Rocky Mountain Obituaries 4-29-13
June 24, 2013
Charles Reese Sr.
Charles Edward Reese Sr. (Sweet Water Charley), 86, passed away March 31, 2013 at his home near Kiowa, Colo., with his family at his side.
He was born November 23, 1926 in Braddock, Penn., and was the eldest son of Neil Robison Reese and Clara Felder Reese. Charles graduated from William Smith High School in Aurora, Colo., in 1945.
He served honorably in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Headquarters Battery, 309th Field Artillery Battalion. Upon returning home from serving in the Army, Charles attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., for one year.
Charles met his loving wife of 64 years, Donna Lee Christener after leaving CSU and they were married March 5, 1949 in Raton, N.M. Their first home was in Grand Lake, Colo., where Charles worked on the construction of the Shadow Mountain Dam. Charles and Donna then moved to California where he worked for Firestone in Oakland, Calif., for two years. Charles and Donna returned to Colorado in 1952 where Charles would start his career as a firefighter for the City of Aurora, Colo., in 1957. Charles served 30 years on the Aurora Fire Department, retiring December 6, 1986. Charles’ service as an Aurora firefighter was a career in which he served proudly and often spoke about fondly. He also worked part time as journeyman electrician during his time with Aurora Fire and after retirement.
Charles and Donna moved for the final time to their retirement home east of Kiowa, Colo., in January 1983 where he and Donna lived for the past 30 years surrounded by family and a great many friends, until his passing.
Charles had many interests but especially enjoyed his cattle, gardening, arrowhead hunting, model airplanes, golf, big game hunting, fishing, Pony Express racing, and most of all his dogs.
He was a member of the NRA, American Legion Elbert County Post, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Douglas-Elbert County Livestock Association, Kiowa Lions Club, and the Elbert County Republican and Tea Parties. Charles was honored and thrilled to be selected to carry the Olympic Torch in the 2002 relay at Buena Vista, Colo., for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Charles was a beloved husband. Charles’ legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who knew and loved him. He was a man of integrity, high energy and compassion which he demonstrated in his service to others throughout his life. His family loved him deeply and will miss him greatly forever.
He is survived by his loving wife, Donna Lee Christener Reese; son, Charles Edward Reese Jr. (Lynette) of Simla, Colo.; daughter, Carollyn Reese Hall (Bruce) of Ordway, Colo.; daughter, Charlene Reese Gee of Parachute, Colo.; as well as grandchildren, Stetson Tapp (Teri) of Riverton, Wyo., Tiffany Guynn (Scott) of Kiowa, Colo., Mandy Taylor (Jimmy) of Kiowa, Colo., Gabrielle Perryman (Shawn) of Kanorado, Kan., Crystal Lenard of Elbert, Colo., Kenneth “Keg” Gee (Raquel) of Calhan, Colo., and Matt Reese of Simla, Colo.; 14 great-grandchildren; one brother, Neil Robison Reese Jr. of Golden, Colo.; and one sister Mary Cecil Reese Slade of Kiowa, Colo.; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held April 6, 2013 with Aurora Fire Department honors at the Kiowa Creek Community Church in Kiowa, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kiowa Creek Community Church.
Online condolences may be made at http://www.OlingerAndrews.com . ❖
Bryce Wesley Gresham
Bryce Wesley Gresham, 85, passed away April 17, 2013 in Greeley, Colo., after battling multiple myeloma.
He was born to Beulah D. Dermo Gresham and Harvey E. Gresham on June 18, 1927, on the family farm.
Bryce grew up on the family farm, harnessing horses, milking cows, feeding chickens, raising wheat, pulling calves, and generally working the land. He attended school from first grade to eighth grade at the Lincoln School house west of the town of Elbert, Colo. He attended and graduated from Elbert High School in May of 1945. Bryce enlisted in the United States Merchant Marines prior to graduation and left the Monday after graduation for basic training. He was discharged from the Merchant Marines in February of 1947.
Upon returning home from the service he soon took over the operation of the family farm when his parents moved to Missouri for Harvey’s health. Bryce married Margaret Carleen Ward in July of 1950. The had 2 children, Danny and David.
Throughout his life Bryce took an active interest in his community. He served on the school board for Elbert School District #200 for 14 years and he was a member of the Soil Conservation District for 25 years. Bryce served on the board for the CO-OP in Calhan, Colo., for 12 years and the FSA board in Simla for 16. He was also a County Commissioner for Elbert County for four years and did title work for gas companies. He was a member of the American Legion and a past commander. Bryce and Carleen were honored as “Outstanding Republicans” by the Republican party of Elbert County. He participated in numerous other activities to support and sustain the community of Elbert, the County of Elbert and the State of Colorado.
