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December 30, 2013
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Rocky Mountain Obits 12-16-13

Donald N. Christensen

Donald N. Christensen, 89, of Delta, Colo., passed away December 3, 2013, at his residence.

Don (lovingly none as “Bumps” by many) was born May 30, 1924, in Castle Rock, Colo., to Chris Christensen and Clara Bader. He grew up there and graduated from Douglas County High School.

Don married Marjory Eudora Petry on January 21, 1947.

He ranched in the Franktown and Castle Rock areas for several years, then worked for the State of Colorado and Douglas County Highway Departments, Martin Marietta, the local Rexall Drug Store in Castle Rock and finally IBM. His work took him to live in Boulder and Longmont, Colo., and eventually Tucson, Ariz., where he retired from IBM. Eventually Don and Marj moved to a home west of Olathe, Colo., to be nearer to family.

They were the proud parents of five children, 33 grandchildren, and 36 great grandchildren.

He is survived by his children; Kathy (Charles) Evans, Donald (Laura) Christensen, Barbara (Bill) Mertz, and Robert (Shellie) Christensen.

Donald was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marjory and daughter Marilyn Holdaway.

Funeral services were held December 9, 2013, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Delta, Colo. Interment took place at the Franktown Cemetery in Franktown, Colo., on December 10, 2013.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made in Donald’s memory to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Fund. ❖

William “Bill” O. Fender

William (Bill) O. Fender, 87, of Carbondale, Colo., passed away Thanksgiving morning, November 28, 2013, at his home.

Born August 25, 1926 on the family ranch south of Carbondale, Colo., Bill and his brother Ray grew up raising sheep on Missouri Heights and up the Crystal River with his parents and aunt and uncle.

He was a lifetime Roaring Fork Valley rancher with the memory of an elephant who made an impact wherever he went, whether it was with his stories, his lively, sarcastic wit or his ability with a rope. He and his long-time friend Bob Perry, team-roped together for years. He and Bob were founding members of the Carbondale Roping Club. Bill’s knowledge and experience with cattle and horses were well-known and respected up and down the valley.

Bill quit high school in Glenwood Springs to join the Army during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant.

A blind date to the Garfield County Fair (set up by Bob and Ditty Perry) led to a courtship that ended in the July, 1954 marriage of Bill to Patricia O’Neil, the new school teacher in town. They were married for 59 years and raised two children, Susan and Willie. Bill and Pat took many wonderful trips together, including places on the Western Slope and in the Yampa River Valley, to many national parks, Canada, Wales, New Zealand and Australia.

In 1960, Bill and Pat moved to Emma, Colo., and started the Sopris Creek Hereford Ranch. They raised registered Hereford bulls and beef cattle. Bill also raised Quarter horses; his favorites were buckskins. In December, 2005, Bill and Pat retired from ranching and moved to Carbondale, Colo.

Bll is survived by his wife Patricia (Pat), his daughter Susan Fender Handwerk (Jeff) of Salt Lake City, Utah, and his son William O’Neil Fender (Francesca) of Basalt, Colo. He is also survived by two grandchildren: Derek Ross Handwerk and Lauren Vagneur Burtard (Ty). Other surviving family members include two sisters-in-law, Barbara O. Ross and Anne O. Dauer, both of California; nieces Willa Fender Holgate (Jim), Kathy Fender, both of Texas, and Lesley Dauer of California; nephews Marlan Fender, D.V.M. (Paula) of Arizona and Christopher Dauer (Stephanie) and family, also of California.

He was preceded in death by both parents (Earl and Viola); his brother Ray, his sister Mae Louise, assorted other family members and many good friends.

Bill donated his body to ScienceCare of Colorado.

In place of flowers, donations in honor of Bill should be made to the Mt. Sopris Historical Society, P.O. Box 2, Carbondale, Colo., 81623 or the Holy Cross Cattlemen’s Association, c/o Carol Dodo, 7719 County Road 245, New Castle, Colo., 81647.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 2 p.m,. at The Orchard/Gathering Center, 110 Snowmass Drive, Carbondale, Colo. If you wish, bring a small plate of cookies to share over hot drinks after the service. Other gatherings to celebrate Bill’s life may follow in the coming months. Watch papers for details.

We will all greatly miss our tender-hearted cowboy with the gruff exterior! ❖


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The Fence Post Updated Dec 30, 2013 02:03PM Published Feb 18, 2014 01:42PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.