Rocky Mountain Obituaries 6-25-12 |

Rocky Mountain Obituaries 6-25-12

Linda Steadman, 62, of Bellvue, Colo., passed away June 9, 2012 in the High Park Fire.

She was an astute observer of nature who lived on the Steadman Ranch near Stove Prairie west of Fort Collins, Colo., and ran cattle there for 42 years. She had been alarmed for months as extreme drought and an unusually warm spring parched the mountains and meadows surrounding her home. Adding to her growing unease was the return of her beloved hummingbirds two weeks early. The drought-stunted summer grasses and supplied so little forage that she and her family were feeding hay right up to the time of the fire.

Devoted to her children and grandchildren and to the family ranch, Linda was a free spirit, fearlessly independent, brilliantly well-read, and a loyal friend. She loved that ranch more than any other place on earth.

Linda was born August 28, 1949, the youngest child of Vern and Veda (Ashbaugh) Steadman. The ranch became a part of Linda’s life in 1954, when her parents purchased the ranch while her U.S. Air Force officer father was assigned to the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, Colo. After the family moved to Warren AFB near Cheyenne, Wyo., in 1959, they worked weekends on the Colorado ranch. When Veda and Vern retired to the ranch in December 1962, Linda continued her education in Fort Collins, Colo.

Shortly after the tragic deaths of Vern in 1965 (from a tractor accident at the ranch) and her brother James, a U.S. Air Force F-4 pilot, declared MIA in Laos in 1971, Linda, still in her early 20s, assumed responsibility for running the Steadman Ranch, a vital working cattle ranch in the northern Colorado Front Range. An excellent horsewoman, Linda rode horseback all day to check on cattle.

By the mid 1970s, Linda was a single mother raising three children while ranching. To supplement limited earnings from cattle sales, she gardened and raised chickens and ducks. Linda is remembered by her daughter-in-law Karen Steadman as doing “an awesome job with the three kids.”

Linda raised her children with a strong work ethic, instilling in them love for the land and commitment to keeping the working ranch in the family. Four generations of Steadmans have now worked the ranch.

She is survived by her children, Tristram Steadman Post (Larry Duran), Christopher (Karen) Steadman, and Brook Steadman; grandchildren, Paul Post, Megan (Andy) Conley, Helen Duran, Alex, Hanna, Jamie, Jessica and Gabriel Steadman; and great-grandson, Aiden Conley; husband Lee Wayman; her brother’s widow Penny and children Karin and Michael Steadman; and sister Vivian Steadman.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Veda, who passed away last January.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Steadman Family High Park Fire Relief Fund, c/o First National Bank, P.O. Box 2390, Estes Park, Colo., 80517.

Mary Mildred Criswell, 91, passed away June 14, 2012 at the Sterling House in Greeley, Colo.

She was born on March 24, 1921 in Sterling, Neb., to John and Dessie Boltjes.

On February 19, 1937, she married Beryl Ray Criswell in St Francis, Kan. They farmed and ranched in Yuma, Colo., Morgan, Colo., and Weld, Colo., counties.

She was a wonderful mother and a mother to all. She loved to cook for family gatherings and sewing was her passion.

She is survived by daughters, Betty Smythe of Canon City, Colo., Goldie Klingenberg of Greeley, Colo; and son, Garry Criswell and wife Judy of Nunn, Colo; daughter-in-law Pat Criswell; 12 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; brother Floyd Boltjes; and sisters Bertha Shepard, and Gayle Winemiller.

She was preceded in death by husband Beryl Criswell, sons; Melvin Criswell and Dale Criswell, daughter; Shirley Powers, grand-daughter Shannon Criswell, great-great-grandson Gabe Richardson, brothers George Boltjes, John Boltjes, and sister Dessie Turnbull.

Memorial graveside services were held June 19, 2012 at the Otis Cemetery in Otis, Colo.

Wallace H. Meyer, 86, of Longmont, Colo., passed away June 18, 2012 at his residence.

He was born February 24, 1926 in Beasley, Texas, to Albert and Thelma (Hardin) Meyer.

He graduated from Beasley School and enlisted in the Navy at 17. He was a sailor in the U.S. Navy during World War II, stationed primarily on the USS Long Island CVE1. He later returned to duty for the Korean War effort. He married Lucille Anderson of Denver, Colo., on February 12, 1944 in Bremerton, Wash.

He and Lucy moved to Rinn, Colo., located near Longmont, Colo., in 1964 from Denver, Colo. Wally was a union Brick Mason for 40 years having worked extensively in the Boulder, Longmont and Denver area as well as the Vail, Steamboat areas of Colorado and parts of Wyoming and Arizona. He belonged to the American Legion and the Brick Masons Union.

After Wally’s retirement he and Lucy enjoyed traveling the country and spent winters in Rockport, Texas. After Lucy’s death in 1999 Wally married Betty Seacrest in November 1999. Wally and Betty continued to travel visiting Alaska, British Columbia and the Western US.

