Jeanette Hettie Evenson
January 22, 1918 - January 15, 2006
Longtime Meeker resident Jeanette H. Evenson, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006, at Pioneers Hospital in Meeker.
Jeanette Hettie Legg was born Jan. 22, 1918, in Pontiac, Mich., the daughter of Joseph and Amy (Rothermel) Legg. She was raised in the Pontiac area and on Feb. 4, 1936, was united in marriage to Gerhard Evenson. The family lived in the Detroit area where they built and sold houses. In 1943, the Evensons ventured to Meeker where Gerhard had worked on various ranches before their marriage. They purchased the Lovell Ranch on Miller Creek and the White River and ranched for many years, operating guest cabins and also did guide and outfitting work.
Jeanette and Gerhard built and purchased and remodeled many houses in Meeker. Jeanette operated a beauty shop on Sixth Street for several years and she and Gerhard traveled to Mexico for many winters. Gerhard preceded her in death in 1999. She is also preceded in death by her parents, one daughter, Darlene Soper, and two sons, Keith and Raymond.
Survivors include one daughter, Judy Jenista and her husband Marion on Miller Creek, four grandchildren, Kim Laing, Shaleen Duell, Kathy Slaugh and Janelle Urista, eight great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held this summer. Cochran Memorial Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Harry Walter Purkey
July 25, 1930 - May 25, 2006
Longtime Meeker resident Harry Walter Purkey died May 25, 2006, after a long battle with heart problems. Harry was born in Meeker on Market Street in the family home of John F. and Josephine M. Purkey, on July 25, 1930.
Harry was the third of nine children. They are Betty K. Mitchell of Altmont, Utah, Jim Purkey of Spanish Fork, Utah, the late Helen Karren of Duchene, Utah, Bryce Purkey of Meeker, Colo., Beverly Pierce of Carbondale, Colo., Janet Rippy of New Castle, Sandy Murray of Silt, Colo., and the late Patsy Purkey of Meeker.
Harry attended Meeker schools until he left for the U.S. Navy in 1951. He served on the hospital ship USS Repose for three years in Korea, where he was a baker. Harry spoke of going to shore only one time. He was wearing a new pair of shoes and upon returning to the ship he dropped his shoes from the gang plank. They were ruined by the mud of Korea and he swore he would never go ashore again.
Returning in 1955 he married Josephine Ellen Moyer of Rifle, Colo. To this union four children were born. Russell Dean, Dale Allen, Jewell Ann and Paul David. Josephine Ellen Purkey passed on in 1972. Harry worked on various jobs throughout Rio Blanco County. He enjoyed working on ranches and running a bulldozer for the county, until his first stroke ended that type of work.
Harry married Elvira Omolon June 23, 1977, in Manila, Philippines. They lived in Meeker at the family home. Harry then worked for GCO Drilling Company as a cook and then a security guard for Multi Minerals.
After his third stroke Harry was disabled and basically decided to raise all the animals he took a fancy to. Beef, horses, chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, along with milk cows, peacocks, geese, turkeys and pheasants. He loved mowing his lawn and took great pride in the way it looked.
Throughout all of this, he took great joy in hunting and fishing. He prided himself in catching more or bigger fish than everyone else. He was also an excellent shot and could spot and shoot deer no one else could see. One pack trip on horseback he pulled his gun out of the scabbard, levered in a shell and fired it right over the saddle horn, dropping the buck. Dale and Rusty thought he scared it to death because they could not find a bullet hole. Finally they realized it was shot right in the eye. 'Head, neck or nothing,' was one of Harry’s favorite hunting quotes.
As soon as the ice broke, it was time to go fishing. Windows rolled down, arm out the window, George and Harry were headed to Lake Avery. Sometimes they took lunch, sometimes not. One of the best fishing tales was with his friend George at Lake Avery. George was so excited after catching an 18-inch trout, because he finally had one up on Harry. All of a sudden Harry’s pole bent and his grin grew wider and wider as he slowly reeled in a 22-inch long, 5-pound. trout. When they got to shore another fisherman asked if he was going to mount it, Harry replied. 'Heck no, we’re going to eat it.'
