Back to: Obituaries
February 10, 2014
Follow Obituaries

Rocky Mountain Obits 2-10-14

Joann L. Blehm

Joann L. Blehm passed away January 26, 2014.

If adversity builds character then Joann’s personality was molded at an early age and to say she had a hard life is an understatement. We know Joann met this adversity with her fists up ready for the fight. Joann did not go down easy.

Joann loved living on her farm. She was proud to carry on the agricultural heritage from her grandparents, both the Krug’s and Elder’s but particularly the Elders. She lived all her adult life on the place they established in 1918. Grandad Elder (J.S) and Grannie Mom (Maude) doted and spoiled Joann; not only because she was an only child, but because she was their precious granddaughter. She brought joy and a deep love to their lives. You might say this is because she was a replacement for their daughter, Helen who died as a child. But most likely it was because she was Joann whose character and language made her a truly unique person.

When Joann Elder and Tony Blehm married in 1951 it was the beginning of a partnership in marriage and farming. Together they worked to maintain and improve the farm and therefore their lives. Two sons joined them: Mike in 1953 and Kevin in 1954. The boys learned the value of work from their father and learned shrewd financial management from their mother. Tony’s tragic death in 1972 brought an end to another chapter of Joann’s life. Many people would have curled up in the corner after a spouse’s untimely death. But not Joann, her astute understanding of how to make and keep a dollar, in a volatile industry such as farming, sustained Joann after Tony’s death. Joann continued to farm with the help of her sons and Jack and Pearl Mair.

Joann was the quintessential farmwoman providing support, financial knowledge and helping with the cattle. Joan partook in the day to day operation until the time of her death.

We cannot remember Joann without talking about animals. She loved her critters especially her cats. Pusser, her black and white tom cat, who lived to be 20-years-old was one of her favorites. Not many people could tell Joann anything but when Pusser wanted something Joann made sure his every need was met. How else could a cat live to be this old? Joann and Pusser’s favorite pass time was lying on the couch watching television.

Joann was always interested in history particular about Wellington and Northern Larimer County. Wellington celebrated its centennial in 2005. The Elder-Blehm Farm was recognized as a Heritage Farm. Joann and grandson, Reggan rode in the parade as family representatives. She was proud of her heritage and her grandsons, Kennan and Reggan, being the fifth generation of Elder blood to live on the farm section.

She was a strong believer in agriculture. Often Joann was a single voice of reason for agricultural advocacy in the midst of the chaotic population growth and development of Larimer County. Several newspaper articles featured Joann talking about drought, land and water use. Many local boards knew Joann’s point view would be distinctive and powerful even before she spoke. Many times Joann said what others were afraid to say. Joann believed in individual rights and most particularly in private property rights. Joann could have written the Thoreau quote “If I am not I, who will I be?” Many of us know it was hard to hold your own, let alone win a verbal argument with Joann. She had her own set of convictions and expressed them with a no holds bar attitude.

Joann was a rare individual. The current world seems to thrive and nurture people who follow the crowd and not raise a ruckus. Colleges put a high priority on teaching students to work cooperatively and to get along at all costs. We know Joann would not agree. In fact, she would raise a ruckus about people who acted like sheep following each other to their demise. Thoreau may have had a Joann in mind when he wrote: “If man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears however, measured or far away”. Joann was indeed a different drummer.

A Celebration of Life Service held January 30, 2014, at Bohlender Funeral Chapel in Fort Collins, Colo. Interment followed at Grandview Cemetery.

Friends may send condolences to the family at

Alfred Tracy Clermont

Alfred Tracy Clermont, 67, of Fort Lupton, Colo., passed away January 27, 2014, at his home.

He was born May 23, 1945, in Denver, Colo., to Alfred F. and Nellie B. Clermont.

He had many talents — leather working, bull riding, horse shoeing and music. He was in the Sundowners riding club. Robert Crabtree was his leader which is where he met his lovely wife Joan Crabtree. They were married March 6, 1965, in Adams City, Colo. They later divorced. They had two daughters Billie Jo and Becky.

In the 1970s he moved to Enders, Neb., to help his uncle and cousins on their drilling rig. He drilled wells for several years then he moved to Crete, Neb., where he resided for several years. He thought he should have been born in the era of cowboys, indians and covered wagons. In the early 1990s he started on a trip from Crete, Neb., to Fort Lupton, Colo., with a covered wagon, two mules and his dog Gizzy (he loved his Boston Terriers). He seemed to have a great time. Multiple news papers wrote articles about his journey. In 1992 he moved to Fort Lupton, Colo., where he trained horses and lived out his days with his family, dog Tisha and listening to Waylon Jennings, his hero.

He is survived by his daughters Billie Ward and Becky (Rob) Kruback; granddaughter, Dixie Barnes; twin grandsons, Shawn and Alex (Taylor) Boviall; and great granddaughter, Faith; brother Eugene Clermont; Sister Ellen (Joel) Kling and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father, mother and sister Sandy T. Williams.

