Jan. 4, 1921 — Nov. 18, 2007
Ortis Bucher of Molina died peacefully at his home Nov. 18 with family at his side.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. at Molina Baptist Church. Visitation will precede the funeral from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday. Burial will be at Mesa-Molina Cemetery. A visitation will also be held in Grand Junction, Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Martin Mortuary.
Ortis, the youngest son of Thomas and Sadie Bucher, was born on Jan. 4, 1921 at the family home in Keota, Colorado.
He grew up, graduated from high school, and worked in the Keota area as a cowboy until he met the love of his life.
On Jan. 8, 1943, he married Frances Milholland of Molina in Kimball, Neb. They were married for 64 years.
During World War II, Ortis joined the Army and served in the Pacific Theater (Philippines and Japan). After the war, he owned a trucking business in Estes Park.
He attended Sterling Junior College and graduated from Colorado State College (University of Northern Colorado) in 1954 with a bachelor ’s degree and a lifetime teaching certificate. He taught school in Colorado and Wyoming. He served as a District Boy Scout Executive in several communities in Nebraska and Minnesota for seven and a half years, then returned to teaching. After retiring, Ortis and his wife resided in Grand Junction and Molina.
Ortis is survived by his wife, Frances of Molina; daughters, Nina (Bill) Knuppel of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., Kathy (Arnold) Ufford of Vernal, Utah, Sheree (Rick) Melton of Willow, Alaska; and son, Wesley Bucher of Molina. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and a number of nephews and nieces.
He was a member of Molina Baptist Church. He enjoyed working with young people, coaching sports, sitting outside enjoying the Colorado sunsets, and time with family and grandchildren. He had also belonged to Toastmasters and Lions Club.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Tommy (Cora Marie), LD (Estelle) and a sister, Zella (Tony) Joyce.
Memorial contributions may be made to Molina Baptist Church, Alpine Hospice, 602 Jackson St., Clifton CO 81520 or Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 60307, Grand Junction, CO 81506.
Paul Gilbert Patterson
Dec. 25, 1928 — Nov. 26, 2007
Paul Gilbert Patterson died Nov. 26. He was 78.
After a small family service Friday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m., at Martin Mortuary, he will be laid to rest at Grand Junction Memorial Gardens.
Paul Gilbert Patterson was born in Alliance, Neb. on Dec. 25, 1928, to James Earl and Lucille Pearl (nee Holmes), the third of their four sons and one of five children.
He attended Aurora schools, graduating from Aurora High School in 1947. After graduation, Paul went to work for Mountain Bell, and then joined the United States Marine Corps in 1950. Though he never spoke much about his years of service, he served in the Marine Corps First Division in California. When he was honorably discharged in 1953, he held the rank of staff sergeant. He re-enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves after returning to the United States. During his time in the Marine Corps, he was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and a good Conduct Medal.
After leaving the military, Paul returned to Mountain Bell as a lineman. He eloped with Mary Ellen (Penny) Grubb on Sept. 25, 1954, after which they settled in Gunnison. In 1960, Mountain Bell promoted Paul to manager, making him responsible for the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. In 1970, Paul became manager of the mountain Bell District that included Glenwood Springs. He was a member and officer of the Rotary club and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1979, he accepted another promotion and went on to serve as manager of residence installation and repair for an area that included most of western Colorado. He accepted early retirement from Mountain Bell in 1982.
Paul was an active member of the community, participating in the Lions and Elks clubs and the Gunnison County Chamber of Commerce. He was a lifelong member of the Order of Elks, beginning his membership in 1950. Beginning in 1956 and for the rest of his life, Paul was a member of the Masonic Order. He became a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in 1971.
In 1985, Paul and his wife purchased Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction. The park, which had been in foreclosure, grew into a thriving business during the nearly 20 years they owned and operated it.
Paul was a private man who worked hard to ensure that his family never had to do without. He was unfailingly generous with everyone he loved.
Paul is survived by Penny, his wife of 52 years; his son, Curtis M. Patterson (wife Janice); and daughters, Mary Ann Reed (husband Charles) and Sherri Downing (husband Luke); two of his brothers, Robert and Lewis Patterson; his sister, Luanna Strait; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that a donation be made in Paul ’s name to a local homeless shelter or food bank, or donate a toy for a needy child to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
Neil U. Hendrickson
July 30, 1936 — Nov. 24, 2007
Neil U. Hendrickson of Delta died at Delta County Memorial Hospital following a lengthy illness on Nov. 24. He was 71.
A graveside funeral service was held Nov. 27 at Delta City Cemetery
with Delta Elks Lodge officers presiding.
On July 30, 1936, Neil was born the son of Ulysses and Mira (Matzke) Hendrickson in Eckert. He spent his childhood and attended schools in Cedaredge and Delta. He graduated with the Delta High School Class of 1954.
On March 4, 1954, Neil proudly served his country with the United States Army National Guard. He was later honorably discharged.
On Aug. 27, 1963, Neil married Jo Burch in Salida, Colorado.