Harry loved family reunions. When all the family came to town, it just made his day. He loved going to family auctions and listening to the guys visit. He’d eat his sisters’ cooking and let them spoil him. This is what he did to break up the western movies and John Wayne movies he watched all the time. Preferably eating KFC chicken while he watched.
Harry is survived by his loving wife Elvira (Babe) Purkey, his children and their spouses; Russell and Cathy Purkey of Farmington, N.H.; Dale and Katherine Purkey of Salineville, Ohio, Jewell and Klark Kindler of Meeker; and Paul and Myra Purkey of Evergreen, Colo.
Grandchildren Thomas and Clara Purkey of Virginia Beach, Va.; Kelly Purkey of Farmington, N.H.; Royce Riggan of San Diego, Calif.; Andrea and Chris Carter of Ft. Hood, Texas; Anne Purkey of San Diego, Calif.; Madison Kindler of Meeker; Seth and Hannah Purkey of Evergreen, Colo. Great-grandchildren Mercury and Damien Purkey of Virginia Beach, Va.; Donnie and Tyler Carter of Ft. Hood, Texas. His two brothers Jim and Bryce Purkey; four of his sisters; Betty Mitchell, Beverly Pierce, Janet Rippy and Sandy Murry.
Harry is preceded in death by his parents John and Josephine M. Purkey, his first wife, Josephine Ellen Purkey, and two sisters, Helen Karren and Patsy Purkey.
Harry’s greatest love was spoiling his grand children with chocolate or any other piece of candy. He loved all of them.
We will miss you!
August 6, 1929 - May 24, 2006
Lloyd Chavez, previously of Meeker, Colo., died May 24, 2006, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Rifle, Colo., surrounded by family. He was born to Pedro and Ernestine (Martinez) Chavez Aug. 6, 1929, in Rio Chama, N.M. He attended school in New Mexico.
He worked as a ranch hand and sheep herder for many years in the Craig and Meeker area.
He married Criselda Martinez April 9, 1947. They had six children four girls and two boys. The boys died as infants. They divorced in 1997.
Lloyd is survived by his ex-wife, Criselda, daughters Helen (Andy) Leyba, Esther (Leander) Jones, Roselia Molina and Virginia (Fernando) Escalante, grandchildren, Micheal, Damian (Amber) Leyba, Valentina (Brian) Epps, Joshua Jones, Vicente (Teri) Villanueva, Ruben Villanueva, Fernando and Hope Escalante, Gabriel and Daniel Andujo and Diana Molina. Great-grandchildren Tressa and Andrew Leyba, A.J. and Zachary Andujo. He is also survived by his brothers Pat and Jesse Chavez and his special friends, Sam and Ginny Love and family and also Stanley and Vicky Crawford and family, all of Meeker, Colo.
A rosary was held Sunday, May 28, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Services were Monday, May 29 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rifle, Colo.
February 12, 1912 - May 21, 2006
Willis Earl Davis was born Feb. 12, 1912, in Hoxie, Kan., to Leonidas J. and Sylvia May (Skidmore) Davis. Earl was six years old when his family moved to Craig, Colo.
Earl married Ruth Rader Sept. 27, 1932, in Meeker, Colo. They spent most of their lives in Craig where Earl worked in the oil fields as a roustabout, pumper, gang pusher and mainly as a welder.
Earl enjoyed fishing and playing cards. He was a member of the Elks Lodge in Craig.
He died Sunday, May 21, 2006, at the Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs following a brief illness.
