Rocky Mountain Obituaries 3-5-12
March 5, 2012
Neva Weatherwax Brown, 99, passed away January 26, 2012.
She was born to Frank and Vena Weatherwax on April 27, 1912 in Lebanon, Neb. She was the last surviving of their five children – Glen, Dean, Bryon and Lena.
She graduated from high school in 1930. She attended Hastings College and taught school in the area for the next few years, where she was courted by a young man who had ‘fallen for the cook in the play,’ when he’d seen her in her senior year play in high school. Johnnie Brown wooed her and won her, and they were married on August 11, 1935.
They lived near the Brown family farm and worked and taught until their first daughter, Veneta, was born in 1937. That year, they moved to North Park and began to work for Ordway Mellon in the Coalmont, Colo., area. A son, Wayne, was born in 1942 and another in 1945, Verl. Neva continued to teach in the Coalmont, Colo., and Rand, Colo., schools. In 1949, she and Johnnie bought the ranch the family and community knew as “Peaceful Pines,” Grama’s House or Neva and Johnnie’s in Rand, Colo. They remained there and raised their family.
Neva was a nurturer, a prayer warrior, a listener, and involved in her family’s lives. She hugged them when they hurt, taught them life lessons they wouldn’t learn from anyone else and cared about what they did and who they would become. she rocked children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, taught them all to cook her special ‘made with Gram’s love’ dishes and lived a life of compassion, learning and community building. She was involved in the Covenant Church when it was in Walden, Colo., as well as the Methodist Church. Her wisdom and counsel were true gifts to many.
Neva and Johnnie loved to travel, learning about the new places and experiencing new things wherever they went. Adventures were often recounted around the Brown family table. While they loved traveling, they remained the center of their family, hosting several family reunions as well as countless holiday meals in their home. Johnnie went to be with the Lord in 1997, and we all know he was waiting with open arms and a gentle smile to welcome Neva’s arrival.
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To say it was a full and rewarding life is to suggest the mountains she loved and lived in all her adult life were small hills. She influenced her family, taught them about love, responsibility and how to care about others. She was a motivator to be better, to become what God wanted others to be and to celebrate milestones as they were achieved.
She was loved deeply and will be missed by her family, numerous nieces and nephews, friends and community.
She is survived by her daughter Veneta Haworth (Jack) of Walden, Colo., sons Wayne Brown (Dodey) of Encampment, Wyo., and Verl Brown (Anne) of Loveland, Colo.; grandchildren Lanita Legan (Lonnie) of Wimberley, Texas, Carla Van Valkenburg (Chris) of Walden, Colo., Marlan Hanson, Tracy Hanson (Bev) of Danville, Ind., Jenny Brown of Rawlins,, Wyo., Katy (Mike) Blake of Encampment, Wyo., Amy Mitzel (Andy) of Soldotna, Alaska, and Chad (Brenda) Brown of Rand, Colo.; and great-grandchildren Adam Van Valkenburg of Walden, Colo., Ethan Van Valkenburg of Ft. Collins, Colo., Mandie Hanson of Walden, Colo., Kaitlyn Hanson of Hays, Kan., Zane Hanson of Danville, Ind., Jillian Hanson of Danville, Ind., Brennan Mitzel of Soldotna, Alaska, Calvin Mitzel of Soldotna, Alaska and Daniel Mitzel of Soldotna, Alaska.
Memorial services to celebrate Neva’s life will be held in the spring, when the wildflowers the loved begin to bloom and the snow is less likely to fly.
* Please note this obit ran with the incorrect photo in the 2-20-12 issue. Our sincere apologizes and condolences go out to the family.
William G. (Billy) Oliver, 78, passed away February 23, 2012. He fought a valiant battle against esophageal cancer and spent the last four months of his life at the Medical Center of the Rockies.
He was born on September 9, 1933 in Holyoke to Walter Maynard and Agnes (Darnell) Oliver. He was proud to have lived his entire life in the rural Holyoke area, attending country school at nearby Beachville and graduating from Holyoke High School in 1951.
On July 3, 1955 he was married to Donna May Fryrear. They had three children, Lynda May, William Randal and Kathy Jean.
Engaging in farming after high school, his most loved crop was wheat. Few things were as satisfying to him as a well-earned harvest after a year’s toil.
