|Georgia M. Pietz
Memorial services were held for Georgia M. Pietz on May 15 
at the Community Church. She passed away on Friday, May 12 after an extended
illness. Georgia was born June 25, 1944, in Grand Forks, N.D., and moved
to Almont in 1971 from Colorado Springs. From 1985-97 she worked for Crested
Butte Mountain Resort and then for PIC Marketing in Gunnison for the last
couple of years. She also was a member of the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church.
She is survived by her husband, Arnie, her daughters, Brooke, Lindsay and
Britton, extended family members, longtime best friend Marva Kiklevich
and many loving friends.
Georgia was honored by the GHS Show Choir at the service on Monday
and by Jamie Sargent. It was an uplifting service lead by Steve Moorhouse
who shared with the congregation that Georgia was a pioneering woman who
always will be remembered for her heroism and humor. A friend, Marty Clark,
shared a poem about being worthy of our friends. The service was filled
with music and memories which helped most people leave the service feeling
that they knew Georgia just a little bit better. She was a huge supporter
of GHS athletic and music programs. Her motto was "something better always
The Pietz family asks for memorial contributions to be made to Hospice
of the Gunnison Valley, 1500 W. Tomichi Ave. Gunnison, CO 81230.
Jessie Henrietta Beusse Bright
Henrietta Bright, 96, passed away on April 20  at the
Valley Inn Nursing Home in Mancos, Colo. where she had lived since 1993.
She was a frequent visitor to the Gunnison Country during the 1960s
and 1970s when her grandchildren were growing up at Rippling River Ranch
on the Gunnison River, the Lake Fork and later in Gunnison.
She was born on Sept. 8, 1903, in Athens, Ga. to Jessie (Middlebrooks)
and Jesse Hoyt Beusse. She worked as a registered nurse in Virginia and
South Carolina hospitals.
In 1937 she married Graham Bernard Bright of Richmond, Va. After his
death in 1947, she lived and worked in Beckley, W.Va., where she was a
member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, then returned to Athens, where
she was a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. She was a member of St.
Paul's in Mancos.
She was preceded in death by her husband; a brother, Thomas C. Beusse;
and grandson, Phillip Andrew Steckel.
At her request, there will be a cremation and interment of ashes at
Arlington National Cemetery.
Henrietta was a very loving, caring friend to many who will truly miss
Anne Marie Hotz
Anne Marie Hotz died April 25  after battling brain cancer.
Born on April 9, 1947, to Claudia and Clovis Metroz of Gunnison, Anne
lived with her parents and brother Jerry until her graduation from high
school in 1965. Following graduation, she attended the University of Denver.
She worked for several years in the Las Animas schools as a speech therapy
assistant. In 1970, she moved to Glenwood Springs with her first husband,
Gary Bird, and one year later gave birth to her son, Dirk.
In 1972, Anne took a job with Safeway and worked there until 1986 as
deli manager. In 1982, she married Marty Hotz. In 1987, Anne began to work
for Wal-Mart. In November 1999, she was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Anne played many roles throughout her life, loving wife and best friend
to her husband, Marty, caring confidant to her many friends, and world-class
mother to her son and to many others who were in need of motherly advice.
Anne loved the outdoors and spent her weekends picking mushrooms, taking
pictures of flowers and wildlife, snowmobiling, camping and relaxing at
her second home in Riverside, Wyo. Annie will be remembered for her kind
words, the wisdom that she passed on to her husband, son, family, and friends;
her shining eyes and her bright and warm smile.
Annie lived life with dignity, honor, class, and courage. Even in her
last days, her confidence and will never wavered, and she was always more
concerned about her loved ones and friends than she was about herself.
Annie loved, laughed, and lived a life filled with joy. She touched many
lives simply by being Annie and she will be truly missed.
Annie is survived by her husband, Marty Hotz; her son, Dirk Bird of
Columbus, Ohio; her mother and step-father, Claudia and Merle Carpenter
of Olathe; and her brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Karen Metroz of
Denver. Please send donations in her memory to the American Cancer Society.
Rudolph J. Malensek
Rudolph J. Malensek, 92, of Gunnison passed away on Friday, May 12
. Born and raised in Crested Butte, Malensek was a rancher.
He was a member of St. Peters Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus of St.
Peters Parish, the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association, honorary life
member of K of C, Gunnison County Pioneer Society and a veteran of WWII
serving in the Army. Malensek, or Rudy as he was affectionately known,
is survived by his wife Margaret of Gunnison, sons John and Anthony and
sister Agnes Yetzbacher. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to
the WWII Memorial, P.O. Box 96766, Wash. D.C. 20090-6766.