He is survived by his close companion of the past several years, Sophia Nardi of Craig; grandchildren Julie, Jodie and Joan Kendall, all of Craig; Jean Sundberg, Craig; Diane Fox, Cortez, Colo.; Delon Espinoza; 12 great-grandsons; one great-granddaughter; two great-great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law Paula Davis, Rangely; sister Eunice Flory, Sacramento, Calif., and a brother, Paul Davis of Fort Collins, Colo.
His parents, sister Vera May Hillewart, daughter Virgina Kendall, son Donald Davis and wife Ruth Davis preceded him in death.
Memorial services were held on Wednesday, May 24 at the Grant Mortuary in Craig, Colo., with Tim Jantz officiating. Interment of his cremains followed at the Craig Cemetery.
Carolyene JoAnne Hicken
January 22, 1938 - May 25, 2006
Carolyene JoAnne Hicken, 68, Meeker, Colo., passed away May 25, 2006, at Pioneers Medical Center after a long illness. She was a homemaker.
Carolyene was born Jan. 22, 1938, in Wray, Colo., from the union of Carl and Iona Conner Glen. She moved to Grand Junction, Colo., with her parents and attended school and spent her childhood there.
Carolyene married James Keith Hicken Nov. 13, 1982, in Las Vegas, Nev. He preceded her in death Feb.19, 2000.
Carolyene was a Meeker, Colo., resident for more than 20 years and considered Meeker and Grand Junction her home. She enjoyed traveling, taking an occasional cruise, crocheting and knitting. A favorite pasttime was spending time playing marbles and cribbage and being with the grandkids. Her family will deeply miss her.
Survivors include a legacy of three children; a son Terry (Natalie) Ethington of Meeker, Colo., and two daughters; Bonnie (Joel) Wood of Fallon, Nev., and Sherri (Charles) Yates of Seattle, Wash. Other survivors include sister Marla (Frank) Genovese of Los Angeles, Calif., ten grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren.
Carolyene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband James, sister Barbara, great-grandson Chase Wood and great-granddaughter Wendy Lane.
Funeral services were held on May 31, 2006, at Martin Mortuary with burial next to her husband to take place at a later date.
Funeral and cremation arrangements have been entrusted to Martin Mortuary, a dignity memorial provider.
Brian Day Tafoya
April 16, 1995 - Nov. 8, 2006
Brian Day Tafoya was born in Seminole, Texas, April 16, 1995. His parents were Angela Tafoya of Meeker, Colo., and Jerry Tafoya of Lovington, N.M. Grandparents were Melvin and Sherry Tafoya of Meeker, Colo., Ann Irvin of Hobbs, N.M., and a sister Brandi Irvin of Hobbs, N.M. Tafoya was a fifth-grade student at Yarbro Elementary in Lovington, N.M. who enjoyed fishing, camping, video games and shooting. Tafoya was preceded in death by a 10-month-old sister, Destiny; great-grandparents Ervin and Julia Tafoya and grandfather Gale Irvin. Brian died in Lubbock, Texas, at Children’s Covenant Hospital Nov. 8. A funeral service, officiated by Pastor Morgan Gandy, was held Saturday, Nov. 11, at Hobbs First Assembly. Interment followed at Prairie Haven Cemetery
in Hobbs, N.M., Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Carl O. Williams
June 23, 1907 - November 14, 2006
Meeker resident Carl O. Williams, 99, died Nov. 14, 2006, at the Walbridge Memorial Wing.
Carl Otto Williams was born June 23, 1907, in St. Joe, Texas, the son of James and Ethel (Burgett) Williams. He was raised in rural Texas, leaving home as a young man to seek his living as a traveling salesman. Mr. Carl was a natural born salesman, capable of selling almost anything to anybody. He worked his way across Texas selling vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, cars, farm implements and antiques.
He was united in marriage to Nelly V. Daniels, July 29, 1959. Carl and Nelly loved to travel to Meeker, where Carl would hunt, fish and spend time in the hills and woods around town. Carl and Nelly converted and old barn on the riverfront to a house which they filled to overflowing with their many acquired antiques and collectibles. He loved to spend time with his friends and will long be remembered as a true gentleman, for the twinkle in his eye and for being a sharp dresser, after all, as Carl always said, 'I gotta look good for the ladies.' His beloved Nelly preceded him in death on Feb. 13, 2006.
