Western Slope Obituaries 9-10-12
Grayce Alberta Dvirnak, 82, of Fruita, Colo., passed away September 3, 2012, surrounded by her loving family at Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colo., as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
She was born in Alberta, Canada, on September 16, 1929, and was the oldest of eight children born to Alex and Anna (Versolenko) Bovkoon. She was raised at Greatstone, N.D., and graduated from Turtle Lake High School, attended Minot State Teachers College and taught in the Malcom Rural School District, Coleharbor, N.D., for three years prior to her marriage.
Grayce took great delight in showing her children her first teaching contract which read “in addition to her teaching responsibilities, that said Grayce Bovkoon is to do her own janitor work, is not allowed to attend dances on night’s prior to school days and should be at the school house one half hour before school is to convene,” all for the sum of $135.00/month.
Grayce Bovkoon and Alick Dvirnak of Killdeer, N.D., were married on September 25, 1949, at the Baptist Church in Max, N.D., and lived on the family’s historic Diamond C Ranch near Killdeer, N.D., where together they farmed and ranched and raised their family of six children before retiring to Dickinson, N.D., in 1992.
Grayce had a remarkable zest for living. She was a gracious hostess and took great pleasure in entertaining her family and friends; she had the remarkable ability for making everyone feel welcomed and at home, and this generous and giving spirit brought her many friends and long lasting, loving relationships.
She had a great variety of lifelong interests. First and foremost, Grayce was renowned and greatly admired for her cooking and canning, most especially her cheese pockets and dill pickles, as well as her skills as a master gardener. Music was also an important part of her life — she played piano, sang in her church choir, was a member of The Sweet Adelines, loved attending musical concerts but, above all, her love of music was best evidenced by her commitment to seeing that all six of her children took piano lessons until they graduated from high school.
Grayce led a rich and fulfilling life and in retirement she and Alick traveled extensively throughout the United States as well as Spain, North Africa, Russia, Ukraine, China and Mexico. In 2002, Grayce and Alick moved to Fruita, Colo., where she lived until her death.
Grayce’s life revolved around being a wife, mother and grandmother.
She is survived by her beloved husband, Alick; two daughters, Diane Dvirnak and Lucinda (David) Schultz; four sons, Bryan (Cynthia), Craig (Rhonda), David (Kristin), and Dwight (Gaye); three grandsons, Nathan Carson, Andrew (Pam) Dvirnak and Austin (Natalie) Dvirnak; five granddaughters, Noelle (Chris) Thurlow, Anya Dvirnak, Amber (Josh) Keller, Erin Konrath, and Nina Dvirnak; one great granddaughter, Hannah Thurlow; her sister, Della Chisholm and her brother, Alex (Judy) Bovkoon Jr.
She was preceded in death by a grandson, Brett Dvirnak; her parents, Alex Sr. and Anna Bovkoon; her sisters, Mary Ann Bovkoon, Vivian Elwein and Irene Eslinger, and her brothers, Oscar and Matthew Bovkoon.
Memorial services were held September 5, 2012, at Monument View Bible Church in Fruita, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to Twin Peaks Bible Camp, P. O. Box 907, Grand Junction, Colo., 81502. ❖
Chance Alan Graham, 21, of Cedaredge, Colo., passed away August 29, 2012 in Gunnison, Colo.
He was born on October 25, 1990 to Karl Graham of Cedaredge, Colo., and Colleen Starner of Fruita, Colo. Chance was raised and attended school in Cedaredge, Colo. On January 27, 2010, he married Sheena Carter.
Chance was a bull rider through and through, always there when someone needed a helping hand. He was a member of Little Britches Rodeo Club, PRCA and CPRA. He is also a member of Fellowship of Christian Cowboys of Cory, Colo.
He enjoyed fishing, hunting, video games, wood working, fixing his vehicle and rodeoing, especially bull riding. He also enjoyed watching MMA Fighting and the PBR. Most of all, Chance loved his children who he affectionately called Princess and Little Cowboy.
He is survived by his wife Sheena Graham and children, Thane Addam and Rayna Marie Carter-Graham, all of Cedaredge, Colo; three sisters, Stephanie Renee Graham of Grand Junction, Colo.; Kaycee Lynn Graham of Shepard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas; and Jessica Colleen Billings of Craig, Colo.; father, Karl Graham and spouse, Angela of Cedaredge, Colo.; mother, Colleen Starner and spouse, Rick of Grand Junction, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Ken Graham of Cedaredge, Colo., and three uncles: Gary Graham of Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Paul Tibbens of South Dakota and James David Andregg, Jr. of Fruita, Colo.
Memorial services were held September 1, 2012 at the Surface Creek Rodeo Grounds in Cedaredge, Colo.
Memorial contributions can be made in Chance’s memory to the Chance Graham Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank or Surface Creek Bank in Cedaredge, Colo., to be used for his children.
I’ll see ya when I see ya cowboy!
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at http://www.TaylorFuneralservice.com. ❖
Thomas Carl Melzer
Thomas Carl Melzer, 60, passed away September 4, 2012, suddenly due to heart complications at St. Mary’s Hospital.
He was born in Denver, Colo., to Robert and Elizabeth Melzer.
Tom grew up in Denver and attended Cherry Creek High School where he played lacrosse and soccer. He went to Colorado State University for undergraduate studies and veterinary school, where he met the love of his life, Judy.
After shortly practicing veterinary medicine in Oregon and Franktown, Colo., he established the Orchard Mesa Veterinary Hospital where he compassionately treated animals across the valley and enjoyed work alongside his coworkers so much that he never considered full retirement.
He was raised an avid outdoorsmen and followed family tradition as third generation backpacker of the entire Colorado continental divide with his wife. He enjoyed taking his family on mountain climbs in Colorado and abroad. He helped coach soccer and skiing for his kids through their high school years. He enjoyed reading, biking and boating in Lake Powell with his wife and friends.
He was past president of the Grand Valley Veterinary Medical Association and held office with the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, Mesa County Animal Welfare Forum, and Grand Valley Veterinary Medical Clinic.
He is remembered for his jokes and fun-loving lifestyle as well as his love for his family, friends, and dogs.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Judy (Comer) Melzer of Grand Junction, Colo.; father, Robert of Denver, Colo.; sons, Douglas of Denver, Colo., and Tyler and wife, Molly and grandson, Oliver of Boston, Mass.; brothers, James of Littleton, Colo., and Richard of Billings, Mont.
Memorial services were held September 8, 2012 at the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park in Fruita, Colo.
Memorial contributions may be made to the “Zack and Tom Fund” through the Orchard Mesa Veterinary Hospital to help needy families get care for their animals. ❖
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.