Funeral services for Gladys Montgomery were conducted on May 5 
at the LeChot Funeral Home with the Rev. Steve Moorhouse officiating.
Gladys Montgomery died May 3, following a short illness.
She was born December 19, 1910, in Hoxie, Kan. to James and Minne (McCox)
Eavis. Shortly after her mother's death in 1918, Gladys lived with the
Lewis Steinshouer family of Hoxie. After graduating from high school, she
worked as a telephone operator and taught in a one-room school near Hoxie.
In 1934, she married M. Allen Montgomery of Hoxie. He managed several
Foster Lumber Company yards in western Kansas before moving his family
to Gunnison in 1949 to manage the newly purchased Foster Lumber Company.
Gladys worked there as a bookkeeper until their retirement in 1971. They
then spent the winter months in Mesa Ariz. and the summer months in Gunnison.
Several years after the death of Mr. Montgomery in 1975, Gladys moved back
to Gunnison and lived in the Mountain View Apartments year around.
She enjoyed playing golf with many of her friends. Gladys was a member
of the Community Church of Gunnison, and was active in the Young at Heart.
Immediate survivors include two sons, Jim of Gunnison and Larry of
Delta, two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces
June Darlene Black
June Darlene Black, 71, died on May 6  at her home after
an extended illness of cancer. Born Sept. 18, 1928 in Jetmore, Kan., the
daughter of Harold W. Smith and Pauline E. Cossman, Judy married Ralph
W. Black on April 6, 1947 in Dodge City where she and her husband owned
In November of 1969, they moved to Lake City and owned the Crystal
Lodge until 1978 when they moved to Gunnison. They owned the Gambles Store
until 1984, and High Mountain Liquor until 1994 when she retired.
June was a member of Elks Lodge, President of the PTA, Beauceant, Treasurer
of PEO, and a member of the Community Church.
Survivors include, her husband, Ralph W. Black of Gunnison, daughters
Judy Thomas of Hanston, Kan., and Susan Black of Gunnison; son Rod Black
of Gunnison; sister, Jenn Scott of Oregon; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren;
and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial Services were held on Monday, May 15 at the Community Church
with Steve Moorhouse officiating. The family requests contributions to
Hospice of the Gunnison Valley, 1500 W. Tomichi Ave., Gunnison 81230 or
the Community Church 107 North Iowa St., Gunnison 81230.
Thomas F. Clauter
Thomas F. Clauter, who was instrumental in forming the Alpine Tunnel
Historic Association and served as a volunteer host and interpretive guide
at the tunnel, passed away in Sun City, Ariz., on June 9 
at the age of 76.
Clauter was born in Chicago, Ill. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree
in Industrial Engineering from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich. He
served as First Lieutenant in the US Navy in World War II and was an Industrial
Engineer for Armour and Co. for 33 years.
He was active in Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 1936
and the Silver Beaver Award as Scout Master of Troop 135. He was also active
in Willowbrook United Methodist Church and its choir.
He is survived by his wife, Esther of Sun City; son Steven Clauter
of Tempe, Ariz.; daughter, Nancy Clauter of Lexington, Ky.; brother Arthur
Clauter of Geneva, Ill. and Pitkin; and two grandchildren, Lisa Weston
and Lorin Clauter.
Memorial services were held on June 26 in Sun City. Memorial contributions
may be made to Alpine Tunnel Historic Association, P.O. Box 515, Gunnison,
CO 81230 or Sun Health Foundation Hospice/Care Services, P.O. Box 2015,
Sun City, AZ 85372.
Blanche W. Waller Kjosness died at the Gunnison Health Care Center
on July 11 . Memorial services will be held Monday, July 17
at 2 p.m. in the Gunnison Community Church.
Blanche was born on March 28, 1911, in Twin Valley, Minn., to Albert
and M. Louise Waller. She received a B.A. degree in music from Concordia
College, then taught school in Mayville, N.D. It was there she met her
husband of 38 years, Olaf C. Kjosness. They were married on Aug. 24, 1940.
They moved from Mayville to Trinidad, Colo. in 1942, then to Gunnison in
1947. They had two children, Sara and David.
A life-long lover of music, Blanche taught piano for 52 years. She
was organist for the Community Church for many years. She belonged to PEO
and the Community Church, and also enjoyed travelling, playing bridge,
and various outdoor activities. She loved Gunnison and its residents, especially
her many dear friends.
