Western Slope Obits 8-5-13
Frances May Dorr Wheeler
Frances May Dorr Wheeler, 94, of Fruita, Colo., passed away July, 20, 2013.
Frances Eugene was born July 31, 1918 in Steamboat Springs, Colo. She was the oldest of five children born to Fred N “Bumpy” and Anna (Bowie) May. The family homestead was the home of the Mystic post office from 1921 until 1928.
In May 1928 the family moved to the ranch on the Elk River, formally known as the May SbarS Ranch. Frances was a champion seamstress who competed at the State level in 4-H. She graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 1935.
Frances married Elmer Dorr on June 14, 1936. He was the son of Elmer and Hattie (Laramore) Dorr. To this union nine children were born. They moved to the family ranch (Bar Lazy L) north of the May ranch on the Elk River in 1939. In the mid-60s, Frances was declared legally blind with macular degeneration, but the only way it slowed her down was that she had to stop driving.
Frances and Elmer ranched and were active in the Routt County Cattlemen and Cowbells (Cattlewomen) and enjoyed watching their sons wrestle under Coach Ramunno. Frances was also a member of Chapter X PEO in Steamboat, Chapter AQ PEO in Fruita, and the First Baptist Church of Steamboat and was known as “Granny” to most everyone who knew her! She was active in the Steamboat Springs Writer’s Group in the 1980s and wrote poems,“ditties” and “jingles” about anything and everything including a poem for many of her descendants.
In 1970, Elmer passed away and Frances married George Wheeler. Frances considered George’s two children, Jack and Viola to be her own. Frances and George lived with Hattie’s family on the ranch until George’s death in 1983.
In 1993, Frances moved to Fruita to help raise her granddaughter’s family and this is where she remained until her death on July 20, 2013. She ventured back to Routt County at least once per year for the annual Elk River Rendezvous and any other family event that she had a ride to and felt up to attending! She also performed at the Cowboy Poetry gatherings for several years.
Frances is survived by her sisters Helen Stonebrink, Cynthia May, Alma May, Eunice Dorr, Opal Wood, Hazel Wheeler. Daughters Genie Brandhorst, Peggy Jo (Bill) Carpenter, Hattie (Gary) Yeager and Viola Fry. Sons Bob Dorr, Fred (Penny) Dorr. Daughter-in-laws, Peg (Jim), Shelly (Newt), Rachel (Mike) Dorr, and Donna Jean (Jack) Wheeler, 31 Grandchildren, 60 Great-Grandchildren and four Great-Great Grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Frances was proceeded in death by her parents, husbands Elmer and George, sister, Dorothy and husband Jim Jarvis, brother’s Bill and Jack May and Clyde Stonebrink, sons, Jim, Ted, Newt, Mike and Jack, son-in-law Bob Brandhorst, and daughter-in-laws Carol (Ted) and Jerri (Bob), two step-grandchildren, one great-granddaughter.
Frances wrote poems that were published in the Fence Post for years!
Services were held at Faith Baptist Church in Fruita, Colo., on July 30
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Carl Ramunno Youth Wrestling Fund, PO Box 771987, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 80477. ❖
Mario Bart Zadra
Mario Bart Zadra, 97, of Montrose, Colo., passed away June 5, 2013, at his home, after a long battle with COPD and CHF.
He was born May 12, 1916 in a small brick house near Ridgway, the third of five children born to Italian immigrants Matteo Zadra and Ottilia Marinelli.
He was educated at the old Piedmont School near Ridgway, and around the age of 12, left home to help support his family by working at the Camp Bird Mine high above Ouray. Mario’s job was to pack gold ore from the mine onto a string of mules and lead the animals over miles of treacherous terrain (including snow slides) to Ouray. He also helped out on the Zadra family ranch located between Ridgway and Ouray. In his mid-teens, Mario started working for rancher Marie Scott. In time, he started his own cattle operation along with his brother, Victor Zadra, while continuing to work for Marie Scott.
