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May 12, 2014
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Rocky Mountain Obits 5-5-14

Donald August Nelson

Donald August Nelson 79, of Longmont, Colo., passed away April 23, 2014, at Life Care Center.

He was born January 29, 1935 in Cheyenne, Wyo., to August and Freda (Brenning) Nelson.

Don was a graduate of Mead High School in 1954, served in the US Army from 1958 to 1960.

He married Ellen Dreith in Longmont, Colo., and they were later divorced.

Don was a postal carrier for the US Post Office. He was a member of the Hygiene Volunteer Fire Department for thirty years. He loved horses and was a member of the St. Vrain Roundup Club. A 4-H leader and coach of the Cloverleaf Riders drill team. He was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Wilbur Nelson and a sister Dorothy Dobbin.

Don is survived by a daughter Donna Sue Garretson and husband Mark, a granddaughter Rylee Garretson, two brothers Wayne D. Nelson and wife Cynthia and Ralph Nelson.

Services were held April 30, 2014, at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Interment followed at Hygiene Cemetery in Hygiene, Colo.

Contributions can be made to Hygiene Volunteer Fire Department and sent in care of Ahlberg Funeral Chapel.

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Nellie Selesta Johnson

Nellie Selesta Cnockaert Johnson, 92, of Fort Morgan, Colo., passed away on March 17, 2014.

Nellie was born on December 11, 1921, to Hector and Gretta (Spencer) Cnockaert in Maxwell, New Mexico.

Nellie grew up with a family who traveled. By the time she was 4-years-old, she had moved from New Mexico to Florida to Michigan. At that age she attended school in order to translate for her Belgium relatives. By the 1930s, Nellie’s family settled in the Stoneham area where she proceeded to live her life. She graduated from Stoneham High School in 1941. Later that same year on August 23, 1941, she married Paul Richard Johnson.

While Paul fought in WWII, Nellie raised their first child, Patsy, and worked hard to save money, so they would have a happy life upon his return. In 1946, Paul and Nellie purchased their farm and ranch where they would raise a family of six in the Stoneham and New Raymer area.

Nellie enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, visiting with family and friends, playing a good card game, needlework, sewing, crocheting and reading.

She was also a member of the Thimble Club, Card Clubs, the Evangelical Free Church in New Raymer, and the United Presbyterian Church in Fort Morgan.

Nellie will be missed by her surviving children, Patsy Johnson, Paul and (Mary Anne) Johnson and family of Fort Morgan, Colo., Dennis Bringelson and family of New Raymer, Colo., (Karl) and Linda Magnuson and family of Brush, Colo., (Don) and Vicky Brunkhardt and family of Liberal, Kan., and (Mike) and Betty Henry and family of Franktown, Colo. Nellie treasured her 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Her nieces, nephews, and in-laws will also miss her.

Nellie was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Johnson, daughter, Nancy Bringelson, sister, Treasa Dobner, and parents.

Services were held March 22, 2014, at the United Presbyterian Church in Fort Morgan, Colo. with burial at the Stoneham Cemetery. ❖

Gerald Hal Myer

Gerald Hal Myer passed away April 18, 2014, in Wray, Colo.

He was born March 4, 1924 in Franklin, Neb. He was the seventh of eight children born to James Laird Myer and Bertha Laureen Martin.

Gerald moved from Franklin, Neb., to a ranch located at Colfer, six miles east of Haigler at the age of 5-years-old and then to Haigler in 1934, at the age of 10-years-old. Growing up he had a paper route for the Omaha World Herald. He also worked for Tecker and Son in Parks, Neb., and also neighboring farmers around Haigler. He went to school at County School District 42 and District 75, both east of Haigler.

He married Mary Helen Vanhorn, in November 1948 in Wray, Colo. Two sons were born to this union: Gerald Raymond (Gary) and Tommy Lee (Smiley).

As an adult he worked for Tecker Ranch in Parks, and was self-employed for a short time at Memorial Place south of Haigler. From there he worked for Ashton Wilson on the state line for five years as a foreman. While working for Ash Wilson, he had a serious accident when a horse he was riding stepped in a hole and fell on him. After recovering from this accident he went back to work for the Tecker Ranch in 1958.

On March 26, 1960 he married Elizabeth (Smith) Saylor “Betty” in Holyoke, Colo.

