From Garfield County, Colorado:
Clara Belle Raley Hughes
In memory of Clara Belle
Family and friends of Clara Belle (Raley Hughes) gathered Thursday, July 6, 2000 at the Congregational Church of the Valley in Silt for a celebration of Clara Belle's 95 years of life.
Born in 1905 on the Indian nation, Clara Belle was the ninth in a family of 15. She came to Colorado in 1911 when her family moved from the tuberculosis-infested plains of Oklahoma. The family, including her parents, John David and Nancy Jane (Parish) Raley and 11 children came on an immigrant train in two boxcars with their belongings in one and some livestock and machinery in the other. Two more daughters were born in Colorado, all now gone except for Clara Belle's sister, Mary Mitchell of Grand Junction.
Clara Belle attended school at the Old Larsen School then went to Silt where she graduated from the eighth grade. During the depression years, the family spent some time in Washington where Clara Belle met her first husband, Wayne Flemming. They returned to Colorado with Clara riding in the sidecar of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. They had two children, Boyd Wayne and Colleen Olive.
When the marriage ended, Clara Belle married (Adron) Kay Hughes. Their first home was on Yellow Creek in Kay's homestead cabin. They had four children, Jenne Kay, Nancy Lucky, John Torrance and Gracie Wynn. During those years living on the 84 Ranch, Clara Belle ran a trap line, selling the hides for extra money. She tanned deer hides and made baby moccasins for the little ones. She always helped with the outside work, finishing feeding out and beginning the cattle branding when Kay broke his leg one winter. In 1941, they moved to Rifle to be closer to schools. Her son, Boyd, died that year in a gun accident. Kay went to work in the vanadium mill. They always had a milk cow, even when they lived in Rifle on 2nd Street. Clara Belle went the mile to the rented farm to milk and care for the chickens and her large garden. Many hours were spent canning and preserving the harvest.
Clara Belle and Kay became licensed hunting guides with the help of Clara Belle's brother, Rufus Raley and his wife Goldina. They operated a hunting camp on the homestead where Clara Belle became famous for her biscuits and "not wasting a shot" to bring down a buck.
In 1952, Clara Belle and Kay moved back on the Piceance Creek, living up Black Sulphur where Kay worked for Ira Boise. Clara Belle drove Gracie Wynn to school in the rock school and cooked for the oil workers in the area. In 1957, after 27 years of marriage, Kay died in a tragic accident. Mourning his loss and the bouquets of wildflowers he brought to her, Clara traveled in the desert, lived on the homestead and helped out families when someone was sick or needed a hand.
After seven years as a widow, Clara Belle met Rudy Just of Tabernash, Colorado. They were married on October 9, 1965 in Steamboat Springs. Living at the Sheep Mountain Ranch, Clara Belle learned to care for sheep. She planted flowers where there had never been any, raised chickens and sold eggs. She again ran a trap line and tanned many different kinds of hides. It was while living on the ranch that Clara became famous for her storytelling. In the winter months, crowds would gather to hear stories of riding, roping, hunting and being raised in a large family in the olden days. Clara Belle would sit in front of the massive fireplace at Snow Mountain Ranch Lodge, her many furs and traps around her, holding the folks spellbound for a special hour. She also was asked by The Lodge at Estes Park to regale their patrons with her many stories.
Clara Belle received many honors throughout the years, speaking at the Grand County Historical Society, appearing on a television special for Pioneer Women and winning many blue ribbons for her furs at the fair. In 1987, the Middle Park Fair Board honored her and Rudy as the Pioneers of the Year.
Clara Belle and Rudy's home was a haven for family, neighbors and friends. People from all over the country came to the ranch house, always welcome by the warm cook stove with a hearty meal and Clara Belle's homemade bread and cobbler. She had the south porch enclosed, making it into a paradise of beautiful flowering geraniums and exotic Hoyas. The walls were covered with poems, pictures, antiques and treasured mementos, leading visitors to comment that the home looked like a museum.
