Rocky Mountain Obituaries 4-8-13
David Lee Brophy
David Lee Brophy, 83, passed away March 22, 2013 in rural Yuma, Colo. The old cowboy passed away in his pickup on his farm about a half mile from where he was born.
He was born on the family homestead on Valentine’s Day in 1930. His Mother, Precious, said he was the best Valentine’s present ever. Dave Brophy was all boy — active, daring, quick.
David and his siblings walked about a mile and a half to a one room school house. Although in his later years he ran a trap line on his way to school, so the trip would have been considerably longer. It’s said he actually liked it when he caught a skunk, as getting that smell on him earned him a day off from school. He finished the eighth grade and went to work with his dad, Peter.
The Army drafted Dave in 1951. He did basic training in Hawaii and then was sent to Alaska to guard against the communist threat. He finished his stint as a drill instructor in Kansas. While in the Army he earned his GED.
Dave married Nadine Probasco in 1955. They raised four children—Brad, Lisa, Greg, and Janet — in four different houses all located on the same farm. Interestingly, they didn’t have indoor plumbing until they moved into their third house in 1964. They built their final home in 1976.
Fall was his favorite time of the year. He loved hunting, preferably in the mountains. His first trip was at 14 for deer around Estes Park, Colo. He carried a 30-40 Kraig that was longer than he was tall. Over the years, he probably taught 20 some boys and a couple girls how to hunt, passing up shots on big game so a kid could bag his first elk. His last hunting trip was in 2009; he carried a .243, but mostly for show.
The only thing more common on a hunting trip than rifles is card games. David loved playing cards — pitch, poker, and lately, spike. We played for money. We kept score mostly for bragging rights. It was brutal and fun. No quarter given until after the game, and then, his character as moderator came through as always: let’s deal again. There is always another chance, another game. “The winners are laughing — the losers are hollering ‘deal’.”
Dave was the third generation to grow watermelons in the Sandhills. He took great pride in a weed-free patch. He cared deeply about quality. Melons had to look good and taste better. He knew by sight and sound a quality melon. It’s an art that takes time to develop. It takes patience.
David was unbelievably patient. He was a dad who rarely raised his voice; the few times he was ever upset with one of his kids truly garnered the attention of the offender. If Dad was mad, you must have done something really bad. He was that way with everyone. He liked almost everybody he met, and he met people with ease. He did not know a stranger.
Raising kids on a farm and ranch afforded Dave the opportunity to always have his kids with him. From daily chores to seasonal work like fixing fence, one or more would have been “helping.” It was especially “helpful” when one of us dumped him out of the back of the pickup while he was feeding hay to the cows. This constant companionship extended beyond life on the ranch. He took us to every event you can imagine. From gymkhanas to 4-H Fairs, Dad took us and our animals.
He took us on annual fishing trips to the mountains. He loved fishing, camping, and spending time under a tall pine. He’d regale us with stories of time spent working on hay crews in the mountains, successful fishing excursions, and successful hunts. He taught by storytelling, and he taught more than just his own kids as almost every nephew and cousin learned the outdoors from Uncle Dave. In later years, he regularly took his grandkids to Stalker Pond and the fishing hole in Holyoke, Colo.
Happy trails, Dave.
He is survived by five sisters, one brother, four children, eight grandkids, and six great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by Nadine, his wife of 48 years.
Memorial services were held March 26, 2013 at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Wray, Colo.
Interment was in Yuma Cemetery in Yuma, Colo.
Memorial contriutions may be made to Wauneta Fire Department. ❖
Bruce G. Richardson
Bruce G. Richardson, 73, passed away March 26, 2013 in his sleep in Scottsbluff, Neb., surrounded by his wife of 23 years, Sandra; his daughters Nila and Kim, and many grandchildren and close friends.
He was born August 22, 1939.
Bruce was a rancher/farmer and a wonderful friend to many. He was also the founder and an active member of the Sons of Silence Motorcycle Club.
He lived his life to the fullest, with many travels in his lifetime. He loved the Blue Mesa Mountains and the plains of Wyoming. He was planning a trip to Germany this summer.
He was a life member of the VFW Post 6011 in Platteville, Colo., and an active member of the American Legion Post 1 in Van Tassell, Wyo.
He served in the U.S. Navy from July 1958 to February 1960, and was aboard the USS Shangrila aircraft carrier in 1959.