Betty had three children by previous marriages, Charles Edward Pihlgren, “Charlie,” William Frank Saylor “Bill,” and Diane Marie Saylor.

He continued to work for the Tecker Ranch until the 1995. He enjoyed raising and breeding registered quarter horses. After retiring, Gerald could be found mowing neighboring yards and finding the best deals at local auctions and yard sales.

He is survived by his wife Betty of Haigler, Neb., sons: Gary of Lubbock, Texas, and Smiley and wife Charlotte of Wray, Colo., Charlie and wife Jinsoon of Fort Madison, Iowa, Bill of Delta Junction, Alaska, and daughter Diane and husband Ted Watson of Hampton, Va. Grandchildren: Shanon and husband Chris Stults of Wray, Colo., Starla and husband David Allen of Wray, Colo., Thomas and wife Melanie Jones of Wray, Colo., Lacy Jones of Hampton, Va., Bill and wife Gina Pihlgren of Lake Charles, La., Steven and wife Lindsey of Omaha, Neb., Mike and wife Angela of Pinehurst, N.C., and Melanie Roberts Bolton of Grand Junction, Colo., sister Grace Adams of Wray, Colo., 23 great grand children, one great-great grand child and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services were held April 22, 2014, at the Haigler Methodist Church in Wray, Colo. Interment was at the Haigler Cemetery.

Memorials in honor of Gerald may be sent to Spellman Schmidt Funeral Home, 427 South Adams Street in Wray, Colo. ❖

Laura Nell Ellis

Laura Nell Ellis, 74, of Saratoga, Wyo., passed away at her home on April 24, 2014 surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with cancer.

Laura Nell was born on October 31, 1939 in Laramie, Wyo., to Orval and Nellie White Wallis.

She lived on various ranches in and around the Laramie area and moved to Saratoga in 1956 when her parents purchased the Campbell Ranch on Pass Creek.

In 1956 she met the love of her life, Don Ellis, at a dance in Valley Station. They were married in Laramie on November 10, 1957. They lived on the Ellis Ranch on Difficulty Creek until 1960 when they purchased the Matson Ranch where they ranched together until 1969 when they moved to Saratoga. While in Saratoga they owned and operated several businesses over the years including a motel, earth construction business, and John Deere Ag dealership. She went to work at the Platte Valley Medical Clinic and worked there for 24 years as the office manager. She retired in 2008.

Laura Nell was an incredible person who touched the lives of many people in her walk through life. Words are inadequate to describe her many talents and just how special she really was. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who was devoted to caring for all. She will be missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Don. Daughters Sue Jones (Wiley) of Encampment, Wyo., and Linda Platts (Scott) of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Sons Mike (Rita) Ellis of Medicine Bow, Wyo., and Joe Ellis of South Pass City, Wyo. Grandchildren Hazel Platts (Torrey Winfrey), Max Platts, Sam Platts, Emily Ellis, Jon Ellis, Jacob Ellis, Patrick Ellis, and Elizabeth Ellis and great-granddaughter Tiana Winfrey. Brother Dan Wallis of Saratoga, Wyo., and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Patrick Thomas Ellis.

Services will be held May 3, 2014 at 2 p.m., in the Platte Valley Community Center in Saratoga, Wyo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Corbett Medical Foundation, PO Box 343, Saratoga, WY 82331 or the Meredith and Jeannie Ray Cancer Center, 255 N. 30th Street, Laramie, Wyo., 82072. ❖

Winona (Nona) Hart Speaker

Winona Ethelyn Hart Speaker passed away December 29, 2013, surrounded by her family.

Winona Ethelyn Hart was born on November 12, 1931 in Wellington, Colo., to Henry and Ferol (Jones) Hart.

Winona, also known as Nona or Nonie, was the youngest of four children and was raised in a two room house on a farm outside of Briggsdale, Colo. She graduated from Keota High School in 1949.

Winona and Jim Speaker were married November 24, 1949. They spent 61 wonderful years together before Jim passed away on December 3, 2010.

Winona spent her life as a homemaker, and was a devoted wife and mother. She was very active in PTA groups at her children’s school and was almost always the “room Mother”. Nona had a huge heart that was full of love for people. There was always room in her heart for another person to love and she “adopted” several special people in her later years. Winona loved gardening, painting, and cooking. Her chicken and noodles and fried chicken and gravy were legendary and she loved to cook for her family. Winona lived her life with enthusiasm, hard work, and family was the light of her life.

