Franklin Clyde Stewart
Franklin Clyde Stewart, 92, of Platteville, Colo., passed away June 17, 2014 in Greeley, Colo.
Frank came into this world on December 12, 1921. He was born on the Cheyenne-Arapahoe Reservation, close to the Chisholm Trail in Oklahoma, to Washington Franklin and Elizabeth Laura May Awtrey Stewart.
Raised on a farm in Oklahoma, his early memories included helping break horses and mules that everyone else in the community had given up on. Working in his Granddad’s general store in Greenfield Oklahoma allowed this eager and kindly young sprout to serve his neighbors who included Cheyenne-Arapahoe chieftains!
After surviving the fiercest part of the Dust Bowl days, Frank’s family moved to Canon City, Colo., where he finished high school with an amazing group of classmates that still gather monthly. He traveled west to California and was part of the 4th Interceptor Command building Radar Bases.
From 1942-1946 Frank (or “Scuttlebutt” as his mates called him) served our country in the 54th Naval Construction Battalion, Company D, Platoon 5 (the Seabees). He was the Service Manager of all the heavy equipment and built invasion bases along the North African coast. He eyes would twinkle as he stated that his group went in first to get things ready for the Marines! He carried two duffle bags so he would have medicine for his fellow Seabee’s needs, hiking back for the second bag when the platoon took a rest. God spared his life when his commanding officer had him transferred to Army Combat Engineers for the invasion of Sicily for one month. The remainder of his original platoon was decimated. Frank went on to build airbases in the Philippine Islands and was certified and served as a Deep Sea Diver. He also built a Naval Receiving Base for all Navy and Marine replacement people in the Pacific.
After the war, on October 6, 1946, Frank married Ruth Caroline Skoglund, a charming, talented and beautiful young lady who was his sister’s best friend. They shared 67 years of committed love. Frank and Ruth headed to Fort Collins, Colo., to Colorado A & M, (now CSU), to major in Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Math and Chemistry.
He wandered back to California where he enjoyed 10 years as the Landscape Specialist for Forest Lawn Memorial Park with over 2,000 acres of landscaping to create and maintain. While there he was a Board Member and the President of the Southern California Turf Grass Council.
Frank Stewart was always the first to arrive with his family and tools on church workdays. His life showed his deep commitment to His Savior. He sang bass in the church choir while Ruth played the organ, was a Sunday School teacher and both a deacon and trustee.
In 1963, Frank headed back to Colorado to build a new Cemetery in Denver and help start the Rocky Mountain Regional Turf Grass Association. He served as President of this association from 1963-1965. From 1963-1974 he was on the Advisory Committee, Colorado State Agricultural Department for Colorado State University. Frank was on the Weld County Board of Adjustment for 14 years, and on the Weld County Council for two years. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, member of El Jebel Shrine and Eastern Star. As a member of the Greeley Shrine Club, he helped send two teams of Doctors and Nurses to the Shriner’s Burns Research Hospital for a week of specialized training for the North Colorado Medical Center Burns Unit. Frank and his horse Jimm served in the Weld County Sheriff’s Posse. Frank was also a member of the Platteville Lyons Club, American Legion and VFW.
Frank’s favorite hobby was making his “Mountain Man” talks to Colorado History classes, churches and clubs in Colorado and California. He taught and entertained more than 238,000 children and adults, whom he loved.
For 11 years, Frank was a Partner in Emerald Bluegrass Sod Farm and became the owner/operator of Weld LP Gas in 1969, where he made many wonderful friends. His later years were spent enjoying friends and family at his home in Anacortes, Wash., outside Platteville, and in the beautiful Rockies.
Interment was June 21, 2014 at Lakeside Cemetery in Canon City, Colo. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at Grace Church with a reception to follow at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 702 13th Street, Greeley, Colo., 80631. ❖
John Owen Graham
John Owen Graham, 80, of Fort Collins, Colo., passed away June 11, 2014.
He was born on Jan 17, 1934 in Welch, Okla.
John’s family moved to Colorado while he was still a child, he was one of 14 children.
John married the love of his life Elizabeth Ann Sullivan December 13, 1952. They had three daughters, Roberta (Bobbie), Racheal and Charleen. John’s profession was in construction as a labor foreman and a ranch foreman.
John was a strong man who fought for his family and loved, as he would say “The Good man above.” While he fought hard for his life, he didn’t lose his battle, he won his battle. He left a legacy that will be cherished by all. He was proud of his Cherokee heritage, loved his family and God!
John passed on the love he had for animals, especially horses, and the great outdoors to his children and grandchildren.
John is survived by his soul mate/wife, Elizabeth and his children, Bobbie and Rod Wilhite of Eaton, Colo., Racheal and John Beckett of Livermore, Colo., Charleen Mellott of Chamberlain, S.D., and Rick Mellott of Carr, Colo. Two grandchildren, Charity and Stuart Hoar of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., and Austin Beckett of Fort Collins, Colo. Two brothers, Lonnie Graham of Laporte, Colo., and William Graham of Fort Collins, Colo., Two sisters Bonnie Casey of Wellington, Colo., and Hellen Smithers of Fort Collins, Colo., and several nieces and nephews.
He has many family members and friends waiting for him in Paradise.
Services were held at the River of Life Church in Wellington, Colo., on June 17, 2014. Burial followed at Highland Cemetery in Wellington, Colo.
Cards may be sent to the home of John and Elizabeth Graham at 2301 W. County Rd. 60, Fort Collins, Colo., 80524. Friends may send condolences to the family at BohlenderFuneralChapel.com. ❖
Donald Eugene Neal
Donald Eugene Neal, 82, lifelong Ft. Morgan, Colo., resident, passed away June 14, 2014 at his home in Ft. Morgan.
Donald was born March 11, 1932 in Wiggins, Colo., to Glenn and Florence (Carter) Neal.
He married Shirley J. Keefer on July 20, 1952 in Greeley, Colo.
Donald was a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying. His family was very important to him. He loved traveling with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Donald is survived by his wife Shirley, one son, David Neal and his wife Sheryl, one daughter, Vicki Messenger and her husband Tim all of Ft. Morgan, Colo., sisters, Sue Mack of Denver, Colo., Alice Hodges and her husband Vern of Denver, Colo., and Jo Sauer and her husband George of Byers, Colo., grandchildren, Mark Neal (Sarah), Marty Neal (Jessica), Cari Messenger (Johnny Freeman), and Lindsey Messenger, great grandchildren, Piper, Raylan, and Tyler.
Donald was preceded in death by three brothers, Gary, Harold and Albert Neal, and his parents.
Services were held June 19, 2014 at the Life Fellowship Church in Ft. Morgan. ❖