Les 'Pappy' Spence
April 1, 1921 - September 29, 2003
Les Spence passed away at his home on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2003. He was born on April 1, 1921, in Eli, Neb., to Clarence and Bula Spence. He attended schools in Eli before joining the Army and served in World War II from 1942-46.
Spence was a medic truck driver transporting many soldiers to and from the front line during World War II.
He was honorably discharged in 1946. He worked for many ranches and ranchers throughout Colorado and Nebraska through the years. He was also as a heavy equipment operator.
Spence Married Lucile Sigman on Sept. 1, 1946, in Eli. Lucile is deceased.
Les is survived by one sister Mae Kimble of Bartley, Neb., son Leland Spence of Rangely, daughters Wanda Austin of Colorado and Donna Gene Perry of California, along with three grandchildren and six great grandsons.
Spence enjoyed many things in life, which included rodeo, fishing and hunting and just visiting with his many friends.
A memorial service will be held at the Rangely Elks Lodge Saturday at 2 p.m. Oct. 11 with Pastor Tom Helmick officiating. There will also be a meal at the Elks lodge following the service and all Pappyís friends are invited to attend.
Roy C. Sizemore
Graveside services for well-known Meeker resident Roy C. Sizemore will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Highland Cemetery
with the Rev. Steve Samples officiating. Full military rites will follow.
Sybil Frances Hess
June 9, 1907 - September 30, 2003
Sybil Frances Hess, 96, of Palisade, Colo., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003, at the home of her daughter, Susan Coffman, in Palisade.
A graveside service was held Oct. 2 at Highland Cemetery
Hess was a homemaker. She was born June 9, 1907, to Amos Kenney and Irene Banta Kenney at Meeker where she spent her childhood and attended schools. She was a 1927 graduate of Rio Blanco High School in Meeker.
Hess lived in Durango, Colo., prior to moving to the Grand Junction area.
She was a member of the Meeker Methodist Church. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved holding each newborn baby in her arms. The family picture album shows grandmother with each of the newborn grandbabies and great-grandbabies. Hess was an avid reader and loved the outdoors. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble. Survivors include a son Dewey R. (Jean) Hess of Houston, Texas; three daughters; Susan (Steve) Coffman of Palisade, Colo., Stella (Jerry) Moore of Overton, Nev., and Linda (Robert) Kirkham of Harvest, Ala.; a sister-in-law, Opal Kennedy, of Kingman, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
A son, Alan Hess, a daughter Elizabeth Valentine, three brothers: Zach, Charles and Cecil Kenney and a sister, Elizabeth Kenney, preceded in death.
McLean Funeral Home, Palisade was in charge of arrangements.
George Nelson Murphy Sr.
March 10, 1937 - September 15, 2003
George Nelson Murphy Sr., 66, of Denver, Colo., passed away at Swedish Medical Center in Denver on Monday, Sept. 15, 2003, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born March 10, 1937, in Phenix, Mo., to William and Eunice Murphy.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Murphy; sister, Helen Small; and second wife, Amalia Murphy.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Denver; one daughter, Maria Arredondo and husband, Silverio, of Aztec; two sons, Patrick Murphy and George Murphy Jr. of Colorado; and one stepson, Raymond Prosser of Ralls, Texas. He is also survived by his mother and stepfather, Eunice and Cliff Cress of Meeker; four brothers, Jimmy Murphy of Grand Junction; Bill Murphy and wife, Janice, of Rawlins, Wyo., Lester Murphy and wife, Kathleen, of Aztec; and Dan Murphy of Denver; three sisters, Mary Thelen and husband, Wayne, of Rawlins, Linda Bosick and husband Dan, of Meeker and Martha Hilkey of Colorado Springs; nine grandchildren, Michelle, Alicia, Veronica and Silverio Jr. Arredondo; Larry, Elias and Cean Murphy; Brandon and Brittany Murphy, and one great-granddaughter, Tiana Valencia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He served in the Army and was an MP.
He worked in the oil field for most of his life.
After he retired from the oil field, he moved to Denver and worked as the manager of a mobile home park. He loved to cook and play pool, but most of all he loved his family.
He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Stella N. Kritsas
June 17, 1917 - September 18, 2003
Stella N. Kritsas, 86, of Meeker died Sept. 18, 2003, at her home in Meeker.