Winona is survived by, June Hart Becker of Anaheim, Calif., Alice Hart Johnson of Brunswick, Maine, Wayne Hart of Bellflower, Calif., and sister-in-law Karen (Tom) Minor of Ft. Collins, Colo. Children; James E. Speaker, Jr (Sherry) of Sulphur Springs, Texas, Randal W. (Alice) Speaker of Ignacio, Colo., Ellyn (Art) Bostick of Albuquerque, N.M., Deena Daggett of Farmington, N.M., and Laura Speaker of Aztec, N.M. Grandchildren; Tawnya Byarlay of Oakhill, Kan., Jason Speaker, Mandi (Jeffrey) Denton and Baylee (Jordan) Thompson of Sulphur Springs, Texas, Rachel (Larry) Landron, Lisa (Paul) Ruybal and Rebekah (Brandon) Talley of Ignacio, Colo., Nathan Bostick of Albuquerque, N.M., Christopher Daggett of Denver, Colo., Desiree (Aaron) Frost of Rio Rancho, N.M., Aaron (Desiree) Speaker of Farmington, N.M., and Sonya Daggett of Las Cruces, N.M. Great-grandchildren; Emily, Sarah, Nathaniel, Miranda, Khristian, Caleb, Austin, Robert James, Asher, Colette, Madalyn, David, Colt and Abigail.

Winona was preceded in death by her beloved husband James E. Speaker, Sr, her parents and twins, Denis and Durie.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., at Northside Church of Christ, 401 W. 20th Street, in Farmington, N.M. ❖

William “Bill” Shannon

Bill Shannon, 93, of Torrington, Wyo., passed away April 20, 2014, in his apartment at Bell Park Tower in Torrington.

He was born March 8, 1921, in Burlington, Colo., to Francis Perl and Helen Hazel Shannon. His family moved to Campion, Colo., while Bill and his older brother Leo were in elementary school. The boys worked for their father’s vegetable market by selling potatoes door to door from a wagon. Shannon graduated from Loveland High School in 1939.

A World War II veteran, Shannon served as a U. S. Army cook in a camp near Calcutta, India. He returned to Loveland, Colo., in 1946 and married Virginia Lee Armstrong on April 8, 1947.

Shannon and his brother owned and operated Derby Hill Market south of Loveland for 43 years, and Shannon served as secretary on the board of Associated Grocers. He also owned the Round Up Western Store, also located on Derby Hill, from 1975 to 1980.

In the fall of 1999, Bill and Virginia moved to Torrington, Wyo., where they lived for about ten years on a small acreage south of town.

Very active in horse-related activities, Shannon served on the Larimer County Fair and Rodeo Committee and was a charter member of the Northern Colorado Quarter Horse Association and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Posse. He held all the leadership offices of the Colorado State Posse Organization. He took up team penning in later years and was a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Team Penning Association. Two of his horses qualified for and competed in the team penning competition at the World American Quarter Horse Association Show. Shannon continued to ride horses until he was in his 80’s.

In addition to horses, Shannon enjoyed music. He liked to whistle and play the organ, and he played harmonica in several kitchen bands. He was a sign painter, amateur artist, avid letter writer and cowboy poet. He was known for his undying sense of humor and love of people. He was a longtime member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Loveland.

Bill is survived by son Jim Shannon of Torrington, Wyo., daughter Donna (Byron) Juma of Torrington, Wyo., daughter Mary (Jim) Angell of Cheyenne, Wyo., grandchildren Kris Shannon of Henderson, Nev.; Jamie Shannon of McMinnville, Tenn.; Amanda Angell of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Brooke, Sabrina, Cameron and Tyler Juma of Torrington, Wyo.; one great grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, wife, and daughter, Carol.

A celebration of life was held April 28, 2014, at Colyer Funeral Home in Torrington, Wyo. A graveside service was held at the Loveland Burial Park, April 30, 2014.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Goshen County 4-H program in Torrington or the Residents’ Fund at Bell Park Tower, care of Colyer Funeral Home, 2935 Main St. Torrington, Wyo., 82240. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated May 12, 2014 02:55PM Published Jul 11, 2014 04:26PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.