Peter Franklin Smith, 97, passed away February 22, 2012 at his winter home at Kino Nuevo, Sonora, Mexico, with his son Nels at his side.
He was able to pursue his passion his entire life, taking three doves with three shots within a month of his death.
He was born November 28, 1914 at the ranch home of his parents, Nels H. Smith and Marie (Christensen) Smith seven miles south of Sundance in Crook County, Wyo. The family then moved to the Pride of the Prairie Ranch in Weston County.
Peter received his elementary education at Green Mountain School and in his grandmother’s kitchen. He then attended Sundance High School, where he graduated in 1931 at age 16. Next was enrollment at the University of Nebraska, where he was on the water polo and rifle teams, and was a member of the Society of Pershing Rifles.
His business activities included ranching, trout production, meat packing, executive conference center operation, and mineral investments. The remainder of his life was spent doing what he enjoyed most; being with family and friends, traveling, hunting, and seeing something positive in every day.
He was the last surviving attendee of the first One-Shot Antelope Hunt in 1940.
Peter Smith and Helen Jensen were married at her parents’ home in Greenwich, Conn., on October 23, 1937. Two children, Nels Jensen in 1939 and Constance Christine in 1942, were born to this marriage. Peter and Helen divorced in 1949. Peter married Oydis Horton in 1950 and her two daughters, Ellen and Dorothy, joined his family. His daughter Connie disappeared July 16, 1952 and has never been found or accounted for, despite exhaustive efforts to solve her disappearance.
He is survived by his son, Nels (Jeanette) Smith of Sundance, Wyo., and daughter, Dorothy (Rondy) Dike of Seattle, Wash., grandchildren, Doug (Pam) Smith of Morgan Mill, Texas, Garrett (Kristie) Smith of Lusk, Wyo., Jesse K. (Peggy) Driskill of Rio Rico, Ariz., and Ogden (Zanny) Driskill of Devils Tower, Wyo., Ren (Susan) Dike of Seattle, Wash., Oydis (Dean) Nickel of Snohomish, Wash., Jennifer (Chris) Adams Seattle, Wash.; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Christy, his first wife, Helen, his second wife, Oydis, his daughter, Ellen Driskill, and his grandson, Mathew Driskill.
Family and Masonic graveside rites will be held at Green Mountain Cemetery, Four Corners, Wyo., in the near future.
Memorial services were held July 27, 2012, at Ranch A, Beulah, Wyo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ranch A Restoration Foundation and the Crook County Museum Foundation/Old Stoney Fund. Donations may be sent to: Nels Smith PO Box 408, Sundance, Wyo., 82729, or to the charity of your choice.
The family expresses its profound appreciation to Alan Whitfield and Christe Canfield, two loyal and supportive friends and caregivers, without whom Pete could not have enjoyed his last months as he did. ❖
Sally Eckhardt, 68, of Kersey, Colo., passed away at University Hospital in Denver, Colo.
She was born August 16, 1943 to Andrew G. and Grace Ella (Wiley) Orr in Oshkosh, Neb. She married James D. Eckhardt on November 16, 1962 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Greeley, Colo.
Sally and her family moved from Oshkosh, Neb., to Eagles Nest Ranch (east of Kersey, Colo.) when she was seven years old. She graduated from Greeley High School in 1961 and, in later years, went on to attend Aims Community College where she received her Associates of General Studies.
She was the secretary to the Platte Valley Schools superintendent. She raised her family, worked clerical jobs and then began working for the Platte Valley School District as an accounts payable clerk. She retired in 2009.
As a young girl, Sally loved to ride horses. She enjoyed traveling, baking (especially birthday treats), cooking, reading, and sewing but her greatest joy in life was spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Sally had a strong faith and deep relationship with Jesus. She attended Calvary Chapel in Greeley, Colo., where she was active in the children’s department and other ministries. She blessed and impacted the lives of many.
She is survived by her husband JD Eckhardt; children, Rick Eckhardt, Amy (Virtus) Banowetz and Jay Eckhardt; sister, Judy Herbst; five grandchildren, Mikhaila and Andrew Eckhardt, Ashley and Brandon Banowetz, and Aaron Eckhardt.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Memorial services were held July 31, 2012 at the Platte Valley High School Cafeteria.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pregnancy Resource Center or the Aurora Shooting Victims Fund, in care of Allnutt, 702 13th St., Greeley, Colo., 80631.