A native of Lamia, Greece, Mrs. Kritsas immigrated to the United States following her Dec. 26, 1950, marriage to Nick George Kritsas in Lamia. After coming to Meeker, she settled into being a ranchwife on the family ranch at the base of Nine Mile Hill. She loved to garden and attend St. Johnís Greek Orthodox Church.
Survivors include her four children, George, Nick and Tom Kritsas and Jane Holland, all of Meeker, two granddaughters, Naomi Holland, a college student in Prescott, Ariz., and Antoinette Holland-Gonzalez of Meeker and two great-grandsons, Mark Anthony Holland-Gonzalez and Jesus Manuel Holland-Gonzalez. She is also survived by a large extended family in Greece.
Her husband preceded her in death on March 28, 1969.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 27 from St. Johnís Greek Orthodox Church in Craig. Interment followed in the Highland Cemetery
in Meeker. Cochran Memorial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.
Marcelle (Steinmetz) Ely
September 23, 1922 - September 6, 2003
Marcelle (Steinmetz) Ely, 80, passed away in Auburn, Calif., on Sept. 6, 2003. She was born to Antone and Lottie Steinmetz in Rio Blanco County. She attended schools in Meeker and graduated with the class of 1940.
She married Ray Ely on Dec. 26, 1939. They made their home at the ranch on Strawberry for a time where Ray was in the ranching business with his parents. They moved to Clifton, Colo., in the late 1940s. Ray had a mechanic shop there for several years. They moved to California in 1952 where they owned several different businesses in northern California.
Ray and Marcelleís union was blessed with two children, Leon and Alice. Marcelle was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and a friend to all who knew her. She was an excellent cook and seamstress.
She leaves to mourn her passing her husband of nearly 64 years; her daughter Alice of Auburn, Calif.; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; two sisters and husbands, Melba (Don) LeFevre of Meeker; Maxine (George) Reid of Palisade, Colo.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her son Leon, her parents, one sister and two brothers. Services were held in Auburn, Calif., on Sept. 10, 2003.
Nancy J. LaGrange
January 9, 1974 - September 12, 2003
Nancy J. LaGrange, 29, of Laramie, Wyo. died Friday, Sept. 12, 2003, in Casper, Wyo. She was born Jan. 9, 1974, in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Robert Hamor and Kathryn (Keiiser) LaGrange. Shortly after she was born, the family returned to Laramie where she attended A.A. Slade Elementary School, graduating from Laramie High School in 1992. On May 12, 2001, she was graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in psychology and sociology. She had recently worked as a substitute teacher in Laramie.
She was an active member of Harvest Four Square Gospel Church of Laramie and was an active volunteer whenever needed. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert H. LaGrange, Jr.
She is survived by her mother, Kathryn LaGrange, and sister Ann LaGrange, both of Laramie; a grandmother Rosemary LaGrange of Meeker and a niece Robretta Kassahn, also of Laramie.
Private inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made in her memory to St. Paulís United Church of Christ Special Gifts for children in need at 602 E., Garfield St., Laramie, Wyo. 82070.
Services were under the direction of Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home.
John Valton Guthrie, Jr.
September 13, 1968 - August 28, 2003
John Valton Guthrie, Jr., 34, of Aztec, Colo., passed away Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003, in Meeker, because of an auto accident. Valton, as he was known to his friends and family, was born Sept. 13, 1968, to Patty Williams and John V. Guthrie Sr.
Guthrie enjoyed camping, rock hunting, fishing and anything that he and his family could do together.
He was a Boy Scout leader, worked with his girls in Girls Scouts and coached YAFL football.
Guthrie was a jack-of-all-trades working as a plumberís helper with his father, roughnecking with his stepfather and eventually starting his own handyman business. He also worked as compressor hand for Cooper Energy.
He is survived by his daughters; Daysha Gonzales and Danica Guthrie; son, Jerico Guthrie; former wife, Tracy Jones Guthrie; mother Patti Shockley Williams and stepdad Don Williams; father, John Valton Guthrie Sr. and stepmom, Renee; brothers, Robert, Jeremy and Trenton Guthrie; sisters, Anita, Melissa and Amanda Williams; stepsisters, Chana, Stacey and Heather; paternal grandparents, V.H. Bill and Johnny Guthrie and James and Chris Choquette (memaw and pa); along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends
Services were held Sept. 2, 2003, at the Bethel Baptist Church in Aztec followed by burial at the Aztec Community Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Chris Horton, Andy Choquette, Richard Rerrick, Trenton and Jeremy Guthrie and Harold Gaudorn, Jr.