Carl is survived by his Meeker 'family', including his children of the heart, Janice and Gary McKinney and their children, as well as one son, six grandchildren, numerous great and great-great grandchildren and a host of friends both in Texas and Meeker.
Funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 17, from Cochran Memorial Chapel with Pastor Johnny Arrington officiating. Interment was made in the Highland Cemetery. Masonic honors were afforded by members of Rio Blanco Lodge #80, AF&AM.
Cochran Memorial Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Kenneth B. Covington (KB)
November 8, 1927 - November 6, 2006
Kenneth B. Covington, 79, of Gearhart, Ore., passed away Monday, Nov. 6, 2006, in Astoria, Ore., of cancer.
Ken and his wife resided in Fruita, Colo., for most of the past 25 years.
Ken was born Nov. 8, 1927, in Oil Center, Okla., to Wilk and Velma Covington. He married Evelyn Domgaard in 1946 in Denver, Colo. She survives, living in Gearhart.
Ken began working in the oil fields as a roughneck at an early age. He joined the Air Force in 1946. After the Air Force he worked in the oil fields in Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.
He moved his family from Rangely, Colo., to Las Vegas, Nev., in 1964. There he worked for Felix and Sessions at the Nevada test site during the atomic testing as a foreman and supervisor. In the 1970s he went to Alaska and was a superintendent at Prudhoe Bay working on the Alaska Pipeline. After that he worked as a consultant for the major oil companies in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. In 1979 he purchased his own drilling rig and formed Covington Drilling. Ken retired in 1995 and in 2005 moved with his wife to Gearhart, Ore., to be near his daughters and son-in-law. Ken loved the outdoors, he was an avid fisherman, he loved football, baseball, playing golf and he shot a mean game of pool. He was a very talented person, anything he did he quickly mastered. He died the same way he lived, with courage and the respect and admiration of his family and friends.
In addition to his wife, Ken is survived by two daughters and a son-in-law, Carolyn Covington of Gearhart, Ore., and Bill and Shirley Roady of Gearhart, Ore.; two brothers and a sister, Gail Covington of Grand Junction, Colo., Ricky Covington of Grand Junction, Colo., and Bonnell Halcomb of Rangely, Colo., as well as numerous nieces and nephews that he thought so much of.
No formal services will be held.
Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary in Seaside, Ore., is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made to the American Cancer Society.
Robert Dale 'Bob' Tucker
March 12, 1932 - November 3, 2006
Robert Dale 'Bob' Tucker was born March 12, 1932, in Colorado Springs, Colo., to Ivan and Mildred (Wilson) Tucker. He had an older brother, Vern Tucker (deceased) and a younger sister, Betty Kracht, who lives in Meeker.
Bob was raised in Meeker. Friends have said they could tell the time of year based on which type of ball Bob was carrying around town. In addition to playing sports as a young man, he was a member of the student council, Future Farmers of America, band and choir.
Bob was graduated from Meeker High School in 1950 and then attended Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction on an athletic scholarship. There he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. In addition to being named All-Conference in all sports in which he participated, Bob earned a place on the All-American college team. He also received the Creger Westley Memorial Award for outstanding athlete at Mesa. In 1988, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. Bob’s college career continued at Greeley, where he played football and basketball, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953. He was graduated from Adams State College, where he also earned his master’s degree.
Bob married Josephine Ann 'Jo' Shively on Aug. 26, 1961. They have three daughters: Shelette Marie (Rick) Gustafson, Roberta Jo and Erin Catherine, who all reside in the Denver area.
