Western Slope Obituaries 4-16-12 | TheFencePost.com

Western Slope Obituaries 4-16-12

Bernice Drake, 86, of Grand Junction, Colo., passed away peacefully on April 4, 2012 at the Hospice Care Center in Grand Junction, Colo.

Teresa “Bernice” Booth was born on August 14, 1925 to the late Lewis and Effie (Nealy) Booth in Grand Junction, Colo. She spent her childhood and attended school in Paonia, Colo.

Bernice lived in numerous areas in Colorado before moving to Hotchkiss, Colo., in 1985 where she lived until moving to Grand Junction, Colo., in 2004.

Bernice married Howard Leston Rice on August 14, 1942 in Delta, Colo. He preceded her in death on October 13, 1988. Bernice later married Dale Drake in May 1993 in Paonia, Colo.; he also preceded her in death.

Bernice was a member of the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grand Junction, Colo. She was absolutely adored by all the young people in her church. Bernice loved doing needlework, prayer shawl ministries and making blankets for the pregnancy resource center. She was a wonderful cook and was called “Cookie Grammy” by neighborhood children. Most of all, Bernice was a wonderful and loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Bernice is survived by her son Danny Rice and spouse Irene, and her daughter, Carol Rice, all of Grand Junction, Colo.; three sisters: Noma Vouga of Hotchkiss, Colo.; Billie Oravez and spouse, David of Boise, Idaho, and Jacque Kuta of Delta, Colo.; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Bernice was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; a son, Howard Lewis Rice; two grandsons: Anthony Rice and Keith Rice; sister, Eleanor Tuttle and a brother, Hubert Booth.

Services were held April 9, 2012 at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Crawford, Colo.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090 North 12th Street, Unit B, Grand Junction, Colo., 81506.

View the internet memorial and guest registry at http://www.TaylorFuneralService.com.

Bobby K. Taylor, 91, longtime La Plata County, Colo., resident, passed away April 3, 2012, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colo.

He was born March 21, 1921, in Kirtland, N.M., to Elmer Franklin Taylor and Adella Armina Bond. He married Anna V. Taylor in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 19, 1944. Anna preceded Bobby in death in February 1996.

In 1946, after serving in World War II, Bobby moved just south of Redmesa, where he operated the Long Hollow flour mill and a mostly dryland farm near Redmesa and on the Dryside. The flour mill closed down in 1957, but he continued farming and later turned the farm over to his sons Deems, Duane and Trent Taylor.

On December 19, 1997, he married Norma B. Taylor in Redmesa.

A resident of southwest La Plata County, Colo., for about 66 years, Bobby was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Durango, Colo., Cortez, Colo., and several other towns in the area. Throughout his lifelong service to the church, he held many positions, including full-time missionary and bishop.

He was active in civic and community affairs, serving on several boards and committees. He served a term as La Plata County commissioner and was instrumental in starting the local Basin Coop when it opened in the early 1950s.

“He also served on many irrigation water boards and spent most of his life here working toward the building of the Animas-La Plata water project, which was approved by Congress in the mid 1960s but was never funded or built as originally envisioned,” his family said.

He went to Washington, D.C., many times to lobby for the project’s construction, and it eventually was built after being scaled down to the current Lake Nighthorse west of Durango, Colo.

“Family was of utmost importance to him, and he spent many years collecting genealogy and pictures and family histories, which he now leaves as a legacy and a blessing to his posterity,” his family said. “A Southwest Colorado-area pioneer history book over 560 pages long was compiled and published with a lot of help and encouragement from him,” they said.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Norma B. Taylor, of Hesperus, Colo.; sons Deems Taylor of Breen and Duane Taylor, Norman Taylor and Trent Taylor, all of Redmesa; daughter Gevene Sherman of Redmesa; stepson Rick Walker of Cornelius, N.C.; 24 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held April 14, 2012, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Redmesa.

Burial followed at Redmesa Cemetery.

Henry Elbert Parks, 89, of Bayfield, Colo., passed away April 6, 2012 at his home. He was three weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

He was born to Calvin and Pearl Parks on April 27, 1922, north of Bayfield, Colo. When he was 19, he joined the Army and served with the 83rd Division of Ohio.

During World War II, he fought at Omaha Beach on D-Day and in the Battle of the Bulge in the European Theater. After suffering from frostbite on his feet and legs, he was hospitalized for 21 days before traveling home from Ireland on the Queen Mary with 10,000 other soldiers.

Upon returning from the war, he went to work on the family ranch in the Pine River Valley, where his grandparents homesteaded.

In 1949, he married Marybell Neil at her parents’ home in Ignacio, Colo., and the couple had seven children.

Henry ranched in between working different jobs all of his life. He worked for the Vanadium Corporation of America in Durango, Colo., during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Before returning to Bayfield, Colo., to take care of his cousin’s ranch, he was the ranch foreman for Dr. Hugh Williamson beginning in 1963 for two years.

In 1967, Henry began operating heavy equipment for the La Plata County Road and Bridge Department. Retiring in 1985, he went to work full-time taking care of the family ranch in Gem Village.

“Henry was a gifted horseman and cherished his horses and mules,” his family said.

He enjoyed going on pack trips to Emerald Lakes, where he enjoyed fly-fishing and prospecting for gold. He was a longtime member of the Colorado Mounted Rangers, serving in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Henry never met a stranger,” his family said. “Everyone he met was soon treated to one of his many life stories.”

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marybell Parks, of Bayfield, Colo.; daughters Connie Valencia of Ignacio, Colo., and Beverly Clennin of Delta, Colo.; sons Cliff Parks of Ignacio, Colo., Lynn Parks of Durango, Colo., and Keith Parks of Farmington; 18 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his daughters Vickey Ford and Twila Parks.

Memorial services were held April 12, 2012 at the Pine Valley Four Square Church in Bayfield, Colo.

Neil James O’Neill, 81, passed away January 4, 2012.

He was born in Detroit, Mich. He moved to Twin Lakes, Colo., in 1935.

He raised five children: Tina Marie Videtich, James Kevin O’Neill, Kelley Ray O’Neill, Kerry Ethan O’Neill and Ivy Lynn Phillips.

His wife, Judy O’Neill, currently lives in Hotchkiss, Colo., on their cattle ranch.

A total of 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren live in Colorado, Nebraska, Michigan and Puerto Rico.

His passions were his family and his work with the cattle on his ranch.

His life and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

Memorial services were held January 10, 2012 at Word of Life Worship Center in Gypsum, Colo.