Western Slope Obituaries 3-15-10
Walter Crafts Black, Jr., 93, of Grand Junction and formerly of Whitewater, Colo., passed away Jan. 15, 2010.
He was born July 2, 1916 to Walter Crafts Black, Sr., and Katherine Allen Black at Kannah Creek, Colo. He married Beverley Jane Munro on Dec. 27, 1949 in Grand Junction, Colo.
He was a lifetime rancher in Colorado with ranches in Whitewater and on the Uncompahgre. He began life as a cowboy at a very early age helping local Kannah Creek ranchers and later as a very successful cattleman. Crafts was a member of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, was Grand Marshall of the Colorado Stampede and served on the advisory Boards of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. He was honored as the First Cattleman of the Year of the Mesa County Cattlemen’s Association. He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII aboard the USS Chicago and later the USS San Francisco. He was aboard the USS Chicago with his brother, Tom, when the Chicago was sunk in the Battle of Rennell Island. They were both rescued in the same life-boat. Crafts was honorably discharged as Radioman Third Class and arrived home the day after Thanksgiving 1945.
He is survived by his children, Mac (Debbie) Black of Powell, Wyo., Bob of Purdy Mesa, Ariz., and daughter, Betsy of Fruita, Colo., sisters Winifred (Bill) Raber, Anita (Keith) Clark both of Grand Junction, Colo., and Wanda (Lewis) Sanders of Garden Grove, Calif., four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; his companion, Elaine Meilner; friend, Ed Gray; many nieces and nephews and long time friends.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years, Beverley; son, Everett; brother, Thomas Black; and his parents, Walter and Katherine Black.
Services were held at Martin Mortuary on Jan. 20, 2010.
Interment followed the service at Memorial Gardens on North Avenue. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care.
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After hail, flooding, a severe drought and a depressed market — all within months — Mike Kertzman says his days of ranching might be numbered.