On July 18, 2009, Bryce married Rita Ames in Greeley, Colo., where they enjoyed the last four years of their life together.
He is survived by wife, Rita Ames Gresham; son Danny W. Gresham; sister Marjory Gresham Cole; grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services were held April 22, 2013 at Elbert Christian Church in Elbert, Colo.
Interment was in Elbert Cemetery in Elbert, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Northern Colorado, 1801 16th St., Greeley, Colo., 80631.
Online condolences may be left at http://www.DignityMemorial.com. ❖
Dr. Otto Eugene “Gene” Hoehne
Gene Hoehne, 73, of Windsor, Colo., passed away April 21, 2013, at home, after a year-long battle with prostate cancer.
He was born May 13, 1939, in Boulder, Colo., where he grew up hunting ducks and fishing in ponds on a 65-acre dairy farm with parents Otto C. Hoehne and Evelyn (Pruss) Hoehne.
Gene graduated from Boulder High School in 1957. He was senior class vice president and lettered every year in baseball and basketball. Gene then played basketball and baseball at Colorado State University, leading in hitting and home runs his freshman year, and was selected as first baseman and team captain for Skyline conference’s all eastern division with a batting average of .345. He was offered a draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but instead chose to pursue academics. He was later granted the CSU Athletics and Scholarship Achievement Award. He was a member of Farm House Fraternity, and honor society Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta and Sigma XL. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at CSU and his Ph.D. in Animal nutrition in 1966 from the University of Nebraska.
Gene later worked for Washington State University, University of Nebraska and Oklahoma State University as a livestock specialist. His work while at these universities and during his career with Continental Wayne Feeds in Libertyville, Ill., and Purina Mills, Denver, Colo., contributed to creation of new additives and patents for animal feed that promoted health and feed efficiency.
He married Cindy Ramey in 1987, at Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, Colo., and started a small ranch of grass-fed beef cattle in Windsor, Colo.
Gene believed in strong families and communities and was a tireless promoter of both. He was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Church in Windsor, Colo. He was on the Windsor Union Colony Bank advisory board in 1996. In 1998 he was named Top Sales Associate, and twice named to the Diamond Society at Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Fort Collins, Colo. Gene was an enthusiastic supporter of the Republican Party and hosted several GOP caucuses in Windsor, Colo. as District I Captain. Gene believed in the economic prosperity and growth of his community. He was vice-chair of the Windsor 2010 and 2020 Vision Plans, and Chair of the Windsor 2025 Vision Plan for the Town. Gene was a member of the Town of Windsor Water and Sewer Board for several years up to his death. Gene was instrumental in the development of the west side of Windsor, Colo., including the Safeway Market Place and as a strong supporter in re-zoning and annexation of the Great Western development in east Windsor, Colo. As a member of Windsor Kiwanis, he helped institute Character Counts in the Windsor Schools, a program that promotes character building in children and was President of the Windsor club in 2001. He received Windsor Kiwanian of the year in 1999. He received a Friends of Scouting Award from the Longs Peak Council in 2001. Gene was a highlighted citizen in the Window On Windsor 2012 edition. Gene imparted the principle of appreciating and learning from all people to his children.
Gene was content to explore beautiful Colorado, but Cindy opened his eyes to adventure when they traveled to Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, France and the Holy Land. He loved golfing, fly fishing in the mountains, CSU basketball, Colorado Rockies baseball and most of all he would always say; his family and friends. Gene loved, respected and learned from others. He was at his happiest when surrounded by family, friends and any new acquaintances to share stories and ideas with.
He is survived by his loving wife Cindy, of Windsor, Colo., sister Delores Tomlinson, of Prescott, Ariz.; children, Donovan Allen of Seattle, Wash., Erich Hoehne of Fort Collins., Colo., Sarah Hoehne of Los Angeles, Calif., Deborah (Joe) Bondra of Windsor, Colo., and many more much-loved relations.
He was preceded in death by his father, Otto Carl Hoehne, mother, Evelyn (Pruss) Hoehne, niece, Laurie Marchand and brother-in-law, Joseph Tomlinson.
Memorial services were held April 26, 2013 at Our Lady of the Valley Christian Church in Windsor, Colo.
Internment followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Windsor, Colo.
Online memorials may be made at
Wallace James (Wally) Lebsack
Wallace James (Wally) Lebsack, 90, of Sun Lakes, Ariz., passed away April 18, 2013 at his home.
He was born March 27, 1923 at Berthoud, Colo. He was the fourth of nine children born to Jacob and Pauline Lebsack.
He attended his first years of school at a country school in the Sunnyside School District at Berthoud, Colo. He graduated from Johnstown High School with the class of 1940.
