Joseph Louis McKee, Sr.
Joseph Louis McKee, Sr., former Leadville resident, died at St.
Joseph's Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., on March 19, 2003.
He was born in Leadville on Aug. 18, 1913, to William and
Margaret (Geary) McKee. He attended schools in Leadville and
graduated with the Leadville High School Class of 1931.
He married Blanche Magura on June 6, 1949, at Annunciation
He worked as a bookkeeper at Sayer & McKee Drug Store and
was the co-owner of Davis Drug Store.
He worked for American Smelting & Refining in the office at the
Leadville Smelter and, after the plant closed, worked for AS & R
as an internal auditor, retiring after 46 years.
He was a member of the Catholic church and was a 4th Degree
Knight of Columbus.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Bill McKee;
sister Regina Withey; daughter Mary Elizabeth; and grandson
Nathan Joseph Miles.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 54 years, Blanche McKee;
children Mary (Kenneth) Miles; Joseph McKee, Jr.; William
McKee; Christine (Mark) Witten; and Patti McKee; seven
grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
Services were conducted at Holy Hope Mausoleum in Tucson on
March 24 by Father John Allt and son-in-law Deacon Kenneth
Miles. Pallbearers were Joseph McKee, Jr., William McKee,
Mark Witten, Jim Helman, Craig Schroeder and Bob Roeder with
Jonathan Miles and Brandon Witten as honorary pallbearers.
Contributions may be made in his memory to American
Parkinsons Disease Association, 616 E. Country Club, Tucson,
Annie Almeda Cerise
Annie Almeda Cerise, 86, died June 14 at St Vincent Hospital,
where she had been a resident in the Extended Care Unit for the
She was born in Leadville on April 27, 1917 to Sam and Julia
After graduating from Leadville High School, her first job was in
the ready-to-wear department of the Zaitz Mercantile Company.
She worked as a bookkeeper for 18 years at the Arkansas Valley
Smelter and, in the same position, at Stapleton’s Chevrolet
Garage. She was also a clerk at the Montgomery Ward catalog
store. Then, until her retirement, she worked for the next 17 1/2
years for the Lake County School District.
She was a life-long member of Annunciation Catholic Church and
also belonged to Catholic Daughters, Altar & Rosary Society and
St. Joseph’s Lodge #56. She was an active member of the Senior
Center, the National AARP and Golden Age Club.
She loved taking art classes and spent a great deal of time doing
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers,
Firman, Orrie and Lee Cerise.
She is survived by her nephew Richard “Cookie” Cerise, Arvada;
niece Cherlyn (Bill) Stock, Lakewood; dear friends Alda and
Beverly Pologar, Leadville; and several great nieces and nephews
and other family members.
The Rosary and Vigil services were held on June 17 and Mass of
Christian Burial on June 18, both at Annunciation Catholic
Church in Leadville. Father Leo Smith and Deacon Chuck Moss
Altar servers were Kristin Moffett and Theresa Ayers. Joan
Dawson sang accompanied by Beverly Pologar and Jean Elliott.
She was laid to rest in the family plot in St. Joseph Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Richard, Kirk and Kyle Cerise, Dennis Thomas
and Bill and David Stock. The family received friends at a
reception at the Parish center following the interment.
Arrangements were handled by Bailey Funeral Home.
Gayle Anne Collins
Leadville resident Gayle Anne Collins, 48, died unexpectedly on
June 5, 2003.
She was born on March 12, 1955, in Deerfield, Ill., and moved to
Leadville in the early 80s.
She was a longtime employee of Ski Cooper and the Leadville
Colorado & Southern Railroad Co.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A memorial service was held on June 15 at Turquoise Lake.
She is survived by her longtime boyfriend Ken Dusza, Leadville;
sons Jeremiah Collins and his girlfriend Megan Wells, Denver;
and Indy Schneider, Page, Ariz.; and her former husbands Larry
Collins, Denver; and Mark Schneider, Page, Ariz.
Harold A. Gilna
Former Leadville resident Harold A. Gilna, 94, died June 14, 2003,
due to heart complications at LaVilla Grande Care Center in
Grand Junction. He had lived in Grand Junction for 46 years.
He was born on April 1, 1909, to Arthur and Mildred (Brown) Gilna
in Hastings, Neb.
He graduated from high school in Hartwell, Neb., and attended
business college in Grand Island, Neb.
He served in the U.S. Army, 876th Airborne, Engineer Battalion
during the European theatre as a staff sergeant from 1942 to 1945.
On June 13, 1946, he married Maggie (Margaret) Workman in
Salida. He was previously married to Eve Harrington.
A business owner in Fruita and Leadville, he was an avid sports
fan and played baseball with the “Leadville Bearcats.” He won
horseshoe pitching championships and liked to tell stories about
his days as a hard rock miner in Leadville. He was a member of
the Clifton Christian Church.
He is survived by his wife Maggie M. Gilna, Grand Junction;
daughter Ardyce Geyer, Thornton, Colo.; brother Clyde Gilna,
San Diego; and sister Hazel Willis, Grand Junction; and by Jim
and Donna Allen and their daughter Karen, Minot, N.D.; and
other loving nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held June 18 at the Clifton Christian
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice & Palliative
Care of Western Colorado, Box 60307, Grand Junction, CO
Arrangements are under the direction of Martin Mortuary.
Mildred Hillyer, 82, of Buena Vista, died June 16, 2003, in the
Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center.
She was born on Jan. 20, 1921, to Joseph A. and Anna (Shelley)
Stephens in Fleming, Colo.
On Sept. 6, 1941, she married Wilbur S. Hillyer of Sterling, Colo.
They lived there until Oct.1, 1941, when they moved to Climax-
Leadville. They lived in the area until Wilbur’s retirement on
Aug. 1, 1977, when they moved to Buena Vista, and spending
several months each year in Phoenix, Ariz.
She was a member of the Leadville Assembly of God Church and
Buena Vista Cornerstone Church.
She is survived by her husband Wilbur Hillyer, Buena Vista;
daughter-in-law Betty Hillyer, Buena Vista; daughters Sharon
(John) Stonehocker, Littleton; and Judy (Frank) Centanino,
Casper, Wyo.; son Bob (Debbie) Hillyer, Cedaredge; eight
grandchildren; and one great grandchild.
Memorial service was held on June 20 at the Cornerstone Church
of Buena Vista.
Arrangements were by Runyan Mortuary.