Neil was a truck driver for most of his life. He was a member of the Delta Elks Lodge Post #1235 for over 45 years, and a member of the Eckert Odd Fellows. His greatest joy was spending time with friends outdoors, going fishing, reading Western books and watching old western movies.
Survivors include his two sons, Charlie Hendrickson and wife Becky of Delta and Dean Hendrickson of Idaho; and one sister, Elenore Blair of Olathe; and one granddaughter, Alyssa Hendrickson.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents, Ulysses and Mira Hendrickson.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
Alexander R. “Sandy ” Kinsinger
Oct. 25, 1929 — Nov. 26, 2007
Alexander R. “Sandy ” Kinsinger of Grand Junction died Nov. 26 at his home. He was 78.
A Masonic memorial service will be held at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary on Friday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. Graveside services will be held in Pueblo at a future date.
Sandy was born in Fort Collins and raised in Pueblo. He graduated from Pueblo Centennial High School in 1947 and Pueblo Junior College in 1949.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gus and Anna Kinsinger; brothers, Bud and Bill Kinsinger; twin sister, MaryAnn; and first wife, Barbara.
Surviving are his children, Roy Kinsinger and Sandra Lenox; niece, Judy (Jack) Dent; ex-wife, Connie Kinsinger of Wierton, W.Va.; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews. The many friends and extended family he cherished so deeply affectionately referred him to as “GrandPa Sandy ” and “Uncle Sandy. ”
Sandy was a veteran of the U.S. Naval Air Service from December 1949 until December 1959. After leaving the service he worked for Standard Oil, now Amoco Oil Co., as a territory manager, allowing him to travel all over Colorado. He retired in 1985.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and member and participant of the Moose Lodge #270 Grand Junction, Elks Lodge in Salida, The Grand Junction Consistory of Ancient Free & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons, the Grand Junction York Rite Bodies, Yampa Lodge #88, Fruita Masonic Lodge #120, and Memorial Lodge #3, AF&AM; and various bodies of the Shine.
As a member of the Scottish Rite, he served as Venerable Master of the Montrose Lodge of Perfection in 1996 and as Master of Kadosh of the Grand Junction Consistory in 2002. As a member of the York Rite, he served as Excellent High Priest of Grand Junction Chapter #24, Thrice Illustrious Master of Cryptic Masons of Colorado, Council #16, and Commander of Temple Commandry #23. He was also a member of Four Corners York Rite College #171-A.M.D. As a member of the Shrine, his offices and activities included Honor Guard - Quarter Master 1st Vice Commander, and Los Sabios-Vice President and President. He also served as a DeMolay Dad.
He enjoyed traveling, fishing, golfing, gardening and many projects around the home and yard.
Memorial contributions can be made to Shriner Children ’s Hospital, c/o Clint Maxfield, 718 Birdie Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506.
Charles Matthew Echer
Sept. 18, 1934 — Nov. 30, 2007
Charles “Chuck ” Echer died in his home in Loma Nov. 30 after a brave battle with lung cancer and emphysema.
A visitation will be held Monday, Dec. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary. The funeral will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Bethel Assembly of God Church with burial to follow in Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Charles Matthew Echer was born in Dix, Colo., Sept. 18, 1934, to Frank Charles Echer and Agnes Hunter McIntosh Echer; he was the fourth of five children.
Chuck graduated from Carbon High School in Price, Utah, in 1951, then attended Carbon College for two years.
Chuck went to work for Whitewater Sand and Gravel Construction in Grand Junction until he married his wife and mother of his three boys, Mary Louise Unrein of Grand Junction. The family relocated to Denver and Chuck went to work as a meter reader for the Denver Water Department and retired 34 years later as the meter shop supervisor. Chuck retired in 1995 to the Western Slope.
Chuck was the proud “Grampa ” to eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He loved the outdoors, continuing to hunt and fish his whole life. He raised his sons to like to hunt and fish and his year was planned around going hunting or fishing with his boys and friends. Nothing brought him greater joy than when the ice melted off the Soda Lakes in Wyoming and Chuck and his family would go fishing, or when he could trade stories around the campfire of the how big the antlers were on the elk that escaped their sites.
Chuck was a proud American, a true blue Bronco fan and loved a good Western. He could always be seen driving a Chevy truck and had a large assortment of them throughout the years. Of course, he also had one of everything that came with a motor. Everyone was always welcome at Chuck ’s house and anyone who would visit, especially his grandchildren, knew he kept a magic cabinet filled with everyone ’s favorite candies.
The things you heard most when someone talked about Chuck was what a good man he was and that he was the father to his sons every man wishes he could be. He will be missed by many.
He is survived by his sons, Charles ‘Rusty ’ Echer and Dennis Echer; his brothers, Duncan and John; his sister, Christine Easton; daughters-in-law, Cathy and Lauri; grandchildren, Cheyenne, Steven, Jacob, Cassandra, Ryan, Stephanie, Troy and Carol; two great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and his dear friend, Charlotte Miller.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sister, Jean Gecan, and son Ty.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 60307, Grand Junction, CO 81506.