Honorary pallbearers were Robert Guthrie, Will Jones, Bones Jones, Mike Ballard, Curtis Pennington, Trey Switzer, Pat Garcia, Gary Gomez, Albert Shelby, Aaron Leeb, Yaya Hernedizes and Mike Hiel.
Bertha Ott Lutkiewicz
March 22, 1903 - September 21, 2003
Bertha Ott Lutkiewicz, 100, passed away on Sept. 21, 2003, at Family Health West.
Bertha was born on March 22, 1903, on a farm near McCune, Kan. to Albert and Marcia Ann McCalister. She married J.W. (Billy) Ott on Oct. 14, 1922, and six children were born to this marriage.
Bertha and Bill lived in Kansas until 1948 when they moved to Rangely. While living in Rangely, they helped establish and build the First Baptist Church. The were known to everyone in Rangely as 'Mom and Dad' Ott.
Ott worked in the school cafeteria in Rangely and later for the California Oil Company.
They moved to Grand Junction in 1962, when Bill retired. They lived there until he passed away in 1966.
Bertha married Bob Lutkiewicz in 1970. He passed away in 1989.
Bertha was also preceded in death by her parents, four sisters, four brothers, two daughters a grandson and daughter-in-law.
She is survived by two sons, William Ott of Grand Junction and Bob (Ouita) Ott of Veneta, Ore., also two daughters, Delores (Wayne) Ross of Central Point, Ore., and Donna (Jim) Barnhart of Grand Junction, 12 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four step-children and their families.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 720 Grand Ave., Grand Junction, Colo., 81501.
Arrangements are under the direction of Martin Mortuary.
Wesley E. Painter
June 11, 1930 - September 13, 2003
Wesley E. Painter, 73, of Grand Junction, Colo., passed away Sept. 13, 2003, at his home with his family by his side.
Painter was born to Ellsworth and Bonita Gallher Painter in Boulder, Colo., on June 11, 1930. His family moved to a ranch near Salida and Pagosa Springs where he attended elementary and some high school before moving to Rangely where he was graduated from high school and went on to Western State College in Gunnison for one year. Later he worked in the oil fields for R & R Well Service and Texas Oil Company.
Painter served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Pine Island AV 12 and the USS Kenneth Whiting as a gunnerís mate for four years. He then went back to work in the oil fields until his marriage to Sally L. Hanna of New Castle, Penn. On April 12, 1955, at Los Alamos, N.M., they moved to California where he worked for the telephone company. They didnít like living in California and moved back to Colorado where he went to work for Grand Junction Steel.
Painter joined the Grand Junction Fire Department in October of 1959 where he served until January of 1988. He retired as a Battalion Chief of Operations. While on the fire department, he started the Explorer Scout Cadet program and was an arson investigator. He was also an honorary deputy sheriff and a vocational instructor for firefighting. He was a past-president of Western Valley Firemenís Association and a past-president of the Colorado State Firefighterís Association. He developed, organized and acted as chairman of the Mesa County Arson Task Force. After retiring from the fire department, he worked as a driver for Wells Fargo Armored Service for several years.
Painter loved hunting, fishing, fly tying and four-wheeling. He spent all his summers at Frost RB Park on Grand Mesa.
Painter is survived by his wife, Sally, their three children: John (Virginia) Painter, Judy (George) Buniger and Mark (Pam) Painter; seven grand children and four great-grandchildren; two sisters: Audrey Killebrew and Delores Roberts; a step-brother, Larry Wooten and a step-sister, Connie Allen.
His parents and his stepmother preceded him in death.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life was held Sept. 17 at the Palisade Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Eddie Scroggins and Rev. Don Blanchard officiating.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that contributions be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 60307, Grand Junction, Colo., 81506 or to the American Cancer Society, Mesa County Unit, P.O. Box 3115, Grand Junction, Colo., 81502.
McLean Funeral Home of Palisade was in charge of arrangements.