She is survived by children Sara Moher of Scottsdale, Ariz., and David
Kjosness of Longmont, Colo., and grandchildren Jeff Cope (and his wife
Amy), Erik Kjosness and Katie Kjosness.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Archie, sister Myrtle,
and husband Olaf.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the
Gunnison Home Association, P.O. Box 1381; Hospice of the Gunnison Valley,
1500 W. Tomichi; or Community Church Memorial Fund, 107 N. Iowa.
Dominic Pasqua, 67, a resident of Los Banos, Calif., died July 2 
in Los Banos.
Mr. Pasqua was born April 4, 1933, in Gunnison. He spent his life working
for federal water projects throughout Colorado, California, Arizona and
In addition, he was a member of the Teamsters union, Western Conference.
Survivors include his wife, Marie, of Los Banos; his daughters, Roxanna
Benoche and Janie Avila, both of Los Banos; his son, Tim Longwell, of Los
Angeles; his brothers Louie Pasqua, of Gunnison, Jim and Don Pasqua, of
Colorado, and Bob and Joe Pasqua, both of California; his sisters Dorothy
Sammons, of Gunnison and Susan Winkler, of Colorado; two grandchildren
and one great-grandchild.
Services were held July 7 in Los Banos. Burial was in San Joaquin Valley
National Cemetery in Gustine, Calif.
Debbie (Arellano) Jones
Debbie (Arellano) Jones, 44, of Gunnison, formerly of Salida, died
Wednesday Aug. 16  at Gunnison Valley Hospital. Debbie was
born April 29, 1956 in Del Norte, Colo. to Tony and Bernice (Gonzales)
Arellano. She was united in marriage to Billy Wayne Jones on July 9, 1973
in Memphis, Texas.
Debbie is survived by her mother, Bernice Fields of Salida, father
Tony Arellano of Mullins, Idaho, step-father Raymond Fields of Salida,
husband Billy Wayne Jones of Gunnison, sons Billy Wayne (Lynelle Wrzesinski)
Jones Jr. of Denver and Anthony James (Rebecca) Jones of Gunnison, daughters
Bernice Joan (Lee) Friedman of Gunnison, Terrie Lynn (Sean) McNamara of
Pueblo and Christina Down Jones of Gunnison, brothers Jerry Arellano of
Salida, Mark Arellano of Denver, Michael Fields of Salida and five grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Garey Arellano.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary was held Monday Aug. 21 at St. Joseph
Catholic Church in Salida. Mass of the Christian Burial followed. Interment
took place at Fairview Cemetery in Salida.
Arrangements were made by Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home, 203 E. Sackett,
Salida, CO 81201. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain
Leukemia Society through the funeral home.
John "Jack" Robert Kehmeier
John "Jack" Robert Kehmeier, 78, of Cedaredge, died Wednesday, Aug.
16 , at Integrated Health Services in Delta.
Jack was born Jan. 23, 1922 in Eckert, Colo. to John and Gertrude (Miller)
Kehmeier. He spent his childhood in Eckert, graduating from Eckert High
School in 1940 and Western State College in 1946. He married Mary Elizabeth
Briscoe on July 8, 1945 in Cedaredge. He lived in Gunnison for six years
after graduation. Jack then moved to Cedaredge where he has lived since.
Jack was a member of the Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church.
He was a high school teacher and coach in Gunnison and Cedaredge for many
years before retiring in 1979. He was also a rancher and enjoyed working
Jack served a tour of duty with the Naval Air Corp. He and his wife,
Mary were the 1999 Little Britches Parade Grand Marshals. He loved to serve
as a tour guide at Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, and being a lifetime resident
added many interesting facts to his tours. He was inducted a member of
the High School Coaches Hall of Fame and was recognized by the Gunnison
Booster Club as outstanding coach.