Bruce raised cattle with his father on the Richardson and Sons Dairy Farm. He sold the family farm after the passing of his parents, Mib and Gwen, and moved to Wyoming in 2000, where he continued raising hay and alfalfa.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra Richardson; his sons, Kevin Stoke of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Alex Richardson of Lusk, Neb.; his daughters Nila Wilcheck and Kim Pace, both of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; his parents-in-law Wilfred and Marianne Gehrke and sister-in-law Alane Flora of Wausau, Wis.; sister-in-law Lanae and Kevin Maki of Sun Prairie, Wis.; and brother-in-law Wayne and Tama Gehrke of Schofield, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles “Mib” and Gwendolyn (Andersen) Richardson, and his loving son Mark S. Richardson.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post 1, PO Box 332, Van Tassell, Wyo., 82242.
Memorial services were held March 30, 2013 at Pier Funeral Home in Lusk, Neb. ❖
Nettie May Welton
Nettie May Welton, 83, of Wray, Colo., passed away March 25, 2013 at the Wray Community Hospital.
She was born June 15, 1929 to Charles and Hattie Gorbet on the Brown farm North of Wray, Colo. She spent her childhood in California and graduated from Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif., before moving to a farm East of Laird, Colo., with her parents.
In 1951 Nettie May married Troil Welton and became not only a bride but a Mom to Helen, 13, and David 10. She remained at the Wheatridge Farm until 1995 when she and Troil moved to a home in Wray, Colo.
Nettie May was not just a housewife and Mom, but was very active in Welton’s Auction Service, Dry Willow Healthy Livestock 4-H Club, and the Beecher Island Sunday School. After moving to Wray, Colo., she became very active in the Senior Community Center.
To friends she could be described as a very loving ad caring person. To her family she could be described as the best Mom and Grandma anyone could possibly have. She loved her kids and grandkids as much as any real Mother could and we were all very blessed she chose us.
She is survived by son David; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Hattie Gorbet, her husband Troil, her daughter Helen Wilson, granddaughter Pamala Stone, and great-granddaughter Laura Cunningham.
Memorial services were held March 31, 2013 at the Beecher Island Sunday School.
Burial was at Grandview Cemetary in Wray, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Beecher Island Sunday School. ❖
Fannie Pinello Peck
Fannie Pinello Peck, 102, a lifelong Fountain Valley resident, passed away March 19, 2013 at a local care facility.
She was born September 14, 1910 to Italian immigrants. Her parents were Blanche (Venetucci) and Alfonso Pinello.
As the eldest girl of 14 children, her parents relied heavily on Fannie to help with farm chores. Daily, she helped hand milk a herd of 40 dairy cows, care for her siblings, and cook for both her family and hired men. This was during a time when there was no running water or electricity. The energy to continue with such hard physical labor was inspired from her parent’s pride in their family and in having the opportunity to build their own success. Although they always remained very proud of their Italian heritage, they considered it such an honor and privilege to live in the United States. It was during this time that the family suffered many life-altering tragedies. Four of the original 14 Pinello children died at a young age. Her father, Alfonso, suffered an early and unexpected death. There were serious illnesses and farm accidents. Somehow, they grew stronger as a family unit and drew upon their “Pinello Tenacity” to keep them going.
Some of Fannie’s most lasting and fond memories were made while attending the Widefield School. Within the tiny one-room school, the teacher, Miss Ross, sparked a passion for learning within Fannie, which remained with her throughout her entire life. Fannie excelled at school, but due to her mother’s poor health, she was forced to drop out of school at the end of eighth grade. Even though Fannie was not able to continue the formal education she so cherished, she held to her life-long passion for learning. Throughout her entire life, she filled every spare minute with reading and learning.
Fannie was a pioneer in the Fountain Valley area. In 1937, Fannie married Art Peck. She first met Art at the age of 11. Together they lived through an era that included The Great Depression, World War II and the dust bowl days that included the locust invasion. In the 1940s, they owned and operated a ranch which would now be located in the Widefield housing area. In 1966, Art and Fannie owned and operated one of the first self-serve gas stations in the Fountain Valley. Art Peck passed away in 1988 after 51 years of marriage.
In 1955, Fannie and her sister, Mary Eaton, started the Brick Oven Bakery. Armed with their mother’s original Italian bread recipe, they baked their bread in a dome shaped oven built of brick. Their reputation for authentic Italian bread and pastries soon grew and their bakery became very well known throughout the Fountain Valley. They often gave bakery products to Valley residents in need.
Fannie loved to camp and fish with her three grandchildren. They made lasting memories together on their adventures. Listening to them recount their times together would often bring huge tears from laughter.