He also worked for Great Western Sugar at the Ovid factory. He engineered a small locomotive called the “Dinky.” He also raised hogs and fed cattle but his life was not all work. Collecting and restoring firearms and competitive shooting were his passions over the years. He won more trophies for trap shooting than the house could hold. He hunted all kinds of game but his favorite was the pheasant. He lived for fall hunting the birds behind his bird dog, Jack. Billy later enjoyed competing in antique tractor pulls and was very competitive with his Minneapolis Moline, his son and grandson helping him with weighting up. His memory of the people and events in his life was legendary to his family. We often remarked that Billy never forgot anyone or anything.
Billy was a member of the Holyoke Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association, Elks Club, Pheasants Forever and the Holyoke United Methodist Church. Billy will be dearly missed by his family and friends. The memories we all share of Billy will live within us forever.
He is survived by an uncle, Lloyd Darnell in King City, Mo., his wife Donna of Holyoke, Colo., daughter Lynda Firme and husband Randy of Haxtun, Colo., son William Randal and wife Rebecca of Holyoke, Colo., daughter Kathy Bornhoft and husband Tim of Wellington, Colo., grandchildren William Ryan Oliver and wife Jessica of Holyoke, Colo., Jeffrey Dean Firmeand wife Kortney of Haxtun, Colo., Gentry Oliver of Saratoga, Wyo., Carly Firme and fiance David Risley of Wheatridge, Colo., Drew Bornhoft of Wellington, Colo., and Tate Bornhoft of Wellington, Colo., and his great-grandchildren Addison and Paige Oliver and Lily and Max Firme many nieces, nephews cousins and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Service’s were held March 1, 2012 at United Methodist Church in Holyoke, Colo.
Inurnment will follow in the Holyoke Cemetery, Holyoke, Colo.
Memorial Contributions may be made to United Methodist Church of Holyoke and the American Cancer Society.
Jack Chester Wheeler, 75, of Erie, Colo., passed away Feb. 20, 2012.
He was born March 7, 1936 in Steamboat Springs, Colo. to George William Wheeler and Elizabeth Hazel Monger Wheeler.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado A&M (Colorado State University.)
On August 16, 1959, he married Donna Jean Smith and they have resided on their ranch north of Erie, Colo. ever since.
He was active in volunteering to help youth and agriculture.
Jack Wheeler was a 4-H leader for Cloverleaf Riders. He is one of the founding members of the St. Vrain Round-up Club and served on the Boulder County Fair Board and the Boulder Valley Soil Conservation Board. He participated in chariot racing.
Jack and Donna sponsored the stick horse rodeo during the Longmont Old Timers Rodeo Association (Colorado Senior Pro Charity Rodeo Association.)
He is survived by his wife Donna Jean Wheeler, daughter Dee Jay Wheeler Smith, daughter Jackie (Stener) Carlson; three grandchildren: J.T. Smith, Tristan Smith, and Brooke Carlson; his sister Viola Fry, step-mother Frances Wheeler, and numerous other relatives.
He is preceded in death by his mom, Elizabeth Wheeler, his dad George Wheeler.
Service’s were held February 25, 2012 at Rocky Mountain Christian Church, Niwot Campus.
Cremation was conducted.
Memorial contributions can be made to Boulder County 4-H Foundation in lieu of flowers.
Paul Albertus Ansley, 87, of Kersey, Colo., passed away February 22, 2012 in Greeley.
He was born March 16, 1924 to William Evan and Dora (Walker) Ansley at the family ranch near Haswell, Colo. While growing up he attended a one room school house until 8th grade, at which time he started working full time between the home ranch and Rush Creek Ranch, north of the home place.
Paul married Ethel R. Larrew on May 21, 1945 in Garden City, Kan. After marriage they owned and operated ranches in Haswell, Karval, Fairplay, and Orchard, Colo. Paul loved all aspects of ranching. The ranch in Orchard was sold in 1989, moving to Kersey to retire, but retirement was far from his mind. Paul traveled around, helping his sons on their ranches for over a decade, before ill health forced him to stay closer to home. He stayed busy in his “free” time collecting pop cans off the side of the road. Paul knew no stranger, telling stories and visiting with anyone. Above all was his love for his family, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel; daughters, Charlotte Hansen of Monument, and Pamela Rucker (Rick) of Buena Vista, Colo.; sons, Chet Ansley (Stephanie) of Hemingford, Neb., Rod Ansley (Sandy) of Seneca, Neb., Den Ansley (Rona) of Lemoyne, Neb. and Scott Ansley (Tawanna) of Harrisburg, Neb. and a nephew raised like a son, Mike Herrell of Colorado Springs, Colo.; brothers, George Ansley (Cora) and David Ansley (Lucille) all of Haswell, Colo.; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, William Ansley, granddaughter, Melanie Ansley and a son-in-law, Ron Hansen.