Wally volunteered in the United States Army in 1943 and took his basic training in Fort Hood, Texas. He attended paratrooper school in Fort Benning, Ga. He served with the 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific Theatre through the Philippine Campaign and with the Occupation Troops at Sendai, Japan with Headquarters Company 11th Airborne Division. Wally was honorably discharged in December 1946.
Jim Stroh (Wally’s cousin and lifelong friend) introduced Wally to Ruby Peppler at a local function and Wally instantly became smitten over Ruby. On June 1, 1947 Wally married the love of his life, Ruby Peppler, a marriage and partnership that has inspired everyone. To this union two sons were born, Gary and Randy. Wally was a farmer and cattle feeder in the Johnstown, Colo., and Berthoud, Colo., areas for 45 years. He served his community as a member of the United Methodist Church, the Boy Scouts, 4H Club, and numerous agriculture boards including Colorado Cattle Feeders, Local Sugar Beet Growers Association where he earned numerous production awards, the Consolidated Hillsboro Ditch Company Board and served as a Director on the Board of the Berthoud National Bank for 12 years. Wally was a lifetime member of the Loveland Elks and a member and past commander of VFW Post 8053 in Sun Lakes, Ariz., where he received his VFW 60-year membership pin in 2008.
Wally and Ruby enjoyed traveling and took many trips throughout the world. He had his private pilot’s license and enjoyed all sports. After his retirement in 1990, Wally and Ruby moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., where he spent his time playing many rounds of golf with the Sun Lakes Men’s Association where he carded two “hole-in-ones.”
Wally was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Wally was able to celebrate his 90th birthday on March 27, 2013 with his family enjoying ribs, German chocolate cake and laughter sharing those “Wally” stories and memories. We find solace in the fact that Wally is now walking with many heroes of his “generation.”
He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Ruby; sons, Gary Lebsack (Sandi) and Randy Lebsack (Deborah) of Johnstown, Colo.; grandchildren, Aaron Lebsack of San Diego, Calif., Nate (Lois) Lebsack of Frederick, Colo., Travis Johnson of Arvada, Colo., and Dr. Miranda Sedar of Davis, Calif.; great-granddaughters, Kenady and Finley Lebsack of Frederick, Colo.; brothers, Alvin, Robert and John Lebsack; sisters, Lucille Beckmon, Lillian Knight, and Ruby Spaur; many nieces and nephews; and his surrogate kids, Daryl and Connie Wiest of Greeley, Colo.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Florence Zeiler and Marion Hutcheson; and his brother-in-laws, Sam Zeiler, J.C. Beckmon, Morris Knight, and Byron Spaur.
Wally donated his body to Science Care with hopes that his contribution would help doctors and scientists in their endeavor to improve health advances.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lund Home, Hospice of the Valley, 1982 E. Woodside Ct, Gilbert, Ariz., 85297; or The Sun Lakes Fire Department, 25020 S. Alma School Rd, Sun Lakes, Ariz., 85248. ❖
Raymond Murray Van Why
Raymond Murray Van Why, 92 of Pierce, Colo., passed away April 22, 2013 at Windsor Health Care Center.
He was born April 14, 1921 in Dover, Colo., to Charles Murray and Ruth Louise (Ayers) Van Why. He married Ruth Fugate on January 4, 1944 in Seattle, Wash. She passed away in 1999.
Raymond was the owner and operator of Van Why and Sons, Inc. which sold and serviced farm equipment. He did this for 44 years until his retirement in 2002.
He joined the navy in 1942 and served on the USS Rochambeau. During his time in the navy he attended Rice University and earned a degree in Engineering.
Raymond attended Pierce Methodist Church. He was a member of many organizations to include the Masons, Ault-Pierce Fire Board, Highland Lions Club, Eaton Country Club, Farmers Bank Board, past president of Mountain States Hardware and Implement , and was a past mayor of Pierce.
He is survived by his son, Larry (Elizabeth) Van Why, Pierce, Colo.; daughter-in-law, Denise (Ken) Van Why, Pierce, Colo.; sisters, Mildred (Joy) Fox, Evans, Colo., and Flora Mae (Rex) Rowe, Fort Collins, Colo.; grandchildren, Michael (Shelly) Van Why, Chugwater, Wyo., Steven Van Why, South Korea, Christopher (Sara) Van Why, Pierce, Colo.; Jennifer Van Why-Billingham, Westminster, Colo., and Phillip (Brooke) Van Why, Fruita, Colo.; 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth F. Van Why; son Kenneth J. Van Why; and sisters Louise Jennings and Dorthy Shaw.
Memorial services were held April 26, 2013 at the Pierce Methodist Church. Interment was at the Nunn Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pierce Methodist Church in care of Allnutt Macy Chapel, 702 13th Street, Greeley, Colo., 80631. ❖