In Wally’s later years he enjoyed working on the farm he so dearly loved, and kept busy with family, who was the pride of his life, and cherished friends.

He is survived by his two daughters Sharon Weiss and George of Longmont, Colo., Penny Holliman of Longmont, Colo., and step-son, Paul Echternacht of Fort Lupton, Colo.; four grandchildren Kristin Weiss of Ankara, Turkey, Owen Weiss of Flagstaff, Ariz., Chad Holliman and Shonda of Firestone, Colo.,and Heather Holliman-Pope and Bill of Hays, Kan.; two great-granddaughters McKayla Holliman and new addition Kate Pope, due in August; two brothers Albert and Iris Meyer of Rosenberg, Texas, and Kenneth and Lydia Meyer of New Ulm, Texas; and sister Zelda Geick of Denver, Colo.

He was preceded in death by Lucy his wife of 55 years in 1999 and by his son-in-law Bob Holliman in 2007.

Private family services have been held.

Cremation at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Longmont Humane Society.

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Dean John Wagner, Sr., 63, of Arvada, Colo., passed away June 15, 2012, suddenly.

He was born July 8, 1948 in Sioux City, Iowa, to Reynold and Virginia Wagner.

Dean’s greatest pleasure was spending time with his children and grandchildren especially in sharing his love of horses through The Westernaires, fishing and hunting. He had also been a member of the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Posse for several years. He was employed by Suncor Energy for 40 years.

He was a quiet man and genuinely loved. His passing will leave a void in all those who knew him.

He is survived by his mother; wife of 44 years, Mary Beth; children, Dean (Elizabeth), Chad, Aimee (Brady) Wagner-Johnson; grandchildren, Rose, Connor, Kendall, and Donisia; brother, Guy and sister, Sue (Ken) and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws.

Memorial services were held June 22, 2012 at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada, Colo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Dean J. Wagner, Sr. Memorial Fund, set up for the education of his grandchildren at First Bank, 6355 Ward Rd., Arvada, Colo., 80004 or The Westernaires Alumni Association, PO Box 260529, Lakewood, Colo., 80226 or

Lawrence “Larry” Bell, 87, of Fort Morgan, Colo., passed away June 13, 2012, at the Valley View Villa Care Center in Fort Morgan, Colo.

He was born November 9, 1924 on a farm near Goff, Kan., to Everton and Hulda (Bareiss) Bell.

Lawrence served in the Coast Guard during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Centarus in the South Pacific. He took part in six invasions and for his heroism was awarded the Silver Star.

Lawrence married Millicent McQueen on October 18, 1946 in Hiawatha, Kan.

He farmed in Kansas a few years before going to work for the Sinclair Oil Company. His job took him from Wyoming to Colorado, to Texas and then Alaska where he was head of safety during the research and design of the Trans Alaskan Pipeline. He returned to Colorado and worked out of the Denver, Colo., office until he retired in 1984. He then moved back to Fort Morgan, Colo.

Lawrence was a member of the 1st Christian Church in Fort Morgan, Colo. He was also a member of the Elks, the IOOF and life member of the VFW and the American Legion. Lawrence enjoyed traveling, playing golf, photography and making fine hand crafted furniture.

He his survived by his wife, Millicent of Fort Morgan, Colo.; sons, Merwin Bell, and wife, Jo Ann of Casper, Wyo., and Daniel Bell and wife, Cathy of Lakewood, Colo.; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; brothers, Roy, Earl, and Gary Bell and sister, Opal.

He was preceded in death by brothers Noble and Alvin Bell and his parents.

Memorial services were held June 19, 2012 at the First Christian Church in Fort Morgan, Colo.

Inurnment followed in Memory Gardens.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 2480 W. 26th Avenue, Denver, Colo., 80211.

Forest “Frosty” Cooper, 88, of Rifle, Colo., passed away Nov. 26, 2011.

He was born December 13, 1922 in Ludell, Kan. He proudly served his country in WWII by joining the Army.

He is survived by his son Forrest Cooper; daughters Nancy Bayne, Bobbie Cook & Debbie Koontz; brothers Boyd and Oral Cooper; sisters Betty Clark and Opal Dawes; 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister; five brothers; and son-in-law Bill Bayne.

Memorial services were held June 23, 2012 at the American Legion in Fairplay, Colo.

Cremation has taken place.

Helen C. Fulton, 98, of Greeley, Colo., formerly of Briggsdale, Colo., passed away June 17, 2012.

She was born May 12, 1914, to Herbert J. Bowen and Anna Gebhart in Scottsbluff, Neb. She had two siblings, Vernon and Cecil. Helen was raised in Colorado and Nebraska and particularly loved living on the ranches and farms her family worked when Helen was a child.

