The Fence Post obituary: Melba Knowlton |

The Fence Post obituary: Melba Knowlton

Melba Knowlton, 96

Aug. 16, 1921 – Feb. 10, 2018

Fowler, Colo.

Melba Grace Rafferty Knowlton, 96, a life-time resident of southeastern Colorado, died Feb. 10, 2018, at the Fowler Health Care Center.

Melba was born to E. Rowe and Edna Mae Rafferty of rural Manzanola on Aug. 16, 1921. She attended No. 6 School as a child and graduated from Fowler High School in 1939.

In 1949, she married Allen H. Knowlton of the White Rock ranching community. The couple ranched on Highway 10 for more than 40 years. For a number of years, they also maintained a home nearer to town in order that their children could attend school in the Fowler district.

Melba and Allen were original co-owners of the Cedar Crest Cafe on Highway 10, and later, the first owners and operators of the Stockman Restaurant in Fowler. She was always very involved in the White Rock Community during the years that it held regular dances, ropings and community gatherings, including being part of the cooking crew for the large trail rides held in the Apishapa Canyon area during the early 1970s. Melba was an active member of the United Methodist Church and most recently the Country Bible Church which holds services at White Rock.

Melba was a founding member of the Fowler Museum and volunteered many hours documenting farm and ranch histories and donated many items to the organization. Over the years she enjoyed a number of honors including being named Eta Tau Woman of the Year, Fowler Missouri Day Parade Marshall and an Honorary Chapter Farmer by Fowler FFA.

Melba is survived by sons Tom of Fowler, Blake (Jill) of Aguilar, Colo., and daughters Janelle (Tom) Baldwin of Fort Collins, Colo., Nancy Hazlett and Marianne Bush of Pueblo, Colo., and Barbara Baker of Canyon, Texas, as well as 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and many who knew and loved her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, her husband, two sons and a grandson.

Donations may be made in her honor to Fowler State Bank for the establishment of the Melba Knowlton Memorial Scholarship to be awarded annually to a deserving young person. Checks should be made payable to Melba Knowlton Scholarship Fund and mailed or delivered to Fowler State Bank, P.O. Box 68, 201 Main Street, Fowler, CO 81039.

A memorial service to celebrate her life was held Feb. 17 at the United Methodist Church, 302 S. Main St. in Fowler with pastors Brian Blackburn and Tom H. Thomas presiding. A lunch at the church followed. A private family burial took was planned at the Fowler cemetery.