Bob and Jo moved to Meeker in 1966, after Bob coached Little League baseball for two summers in Steamboat Springs. He was a well-respected coach and teacher at Meeker’s junior and senior high schools. During Bob’s career in Meeker he taught physical education, industrial arts, mechanical drawing and driver’s education. He coached football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, track and swimming and was also the athletic director for a number of years. Bob was recognized as 'Coach of the Year' three times. In addition, the Meeker High School student council honored his outstanding contribution to the school district and community by naming a street after him. Bob Tucker Drive connects Meeker’s middle and senior high schools.
Bob was known for his excellent coaching and leadership ability and for encouraging teamwork and participation by all players. Everyone on his teams had a role and were encouraged to be the best they could be. Students and colleagues remember Bob’s humor and admire his work ethic and integrity. Many will miss his friendship.
Bob was also active in the community as a member of Holy Family Catholic church. He was a member of the Meeker Lions Club and volunteered at the Walbridge Wing. Bob always found ways to challenge himself. He enjoyed golfing, learned to play the piano in his late 60s and was an avid Broncos fan.
Bob died Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, at Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker. Funeral services were held Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, at the former Meeker High School gymnasium, where Bob spent many hours playing and coaching.
Officiating the service were Father James Fox, Father Jose Saenz and Deacon Bill Ertmer, all of Holy Family Catholic church. Interment followed in Highland Cemetery
with military honors by VFW Post # 5843. A prayer vigil was held the previous evening.
Memorial donations may be made to the 'Coach Bob Tucker Scholarship Fund' in care of First National Bank of the Rockies, P.O. Box 600, Meeker, Colo., 81641.
Fern Rosalie Pittington
September 8, 1925 - November 2, 2006
Fern Rosalie Pittington of Loveland, Colo., passed away Nov. 2, 2006, at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colo.
She was born Sept. 8, 1925, in Pierpont, S.D., to Charles March and Laura Enstad March. Her family moved to the Denver area in the 1940s. She married Clifford Joe Pittington May 31, 1946, in Cheyenne, Wyo. During their 60-year marriage Cliff and Rosalie made their home in the Rattlesnake Lake and Loveland area where they provided for their five children in the ranching and logging industry.
Rosalie enjoyed crafts, stamp collecting, sewing, shopping and spending time with her friends and family. Rosalie loved entertaining in her home and her visitors never left hungry. She will be sincerely missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her husband, Cliff Pittington of Loveland; sons, Robert Pittington and wife Debbie of Wellington, Colo., Joe Pittington and wife Marjorie of Walden, Colo., Mark Pittington and wife Nanita of Walden, Colo.; daughters, Patty Johnson and husband David of Meeker, Colo., Amy Pittington of Eaton, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; sister Mae Nelson of Greeley, Colo.; several nieces and nephews in the Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado area.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Lois Hayes. Memorial services were held Nov. 6 at Kibbey-Fishburn Funeral Home, Pastor Jim Lynch officiating. Inurement was held at Loveland Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation in care of Kibbey-Fishburn Funeral Home, 1102 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, Colo., 80537.
Arthur J. Irvin
December 15, 1953 - October 31, 2006
Arthur was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 15, 1953. He was the beloved husband of the late Audrey.
Loving son of Regina, dear brother of Lenny, Jackie Cristini, Steven, Judy Castro, Donna Wille, Billy, Donald, Michael, Regina Nesci, Joyce Morton and the late Eddie.
Also survived by many nieces and nephews.
October 27, 2006
Paul Opsal passed away Oct. 27, 2006, at La Villa Grande Care Center in Grand Junction, Colo. Paul was born in DeGrey, S.D., to Peter Bernard and Olava Olson.
Paul lived in Dinosaur, Colo., with his wife. After serving in WWII he was totally disabled. Prior to his days in the service he was a logger in the timber. He was also a pastor.