Helen married Fred Hugh Fulton in 1929. They were married for 60 years before Hugh’s death in 1989. She worked as a school cook in Platteville and Briggsdale, Colo., as well as farming in the Johnstown and LaSalle, Colo., areas. One son, Earl, was added to their family.

Helen attended Briggsdale Congregational Church and later attended services at Bonell Good Samaritan after moving there in 2006. Helen devoted many years of services to the Briggsdale Community Library, working in the library and serving as a director.

She is survived by grandson, Michael Fulton (Amy) of Johnstown, Colo.; her daughter-in-law, Cathi Fulton of Briggsdale, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Peyton Nicklas, Morgen Nicklas and Maddox Fulton; and grandson-in-law, Colin Nicklas; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Hugh; son, Earl; grandchildren, Matthew Fulton and Melissa Nicklas; and her siblings.

Graveside services were held June 22, 2012 at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Kerry Van Lawson, 57, of Sterling, Colo., passed away June 5, 2012.

Kerry was born in Denver, Colo., to Rex and Eugenie Lawson, the youngest of three children. He grew up in Golden, Colo., and attended Fairmont Elementary, and Golden Jr. and Sr. High Schools. Kerry played little league football and his team won in the Mile High Bowl at Mile High Stadium that featured out-of-state teams.

He was on swim teams and played baseball. After obtaining equipment from the Broncos, he was the center on the high school football team and a heavyweight wrestler. He helped start and was president of the FFA.

His woodworking won state prizes and gave his parents a grandfather clock and matching china hutch. He graduated in 1973.

Kerry obtained an electronics degree from the Missouri Institute of Technology. After graduating he moved to Sterling, Colo., and worked for Wards, before buying Kings TV. When the prison was built he went to work for the DOC.

He had a life-long love of music and started performing at age four. He not only sang, but was an accomplished pianist and saxophone player.

He continued singing in church, barbershop and karaoke. He learned to fish from his grandparents and when his health permitted, loved to camp and fish at Lake John. He loved animals and was never long without one.

A very religious man, Kerry was devoted to his family. His heart was bigger than he was. At the time of his death, he was giving company to his widowed mother. He tried to live in the light of the Lord every day.

He is survived by his mother; brother, Rex Lawson Jr. (Paula); sister, Pam Quick; nephew, Ryan Lawson (Melissa); three nieces, Erin Lawson, Kelly Quick (Ron Wildeman), Stephanie Cloyd (Levi); an aunt, Pat Spickelmier; numerous cousins; his dog, Rachel; and a child of his heart – Kayhlani.

He was preceded in death by his father; and brother-in-law, Will Quick.

A celebration of Kerry’s life will be held from 1-3 p.m. July 7, at his sister’s at 24582 Colo. 392, Greeley, Colo. This is 5-3/4 miles east of Lucerne, Colo., or one-quarter mile west of Weld County Road 51 on Colo. 392.

Twila Fern (Hamilton) Brompton, 58, of Crook, Colo., passed away June 6, 2012, after battling liver failure.

She was born March 1, 1954, to Don and Doris Hamilton at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, Colo. She grew up in the Rocky Mountains, where her family raised beef cattle and hay. Twila attended South Park School through eighth grade and high school at Nebraska Christian in Central City, Neb.

After graduation, Twila attended semesters at Biola College, but her heart stayed with a handsome young cowboy, Jim Brompton. The two were married in a horseback ceremony June 15, 1976. They made their home in South Park, Colo., where they leased various ranches, and over the next 12 years they had four daughters. Twila poured everything she had into her family. She was Jim’s right-hand helper with fencing, putting up hay, cattle work, and much more. She was the bookkeeper, housekeeper and cook, and the world’s best mother. Jim and Twila homeschooled, and they worked to give their daughters the best education that could be had. In 2001, the Brompton family moved to the northeast corner of the state to continue raising cattle and hay.

Throughout her life, Twila had a real ministry of teaching ladies God’s Word and offering help and advice for raising children and being a good wife. She was a good teacher because she excelled at those things herself.

In 2004, she began experiencing a lot of liver troubles, and in 2010 she was diagnosed with cirrhoses of the liver due to unknown causes. For the next year and a half, she lived a brave life, a beautiful example of the Lord’s grace and strength.

She is survived by her husband, Jim; four daughters, Holly, Heidi, Heather and Hazel Brompton, of Crook, Colo.; brother Walt Hamilton and wife, Sue, of Omaha, Neb.; brother Don Hamilton and wife, Vicki, of Rifle, Colo.; brother Doug Hamilton and wife, Leanne, of Breckenridge, Colo.; sister Rose Fisher and husband, Mark, of Clermont, Fla; sister Mary Cunningham and husband, Bob, of Tucson, Ariz.; and honorary sisters Janice and Faye Rostvit of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Memorial services were held July 21, 2012, at the fire hall in Crook, Colo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Brompton Family Missionary House.

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