September 11, 2003
Irma Ingersoll, 95, a former resident of Meeker, died in Hallandale Beach, Fla. On Sept. 11, 2003, she suffered a heart attack while swimming.
Ingersoll was the widow of Ross Ingersoll, an area sheep rancher in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
She is survived by her daughter Margaret, sons Robert (Allene), Herbert (Jeanne), seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Her remains were cremated. A memorial will be held in Utah in June 2004, where interment will take place.
Vincent Archie Porter
August 21, 1912 - September 7, 2003
Vincent Archie Porter was born Aug. 21, 1912, to Alonzo and Amanda (Johnson) Porter in Meeker. He was raised in Meeker and was graduated from Rio Blanco County High School in May 1931. After high school graduation, Porter attended Barnes Commercial School of Denver and completed study in accounting.
He returned to Meeker and was employed by General Merchandise Store, A. Oldland and Company as the bookkeeper from 1932-1943. He was elected as justice of peace for Rio Blanco County and served for several years. Porter along with 24 other Meeker citizens organized the Meeker Volunteer Fire Department, which continues to serve the Meeker community. He was the last living charter member of the Meeker Volunteer Fire Department.
During the war years 1943-1945, he was employed by the Vanadium Corporation of Amercia as a bookkeeper and purchasing agent. He was stationed in Monticello, Utah, and later in Naturita, Colo. Following the war the family moved to Grand Junction and Porter was employed with the Independent Lumber Company and Biggs Kurtz Company from 1945-1950.
From 1950 to 1961, he was the office manager for Western Slope Auto Company. He was part owner of the Lincoln Mercury Agency from 1957-1961. While at the agency, the famous Edsel automobile was introduced. In 1961, Porter was hired as the chief accountant for the Mesa County Valley School District.
In 1963 Porter held the position of director of finance and secretary to the Board of Education for Poudre School District until his retirement in 1975. After retirement he was appointed by the Larimer County Commissioners to keep records on the Big Thompson Flood.
Porter married Fern Hicks in Meeker on Jan. 13, 1934, and celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in 2003. From this union three children, Lee, Roger and Diana were born. He was a family loving person who loved outdoors and sports. He was with his sons when they caught their first fish and shot their first game.
Archie was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Meeker Volunteer Fire Department, Meeker Old Timers, Fort Collins Moose Lodge No. 275, Fort Collins Elks Lodge No. 804 and during his career was involved in Lions Club and Kiwanis.
Survivors include his wife Fern, two sons Vincent Lee of Fruita; Roger and wife Liz of Greeley, and one daughter Diana Adams and husband Gary of Canon City; one niece Norine Reigan of Aurora and five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and numerous cousins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may by made to Poudre Retired School Employees Association Scholarship Fund or Larimer County Hospital in care of Bohlender Funeral Chapel, 121 West Olive, Fort Collins, Colo., 80524.
A memorial service will be held at Bohlender Funeral Chapel 1:30 p.m. today. The Rev. Charles Schuster will officiate the service with concluding service by the B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 804.
January 30, 1910 - August 22, 2003
Helen Greenberg, 93, was born Jan. 30, 1910, in Meeker to Kerg and Minnie Hendricks. She was graduated from Rio Blanco County High School in 1927 going on to attend Ross Business College in Grand Junction, Colo.
She worked at the First National Bank of Meeker and at a bank in Pasadena, Calif. In 1937, she returned to Colorado and worked as a legal secretary for District Attorney Frank Delaney of Glenwood Springs.
Helen was married to J. Scott Juhan in September 1940. In 1945 they moved to Meeker where she was employed as a bookkeeper for White River Electric. She was united in marriage to Harry W. Greenberg in November 1967 residing in Phoenix, Ariz. She passed away at her home in Midland, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2003.
She is survived by her daughter Diane Roberts and husband Alan of Midland, two grandchildren, Kevin Roberts and wife Pam of Montgomery, Texas; Lisa Laird and husband David of Austin, Texas; four great-grandchildren, Brant and Paige Roberts of Montgomery, Ashley and Lauren Laird, of Austin; a niece, Marge Rogers and husband Allan of Meeker; two great-nephews, Russell Rogers and Ben Rogers and his wife Shelly and son Cole of Meeker.
