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May 29, 2013
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​Western Slope Obituaries 05-27-13

Ernest “Ernie” Prosser

Ernest “Ernie” Prosser, 87, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2013, at Willow Tree Care Center in Delta, Colo.

He was born on February 10, 1926 in Salida, Colo. He spent his childhood and attended schools in Gunnison, graduating in 1945.

During World War II, Ernie honorably served his country with the United States merchant marines and the army.

On December 24, 1950, Ernie married the love of his life, Thelma Rae Meredith in Toas, N.M. To this union, a son and two daughters were born. The Prosser’s resided in Gunnison for many years before moving to Delta in 1999.

Ernie, a retired heavy equipment operator, enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and taking care of his cattle and horses. More importantly, he loved and cherished his family. He was a member of the Gunnison Elks and the Odd Fellows.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Thelma Rae Prosser of Delta; one son, Rick Ernest Prosser and his wife Cynthia of Seattle, Wash.; two daughters, Deborah “Debbie” Setzer and husband Allen and Jeannie Stone and husband Jesse both of Gunnison, Colo.; four brothers and their wives: Vic (Gloria) Prosser of Gateway, Colo.; Donnie (Leila) Prosser of Salida, Colo.; Carl (Freta) Prosser of Rangely, Colo.; and Dave (Sharon) Prosser of Delta, Colo.; and one sister, Rosalie Perusek of Palisade, Colo.; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Mildred Marshall and Marian Smith; two brothers, Robert “Bob” and Bill Prosser; and his parents, Robert Arthur and Edith Grace Prosser.

Services were held May 24, 2013, at the Multipurpose Building (Gunnison Fairgrounds) in Gunnison, Colo.

Inurnment was in the Gunnison Cemetery with military honors by the Army Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made in Ernie’s memory to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 24, Delta, Colo. 81416; or to Willow Tree Care Center, 2050 S. Main St., Delta, Colo., 81416.

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Kenneth R. (Whitie) Burns

Kenneth R. (Whitie) Burns, 83, Hotchkiss, Colo. passed away January 20, 2013.

He was born April 6, 1929 in Ardmore, Okla. to John E. (Bud) & Biddie Burns and grew up in the Tishamingo, Okla area. In high school he played football and participated in FFA. He fell in love with the first Hereford he saw and dreamed of owning his own herd one day. He finished high school and started working for ranches and showing cattle in Oklahoma, Oregon, California and Colorado. He traveled with these show cattle by railroad. In 1950 Whitie joined the Army and served in the Korean War until he was honorably discharged.

Whitie married Dolores Wright of Gillette, Wyo. and later divorced (she survives). They lived and worked on the O’Neill Ranch in Big Piney and the Haycreek Ranch, Gillette, Wyo. before moving to Dillon, Colo. They brought into the world four children, Kenney, Susan, Karl and Sandra. Over time they all helped raise and exhibit Hereford bulls and heifers at many major livestock shows. Whitie was extremely proud of the King Rupert blood line with which he produced the first Register of Merit Sire in Colo. From there they moved Burns Herefords to Hotchkiss, Colo. where Whitie lived the rest of his life and continued to be a dedicated Hereford man.

He was an avid professional and high school football fan and in his later years enjoyed drinking iced tea and visiting with many friends at Roberts Short Stop. He is a Life Member of the American Hereford Assn, Honorary Delta County Fair Board Member, Honorary Hotchkiss FFA Chapter Member, belonged to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Assn, Colorado Hereford Assn, Delta County Livestock Assn, American Legion and the Elks.

He is survived by a brother AJ (Janice) Burns, Adams, OR, and a sister Pat Posey, Claremore, OK, sons Kenney (Teresa) Burns of Hotchkiss, CO, Karl (Joetta) Burns of Paonia, CO, daughters Susan (Dave) Miller of Buena Vista, CO and Sandra (Nevil) Speer of Smiths Grove, KY, grandchildren Klayton (Sonya) Burns of Tifton, GA, Kacie Burns of Paonia, CO, Danny Shuss, Canon City, CO, Brandi Miller of Colorado Springs, CO, Codi Miller Buena Vista, CO and Lydia Speer of Smiths Grove, KY. and 4 great-grandchildren of Tifton, GA that he did not get a chance to know.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Hiram Burns, and sisters Mary Jane Burns, Arlene Haugan, Linda Burns, and Doris Selfridge.

Memorial service and BBQ will be May 27, 2013 at one o’clock at Zack’s Barbeque Pavilion in Hotchkiss, Colo.

A Memorial Scholarship has been set up through the Hotchkiss Elks BPOE #1807 and donations can be made through the Clem Audin Scholarship Fund, PO Box 96, Hotchkiss, Colo. 81419.

Billy George Gosnell

Billy George Gosnell, 79, of Cortez, passed away at his home on May 2, 2013.

He was born to Hurshell and Lela (Isenberg) Gosnell on December 27, 1933 in Cushing, Okla.

Billy attended school in both the Cortez and Dolores school districts. He served in the army as a young man and enjoyed trap shooting, hunting and fishing. He spent a good portion of his life in the plastering and drywalling business with his father, Hurshell, brothers Bob and Don and nephew Ronnie and he loved almost every minute of it.

Billy married Sue Chambers on December 12, 1964 and they made their home in Cortez. The later years of his life were spent attending early morning social hour at The Ute coffee shop and taking care of the place while Sue and their granddaughter went off rodeoing.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sue Gosnell of Cortez; children, Diana Spendlove of Edgewater, Md., Holly and Tony Strom of Marana, Ariz., Kathy and Jean Arcuby of Vail, Ariz., George and Sherry Johnson of Tucson, Ariz., and Kaye Linda Johnson of Douglas, Wyo.; siblings, Dorsa Lee and Wilber Martin of Bloomfield, N.M., Carolyn and Alfred Hubble of Cushing, Okla., Donna and Leon Tanner of Cortez, and Hurshell Jr. and Kathy Gosnell of Cushing, Okla.; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Hurshell and Lela Gosnell; his sister, Patricia Gosnell; his brothers, Don and Bob Gosnell; and his son, Steven Carter.

Services were held May 6, 2013.

The family would like any donations sent in Billy’s name to the Lewis Arriola Fire Department.

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:41AM Published Aug 5, 2013 03:16PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.