Western Slope Obituaries 1-9-12 | TheFencePost.com

Western Slope Obituaries 1-9-12

Raymond Den Beste, 93, of Paonia, Colo., passed away December 19, 2011 of natural causes. He was a long time resident and educator.

He was born February 3, 1918 in Crawford, Colo., to William and Nettie Sipma Den Beste, the ninth among five brothers and five sisters. The family was devout, hardworking and known for their musical talent. He grew up singing with his brothers and sisters, and he and his brothers would form a barbershop quartet whenever four of them were together.

Raymond attended school in Crawford, Colo., and graduated in 1937. He attended Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction, Colo., and played on their Rocky Mountain Junior College championship team. Raymond received an Associate Degree and a one-year teaching certificate. Embarking on his long career as a teacher, he taught in Appleton, Colo., for one year, where he taught sixth grade and coached the high school football team to a perfect winning record, and coached their winning basketball team. He transferred to Western State College and graduated in 1942 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Mathematics. While attending Western State College, he met the love of his life, Nina Loucks. After graduation, Raymond taught at Hotchkiss High School. He and Nina were married on June 9, 1943 in Hotchkiss, Colo.

In July 1943, Raymond was drafted into the Army Air Corp and was stationed at Alexandria Air Force Base, Louisiana. He was assigned to the base band and was in charge of the smaller dance band. This unit was given a citation for excellence from the 469th Combat Crew commander. The band entertained troops who were on their way overseas and the wounded when they returned home. At the end of the war, he was recruited to play for Les Brown and his Band of Renown as a bass fiddle player, but declined, deeming it an unfit vocation for a family man.

After his discharge from the Army Air Corps, Raymond returned to Colorado and took a teaching position as band director and math teacher at Paonia High School. He also directed the Paonia Junior High Band and gave private lessons for many years. During his tenure at Paonia, he became well-known for his excellent bands. People often traveled from other towns to hear the Paonia pep band play at sporting events. He received his Master’s Degree from Western State College in 1952. In 1954, he was chosen to become a member of the First Chair of America, which honored the outstanding high school bands in the United States. This turned into a lifetime membership, and in 1967, he was honored by First Chair of America as one of the 10 outstanding high school directors in the nation. In 1958 and 1959 he garnered superior ratings in all areas for his band, Boys’ Chorus, and Mixed Chorus at the Western Colorado Music Festival. He loved teaching math and music, but often included life lessons in his classes. Prior to retiring in 1974, with 30 years of teaching, he taught one year each at Crawford Junior High and Hotchkiss Elementary. In retirement, Raymond remained actively involved with local schools, serving as clock operator for basketball games, helping coach the tennis team as a volunteer, and attending all sporting events at home and away. He also conducted occasional band clinics throughout Western Colorado.

He was an avid hunter, fly fisherman, snowmobiler, and loved going on jeep trips. He enjoyed watching the Denver Broncos, University of Colorado football, and the Colorado Rockies. His favorite destination was 80 acres and a cabin on Black Mesa, southeast of Crawford, Colo. He loved spending time with his family of several generations.

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Raymond was a member of the Paonia United Methodist Church, sang in the choir, and taught the high school Sunday school class for many years.

He is survived by his wife and best friend of 68 years, Nina, of Paonia, Colo.; two daughters and their husbands, Ruella and Larry Kontour of Crawford, Colo., and Karen and Stephen McKee of Palisade, Colo.; four grandsons, Craig (Kim) McKee, Garth McKee, Kyle (Jenny) Kontour, and Kurt (Katie) Kontour; great-granddaughters Allannis (Jon) White, Myra Sanchez, Ilia McKee, Danae and Halee McKee, and Mairi and Laurielle Kontour; great-great-grandsons Rylan and Sylus White, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five sisters, and five brothers.

An informal sharing of memories will be held at the Paonia United Methodist Church at 7 p.m., Friday, January 13, 2012, with a memorial service at the Paonia United Methodist Church at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 14, 2012.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 24, Delta, Colo., 81416, or the Paonia United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, PO Box 157, Paonia, Colo., 81428.

View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at TaylorFuneralService.com.

Lois Jean Maloney, 82, passed away December 31, 2011.

She was born on October 3, 1929 in Delta, Colo., to Jesse Wilburn and Marie Crystal (Shackleford) Shannon. She married Charles H. Maloney, known as “Doc” and moved to Hotchkiss, Colo., where he began his veterinarian practice. Lois became his right-hand man, delivering calves and horses, assisting with C-sections in barnyards as well as operations on small animals in the clinic.

Lois always had a love of painting and painted her own portrait while in high school. In later years she took classes and became an accomplished painter, selling some and giving others away. She and her two sisters did craft shows in Pueblo, Colo., Glenwood Springs, Colo., Montrose, Colo., and Grand Junction, Colo., for close to 12 years. She was known as the “painter” of the group. She enjoyed crocheting and sewing as well.

She is survived by sister Donna (Royal) Anderson of Florence, Colo. and sister Geri (Bob) Walters of Grand Junction, Colo.; niece Debbie Anderson of Canon City, Colo.; nephew Mike (Jayne) Anderson of Kiowa, Kan., Chris (Stacey) Walters of Litchfield Park, Ariz.; niece Sheila (Ty) DuCray of Grand Junction, Colo.; two great-nephews, five great-nieces, one great-great nephew, and one great-great niece.

She was preceded in death by her husband of some 50 years, Doc Maloney, as well as parents and grandparents.

Per her request, no services will be held.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mountain View Bible Church, Lazear, Colo.

View the internet obituary and sign the guest registry atTaylorFuneralService.com.