Rocky Mountain Obituaries
June 3, 2013
Katherine Clara “Katie” Koeller
Katherine Clara “Katie” Koeller, 91, of Burlington, Colo., passed away March 18, 2013, on her birthday.
She was born on March 18, 1922 in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., to Herbert and Alma Steinike. She was the second of six children.
Katie attended school in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., and graduated from high school there. She was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Cheyenne Wells, Colo.
Katie worked at the newspaper office in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., for three years. She then enlisted in the Navy and served her country for two and a half years.
While in the Navy, Katie was stationed at the Naval Base in Oakland, Calif., as a Physical Therapy Technician. Her greatest thrill while in the Navy was marching down 5th Avenue in New York City, with other WAVES, on Navy Day.
After being discharged from the Navy, Katie worked at Montgomery Ward in California until early 1948, before moving back to Cheyenne Wells, Colo.
Katie met, fell in love with, and married William Koeller at Grace Lutheran Church in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., on June 6, 1948. Her dream was to marry a Christian man and live on a farm; both of these dreams came true. She and Bill lived in a small trailer house in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., for three years and then bought a farm and ranch northeast of Vona, Colo. To this union, five children were born.
Katie was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. She was active in the Ladies Aid and made many quilt tops for Lutheran World Relief. She taught children’s Sunday School, both at Immanuel and earlier, in California. She also led the adult Bible Study group at Immanuel.
Katie was a hard worker. She raised a big garden each year and canned and froze hundreds of quarts of fruits and vegetables, as well as raising chickens every year. She also enjoyed crocheting and reading. She made hundreds of crocheted stocking caps for needy children.
In December 2010, Katie moved to Grace Manor Care Center because of declining health. She looked forward to leaving the nursing home to join her family for holidays and to celebrate birthdays. She enjoyed these days and dearly loved being around her great-grandsons.
She is survived by one daughter Evelyn and husband Allan Weiss of Bethune, Colo.; two sons, Kenneth Koeller of Kermit, Texas, and Karl and Katrina Koeller of Grand Island, Neb.; grandchildren, Kendra and Robert Fickes, Lake Stevens, Washington, Alice and Kevin Magrino, Colorado Springs, Colo., Bruce and Nichol Weiss, Burlington, Colo., Bryan and Sarah Erker, Burlington, Colo., Austin and Delainey Koeller, Grand Island, Neb.; and five great-grandsons, Caleb and Bryson Weiss, Prestin and Brayden Erker and Edward Fickes; and daughter-in-law Dianne Koeller and Allen Dean of Pueblo West, Colo.; two brothers and one sister, several nieces and nephews and many, many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, two sons, Keith and Kelvin, her parents and two sisters.
Services were held March 21, 2013 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bethune, Colo.
Burial followed at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Bethune, Colo.
Memorial donations may be made to: the Immanuel Lutheran Church Tree Fund and may be left at or sent to the Bank of Burlington or to the Equitable Savings and Loan Bank in Burlington, Colo. ❖
Jim D. Jones
Jim D. Jones, 84, of Akron, Colo., passed away March 16, 2013 at the Washington County Nursing Home.
He was born south of Akron, Colo., on October 17, 1928 to Charles G. and Dora Remington Jones.
His first eight years of school was spent at Antelope Springs, where he rode his pony three miles each way to get to school. He then came into Akron, Colo., for his high school years. There he met Bonnie Reese, who became his wife. Jim and Bonnie had four children: Mitzi, Mindi, Dick and Susan.
Jim started rodeoing at age 14 and joined the Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) at age 17. He holds one of the oldest gold cards issued by the RCA and has a lifetime membership. He participated in the rodeos in 38 states and Canada, traveling with his family. He would enter all five events: bareback, calf roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and bull riding. He won several saddles, numerous buckles, and all-around titles.
He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie; children, Mitzi Taft of Missouri, Mindi Segelke and husband Bruce of Akron, Colo., Dick Jones and wife Debbie of Akron, Colo., and Susan Watson and husband Shane of Akron, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Bob and Harry (also known as Buck), two infant sisters, his son-in-law, Chuck Taft and a granddaughter, Monica Jones.