Mario married Eda Terresa Tessitore on July 21, 1951. They were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Jan, several years later.
Mario ventured out on his own, purchasing a ranch in Norwood in 1957 and moving his family from Ridgway to Norwood in 1964. In addition to ranching, he served two terms as county commissioner for Ouray County and 20 years on the Board of Directors for the San Miguel Power Assn. Later, he served on the San Miguel Planning Commission during the onset of development in the Telluride/Norwood area.
Mario’s greatest pride and joy were his horses, Hereford cattle and his dogs. He was an accomplished horseman and shared a mutual respect with all his animals. He was one of the last ranchers to give up his team of horses.
Mario enjoyed the wide open spaces and took great pride in operating his ranch in pristine condition. He felt closest to God while riding his horse in the high mountain country he loved so much.
Mario is survived by his daughter, Jan (Jerry) Scharf of Montrose, Colo.; sister, Victori Hudson of Denver, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews and their extended families.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eda Zadra; sisters, Anna Lucille Smith and Rosa Josephine Halls; and brother, Victor Zadra.
Services were held June 15, 2013, at the Montrose Christian Church. Interment followed at Valley Lawn Cemetery.
Contributions, in memory of Mario Zadra, can be made to: Hardin Hospice, 2764 Compass Drive, Suite 110, Grand Junction, Colo., 81506; or the Norwood Fire Department, attn: Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 411, Norwood, CO 81423. ❖
Charles “Chuck” Joseph Terrell
Charles “Chuck” Joseph Terrell, 86, of East Elk Creek, New Castle, Colo., passed away July 8, 2013.
Chuck was born on Divide Creek, (Silt) Colo., to William “Bill” and Anna (Collins) Terrell on May 18, 1927.
He started school at the Flat Iron School on West Divide Creek south of Silt. The family moved for his father’s trapping jobs, and a higher education than offered on Divide Creek. Schooling for 8th and 9th grade at New Castle, Colo., and then to Walden, Colo., for the 10th and 11th. Graduating from highschool back at New Castle High in May of 1945.
In July of 1945, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and sent to Shepard Field, Texas, for basic training. After that he was sent to Chanute Field, ILL., and given a clerk typist job in the medics. He worked in the hospital there until his discharge in 1946.
He worked on ranches until 1948 when he started work for the Forest Service in Eagle, Colo. He worked two years as a forest trail maintenance and handyman there. In 1950 he acquired a government trapping job in Rangely, Colo. He worked as a trapper (predator control agent) full time until his retirement in 1987. In his career he was sent to many locations in the state. He always had a few hounds to aid with catching lion and bear.
After his retirement he kept up the place on East Elk Creek (owned by family since 1944, where he lived most of his life). He always ran a small herd of sheep or cattle.
Chuck was a dedicated Dad and Grandad. From the time his grandchildren were out of diapers he often had one or more of them with him. He loved seeing his great-grandchildren.
Almost, every moment not working, he was fly fishing for trout. He loved to trap and hunt, watch baseball, John Wayne and until diagnosed with macular degeneration was an avid reader of history and westerns.
Chuck was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2011 and on oxygen full time after that. About a month before he passed away he was diagnosed with a tumor in a lung. He was tough and never complained, and ’til the end gave someone a smile everyday.
He was a member of the American Legion, lifetime member of the NRA and the FFA.
He leaves behind his daughter, Sally (Ed) Walker of Silt, Colo., son Richard (Carol) Terrell of New Castle, Colo.; his brother Gern (Norma) Terrell of Roggen, Colo., Five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Robert William Terrell, his son Robert “Bob” Terrell, and a grandson Grant William Walker.
Services were held July 14, 2013 at Rifle Funeral Home, followed by burial at the Union Divide Creek Cemetery.
Family asked in lieu of flowers to donate either to the cemetery or the Local Chapter No. 164 of the American Legion. ❖
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