Service’s were held March 2, 2012 at Stoddard Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Northern Colorado or Caring Hearts, or a charity of your choice in care of Stoddard Funeral Home, 3205 W. 28th St., Greeley, Colo., 80634.
Lawrence Joseph Biggin, 91, passed away February 17, 2012 at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colo., with his loving wife Kathleen and daughter Mary Jane at his side.
He was born July 13, 1920 to Joseph and Lisetta (Huber) Biggin.
He married his better half Kathleen Ruth Okey, the love of his life, on December 29, 1948. Born to this union were their pride and joy – eight daughters, son-in-laws who saw him as their own father, many grandchildren who adored and respected “Papa” and also great-grandchildren who brought him much happiness.
Lawrence never met a stranger, loved to tell stories of his early travels out West, loved the cattle business, and always had room for one more person at the table or one more place to visit. He was immensely proud of how his family stayed connected and cared for each other and others. He was a quiet man of faith but was never ashamed to share it. He had the best soul and he will be missed forever. He was a cowboy when it was from the love of the land and the livestock; not the brand of your boot or hat.
His occupation was farmer and livestock buyer. He owned a farm with his brother until 1967 in the Cassville, Wisc., area. He moved with Kathleen and his girls to Brush, Colo., in 1967 and lived in Brush, Colo., until 1997. From there he and Kathleen retired to Spearfish, S.D., where he could see blue skies and open range – which he considered “God’s Country” – and smell the clean air every day. They enjoyed their time and friends and new surroundings. In March of 2011 they moved to Loveland, Colo., to be closer to family.
Lawrence survived an extensive, serious surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic in 1967. He chose to donate his body to the Mayo Clinic for research. His unselfish life was reflected even at his death.
His family includes daughters and their families: Carol Rieser and husband A.J., grandsons Louie and Sam Sears and great-granddaughter Samantha; Peggy and Tim McGlynn, grandsons Michael and Jason; Nancy and Gary Simmons, grandsons Brad, Ted, David and wife Hilary and great-grandchildren Spencer, Tyler and Hunter; Ruth and Bill Bruen, grandsons Matt and Luke Mohrlang; Mary Jane and Craig Schilling, granddaughter Sarah and Jason Percha, great-grandchildren Austin and Ava. granddaughter Jennifer and Drew Seaser and great-grandchildren Hayden and Blake; Lauri and Kevin Manchenton, grandchildren Katie and Marc Padilla, Anna and David Butler; Beth and Albert Hocheder, granddaughter Nicole Mertens, Amy and Jim Waterman, granddaughter Mindy; and his sister Irma Brandt, many nieces, nephews and special friends.
Memorial services were held February 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Loveland, Colo.
Condolences may be sent to 1514 W 28th St, Loveland, Colo., 80538.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 3333 N.Duffield Ave., Loveland, Colo., 80538; Bethlehem Lutheran Church 603 Custer St., Brush Colo., 80723 or Natural Resources Foundation of WI in memory of nephew Paul Brandt, PO Box 2317, Madison Wis., 53701.
Edward Finley Munroe, 89, of Cheyenne Wyo., passed away February 16, 2012 at the Cheyenne VAMC.
He was born on October 19, 1922 in Fort Collins, Colo. to Clarence and Ida May (Hosmer) Munroe. He attended school in Buckeye, Colo. and graduated from Waverly High School. Buster joined the US Navy in 1944 and served his country in the South Pacific during World War II. He returned to Buckeye in 1946 and married Zelma F. Burch on June 28, 1947. Buster and Zelma had one son, Montie, born in 1948. He raised sheep and cattle on the family homestead in Buckeye until he and Montie purchased a ranch near Encampment, Wyoming in 1971. Buster continued to ranch in Encampment until his retirement in 1991 when he returned to Fort Collins. The last seven years of his life he resided in Cheyenne, Wyo.
He is survived by his son Montie and daughter-in-law Cheryl (Lucas) of Encampment, Wyo.; grandchildren and great grandchildren Cathy (Munroe) Glenn and son Wyatt of Cheyenne, Wyo., Monica (Munroe) Solaas husband Chris and sons Josh and Zach of Paonia, Colo., Melissa (Munroe) Addison, husband Beau and daughters Samantha and Alexis of Collbran, Colo., Lisle Munroe, wife Estella and children Peyton and Coy of Encampment, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Zelma.
Service’s were held at Bohlender Funeral Chapel, 121 West Olive Street in Fort Collins, Colo. on February 23, 2012.
Internment with Military Honors with Fort Collins All Veterans Honor Guard was at Resthaven Memory Gardens Cemetery.