Rocky Mountain Obits 10-14-13
William “Neal” Prussman
William “Neal” Prussman, 93, of Haxtun, Colo., passed away Sept. 23, 2013 surrounded by his loving family.
Neal was born in Holyoke, Colo., on May 12, 1920 to William Basil and Grace Marie (Cordrey) Prussman.
In his early life he was a farm boy, with his (two) brothers and (two) sisters on the family farm south of Amherst, Colo., near where his grandfather began farming in 1917. Neal attended Holyoke High School and Grand Island Business College, Grand Island, Neb., and after his graduation worked for the State Department in Washington D.C. where Neal met Virginia Rose Braun from Minneapolis, who worked at the Pentagon. They were married June 12, 1943.
In the book called “Sterling Heroes” Neal was on the cover as “The 4 a.m. Messenger” for his 4 a.m. delivery on December 7, 1943 to President Roosevelt Secretary of State. The message was a portion of Admiral Hirohito’s notice to Roosevelt that an attack by the Japanese was imminent. Neal was drafted by the Army and sent to replacement boot camp during January 1944 and then on to Normandy’s Omaha Beach several weeks after June 6, 1944. He was shot and captured in France on November 5th, for which he received “The Purple Heart” and was a German Prisoner of War until May 8, 1945. On that day Neal began his trip home, with nearly 70 pounds of weight loss and Yellow Jaundice. He was listed MIA (Missing in Action) from the time of his capture until February 1945 when Virginia received a postcard that he had given to a prison hospital nurse during November1944.
After he was released from the hospital at Fitzsimmons, his parents offered him two quarters of land to farm north of Paoli. Neal and Virginia began their married life as a farm family for the next 60 years or more and even though the opportunity was there, they never looked seriously at moving back to Washington D.C. With the help of their many and very good friends farmed and raised their three children before moving from north of Paoli to the “Lohn House” on the hill, south of Paoli.
Neal spent 20 plus years on Paoli Coop Board, 20 plus years on the ASC committee, was a member of the Paoli and Haxtun Methodist churches since 1946, and for many years was a volunteer for the Color Guard to help honor other veterans. Neal was active in the State Chapter of the Colorado POW and elected to be a State Commander.
Neal and Virginia had a wonderful zest for life and over the years they filled it with square dancing and traveling worldwide with square dancing friends. They most enjoyed their close relationships with their friends and fellow church members in the Paoli church.
Neal is survived by his adoring and loving wife, Virginia of 70 plus years of marriage, two sisters, Lena McGivney of Holyoke, Colo., Dela Hofmeister of Sterling, Colo., and brother Lyle of Greeley, Colo., three children, Robert and Janell (Ahnstedt) Prussman of Ft. Collins, Colo.; Shawn (Prussman) and Tom Edwards of Haxtun, Colo., and Lori (Prussman) and Warren Ward of Ft. Collins, Colo. Also surviving are his four grandchildren Kristin (Prussman) Stouffer of Ft. Collins, Colo., Jason Prussman of Denver, Colo., Ross Edwards and Grant Edwards of Haxtun, Colo., and Paoli and four great grandchildren Jordan and Peyton Stouffer, Jacobb Prussman and Leah Edwards and cherished friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father and brother Dale.
A celebration of Neal’s life was held September 27, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Haxtun, Colo. Interment following at the Holyoke Cemetery.
If you would like to share a story or a memory or leave your wishes for the friends and family, please send your stories and condolences to: firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like a copy of the article from the Sterling Heroes, “The 4 AM Messenger” please ask for such and it will be e mailed or mailed to you. ❖
Joe W. Knight
Joe W. Knight, 82, of Longmont, Colo., passed away September 30, 2013.
Joe was born April 6, 1931 in Haswell, Colo., to Joe and Bessie (Hamm) Knight.
Joe grew up on the family homestead with his two brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Kit Carson High School in Kit Carson, Colo.
Joe moved to the Longmont area from Eastern Colorado in 1947. He served with the Unites States Air Force during the Korean War.
Joe and Doris shared 56 years together.
Joe worked at Cleland Motors and started working for IBM in 1965, where he was proud to be employed until his retirement in 1986.
Joe was a member of Longmont Elks No. 1055 for 58 years. He loved little kids, dogs, gardening and playing poker once a month with retirees from IBM.
Joe is survived by his wife Doris, son Joe (Kim) Knight, daughters Jo Lynn (Matt) Fresquez, Tammy Smith (Larry), Kimberly (Mike) Martin, step daughter Charlotte (Bob) Inskeep, step son-in-law Keith Schreckengost, sister Daisy Deane Stewart of Longmont, Colo., grandchildren Casey (Rory) McKim, Blake Smith, Sara (Phil) Schell, Kelly Knight, Katie Smith, Jackie Martin, great-grandchildren Riley and Ryan McKim and Londyn Schell, many step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren along with several nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth B. Knight and step-daughter Angela Schreckengost.
Services were held October 9, 2013 at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel in Longmont, Colo. ❖
David Wayne Bernhardt
David Wayne Bernhardt, 59, of Loveland Colo., passed away September 23, 2013.