Maxine Mildred Smith
July 21, 1918 — Nov. 28, 2007
Maxine Smith died Nov. 28. She was 89.
Maxine had been a resident at Larchwood Inns.
She was born in North Platte, Neb., on July 21, 1918. She was the loving mother of three children — Patricia, Donna and Donald, loving grandmother of 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren.
She enjoyed playing the piano, baking, visiting and laughing with friends and family, making all kinds of crafts, crocheting, playing cards, and she loved to put puzzles together.
Maxine loved her friend and savior, Jesus Christ.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Lawrence; her second husband, Boyd; her daughter, Donna; and a grandson, Timmy.
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia and her son, Donald.
A memorial service will be held Monday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. at Clifton Christian Church. A reception will immediately follow after the service.
June 26, 1909 — Dec. 13, 2007
Longtime Colorado resident Wilson Rockwell died at his home in Crawford on Thursday, Dec. 13. He was 98.
A memorial service will take place next summer in Crawford.
Wilson Rockwell was born in Bradford, Penn., on June 26, 1909, to Robert Faye and Aileen (Miller) Rockwell.
Wilson spent his childhood in the North Fork Valley, graduating from Paonia High School in 1926. After high school he attended Whittier College and graduated from Stanford.
In 1936, Wilson married Elizabeth Armstrong. They were divorced in 1940. In June of 1948, Wilson married Enid Wolverton; she died in 1992.
Wilson was a Colorado state senator from 1962 to 1969. He also wrote eight novels.
Wilson moved to Canada and lived there for the last 40 years, moving back to Crawford in November 2007.
Wilson was a member of the Rotary Club, Elks of Hotchkiss #1807, the American Legion Wilson-Head Post #97 and the Colorado Authors League.
Wilson enjoyed writing, and in his younger years liked to run track.
Survivors include one son, Dan Rockwell of Crawford; one brother, Robert Faye Rockwell II of Corning, N.Y.; four nephews, Bobby Rockwell of Corning, N.Y., Tim Pottorff of Hotchkiss, Ted Pottorff of Grand Junction, and Greg Pottorff of Colorado Springs; one niece, Sandra Lee Herron of California; and one grandson, James Daniel Rockwell of Canada.
Preceding him in death were his parents and wife.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
John B. McKean
Died Dec. 13, 2007
John B. McKean, 87, of Grand Junction, died peacefully at his home on Dec. 13.
John was born in 1920 in Alburg, Vt., and raised in Ogdensburg, N.Y. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps. While stationed in Denver in 1944, he met and married the former Eleanor Johnson of Bird City, Kan., who was his wife for the rest of his life.
Following World War II, John joined C.D. Smith Co. as a salesman in Montrose and as a sales manager in Grand Junction. From 1970 to 1990, John and Eleanor lived and worked in Wichita, Kan., returning to Grand Junction upon their retirement. During his years in Grand Junction, John was active in the Lions Club and was named Lion of the Year in 2001. He was a member of the JUCO baseball committee and was named to the JUCO hall of fame in 2006. He was a former board member of the Museum of Western Colorado. John was active in the First Congregational Church and volunteered at local visitors ’ centers and at St. Mary ’s Hospital.
John is survived by his wife, Eleanor; a son, John A. McKean of Corrales, N.M.; a daughter, Barbara J. McKean of Tucson, Ariz.; and a sister, Ruth McGrath of Watertown, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial contributions to the Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 2754 Compass Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506. No public services are planned. Arrangements are under the care of Callahan-Edfast Mortuary.
Steven Robert Jordan
June 23, 1945 — Dec. 15, 2007
Steven Robert Jordan, 62, died of heart failure at Mercy Hospital in Mt. Shasta, Calif.
Steve was born in Eureka, Calif., the only son of Robert and Belva Jordan. He attended schools in Eureka, where he became one of the youngest members of the local swim team and went on to participate in the Junior Olympics. He attended College of Siskiyous and Chico State in California.
Steve and several of his college friends relocated to the Grand Junction area in the early 1970s. Steve was a painter by trade. He owned Pioneer Painting and, later, Painting Perfections.
Steve and Darlene McNeal met in Palisade, were married in 1975 (later divorced) and were blessed with two sons, Noah Jordan (Megen) of Ft. Collins and Ryan Jordan (Amy) of Grand Junction, and one granddaughter, Kyla of Ft. Collins. Steve married Faye Weiser in 1990 (later divorced).
Steve is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Jordan of Crestone, Colo.; nephews Christopher and Michael of California, close friends Marty McNeal of Palisade, and Wally and Victor of California. He was preceded in death by his parents and close friend Tom Whitney.
In addition to swimming, Steve was an accomplished skier. He also enjoyed bowling, camping, boating and was an avid sports fan. Steve will be missed and loved forever as a father, grandfather, brother, husband, uncle and a dear friend. So may you now be that free spirit and soar like an eagle or swim like a dolphin.
A memorial graveside service will be held at Palisade Municipal Cemetery, 3529 Front St., at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23, followed by a gathering afterward at Peter and Rita Forte ’s home, 659 Aldrea Vista Court, Palisade.