Fannie was very talented and artistic. She loved to work with clay. Accompanied by her daughter, she continued to work in her workshop until her late 90s. Fannie loved going to farmer markets and craft shows, selling their ceramic creations and meeting new people.
Fannie was blessed with an extraordinarily long and full life. To her family and friends, it wasn’t the length of her life that was impressive to them, rather, it was in the way she chose to live her life and in how she treated others. People were naturally drawn to her fun loving spirit. She was a true loyal friend and taught her family values by exhibiting a good honest character. She was extremely proud of her family and taught us to find some good even in the most trying times. Fannie Peck was a remarkable person and will truly be missed by those who loved her.
She is survived by son Phillip (Donna) Peck and daughter Bonnie (Ray) Graham; brother Harry (Fifi) Pinello; three grandchildren, Arty, Ramona and Lain; five great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband, Arthur Peck, brothers Lee, Louie, Ben, Tony, Tom and Nick Pinello, and sisters Jenny Chase and Mary Eaton.
Private services have taken place. ❖
Justin Lee Haffner
Justin Lee Haffner, 29, of Brighton, Colo., passed away March 27, 2013 in Greeley, Colo.
He was born May 4, 1983 in Brighton, Colo., to Gerald Lee and Sherri Ann (Schreiner) Haffner.
He was a 2004 graduate of Weld Central High School.
Justin held several jobs throughout the community for the past several years, and a member of 4-H in his younger days.
Known by his nickname “Hoss,” Justin enjoyed watching game shows and WWE wrestling. He loved animals and spending time with his family, the best big brother. He looked forward to day programs at Envision where people would look to him if they were having a bad day. He always had an “everything will be fine” attitude and never met a person he didn’t like. Justin loved wearing his “bibbies” bib coveralls. He was a gentle giant.
He is survived by his parents Gerald and Sherri; maternal grandparents, Dave and Pat Schreiner (Mamo and Pamp) of Brighton, Colo.; brother, Jason and step-sister, Jessica Villela both of Hudson, Colo.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his Grandpa and Grandma Haffner, Aunt Cindy Tompkin and Cousin Trinidy Moore.
Memorial services were held April 3, 2013 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church of Ft. Lupton, Colo.
Interment followed at Hillside Cemetery in Ft. Lupton, Colo.
Memorial Contributions may be made in his memory to Envision, 1050 37th St., Evans, Colo., 80620. ❖
Albert Leroy Wiedeman, 85, of Greeley, Colo., passed away March 27, 2013.
He was born January 30, 1928 on a farm north of Windsor, Colo., to John and Katherine (Stroman) Wiedeman.
His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. He attended Windsor Schools, and was a four year letterman in all four sports. He graduated from Windsor High in 1947. After graduation, he worked for the Public Service Company in Windsor, Colo., and Fort Collins, Colo., for four years. He then began farming in the Eaton, Colo., area where he lived and farmed for more than 50 years.
On December 19, 1948 he married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Dorothy Blehm in Greeley, Colo. He was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Eaton, Colo., for many years. Albert served on the Weld County Farm Bureau Board for 10 years and was a member for 56 years.
He had a strong work ethic that he passed on to his family which he loved very much. Albert and Dorothy traveled many places over the years with friends. They loved watching their grandchildren grow up and attended many of their activities and have enjoyed watching their great-grandchildren. In 2001, they retired and moved to Greeley, Colo., but Albert continued to help out on the farm while he was able.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Wiedeman of Greeley, Colo.; sons, Keith Wiedeman and wife Judy of Greeley, Colo., Perry Wiedeman and wife Diane of Eaton, Colo., and Greg Wiedeman and wife Denise of Eaton, Colo.; grandchildren, Mitch Wiedeman and wife Ina, and TJ Wiedeman all of Greeley, Colo., Jay Wiedeman and wife Emily, Nathan Wiedeman and wife Becky all of Eaton, Colo., Amber Girdler and husband Kyle of Sterling, Colo., Casey Wiedeman and wife Tamara of Phoenix, Ariz., and Kiley Hayward and husband George of Colorado Springs, Colo.; nine great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, many special friends and his coffee buddies.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Art, John, Robert, and Raymond, sister, Dorrine Buxmann; and a baby granddaughter.
Memorial services were held April 3, 2013 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Greeley, Colo.
A private family interment was at Sunset Memorial Gardens prior to the funeral service.
Memorial contributions may be made to “Meals on Wheels” in care of Adamson Funeral and Cremation Services, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley, Colo., 80634.
Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.AdamsonChapels.com. ❖
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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.