Many athletes and students of Coach Kehmeier loved him for his coaching
abilities and dedication. He enjoyed fly tying, fishing and almost any
sport, but he was considered to be the best parent and husband by his family
He is survived by his wife Mary of Cedaredge, three sons, Richard and
wife Leila Kehmeier of Spokane, Wash., Bill and wife Cindy Kehmeier of
Eckert, Ken and wife Lorrie Kehmeier of Fort Collins; daughter Roxy and
husband Bob Brown of Littleton; brothers Norman and wife Dorothy Kehmeier
of Eckert, Gordon and wife Bette Kehmeier of San Padro, Calif.; sisters
Hazel and husband Keith Long of Iowa City, Iowa, and Louise Kehmeier of
Fresno, Calif.; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
His parents and an infant daughter preceded him in death.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Delta County Hospice Project,
P.O. Box 24, Delta, Colo. 81416, or to the Cedaredge Community United Methodist
Church, P.O. Box 369, Cedaredge, Color. 81413.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Cedaredge Community
United Methodist Church in Cedaredge with Pastor Joan Uda officiating.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Mesa View Mortuary-Cemetery, 682
1725 Rd., Delta, Colo. 81416.
Darby Quinn Murray
Darby Quinn Murray passed away on Saturday, Oct. 7  in
Gunnison. She is survived by her parents, Todd and Stacie Murray of Gunnison,
paternal grandparents Dennis and Lois Murray of Cañon City, maternal
grandmother, Virginia Stohler of Columbia, Mo., maternal grandfather Phillip
Grandmason of Denver and many loving friends. Services will be held privately
at a later date. The family requests contributions to the Gunnison Valley
Hospital Maternity Ward.
Ruth Laverne Whiting
Loved wife, mother, grandmother and friend Ruth Whiting passed away
peacefully in her home in Burlington, Wash. Friday, Oct. 13 
after a short battle with cancer. Ruth's laughter, wit, caring and thoughtfulness
will be missed by the untold lives she touched with her kindness, humor
and strength of character.
Ruth, 74, was born in Min-neapolis, Minn. to Jack and Ruth Hammersten.
After moving to Seattle, a ski train ride to Snoqualmie Pass inter-twined
her life forever with that of Ted Whiting, her hus-band of 50 years. Ted
and Ruth shared a love of golf, travel, bridge, skiing and sail-ing. Friends
in The Skagit Golf and Country Club, Jackson Jill's, and the Mountaineers
remember Ruth's positive outlook on life and her love of the outdoors.
Ruth was a voracious reader and had a love for knowledge.
Over the course of her life, Ruth worked as a real estate agent, a
travel agent, a professor's assistant, a floral de-signer, but most of
all as a devoted mother to her three surviving children and their families:
Kris and Steve Frankforter, parents of Keith and Eric; Jeff and Vicki Whit-ing,
parents of Phil, Kevin and Kate; Rob and Svea Whiting, parents of Stefan
and Kirstin. Ruth is also survived by her sisters Peg and Jean and many
nieces and nephews. Recitation of the Holy Rosary was held Monday Aug.
21 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Salida. Mass of the Christian Burial
followed. Interment took place at Fairview Cemetery in Salida.
A very special thanks is ex-tended from Ted and the fam-ily to the
nurses, caregivers and friends including Megan Haferkamp, Linda Johnson
and Pam Wilhelm for their loving care and support in Ruth¹s final
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 19 at His
Place Foursquare Church, 1480 South Burlington Blvd., Burlington, Wash.
Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Helen J. Perkins
Helen J. Perkins was born in San Marcos, Texas on Feb. 24, 1939 to
Harold and Voncile Barber. She was married to Clurin Perkins on July 15,
1957. She and Clurin were married a wonderful 43 years.
She is survived by her husband, her sister, Shirley Gray; her two brothers,
Harold and Kenneth; her three sons, Jimmy Ronnie and Donny; and eight grandchildren,
Kim, Kelli, Devin, Chandra, Jr, Tami, Brandon and Aaron.
Helen loved to hunt and to be outdoors with all her children. She loved
life and lived it to its fullest. She taught us all a lot about life and
we will miss her wisdom. She was a great wife, mother, nana and mother-in-law.
James F. Isham
James Fareus Isham passed away Nov. 7  in Arvada at the
age of 81. James was born May 15, 1919 at the O.C. Mine; the only child
of Ervin James Isham and Mildred Iona Chinery Isham, early pioneer families
in the Gunnison area. On Oct. 29, 1925, the Ishams moved to a ranch on
Willow Creek, near Ohio City where James spent most of his childhood. James
attended elementary school in Ohio City and graduated from the Sparta School
in Pitkin. He worked at the Carter Gold Mine from 1940 to 1942, then at
the age of 23 he was drafted into the Army. He was sent to Fort Riley,
Kan. for basic training and learned to make saddles, harnesses and to tool
leather. While in the Cavalry, he fought in Australia, New Guinea, the
Admiralties, the Philippines, and Japan, receiving several medals and bronze
stars. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Army on Oct. 18, 1945
and returned to Gunnison and opened a shoe repair shop.