Family and friends may view the online obituary and sign the guestbook at www.Allnutt.com. ❖
Phyllis J. Alexander
Phyllis June Alexander, 78, of Greeley, Colo., passed away July 27, 2012 at Northern Colorado Hospice in Greeley, Colo.
She was born June 27, 1934 in Grover, Colo., to Robert Orie Brown and Thelma Jo Brown (Edwards).
A graduate of Grover High School, Phyllis’ varied work experience included a legal assistant, a nurses’ aide, a waitress, an apartment manager, and a retail clerk.
On January 22, 1955, she married Norman ‘Tex’ Alexander.
While attending the Salvation Army Church, Phyllis served others through her volunteer work with the Home League and received awards for her care and compassion toward others. Family and friends remember her giving rides and food to others. Fishing, hunting, and boating are activities her family and friends remember her enjoying.
She is survived by her daughter Jody James and husband Gary of Lafayette, Colo.; son Joey Michael Alexander of Evans, Colo.; three sisters, Shirley Nash of Evansville, Wyo., Coleen Hart, and Elaine Werner and her husband Art all of Greeley, Colo.; three brothers, Donald Brown and his wife Frances of Eaton, Colo., Roger Brown and his wife Pat of McCook, Neb., and Arlon and his wife Linda of Peetz, Colo.; and two grandchildren Zora Lee Hunter Alexander of Commerce City, Colo., and Joey Michael Alexander, Jr. of Fort Morgan, Colo.; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years and her two parents.
Memorial services were held August 2, 2012 at Stoddard Funeral home.
Interment followed at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made in Phyllis June Alexander’s honor to the Northern Colorado Hospice of Greeley in care of Stoddard Funeral Home, 3205 West 28th Street, Greeley, Colo., 80634. ❖
Richard Elmer Blehm, 64, of La Salle, Colo., passed away July 28, 2012 after a long battle with bone cancer at North Colorado Medical Center.
He was born on February 21, 1948 in Greeley, Colo., to Elmer and Ina Lorraine (Ledford) Blehm.
Richard graduated from Platte Valley High School in 1966. He has worked at Maxey Farms, Monfort Feedlots, Cottonwood Square until he branched out as owner and operator of Rocky Mountain Lawn Service. ,On April 26, 1974, he married Linda Schneider at Sherwood Park Baptist Church in Greeley Colo. They were members of the Greeley Baptist Temple.
Richard was always a morning person. He loved to watch the sunrise and get going early. He collected John Deere toy tractors and loved putting together puzzles of country scenes with tractors. His favorite times were attending Walker Days, John Deere Days and tractor pulls. He enjoyed watching Western and Christmas movies on TV, he was always making something out of wood for the kids to color even some wooden puzzles, family gatherings, gardening but hayrides at the shop were his favorite. He always decorated the house for holidays and had breakfast at McDonalds. He was a father figure to many children. He liked to tease people, he was self-motivated and a perfectionist.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Blehm of La Salle, Colo.; two daughters, Teresa (John) Doell of Pasco, Wash., and Christine D. Blehm of La Salle, Colo.; a god-daughter, Bonnie Keys of Albuquerque, N.M.; four sons, Rodger (Jackie) Blackwell of Roland, Iowa, Scott (Brenda) Blehm of Aurora, Colo., Daniel A. (Sarah) Blehm of Ashburn, Va., and Joshua D. Blehm of Ames, Iowa; his mother and her husband, Lorraine (Kenneth) Lyman of Kersey, Colo.; special friend, Vicky (Brad) Gilmer; two sisters, Kathy Warner of Osh Kosh, Neb., and Sandra Billings of Loveland, Colo.; one brother, Randy Blehm of Osh Kosh, Neb.; and 13 grandchildren, Gregory, Breana, Kassandra, Robert, Benjamin, Aleesha, Natasha, Dustin, Emily, Cade, Baby Blehm, Danielle and Tyler; two great-grandchildren, Matthew and Alexandra; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father and a niece, Anita Warner.
Memorial services were held August 2, 2012 at the Greeley Baptist Temple.
Interment was at Linn Grove Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard Blehm Memorial Fund in care of Stoddard Funeral Home, 3205 West 28th Street, Greeley, Colo., 80634 .
