Clarence “Wayne” Payton
Clarence “Wayne” Payton, 86, of Battlement Mesa, Colo. passed away December 1, 2012.
He was born August 22, 1926 to Chester Arthur Payton and Mabel Catherine Rasmussen. He grew up in the Grand Junction, Colo., area with special memories of Loma, Colo., and Parachute Creek, Colo.
He served in post war Germany during WWII and worked in the Colorado Fuel and Iron Steel Mill for 30 years.
Since retirement he has lived his dream of being a rancher for 31 years in a new home on the family property on Battlement Mesa.
Wayne was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and river rafting.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Alberta (Gardner); son Rand (Theresa); daughter Ann (Steve) Williams; five grandchildren, Shawna (Ablajan Haytek) Katie, and Brett (Britney) Williams, and Eric (Diana) and Michael Payton; great-grandchildren Alexandria and Isabella Payton and Conner Williams;
He missed his brothers and sisters Dale, Warren, Dorothy and Fred and Madge Peak. Lily and Norman are hanging in there.
Memorial services were held December 6, 2012 at the old Battlement Mesa Schoolhouse in Battlement Mesa, Colo. ❖
Danny “Dan” Charles Keenan
Danny “Dan” Charles Keena, 57, of Clifton, Colo., passed away November 26, 2012 with family by his side at Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado from complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
He was born on the way to Kremmling, Colo., at the intersection of Hwy. 34 and 40 on April 13, 1955.
Dan grew up in Tabernash, Colo., and attended East Grand schools. While attending Middle Park High School he played football and was named to the Colorado All-State team his senior year. Dan excelled as a Nordic Combined skier and was honored to be part of the US Nordic Combined Ski Team from 1972 through 1976. The team was the first American team to enter and compete in Russia. Dan ranked as the number one US Nordic Combined skier for three years and finished tenth in the world.
Dan drove trucks throughout Colorado and nationwide for 39 years, specializing in hauling in rough mountain terrain and hauling difficult equipment. His real passion was raising and feeding cattle and farming to raise hay. Both of these careers allowed Dan to be in the great outdoors that he loved until he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2010.
Dan always displayed a positive and upbeat attitude that brought joy and laughter to those that knew him. He is remembered for his fun spirit, smile and willingness to unselfishly lend a hand to those he knew. He was an inspiration to all.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; two sons, Jimmy (Denice) and Dusty (Tammy) Keenan, and two grandchildren, Garrett and Emma Keenan; parents, Larry and Alpha Rae Keenan; brothers, Tom (Angie) and Larry (Michelle) Keenan; sisters, Cindy Keenan and Tammy (Guy) Granger; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held December 8, 2012, at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Grand Junction, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dan Keenan Mobility Fund Alpine Bank Clifton, Colo., 81520, the ALS Association or Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 81506. ❖
Samuel D’Aponti, 90, passed away December 2, 2012 of natural causes at the VA Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo.
He was born in Segundo, Colo. He was adopted by Tobias and Solamae Aragon of Trinidad, Colo., when he was 4-years-old.
He graduated from Trinidad High School.
Sam served in the US Army as a Platoon Sargent and saw combat in the Philippines during World War II. He was part of the Occupation Forces of Japan after the conclusion of the War. Sam attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo.
Sam married Beatrice Duran of Hone, Colo., on December 28, 1952. They lived in Denver, Colo., where Sam was an employment specialist for the Colorado Department of Labor while also running a cattle ranch. They moved their cattle operation to Delta, Colo., in 1975. Sam retired from the employment service in 1987 to devote full time to the cattle business. They sold the ranch in 1997 and retired completely to live in Grand Junction, Colo.
Sam was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the VFW and the Elks Club. Sam loved hunting and fishing and his cattle. Sam and Bea traveled extensively to all corners of the world.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Diane DeCarro.
He is survived by his wife, Beatrice; children, Wes (Mailyn) D’Aponti and Brenda (Dwain) Watson; grandchildren, Chad (Farrah) D’Aponti, Jamie (Randy) Craig, Kirt D’Aponti, Adrianna Price; three great-grandchildren and his beloved Chihuahua, Bruno.
Memorial services were held December 7, 2012 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. ❖