She was preceded in death by her husband Harry W. Greenberg, her parents Kerg and Minnie Hendricks and one sister, Mary Russell of Meeker.
Services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at St. James& Ep Episcopal Church in Meeker. Pallbearers were Kevin Roberts, Brant Roberts, Ben Rogers, Dean Parr, Bill Jordan and Bren Sullivan.
Interment was in the Highland Cemetery
Memorial contributions may be made through Cochran Memorial Chapels, P.O. Box 1048, Meeker, Colo., 81641 for St. James« Episcopal Church or Meals on Wheels in Midland.
John W. Neiberger
July 28, 1937 - August 21, 2003
Well-known Rangely businessman John W. Neiberger, 66, died Aug. 21, 2003, at his Eagle Ridge Ranch west of Rangely.
John was born July 28, 1937, in Meeker, the son of 'Bud' Frederick Melvin Wesley and Dorothy Mae (Kenney) Neiberger. He was raised in Rangely and graduated from Rangely High School. Following his was graduation he entered the United States Navy.
On Nov. 11, 1961, he was united in marriage to RosaLee C. Gurr in Elko, Nev. John worked many years as a building contractor, as a regional district manager for Centrilift in Rangely and later in Midland, Texas and also ranched and raised horses. At the time of his death he was the owner of the Carquest Auto Parts Store in Rangely and NT Applied Coating. John was active in many community affairs, having twice served on the Rangely Town Council, was a former member of the Planning and Zoning Board, the Water User Board, the Rangely District Hospital Board, a former member of the board of the Bank of Rangely and past-president of the Columbine Racing Association.
He had a great drive for learning, taking many courses at Colorado Northwestern Community College earning his pilotís license there. He enjoyed reading, raising horses, horse racing, hunting, fishing and riding four-wheelers. He was a life member of B.P.O.E. 1907 in Rangely.
In addition to his wife, RosaLee, survivors include three sons, Benny and his wife Connie of Rangely, Ty and his wife Kelli of Rangely, John Kirk and his wife Stephanie of Denver, four grandchildren, Johnathan and Shelby of Rangely, Jack of Denver and Steve of Coeur DíAlene, Idaho, two great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Shantel, both of Coeur DíAlene and his sister, Phyllis Maxwell of Midland, Texas.
Funeral services were held Monday, Aug. 25 at the Rangely Wards Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment with military honors was made in the Rangely Cemetery.
Cochran Memorial Chapels Rangely Mortuary was entrusted with the funeral arrangements.
March 24, 1985 - August 19, 2003
On Aug. 19, 2003, Shane Thomas tragically lost his life in a drowning accident while having fun with his friends near Headwaters State Park.
Thomas was born in Layton, Utah, on March 24, 1985.
He lived in Meeker until the summer of 1999 when his family moved to Belgrade.
He was graduated from Belgrade High School this past spring. He was preparing to leave this week for his first year of college in Coeur díAlene, Idaho, where he was looking forward to being a member of the college wrestling team.
Thomas was preceded in death by his father, Ricky Thomas; his uncle, Terry Thomas; and his grandmother, Cheryl Herndon-Judson.
He is survived by his mother, Jalynn Thomas-Herndon; his stepfather, Mark Herndon; his sister Rikilynn Thomas; and his brother, Trevor Thomas. Other family members include grandparents; Janet and Ken Bates, Eddie and Linda Gold, Nyron and Ilene Thomas and Duane Judson.
He also left behind numerous extended family members and friends from Utah, Texas, Colorado and of course his friends beyond measure.
He was a very happy young man who was always smiling or laughing. He was sincere and kindhearted to everyone he met in his life. Shane was an extremely hard worker, who never complained when he was asked to perform a task or chore, no matter how difficult they were.
Thomas had a passion for sports, including football and wrestling. He excelled in wrestling, which is well proven by his great collection of medals and to urnament T-shirts. He was fondly nicknamed 'Furby' by his wrestling teammates during his freshman year and we all smile when we hear that name.
He loved life and people. He enjoyed the simplest pleasures in life, such as eating ice cream and laughing with friends.
A funeral service was held Aug. 23, 2003, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Belgrade, Mont. A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. in West Warren Cemetery
on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003. Donations may be made in Thomasí memory to 1855 MacTavish Lane, Belgrade, Mont., 59714.