Please visit www.StoddardSunset.com to sign online guestbook. ❖
Dorothy S. Linnebur, 85, of Roggen, Colo., passed away July 29, 2012 in Aurora, Colo.
She was born January 16, 1927 in Sheridan, Wyo., to John and Mary (Modlish) Nieslanik. She graduated from high school in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and later married James Linnebur in Denver, Colo., on June 6, 1953.
Dorothy has lived in the Roggen, Colo., area since 1953 where she was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and served as a member of the Alter and Rosary Society. Dorothy received her nursing degree from Mercy Hospital in Denver, Colo., and worked there for five years. She also helped operate the family farm for many years.
Dorothy raised eight children by herself and as a mother took the responsibility of raising her children very seriously. She always took care to ensure they attended all of their activities. In her later years, she loved to watch her grandchildren grow and participate in their activities. Dorothy was a devoted mother and grandmother and she will be missed.
She is survived by her children, Mary Anne (Conrad) Dreher of Morrison, Colo., John E. Linnebur of Roggen, Colo., Stephen (Alice) Linnebur of Beyers, Marilyn (Roger) Musgrave of Hoyt, Colo., Marie (David) Bell of Keenesburg, Colo., Jean (Norm) Nichols of Strasburg, Colo., and James W. Linnebur of Denver, Colo.; sisters, Betty Ribant of Michigan, Beezie Kennedy of Arizona, Adeline Coryell of Rifle, Colo., Katie Smith of Fort Collins, Colo., and Frances Mattivi of Colorado Springs, Colo.; brothers, John Nieslanik, Paul Nieslanik and Robert Nieslanik all of Carbondale, Colo., James Nieslanik of Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Roy Nieslanik of Yuma, Colo.; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James in 1963; son, Norman in 1998 and one brother, Bernard, in 2008.
Memorial services were held August 6, 2012 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Roggen, Colo.
Interment was at Elmwood Cemetery. ❖
Ronald F. Heffner
Ronald F. Heffner, 71, of Lakota Ranch, Calhan, Colo., passed away July 17, 2012. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
Ron was born on September 4, 1940, in Minersville, Pa., to Franklin D and Marian Heffner.
After graduating from High School in 1958, Ron worked as a mechanic for many years. He then went on to work as an owner/operator truck driver, hauling large and oversized loads. Ron married Louise C. Strout in 1978.
After two of Ron’s daughters moved to Colorado, he and Louise came to visit. Each time they stayed a little longer, until they decided to move West in 1993, making Colorado their home. Ron was blessed to realize his dreams of having a ranch “Out West,” complete with all his “critters” he so loved. The ranch is home to Registered Quarter and Paint Horses, Registered Horned Hereford cattle, donkeys and mules, as well as small animals. His beloved saddle horse, AQHA mare, Poco Sunday, won Purina’s Oldest Horse award at the age of 38. He often took in animals rescued from abusive situations, patiently caring for them, restoring them to health and a new home.
Ron was a man of strong faith and convictions. He had a heart for his fellow man and collected donations he and Louise would to take to the Pine Ridge and 4 Corners Reservations.
Ron possessed an incredible talent for woodworking and carpentry, creating furniture, clocks, picture frames, hope chests, a porch swing for his parents, a rocking horse, cradle and sleigh were made for his grandchildren. Ron also built custom log homes. He was a talented gun smith, creating hand carved gun stocks. Ron enjoyed photography, playing his guitar and US and Western history.
Ron was a charter member (No. 12) of the National Rifle Association, life time member of The American Quarter Horse Association and life time member of the Over the Road Independent Driver’s Association. He was a true patriot and loved his country deeply.
He is survived by his wife Louise C. (Strout) Heffner of 34 years; five children from his first marriage, Karen Heffner-Buchanan of Nederland, Colo., Ronald Heffner Jr of Pine Grove, Pa., Lisa Heffner-Kreiser of Jonestown, Pa., Carla Heffner of Denver, Colo., and Clinton Heffner of Tremont, Pa.,; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild; two step-sons from his second marriage, Skip Baril of Simla, Colo., and Tony Baril of Maine.
Memorial services were held August 4, 2012 Lakota Ranch in Calhan, Colo.
Interment was at Lakota Ranch in Calhan, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Morris Animal Foundation. ❖