Memorial services were held March 20, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church of Akron, Colo.
Interment followed at the Akron Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name to the Washington County Nursing Home. ❖
John A. Mather
John Adrian Mather, 72, of Kremmling, Colo., passed away March 13, 2013 in Kremmling, Colo.
He was born in Glenwood Springs, Colo., on October 16, 1940 to Maxine McPhee and John Mather Sr.
He grew up on the Sheephorn and graduated from Summit County High School in Breckenridge, Colo., in 1959.
John served in the Navy from 1964-1969 and is a Vietnam Vet. He met Judy Reynolds in 1973 and was with her until her death in 2005. He came back to Colorado and throughout his life worked in the mines, construction, as a mechanic, and ranched. For the past year he returned to the Sheephorn working for the Piney Peak Ranch doing exactly what he loved.
He is survived by his daughter Twilla Darling; sons J.D. Graves and wife Dru, Alvin Mather, Tommy Mather and wife Kerry; daughter Michelle Mather; grandchildren Jerry Graves, Tiffany Graves, Emma Mather, Bradley Mather, Bella Mather, and Ethan Mather; cousins Duane and Jeannine Jones and their children Shane and wife Leesa Jones, Brad and Sheridan Myer and daughter Penny; Cindy Eller and girls.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy Mather, and his canine friends and sidekicks Sweetie pie and Wyatt.
Memorial services were held March 21, 2013 at Kremmling Community Church.
Online obituary can be viewed at http://www.GrandCountyMortuary.com. ❖
Marsha Lynn (Pierce) Konken, 66, of Sterling, Colo., passed away March 19, 2013, at Sterling Regional MedCenter.
She was born January 12, 1947 in Watertown, S.D., to William and Leota (Edwards) Pierce.
She graduated from Watertown High School in 1965, and went on to Northeastern State College in Aberdeen, S.D., to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a teacher. Marsha graduated with a teaching degree in 1969, and soon went to Leola, S.D., to begin her career.
In 1971, she moved to Hartington, Neb., to teach second grade. In Harington, she met Galen Konken. On August 12, 1972, Galen and Marsha married in Watertown, S.D. June of 1975, Marsha and Galen moved to Sterling, Colo. Later that year, she began teaching kindergarten at Crook Elementary.
Fall of 1978, Marsha moved to Stevens Elementary School, where she taught kindergarten for 26 years. During this time, she loved her fellow teacher friends and adored the students that came through her room. She also held positions in the teaching sorority Alpha Delta Kappa.
September of 1981, Marsha and Galen welcomed their first daughter Katie Lynn and in June of 1987, they welcomed their second daughter Sarah Jane to the family.
May of 2004, Marsha retired. She always had coffee and lunch dates set up with her friends to keep busy. As a member of Faith United Methodist Church, she sang in the choir and played the piano for services. Her cooking talents were brought out for several years as she cooked Wednesday night dinners at the church. Marsha was a volunteer at the Sterling Visitors Center for eight years, drove Meals for Wheels and was a member of the Sterling Banner Health Ethics Committee.
Galen and Marsha were also active members of the Sterling Camera Club and Logan County Historical Society.
One of Marsha’s most treasured activities was the outings with Red Hat Society. The biggest joys in Marsha’s life were her grandsons Ethan and Pierce.
She is survived by her husband Galen; daughter Katie Konken and Joshua Neves, grandsons Ethan and Pierce of Sterling, Colo.; daughter Sarah Konken and Philip Morris of North Denver, Colo.; nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends that will deeply miss her.
She was preceded in death by her parents William and Leota (Edwards) Pierce.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on March 25, 2013 at Faith United Methodist Church.
Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetry.
Memorial contributions may be made to Faith United Methodist Church. Donations may also be given to Arrow Foundation for Watertown High School, Watertown, S.D., or a charity of donor’s choice. ❖
Clifford L. Dilka
Clifford L. Dilka, 88, of Kersey, Colo., passed away March 18, 2013.
He was born October 31, 1924, Halloween, to Fred and Mary Dilka.
Clifford lived in the Kersey, Colo., area since 1937. He attended Greeley Public Schools.
