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June 10, 2013
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Western Slope Edition Obituaries 06-10-13

Sonja Karen Swanson-O’Connor

Sonja Karen Swanson-O’Connor, 71, of Paonia, Colo., passed away May 31, 2013, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo.

She was born to Henry R. and Martha Ellen (Hallar) Swanson on February 3, 1942, in Paonia, Colo. She was raised on a fruit farm and attended school in Paonia, graduating with the Paonia High School class of 1960. Later that fall she married her grade school sweetheart; Maurice Guy O’Connor. They moved to Montana where they made their home in the Lolo Creek Valley. For the next 25 years she raised her family, later divorcing in 1985.

Sonja worked at Community Nursing Home, which is now the Village Health Care Center, and was a private duty caregiver in home health, memorably helping many elderly people in Missoula, Montana for most of her working life. Two of those years she was a business partner for a collection agency of which she was very proud.

More importantly, Sonja was a devoted Mother. She kept busy canning, making clothes, and made sure to have her children involved in 4-H, church, bible studies, youth groups and summer church camps. She was a loving and fun Grandmother. She was an inspiration to many during her years in Montana.

In the fall of 2001 Sonja returned to Paonia to help with her Mother’s care and to be with her sister; Fiona. She went to work at the Chaco Shoe Factory until her retirement due to health problems. She enjoyed sewing, going to the thrift store, and she loved antiques. She was a member of the United Methodist Church where she enjoyed volunteering at the thrift store, and she was a member of the Pitkin Mesa Club.

She is survived by one son, Travis O’Connor and wife Nikki of Kenai, Alaska; three daughters, Melody Struna and husband Frank of St. Ignatius, Mont.; LaVaun O’Connor of Grand Junction, Colo., and Judy Goreham and husband Rob of Hoisington, Kan.; one brother, Henry Robert Swanson and wife Carol of Thornton, Colo.; and two sisters, Fiona Swanson of Paonia, Colo., and Judy Jones and husband Tim of Hendrickson, Va.; 7 grandchildren, Michael LaForest, Brandon Nuss, Kelsi Nuss, Tiernan O’Connor, Danae Silsby, Trista Goreham and Royce Goreham; great-grandson, Kaedrik Silsby, many nieces and nephews, and her longtime friend of 29 years, Dick Helean.

She was preceded in death by her parents and infant granddaughter, Ruth Karen LaForest.

Memorial services were held June 8, 2013, at the family plot in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Paonia.

Memorial contributions be made in Sonja’s memory to the Paonia United Methodist Church.

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Joyce Alice Coleman

Joyce Alice Coleman, 99, of Hotchkiss, Colo., passed away May 31, 2013, at Delta County Memorial Hospital in Delta, Colo.

She was born to Carl and Annie Marie (Nystom) Peterson on Feb. 26, 1914, in Denver, Colo. She spent her childhood and attended public schools in Denver, graduating from Englewood High School in 1932.

On March 31, 1934, Joyce married Elmer Edward Coleman in Colorado Springs, Colo. To this union, five children were born. The couple had the honor of sharing 51 years of love and marriage before Elmer’s passing on Aug. 18, 1985.

She was a loving wife and devoted mother and grandmother. She enjoyed crocheting, reading, gardening, cooking, and most of all she loved and cherished her family.

She is survived by two sons, Raymond (Nancy) Coleman of Sun City, Ariz., and Richard (Joanna) Coleman of Strasburg, Colo.; one daughter, Corinne Allen of Rocky Ford, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Coleman; sons, Donald and Daryl Coleman; granddaughter, Darylyn Coleman; and brother, Edwin Peterson.

Services were held June 5, 2013, at Danny Cotten’s residence, 30490 Hwy 92, Hotchkiss, CO 81419.

Interment was at Riverside Cemetery in Hotchkiss, Colo.

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Harold Edward Smith

Harold Edward Smith, 83, passed away on May 31, 2013, at his residence in Paonia, Colo.

He was born to Carl and Mable Lee (Odom) Smith on Jan. 12, 1930, in Delta, Colo. He spent his childhood and attended schools in Delta. He graduated from Delta High School in 1949. After high school Harold served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. Later he furthered his education at Mesa State University, graduating in 1956; he later attended Colorado State University.

On Aug. 18, 1958, Harold married Ellen Jean Hansen in Grand Junction, Colo. To this union, two children were born. The couple had the honor of sharing 53 years of love and marriage before Ellen’s passing on May 30, 2012.

Harold a devoted father and loving husband, enjoyed antique cars, steam engines, gardening, loved music, his dogs, but most of all he loved and cherished his family.

He belonged to Paonia Nazarene Church, Ute Trail Car Club, Antique Automobile Club of America, Western Slope Engine Club, American Legion, and belonged to the Paonia Clown Band.

He is survived by one son, Kenneth (Betsy) Smith of Hotchkiss, Colo., and one daughter, Danita (Darrell) Green of Paonia, Colo., one sister, Gwen (Art) Cannon of Delta, Colo., six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen Smith, brother, Bill Smith, sister, Elma Smith, and his parents.

Services were held June 6, 2013, at Delta City Cemetery, with military honors by Delta V.F.W. Post 3571.

Memorial contributions can be made to : Ellen Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Delta Federal Credit Union, PO Box 480, Hotchkiss, CO 81419.

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Gary C. Anson

Gary C. Anson, 75, of Cedaredge, Colo., passed away on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at his home.

He was born on Sept. 18, 1937, in Grand Junction, Colo., to Delmer C. and Lela June (Burch) Anson. Gary spent his childhood in Grand Junction, Colo., Washington State and California.

On Oct. 7, 1956, Gary married Donna H. Heely in Clifton, Colo. This October they would have celebrated their 57th year of marriage.

Gary was an owner operator of a propane service company, servicing vehicles and appliances.

Gary and Donna moved to Cedaredge in 1974 coming from Eagle, Colo. He was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cedaredge, Colo.

Gary enjoyed fishing, traveling especially to Arizona, reading, tinkering in his shop and classic country music. He cherished his ministry.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Anson of Cedaredge, Colo.; a son, Troy and Amanda Anson of Cedaredge, Colo.; a daughter and her husband, Jeannie and Vance Curtis of Grand Junction, Colo.; two sisters, Barbara and Leo Wohlwend of Waynesville, Mo., and Alice and Gene Davis of Montrose, Colo.; three grandchildren, Krystal Arechiga, Chase Curtis and Marshall Anson.

Services were held June 8, 2013, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 280 S. E. Jay Ave., Cedaredge, CO 81413.

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:42AM Published Aug 5, 2013 03:16PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.