT 84604
PHONE: (801) 373-5900
FAX: (801) 373-5999

I am feeling tons of empathy for those of you who just sent your kids into the MTC. It has taken me 8 weeks to stop feeling so blue. Here is a blog post that I wrote a few days before my daughter left for the MTC. I hope it helps some of you. Many of you have already learned this lesson, but I had not.

One way to prepare for what your children are going to experience and to anticipate their needs, is to follow blogs of other missionaries serving in their mission. This is becoming a routine practice. Sister Snow was kind enough to help me form a list of all the missionaries who are keeping blogs and currently serving in the Tokyo Mission. Reading them can ease your worries, lift your spirits and built your testimonies. Here is a link to my list of Tokyo Blogs.

Next, know they are in great hands medically… a week before my daughter left we received a hospital bill, when I called Missionary Medical they detailed the reason, the plans, the diagnosis, the follow up plans and then those who saw my daughter called me personally later in the week. They gave her the best counseling, advice and care and she was able to continue on to Tokyo. She is adjusting fine and all is well.

(This may vary depending on the mission, check first)  Phone cards are unreliable and with the large number of missionaries descending on airports a phone isn’t always available. I am sorry but I can’t recall which sister told me to get a disposable phone and add minutes to it, but thank you. It was a lifesaver! Oct 28 all the Tokyo bound missionaries arrived at the bus outside the MTC at 5 am only to find they were supposed to have left at 4 am. Therefore had no time before departing. I was distraught all day thinking I would not hear from her. At noon as they arrived in Los Angeles I was able to spend over an hour with her on her prepaid phone. It was wonderful, we took a break and she loaned the phone to others whose phone cards did not work or couldn’t access a phone in the airport. Her MTC branch president had told her there is currently No Policy so he was okay with it. There was also no stated policy on which family members she could call so she also took a moment to call her sister as well. The advice was greatly appreciated and such a blessing.

Hope this is of help to many of you  – Joni Crane, Vernal, Utah