On September 28, 1947, he married Freida Rohn at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
He worked for 30 years at the “70” Ranch in Hardin, Colo., and 20 years at Monfort Packing Company. Later, he retired from the Town of Kersey. He was a World War II Veteran serving in the Army. Throughout his life he enjoyed fishing and softball.
He is survived by his wife, Freida (Rohn) Dilka; son, Dale Dilka; daughter, Karen L. Dilka and her husband, Laurence Hayes; brother, Jack Dilka of Pueblo, Colo.; grandchildren, Cole, Corey, Chaz, and Kayleen Dilka; and great-grandchild, Mason.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mary Dilka; brothers, Louis, Fred, Joe, Alvin, and Lawrence Dilka; and sister, Virgie Hage.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at St John’s United Church of Christ.
Interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens. ❖
Grady William Dyer
Grady Dyer, 84 of Galeton, Colo., passed away March 17, 2013, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
He was born in Galeton, Colo., to Robert and Ulma Dyer.
Grady attended school in Gill, Colo.
He married Naomi Walter in 1948. Together, they farmed in the Windsor, Colo., and Galeton, Colo., areas, until his retirement in 2011, due to his illness.
He is survived by his son, Cal Dyer (Cindy) of Julesburg, Colo.; and daughter, Cheryl Bishop (Gary) of Eaton, Colo.; three grandsons; four great-grandchildren; brothers, Ed Dyer of Ault, Colo., and Milford Dyer of Pierce, Colo.; and sister, Nancy Trenary of Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his wife; his daughter, Carolyn Kerns; and his parents.
Per the wishes of the deceased, no services will be held.
Special thanks to Mary Hughes of Hospice and all the doctors and nurses involved with his care. ❖
Jack S. Moore
Jack S. Moore, 68, a lifelong resident and rancher of Converse County, Wyo., passed away March 19, 2013 at his ranch north of Douglas, Wyo., of natural causes.
“Papa” Jack Moore was born February 20, 1945 in Douglas, Wyo., where he attended and graduated school.
He served in the Wyoming Army National Guard. He made a living and raised his family on the Skeleton Springs Ranch north of Douglas, Wyo. It was the only place he ever called home. Papa Jack’s livelihood was raising cattle and in the past he ran a few sheep. He owned his own business “Moore Livestock Transportation” transporting cattle and hay.
Jack was married to Kristeen George on October 27, 1973 in Douglas, Wyo., and they were later divorced.
He was a proud father to his son Richard M. Moore and daughters Janie L. Moore and Kelle K. Thar, and son-in-law Lucas C. Thar.
Papa enjoyed flying his planes, which he and his son Rich, took part in “fly ins” together. He also had a group of friends he liked riding his Harley motorcycle with. He and daughter Kelle even made it to Sturgis a time or two.
A true cowboy, he believed in a hard day’s work and enjoyed anything he could do a horse back. He was a skilled roper in all situations whether he was in the branding corrals, pasture, or rodeo arena. In his later years Papa Jack developed a true love for ranch sorting, which he did with his family and friends. His hand shake was his bond and he always kept his word.
He was true to the name “rodeo dad.” He enjoyed many adventures on the “rodeo trail” with his daughter Kelle, and attending horseshows his daughter Janie competed in. In later years when not working, he loved participating with his grandkids in the all their kids’ rodoes.
He will be missed, leaving a lasting legacy to all that knew him. He was the kind of man that many looked up to and sought guidance from. He made you want to be a better person.
He was survived by his children, Kelle K. (Lucas C.) Thar of Douglas, Wyo., and Richard M. Moore of Torrington, Wyo.; siblings, Lee (Helen) Moore Jr. of London, England, Andy (Kay) Moore of Douglas, Wyo., and Edna Rhea (Dick) Grabow of Douglas, Wyo.; and grandchildren, Dylan Madison Thar, Preston Lucas Thar, and MarLee Adele Thar all of Douglas, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lee Moore; mother, Edna (Stephen) Moore; daughter, Janie Leigh Moore; and brother, Michael Moore.
Memorial services were held March 23, 2013 at the McKibben Cafeteria on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jack S. Moore Rodeo Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of the Converse County Bank, P.O. Box 689, Douglas, Wyo., 82633. ❖