James married Mabel Leanore Duncan, July 30, 1947 in Monte Vista, Colo.
and they were the parents of nine children. He was baptized into the Church
of Christ in 1955. The Ishams lived in Gunnison until 1972, then moved
to Arvada. James worked for Rio Grande Motor Way, Inc. from 1949 until
his retirement in 1981. He was a very skilled leather craftsman and also
enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family.
James and Leanore were married for 52 years; he was a devoted and loving
husband, father and grandfather. Leanore preceded him in death, survivors
include nine children: Donna Lea Dinsmore of Arvada; Linda Mae Franck of
Port Lavaca, Texas; Barbara Ann Anderson of Lafayette; James Wade Isham
of Wheatridge; Dallas Wayne Isham of Gunnison; John Warren Isham of Fairplay;
Beverly Lou Crowe of Lafayette; Deborah Sue Spielberger of Arvada; and
Sharon Kay Dean of Enid, Okla. Thirty-two grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren
also survive him.
Funeral services were held Nov. 10 at the Arvada Church of Christ.
Grandsons were pallbearers and honorary pallbearers. Burial followed at
the Arvada Cemetery.
Thomas Alan Mallardi
Beloved local resident, Tom Mallardi, died suddenly this past Sunday
afternoon of an apparent heart attack.
Long a mainstay of both the Crested Butte Mountain Theater and the
lives of his many friends, Tom arrived here in 1973 from Cleveland, Ohio.
Almost immediately, he began making a name for himself in the construction
trades as a true craftsman.
Tom was also an accomplished parachutist and member of the famous Barking
Spiders sky diving team. For many years Tom organized Crested Butte's Aerial
However, in the area he most enjoyed, Tom was the leading actor in
some of the most memorable performances of the Mountain Theater. We all
have our favorite roles that Tommy truly brought to life on our stage.
Friday, May 31st at 3 p.m., there will be a ceremony for Tom at the
Crested Butte Cemetery followed by a potluck gathering at the Last Resort
Bed and Breakfast (just across the bridge from Totem Pole Park). Bob &
John Mallardi, Tom's brothers as well as his sister Nancy, will be joining
us as we honor our dear friend.
The Crested Butte Mountain Theatre will hold a celebration of the life
of Tom Mallardi over Labor Day Weekend, Sunday, September 1 
while the theatre celebrates their 30th anniversary. The service will be
held at 4 p.m. at the Mountain Theatre in Old Town Hall. Additionally,
there will be another memorial service at a later date put on by the theater
community. If you can contribute Mallardi memorabilia, please contact Pat
Crow at the Center for the Arts (349-7487) or Ceil Murray at St. Jude's
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Tom Mallardi Memorial Fund at
the Community First National Bank will benefit the Crested Butte Mountain
Barbara E. Blatt
Barbara Blatt passed away at her home in Grand Junction surrounded
by her family on May 21, 2001 after a lengthy illness. She will be remembered
by her ready smile and her love of her family. She is survived by her husband
of 50 years, Larry and her children Ellen, Larry, Lorrie and 6 grandchildren.
One son, Keith and a granddaughter, Jenny, preceeded her in death.
A memorial service will be held in Grand Junction on Friday, May 31st.
with a graveside service in Lakewood on Saturday, June 1st.
Wendy Lee Stephenson
Wendy Lee Stephenson, 37, of Cheyenne Wyoming died May 17 
in Cheyenne. She was born Oct 15, 1964 in Pueblo, CO where she attended
Roncalli Middle School. She lived in Gunnison, CO from 1978-1986 and was
a 1982 graduate of Gunnison High School and worked at the W Cafe until
moving to Cheyenne. She lived in Cheyenne for 16 years and was a member
of the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation.
Wendy wanted us to tell everyone how much she loved her son, Ricky.
She raised him to be a charismatic, polite, and caring person. Wendy was
a true angel, had a sweet spirit about her and loved making jokes and laughing.
She impressed others with her strength in the face of adversity.
Wendy is survived by her son, Ricky Stephenson-Cragin of Cheyenne,
mother, Nita Wetherbee-Stephenson of Cheyenne; two sisters, Gretta (John)
Lacy and Mandy Stephenson, both of Cheyenne; three brothers, Bill Stephenson,
Jr. (Loretta Benavides) of Ft. Stockton Tx, Jaime J. Stephenson and Chad
Stephenson, both of Cheyenne; grandfather, Richard F. Jerman of Pueblo,
CO, and great aunt Margaret Neelan, also of Pueblo, numerous aunts, uncles,
cousins, nieces and nephews as well as special Senior Companions Ruby Garner
and Irene Jones.