He is survived by his wife Freda Coy Opsal of Dinosaur; two brothers, Peter and Bernard Opsal and stepchildren Wanda (Joe) Tosh, of Dinosaur, Leonard (Donna) Coy of Dinosaur and Pamela (Don) Arthurs of Locust Grove, Okla. Services were held Nov. 1, 2006, at the Dinosaur Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Freda Coy Opsal in care of Cochran Memorial Chapels, P.O. Box 1048, Meeker, Colo., 81641.
Beverly Lou McGruder
September 16, 1933 - November 1, 2006
Beverly Lou Rose entered this world Sept. 16, 1933, to Theodore and Amy Rose. She went home to be with her heavenly Father Nov. 1, 2006.
Those grateful to have shared in her life were her husband of nearly 48 years, Elmer McGruder; her daughters Glenda (Paul) Lehman and Carrie (Frank) Hessel of Grand Junction, Connie Ross of Meeker and Hope Marsh of Rifle; grandchildren Brenda and Brendon Osborne, Eshlay and Amanda Ross, Alexis Hessel and one great-grandchild still on the way.
At the age of 12 Beverly lost her mother and helped raise her three siblings: Grace, Violet and Marylyn, who also survive. Beverly was valedictorian of her class in New Raymer, Colo. She spent her years as a cook both before and after raising her children. As a full-time mom we could always count on her being there when we came home from school and she was always there to cheer us on. She spent her time crocheting, playing piano and accordion, sewing, canning and cooking, among other crafty hobbies. She adored her cat, Pepsi. The feeling was mutual.
She will be sorely missed by all those who loved her. Those welcoming her home include her father and mother, an infant brother and a daughter, Jewell Ann.
Services were held at First Love United Pentecostal Church, 388 9th St., Meeker Colo., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Beverly McGruder Memorial Fund in care of Cochran Memorial Chapels, P.O. Box 1048, Meeker, Colo., 81641.
June 3, 1923 - Oct. 26, 2006
Manford Warren, 83, of Wellington, Colo., died Thursday morning, Oct. 26, 2006, at the Rangely District Hospital in Rangely, Colo., after a lengthy illness with Alzheimer’s disease.
Manford and his wife, Grace, were moved to Dinosaur, Colo., by their children in April 2006, to be taken care of by their son Bobby Warren and daughter Norma Snyder.
Manford was born June 3, 1923, in the mountains of Rosetta, Ark., to Wesley and Lula Warren. While growing up on the farm, Manford started cutting logs in the timber at the age of 12. He married Grace Young of Dardenelle, Ark., Jan. 12, 1942. They built their first home, a two-room log cabin, on the Rosetta homestead where Manford was born. They lived there until they moved to Red Feather Lakes, Colo., in 1952 where Manford worked in the timber industry. The family then moved to Wellington, Colo., in 1955 where he had his own mechanic business. While working as a mechanic at home, he also worked as a welder, retiring after 11 years. Manford continued his mechanic work long after he retired; he was a top-notch mechanic and welder. While working at Forney’s, he instructed the Japanese on how to weld aluminum.
Manford loved to go camping, hunting and fishing. He was an avid hunter; he grew up hunting and fishing in Arkansas and could outshoot his own brothers. He taught all of his children to shoot a gun and continued to hunt and fish with his family, going on many camping trips in the mountains of Colorado.
Manford’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered with his wife Saturday, Oct. 28 for a private family gathering at the home of their daughter on the K Ranch outside of Dinosaur. Memorial services will be held with the United Church of God at the Mountain Range Shadows Club House in Loveland, Colo., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006, at 3:30 p.m.
Manford was cremated and the family will gather again next spring to scatter his ashes on private property on Blue Mountain by Dinosaur.
Manford was preceded in death by his father and mother; one infant son, Charles; five brothers, four sisters and one infant grandson.
He is survived by his wife Grace of 64 years; two brothers; five sons, Bobby of Dinosaur, Colo., Kenneth, Quinton, Stanley and Jeffrey of Fort Collins, Colo., and one daughter, Norma Snyder of Dinosaur.