David was born October 2, 1953 in Loveland Colo., to Wayne and Laverne Bernhardt.
David was a graduate of Loveland High School in 1971. He enjoyed playing baseball, softball and raising livestock.
David worked for Kodak, Flatiron Paving, Coulson Excavating, Northern Colorado Water District and owed his own commercial cleaning business. David moved with his wife JoAnne (Polyasko) to Stockton Mo., and enjoyed organic farming with his father and mother in law Louis and Elaine Polyasko.
He is survived by his mother Laverne of Loveland, Colo., brothers Delbert (wife Gale) of Loveland, Colo., and Farron of Las Vegas, Nev.
A celebration of David’s life was held Oct. 4, 2013. ❖
Marion ‘Oats’ DeSoto
Marion “Oats” DeSoto, 88, passed away Sept. 26, 2013, in Sterling, Colo.
Oats was born Nov. 21, 1924, in Sterling to James and Pauline (Doglio) DeSoto.
He attended Sanders School, graduating from Sterling High School in 1942.
He entered the U.S. Army in May of 1945, serving with the 754th Tank Battalion during World War II, and was honorably discharged in December 1946.
Oats raised cattle and farmed with his three brothers, Tom, Albert and John, until his retirement in 1980.
He enjoyed fishing, golfing, bowling and was an avid sports fan. Highlights for Oats were spending the winters in South Padre Islands, Texas, that resulted in the annual Oats DeSoto Fish Fry he hosted at the American Legional hall in Sterling. He also enjoyed traveling to many Army reunions, reuniting with old friends.
He was also instrumental in the planning and building of the Veterans Memorial at Columbine Park.
Oats was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, a life member of BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1336, VFW Post No. 3541, American Legion Post No. 20, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Riverview Golf Course.
Oats is survived by sister, Grace Accomasso; brother, John DeSoto and wife Mary; sisters-in-law, Angie DeSoto and Jenevieve DeSoto, all of Sterling, Colo.; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by parents, James and Pauline DeSoto; brothers and sisters, James DeSoto, Domenic DeSoto, Nora Bianco, Eugene DeSoto, Lela Manuello, Kathryne Bianco, Thomas DeSoto, Albert DeSoto and Rosemary Guenzi.
Services were held Oct. 5, 2013, at Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, in Sterling, Colo. Private inurnment will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Oats DeSoto Memorial Fund in care of Chaney Reager Funeral Home or the charity of donor’s choice. ❖
Donald L. Chapin
Donald L. Chapin, 80, passed away September 11, 2013.
He was the sixth child born to Myrtle Irene Snow and Foy Percy Chapin in Elba, Colo.
The Chapin family moved to Weldona in 1938. Don attended school in Weldona. In his teenage year he saddle-broke horses for many neighbors. He trained and rode his horse “Smokey” for 35 years.
He married Gertie Morris on June 10, 1956.
He joined the National Guard in 1950 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He served in the Korean Conflict with the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific Equipment Operation, and First 155 mm Howitzer Battalion. During his service, he received the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged in December 1954 with the rank of sergeant. He earned his GED in the service and was honored with a high school diploma with the Weldon Valley graduating class of 2006. He was a member of the VFW Post 2551 in Ft. Morgan and also the Orchard I.O.O.F. Lodge. He was selected as a Honorary Farmer of the Weldon Valley FFA.
He was a 50 Plus member of the Morgan County and Colorado Farm Bureau, and on the county board of directors for 20 years including serving as county president. In 1984 he received the Morgan County Farm Bureau Service to Agriculture Award. He has been a dairyman and farmer on the home farm since 1955. Don has been a member of the Denver Milk Producers, Mountain Empire Dairy Association, Western Dairy Farmers Cooperative Association, which is now Dairy Farmers of America, and was a member of the Colorado Holstein Association and honored in 2013 as a 40 year member of the Holstein Association, USA.
He loved to spend time with his family and his cows.
Survivors include his wife, Gertie, sons, A. Foy and Cindy Chapin of Weldona, Colo., and Craig Chapin of LaPorte, Colo.; daughters, Leianne and Carter Stinton of Sherwood, Ore., and Vivianne and Rick Lorenzini of Weldona, Colo. Grandchildren and great grandchildren: Joe Lorenzini of Denver, Colo., Missey and Nick Trim and Ryen of Severance, Colo., Foy H. and Audra Chapin, and Foy G., of Snyder, Colo.; Tiffany and Dick Thompson and Jasmyn and Jayden; Cole and Meredith Chapin and Joel, Cami and Zach Lozier and Evy all of Weldona, Colo.; and Captain Anthony and Katie Stinton and Julia of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Carlee and Dan Bolthouse and Kane of Beaverton, Ore.; sister Mary Jane Riffey, Diamond Springs, Calif.; and brother Jerry and Janie Chapin of Maysville, Kentucky.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Gerald, Gene, and Bobby; two sisters, Betty Hoosier Pendergraft and Joann LaDu, and one grandson, Zachery Roy Chapin.
Services were held in Brush at the High Plains Livestock Exchange on September 16, 2013.
Memorials may be made to the Colorado Holstein Association Youth Scholarship Fund. ❖
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.