She was preceded in death by her father, William J. Stephenson, Sr.,
grandparents Vera E. (Findley) Jerman, Marie E. (Neelan) Stephenson and
George A. Stephenson all of Colorado, Charles M. Wetherbee of California
and Uncle David A. Stephenson of Pueblo.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Friday at Holy Trinity
Catholic Church with a gathering of all friends and family to follow at
the family home.
Cremation has taken place at Schrader¹s Sunset Park Crematory.
Friends may contribute to the Senior Companion Program, 413 W. 18th or
to the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation at 95 Pine Street, 16th Floor,
New York, NY 10005. Please visit the NF Foundation at NNFF@nf.org.
Now you can hear us say we will all love and miss you. You will be
in our hearts forever. Now you have wings.
Wayne D. Kellogg
Wayne D. Kellogg, longtime summer resident of Pitkin, passed away October
10, 2002. He was 82.
Wayne was born April 12, 1920, to Lottie Edna Ladd and Glen Riley Kellogg,
in Cestos, Oklahoma. He graduated from Centennial High School in Pueblo,
On Oct. 4, 1940, he married his sweetheart of four years, Juanita Mae
Hobbs (Nagle) at Taloga, Oklahoma.
Wayne served his country during WW-II with the 5th Armored Division,
127th Ordinance as a Master Sargent.
Wayne was a certified welder having been employed by Rocketdyne/Rockwell
Int./Boeing and Teledyne in Neosho, Mo. and retired from B.F. Goodrich
of Miami, Oklahoma.
Wayne was an active member of the Order of Eastern Star, Masonic Lodge
Chapter 82, Cherokee, Kan., and Chapter 58, Pittsburg, Kan., Shriners Mirza
Temple, Pittsburg, Kan., American Legion, SOAR (Steelworkers Organization).
During his summer months in Pitkin, he served relentlessly as Water Commissioner,
was named Citizen of the Year in 1995, an active member of the Pitkin Community
Church and gave countless hours volunteering to help his friends and neighbors
in Pitkin doing any job asked. This 4th of July, Wayne and Juanita were
honored as Grand Marshals of the Pitkin Parade.
Wayne and Juanita lived in many towns throughout Kansas, Missouri and
Colorado, settling in Baxter Springs, Kan., during the winter and Pitkin
in the summer months since the late 1950's. Wayne loved no place better
and was loved by all.
Wayne leaves behind, to cherish his memories, his wife of 62 years,
Juanita of Baxter Springs and Pitkin; son Larry Gene Kellogg and wife Virginia
of Augusta, Kan.; daughter Glenda Kay Humphrey and husband Don of Checotah,
Okla.; 10 loving grandchildren; and four precious great grandchildren;
a niece and nephew; family members and friends. He was preceded in death
by his parents and one grandson.
Following visitation at the LeChot Funeral Home in Gunnison, a time
of celebration and fellowship was held for family and friends in Pitkin
on October 12, 2002 at the Newcomb Community Center. Services will be Saturday,
October 19, 2002 at Abbott Funeral Home, Baxter Springs, Kan., with burial
at Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, Kansas.
Memorials may be made to the Pitkin Community Church hymnal fund, the
Shriners or Masons c/o Abbott Funeral Home, 519 East 12th Street, Baxter
Springs, Kan., 66713.
Orland `Lucky’ Woodson
Orland "Lucky" Woodson, of Canon City, died Monday, March 10 ,
of cancer, at the home of his grandson, Orland Grondahl, in Rapid City,
S.D., at the age of 79.
Orland was born June 26, 1923, in Saguache, to J.C. and Inez Woodson.
His career consisted of many jobs, and he retired from School District
11 in Colorado Springs. Orland enjoyed spending his weekends with his family
in the Rocky Mountains and on the Arkansas River.
Orland was given the nickname "Lucky" while in C.C. Camp in the late
1930’s, when he and six other men found and captured the largest rattlesnake
ever captured at that time, in Beulah, Colorado. The snake is displayed
in the Denver Museum.