A memorial service was held February 4, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Hudson, Colo. ❖

Dorothy Elaine Ford

Dorothy Elaine Ford, 80, passed away January 7, 2014.

Dorothy was born on November 9, 1933, to Homer and Dorothy Smith Bristol in Valentine, Neb.

On October 19, 1952, Dorothy married the love of her life, Floyd Ford in Littleton, Colo.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Floyd Ford, their son, Galen Ford and wife, Janice; four grandchildren, Gayle Lynne Ford, Shauna Johnson and husband, David, Jacob Ford and wife, Autumn, Lucas Ford and wife, Lindsey; eight great-grandchildren, Charles Ellis, Chandler, Dillan, Christian, Zac, Nicole, and Madison Ford, and Jessica Johnson; siblings, Merle Bristol and wife, Marjorie Arlo Bristole and wife, Ruby, Frances Barrett and Arlene Foley.;

She was preceded in death by her parents; their children, Linda Diane, Sonja Kay, Rodney Lynn, and Laurie Ann Ford.

A celebration of her life was held January 10, 2014, at Lake Ridge Chapel. ❖

Harold Kolstoe Hagen

Harold Kolstoe Hagen, 89, of Fort Collins, Colo., passed away January 29, 2014, at Poudre Valley Hospital.

He was born November 18, 1924, to Gudor and Severine Hagen.

During World War II, he served as a sergeant with the 10 Mountain Division in Italy. When he returned from the war, he earned a BS degree from the University of Wyoming, worked for the Wyoming Division of Wildlife and spent a summer with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. He returned to the University of Washington and earned a PhD in Fisheries Science. After spending a year working as a fish biologist in South Dakota, he accepted a position as a professor at Colorado State University. For 17 summers, he worked as a biologist and naturalist for the National Park Service.

Dr. Hagen spent time working with the Peace Corp setting up fish projects in Guatemala and Peru. He worked in Jamaica, Mexico and Ecuador establishing fish growing facilities. In Chile, he was instrumental in starting the salmon industry under grants from the World Bank.

Harold enjoyed skiing and fishing with his family; he was a member of the 10th Mountain Division Association, American Fisheries Society, and Fish Farmers of America and several honorary associations.

He lived on his fish farm with his wife, Mary Catherine Hirsig Hagen, who remains on the farm. They had one son, Harold (Hal) Hagen who passed away in 2013.

He is survived by his granddaughter, Catherine Hagen Gibson (Mathew) and grandson, Taylor Hagen.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Indian School, Chamberlain, S.D., or Elder Pet Care in care of Bohlender Funeral Chapel, 121 W. Olive St., Ft. Collins, Colo., 80524.

Friends may send condolences to the family at

Reinhold “Reiny” Nein

Reinhold “Reiny” Nein, 89, of Sterling, Colo., passed away January 14, 2014, in Sterling.

Reinhold was born November 22, 1924, in Sedgwick, Colo., to John and Catherine (Heil) Nein. He farmed in the area through the years.

On March 1, 1949, he married Alfrieda F. Keil in Crook, Colo.

He was a member of First English Lutheran Church. He enjoyed his family and farming.

Reinhold is survived by his wife, Alfrieda “Fritz” Nein of Sterling, Colo.; son, Randy Nein and wife Susan of Gilbert, Ariz.; daughters, Rhonda Lange of Westminster, Colo., Shelley Mildenberger and husband Nick of Sterling, Colo., Janelle Williams and husband Mike of Mead, Colo., Tracy Faulkner and husband Dennis of St. George, Utah; 13 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; two sisters; and son-in-law, Glen Lange.

Memorial services were held January 20, 2014, at First English Lutheran Church. Inurnment took place at Riverside Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to First English Lutheran Church or the Hospice of the Plains. ❖

Charles William Erickson

Charles William Erickson, 88, of Sterling, Colo., passed away January 30, 2014, in Sterling, Colo.

Chuck was born on October 8, 1925, in Glendive, Mont., to Barney Sorenson and Anna Schwartz.

He went to school through the eighth grade.

He retired as a School Bus Driver after 30 plus years. He also farmed his land west of the North Sterling Reservoir.

He married Helen Wilson in 1946. They later divorced in 1974.

He really enjoyed Model T cars.

He is survived by his son John W. Erickson and wife Pam of Holyoke, Colo.; granddaughter Shannon M. Erickson, great-granddaughter Victoria M. Erickson, grandson Shane W. Erickson, great-grandson Logan W. Erickson all of Northglenn, Colo.; step-sisters Virginia Coughlin of Hastings, Minn., and Joanne Johansen of Clarkston, Wash.

He was preceded in death by his Father and Mother.

Funeral services were held February 7, 2014 at Tennant Funeral Home. Burial took place at New Raymer Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Charles Erickson Memorial Fund in care of Tennant Funeral Home, PO Box 1547, Sterling, Colo., 80751. ❖

Stories you may be interested in

The Fence Post Updated Feb 10, 2014 02:13PM Published Apr 22, 2014 11:48AM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.