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West Slope Obituaries

, 85, of Montrose, Colo., the first licensed woman jockey in North America, passed away Monday, June 12, 2006, at Valley Manor Care Center in Montrose.

Anna Lee Mills was born in Montrose, Colo., in 1921 to ranchers Tom and Dottie Mills and grew up on horseback. At the age of six, she won her first horse race and began competing at amateur tracks throughout Colorado and Wyoming. In 1939 she applied for a professional jockey’s license and became the first woman jockey in North America. Her racing career continued until, at 5-foot-5 and 118 pounds, she was too tall and too heavy to continue as a jockey. So she followed her older brothers into rodeo, teaching herself the art of trick riding late at night in deserted arenas.

After five years of professional trick riding at rodeos throughout the West, Anna Lee married cattleman Wayne Aldred, and they adopted two children, a boy and a girl. Tragically, their daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 13. Their 35-year marriage eventually ended in divorce, but the couple remained friends, and Wayne Aldred attended the 2004 ceremony inducting Anna Lee into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. Anna Lee is also a member of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas, where her blue and white jockey silks hang on display, along with the small wooden badge denoting her jockey status.

She rode until the age of 80, ponying horses at the racetrack in Montrose. Anna Lee Aldred stopped riding in 2001, only after breaking her hip, but she never gave up her Size 5 cowboy boots, snap-button shirts or Stetson hat.

Survivors include her son, Walt Aldred of Castro Valley, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

, 81, of Grand Junction, Colo., died Tuesday, July 4, 2006, at the Veteran’s Hospital from mesothelioma.

William Clayton Flynn was born April 23, 1925, in Glenwood Springs, Colo., to Hugh P. and Eva (Chase) Flynn. He grew up on the family ranch on Divide Creek, south of Silt, and was a longtime resident of western Colorado.

He served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines during World War II. He and Janice Marie Gregory were married in Rifle, Colo., June 6, 1948. Bill worked in oil shale for nine years at the U.S. Bureau of Mines at Anvil Point, 30 years for Union Oil Company at the Parachute Creek plant, where he was manager of operations when he retired.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; five daughters: Linda (Brent) Osborne of Phoenix, Ariz., Janelle (Owen) Beaver of Englewood, Colo., Gayle (John) Killey of Sacramento, Calif., Evy Bryant, and Kerry (Mike) Sanchez, all of Broomfield, Colo.; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by four sisters: Mary Ann Bogani, Jean Davis and Pearl Waterfield of Grand Junction, Colo., and Betty Rooks of Broomfield, Colo.; three brothers: Hugh Flynn Jr. and Douglas Dean of Grand Junction, Colo., and Howard Dean of Cedaredge, Colo.; and a sister-in-law, Alma Dean of Grand Junction, Colo.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother; and one grandchild.

, 69, of Fruita, Colo., lost his battle with cancer on Friday, July 7, 2006.

He was born in Pasadena, Calif., to G. Kenneth and Berenice Whiteman. The family lived in Pasadena briefly before returning to Hayden, Colo. Larry and his brother and sister grew up on the family registered Hereford and commercial cattle ranch started by their father.

He attended Colorado State University majoring in Animal Husbandry-Animal Production. During his years at CSU, Larry was a member of the Farmhouse Fraternity, on the Livestock Judging Team, active in the Livestock Club, and was on the CSU student legislature.

After graduating Larry partnered with his father on the Whiteman Hereford Ranch west of Hayden. During these years he judged numerous livestock fairs and shows, and was president of the Routt County Cattlemen’s Association. These years also brought his marriage to Cheryl Chytry of Meeker, Colo. The couple enjoyed traveling to rodeos throughout western Colorado, where Larry participated in calf roping and team roping.

When the ranch was sold, Larry moved his family of four to a home north of Craig, Colo., where he started his own business, Professional Agri Service. He was a broker and farm and ranch appraiser for 35 years, served on the Yampa Valley Electric Board, and was active in the Colorado Chapter American Society Farm & Ranch Appraisers & Managers. In 1991 they moved to the Grand Valley where Larry continued to work out of his home.

In addition to his wife of 45 years, Larry is survived by his two children: Shawn (Piper) Whiteman of Showlow, Ariz., and Brenda (Todd) Bergstrom of Golden, Colo.; and three grandchildren. He is further survived by his brother Lynn (Marilyn) Whiteman of Meeker, Colo.; and his sister, Janet (Pete) Fogale of Sterling, Colo.

, 35, North Fork area resident, died Saturday, July 8, 2006, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo., as the result of a motorcycle accident.

Kurt Wayne Walker was born November 2, 1970, in Montrose, Colo., to Dewey R. and Judy (Blood) Walker. He spent his childhood on the Western Slope of Colorado. Kurt lived in Naturita, Colo., for several years before moving to Paonia in 1986. He graduated from Paonia High School with the class of 1989.

On July 1, 1990, Kurt married Tina Ellen Wilmeth in Paonia. They had celebrated sixteen years of marriage in July. She survives.

Kurt had served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He was employed at West Elk Coal Mine in Paonia as a coal miner. He was a member of the American Legion Post #97, and belonged to the Dart League.

He enjoyed the outdoors, camping and riding motorcycles, but his greatest love was his family and watching the kids play sports.

Those grateful to have shared in Kurt’s life include his wife, Tina Walker of Paonia, Colo.; a son, Austin Walker of Paonia, Colo.; two daughters: Ariana Walker and Jalyn Walker, both of Paonia, Colo.; his parents, Judy Proctor and her husband Mark of Craig, Colo., and Dewey Walker and his wife Kennita of Paonia, Colo.; three brothers: Sherrod (Misty) Walker of Montrose, Colo., Fleet (Joy) Walker of Olathe, Colo., and Scott (Kitty) Burns of Paonia, Colo.; a step-sister, Kennita (Carl) Moore of Ft. Collins, Colo.; and three sisters-in-law from out of state.

Kurt was preceded in death by his grandparents, Shirden and Emily Blood; and grandfather, Bob Proctor.

, 96, of Grand Junction, Colo., died Wednesday, July 5, 2006.

Ada Mary Hall was born February 3, 1910, the daughter of John G. and Rose Hall and the granddaughter of Kenneth G. Hall, who were pioneers in the valley in 1888.

She was a lifelong resident of Mesa County and of Grand Junction since 1919. She attended Grand Junction schools and graduated from Ross Business College in 1928.

Ada married Ray B. Headley in 1943. She worked for the Public Service Company, the Rio Grande Railroad and Biggs Kurtz Company as a steno clerk until 1969 when she retired.

She belonged to the Rio Grande Vets Auxiliary, Chapter 349 of the AARP, and was a lifelong member of the Congregational Church. Her interests were her family, friends, dogs and bridge. Ada was a person of high character, with a kind and gentle soul. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Headley; her parents; and brothers, Roy G. Hall and Kenneth G. Hall.

Surviving family members include stepdaughter Virginia Sturdevant of Penrose, Colo.; grandchildren, Ralph and Mindy; sister Harriett (Norman) Craig of Stillwater, Minn.; nieces Ann, Susan and Jean; and dear friend Kay Coulson of Grand Junction, Colo.


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