Survivors: sister, Loretta (Bob) Frayser, of Albuquerque. And from
a previous marriage to Ethel Moore: a son, B.J. (Harold) Smith, of Waco,
Tex., and daughter, Yolanda (A.D.) Hodges, of Colorado Springs. Then, from
a marriage to Martha Dorothy Colbert, daughters, Condey (Diana) Woodson
and Rosalie (Chuck) Cammel, both of Canon City; Barbara Ann Susie (David)
Grondahl, of Rapid City, S.D., Charlotte (Mike) Gremmer and Dixie (Fred)
Wahl, all of Colorado Springs, Eunice (Sam) Sibert, of Norman, Okla., and
Michelle (Daniel) Vaughn, of Milton, Vermont; and a son, a son, Arthur
(Bonnie) Woodson, of Swink. He leaves 31 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren
and one great-great-grandchild, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Mr. Woodson was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Abraham;
sisters, Susie and Ruth; daughter, Dorothy June; and granddaughter, Dorothy
As requested by the deceased, there will be no memorial services. His
remains are being donated to the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.
MARY "GRACE" LEONARD
Died May 15, 2003 in Gilroy, California. She was born in Gunnison,
CO March 9, 1924 to Harry & Bridget Vader.
She served in the Marine Corps during World War 11. In 1946 she married
Arnold Leonard of Doyleville, CO. They moved to California to work in the
ranching industry at several locations before settling in Morgan Hill,
CA where she resided for almost 50 years. Grace was an active member of
St. Catherine’s parish, and she spent much of her spare time with many
organizations that benefit handicapped individuals. She was preceded in
death by her parents, Bridget and Harry Vader her step-father Frank Pressler,
her sisters Irma Zepp and Catherine Leonard. She was also preceded in death
by her son Arnold Lee Leonard Jr. during the Vietnam War and her husband
of 49 years Arnold Lee Leonard.
She is survived by her brothers Harry Vader and Hugh Pressler of Gunnison
and Charles Pressler of Campbell, CA., and her children Mike Leonard, Kay
Boyce, Sandy Ponzini and Steve Leonard of Morgan Hill, CA. She had five
grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. The funeral mass was held on
Tuesday May 20, 2003 at St. Catherine’s Parish in Morgan Hill. Her pallbearers
were her grandsons Jon, Paul and David Leonard, her nephews Marc and Michael
Pressler and great-nephew Richard Leonard III. Interment followed at St.
Mary's Cemetery in Gilroy. Many of her family and friends gathered at her
home in Morgan Hill after the services.
December 6, 1996 - TELLURIDE DAILY PLANET
Former Telluride resident Balmer dies
(Editor’s Note: Harry Balmer, a Telluride resident in the 1970s, reportedly
passed away recently in Roslyn, Wash. Reports say he died of a heart attack
while running away from his pizza parlor storefront, which was burning
to the ground. That storefront was seen weekly on CBS’s ‘Northern Exposure,’
which was filmed in Roslyn. Balmer lived in Telluride with wife Nan, and
several children, some of which became excellent skiers. His welding shop
was located at the present site of Baked in Telluride. Fall Creek resident
Ed Werner, a close personal friend of Balmer’s, has written of his fond
I believe I first met Harry down at the old Flour Garden — a local
breakfast spot during Telluride’s “Early Days.” Every morning he would
be holding court, talking philosophy and Buddhism.
Harry was an imposing figure — featuring a long beard which he fingered
to a point when talking. He reminded me of a beneficent Viking, a biker,
but as gentle as a lamb. He was an “in your face” kind of guy, effervescent
with the enthusiasm of one experiencing the joy of enlightenment. He liked
to prod his listeners’ attention by poking one finger into your chest.
I recall that finger being a stub. The fact is, he had your attention
simply by standing there.
Harry was primarily an artist educated at Temple; he was a welder by
trade. I hired him to fabricate a weathervane for the tower of the Wilcox
house, later demolished to make way for the Salem house on upper Oak Street.
This salvaged object now graces my roof and points the way, as did Harry.
When I moved to Telluride in 1977, most of the residents were single,
or in loosely confederated couples. Parenthood and family were certainly
on the far horizon. Harry was a “dad,” and one really got a sense of a
loving, accepting family when visiting their compact home on the left side
of Baked in Telluride. It took “great love” to be a family in that little
I could visit the Balmers and feel I had visited “mom” and “dad.”
The walls of their home were covered with his works of art. Bits of
paper on a field of color suggested to me a trail strewn with autumn leaves.
(Life and art merged seamlessly.)
Being a father came naturally, being the center of attention through
his discourses seemed more of an effort.
Unpretentious, he shouldered responsibility with no apparent effort.
