The Fence Post obituary: Edith Evelyn Counts Shinn |

The Fence Post obituary: Edith Evelyn Counts Shinn

Edith Evelyn Counts Shinn, 96

April 15, 1923 – Jan. 20, 2020

Craig, Colo.

Edith Evelyn Counts Shinn, 96, passed away peacefully on Jan. 20, 2020, at Sandrock Ridge Care facility in Craig, Colo. Known as “Evelyn” her entire life, she was born April 15, 1923, to Robert Taylor and Lula Marie Lilly Counts in Craig. She attended school in rural Moffat County at the Big Hole Gulch and Greasewood Schools out on the Great Divide and the Cedar Mountain school north of Craig before graduating from Craig High School in 1940.

As the second daughter, and the fourth child of 10 children, Evelyn cared for and helped raise many of her younger siblings on the homestead. Following high school, she worked at Safeway when it was in downtown Craig on the corner of 6th and Yampa across from the Armory, and at Rhulands Dairy in Steamboat Springs, Colo., where she met her future husband, Ody. Evelyn married Ody Lee Shinn on Dec. 12, 1943, at the home of Dorothy Jordan in Craig. They made their home in Craig where Evelyn was employed at the Craig Creamery.

The Shinns moved to Whittier, Calif., where Ody was employed at Aramco Steel and Evelyn worked at Ralph’s grocery. Ody and Evelyn’s daughter, Gayla Lee Shinn, was born Feb. 26, 1954, and the proud parents doted on their child with Evelyn thoroughly enjoying her role as a full-time mother. In 1964, when Gayla turned 10, Evelyn began working at the local high school as a baker, an occupation that came naturally to her, and one at which she excelled greatly.

The Counts family property near Meeker, Colo., affectionately known as the Ponderosa, was a special place for Evelyn, Ody and Gayla, and they spent many summers there, developing the property and enjoying time with family and friends. If you had asked Evelyn about some of her greatest memories at the Ponderosa, she would have included working on extensive outdoor projects, watching hummingbirds, transplanting and growing lilacs, tending to her mountain garden, walking with friends, as well as cooking for, and hosting impromptu smaller groups and large Counts family reunions each summer over the fourth of July weekend.

The Shinns relocated from California to Grand Junction, Colo., in 1975 following Ody’s retirement. They spent many happy years in Grand Junction and at the Ponderosa before Ody’s passing on Nov. 30, 1991, just shy of their 48th anniversary.

Evelyn relocated back to Craig in 2000 to be near her extended family. Her siblings and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews were blessed to have her “home” and included in many of the family functions, gatherings and reunions. They visited her often through her years in independent living and extended care facilities, and she was a surrogate grandmother to many generations of Counts kids.

Evelyn is preceded in death by: her parents, Robert Taylor Counts and Lula Marie Lily Counts; Evelyn’s husband, Ody Lee Shinn; Evelyn’s son-in-law, Douglas Cameron (Cam) Miller; four of Evelyn’s brothers and their spouses, Robert and Fay Counts, Charlie and Opal Counts, James and Juanita Counts, and Gene and Loretta Counts; two of Evelyn’s sisters and their spouses, Mary and Stacy Wagner, and Juanita and Earl Updike; and brothers-in-law Danny Douglas and Harold White.

Evelyn is survived by: her daughter, Gayla and son-in-law Charles Robert Wilson of Idaho; her sisters, Charlotte White and Fern (Jerry) Pierce; her brother, Wesley (Beverly) Counts of Craig; her grandchildren Monique LaBarre and Gina Gallisa, and numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces who loved her dearly.

Funeral services were held at Grant Mortuary in Craig, Colo., on Jan. 25, 2020, with interment following at the Craig Cemetery.

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