Waking today, we mentioned to each other, “This is a rat race.”
A Zen proverb goes, “I labor every day, and struggle to keep it going.
How do I avoid all of this?” The answer: “You set up, you eat your food,
you do your job. This is correct action.”
Coming empty-handed, leaving empty-handed, Harry gave a lot the early
flavor of Telluride, yet gained little. Like a bay leaf in soup, he gave
a distinctive uniqueness to that early town, yet he pulled out of town
with little more than he brought.
I kept loosely in touch with Harry and Nan over the years. Just yesterday
in our kitchen we brought up again his tenets of “Values, Morals and Ethics,”
and awareness of the problems of the world.
So, I have known and loved Harry nearly 20 years. What have I gained
these many years? The morning sun rises, children eating breakfast. “School
bus in 15 minutes.” “Eat your breakfast.”
Harry, you were a good man.
— Ed Werner
Lee James Proper (1903-1996)
Lee James Proper, 92, a lifetime Western Slope resident, died Nov.
24, 1996, at Montrose Memorial Hospital in Montrose, Colo.
His memorial service was Saturday, Nov. 30, at Crippin Funeral Home,
where arrangements were handled. The Rev. Ion Spor officiated.
Mr. Proper was a rancher and farmer, running cattle and sheep. He was
born Dec. 5, 1903, to Carl Arthur and Ettie Bell Lilly Proper on Hastings
Mesa, where the Propers had homesteaded since 1904. When Carl Proper died,
the family continued homesteading, and Lee attended school on the mesa
through the sixth grade. The family later moved to Sawpit, Colo., where
Lee completed the seventh and eighth grades. He graduated from Telluride
High School in 1923.
In June 1931, Lee Proper married Litha Jennings. Mrs. Jennings died
May 13, 1988. At the time of their marriage, Litha was teaching school
and Lee was milking 30 head of cows, selling cream and feeding out hogs.
Lee and Litha bought out the other family interests in the Proper homestead
In 1934, Lee and his brother Bill bought 500 head of sheep, 200 of
which they lost in a heavy April snow. Lee’s brother quit the operation.
The next year, Lee and two neighbors, Leonard Coker and Homer Hastings,
decided to run sheep together. They continued their operation until 1942,
when Coker sold out. Litha continued to teach during those years.
In the early 40s, Litha took a teaching position in Telluride, boarding
with the Tom Mahoney family. Lee stayed in sheep camp. During the summer,
they lived together at their home on Hastings Mesa.
In 1945, the couple bought a farm in Norwood. Litha taught in Norwood
until 1963, when she and Lee retired, sold the Norwood farm and the Hastings
Mr. Proper was a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Montrose
and the Telluride Elks Lodge. He was a former president of the Woolgrower’s
Association, served on the board of directors of San Miguel Basin State
Bank, the Water Board and the San Miguel school board.
He is survived by a foster son, Wayne Hubbard and numerous nieces and
nephews; a brother, William M. Proper of Clifton, Colo.; and a sister,
Annie Spor of Montrose.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and three sisters,
Grace, Lilly and Agnes.
Donations in the name of Mr. Proper may be made to the charity of the
William Neil Koon
November 12, 1996 - TELLURIDE DAILY PLANET
Dry Creek Basin mainstay passes on
William Neil Koon, 61, of Dry Creek Basin passed away Wednesday, Oct.
23 at the Veterans’ Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Mr. Koon died of liver failure due to cancer. He had been a resident
of Dry Creek Basin for 27 years.
Mr. Koon was born Aug. 3, 1935, in Thornton, Idaho to Morace Graves
Koon and Maude Anderson Koon. He was the youngest of five boys.
Mr. Koon served as a cook in the US Army from Nov. 28, 1956 to Sept.
11, 1958. After leaving the army he worked as a cook at Lucia Lodge, south
of Big Sur, Calif. There he met his wife Carol Leneve. They married in
1960 and moved to San Francisco to graduate from the City College of San
Mr. Koon graduated from the Hotel and Restaurant Department and moved
his family to Dry Creek Basin on Oct. 3, 1969, where they opened the Dry
Creek Basin Store and ran the business until June, 1986.
Mr. Koon enjoyed riding horses, reading and cooking.
He is survived by his wife; his son, Daniel Clifford; his two grandsons,
Justis Clifford and Radigan Flint; and his three brothers, Frank and Jack
of Rexburg, Idaho, and Bob of Burns Lake, B. C., Canada.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at
the Community Center in Norwood.