In January of 1989, Rudy suffered a heart attack, dying in the home where he had lived all of his life. The shock was great for Clara Belle, but once again she rallied with the help of her children, she went on with her life. Clara Belle traveled to New Mexico by plane nine times. In New Mexico she traveled about, seeing the sights, Indian ruins, flea markets and helping her daughter plant roses, pick grapes, make quilts and tell stories to garden clubs.
Clara Belle lived in the senior housing in Meeker and spoke to her great granddaughters class in Silt on tanning hides, which was written as a news article for The Fence Post. There were many visitors to her cheerful, colorful apartment with its walls decorated with treasures just like the walls of her beloved ranch home. She often could be seen in Meeker walking to the store library.
When frail health made it impossible to live in her apartment in 1996, Clara became a resident of the Walbridge Wing.
Those joining in her celebration of life were five of her living children, Colleen Wilson of Grand Junction; Jenne Kay and Husband Stephen Thomas of Aztec, New Mexico; Nancy Lucky and husband Jim Eubanks of White River City, Torrance and Connie Hughes of Meeker and Wynn and husband Bob Petrakian of Flanders, New Jersey.
Clara Belle was blesses with 17 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and nine great greatgrandchildren.
Friends may make memorial contributions to the Walbridge Memorial Wing of Meeker. Meeker Mortuary was entrusted with the funeral arrangements.
Nov. 29, 1904 - July 3, 2000
Fred Crossman passed away July 3, 2000 in Rifle. He was 95. Mr. Crossman was born Nov. 29, 1904 in Ford City, Penn.
He moved to this area from McKeesport, Penn. and had lived here for the past five years. Mr. Crossman was a member of the Grand Valley United Methodist Church in Parachute. He was a member and a past president of the Lions Club in Pennsylvania and a member of the Lions Club in Parachute. He was a former president of Junto and member of Malta in McKeesport. Mr. Crossman was an avid bowler, golfer, and fisherman.
Mr. Crossman is survived by his children, Joan and Harry Bennett of Parachute and Barry and Nancy Crossman of Dallas, Texas; two sisters, Ruth Lyons of McKeesport and Georgia Moffat of Maryland; five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Crossman, as well as two sisters and one brother.
A memorial service is scheduled for July 22 at the Grand Valley United Methodist Church in Parachute at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Parachute Senior Center at 540 N. Parachute Ave.
John Peter Kuberry
February 12, 1916-July 17, 2000
John Peter Kuberry was born to Charles and Julia Kuberry on February 12, 1916 in Dotson, Maryland.
At an early age the family moved to Pennsylvania on a small farm. He married Marie Dow in 1946. He lived in Titusville, PA until 1962 when he moved to Colorado. He was a hunter and an avid fisherman. He was preceded in death by 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He is survived by 3 sons and 1 daughter, 2 brothers, one sister, 7 grand-children, 4 great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at the Rifle Funeral Home Chapel at 1400 Access Road in Rifle on July 20, 2000 at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Colorado State Veteran's Nursing Home, 851 East 5th Street, Rifle, CO 81650.
Leslie Marion Louthan
Feb. 23, 1928 - July 12, 2000
Leslie Marion Louthan passed away July 12, 2000 at his Hayden, Colo. residence. He was 72 years of age.
Leslie was born Feb. 23, 1928, in Goodland, Kan. to John Albert Louthan and Cora Agnes Bowland.
Leslie Louthan was married in Rifle on Oct. 10, 1948 to Maudie E. Woodard. They had previously lived in McCoy, Colo., and spent 35 years in the Rifle area before moving to Hayden two years ago.
Leslie enjoyed hunting, fishing and ranching. He was also a retired truck driver.
Leslie is survived by his wife, Maudie E. Louthan, and their son, Wade Louthan of Hayden; brother Donald (Edith) Louthan of Silt; and sister Reta (Clinton) Maxfield of Grand Junction; sister in-law Billie Louthan of Grand Junction; nephew John Dice of Grand Junction; niece Lori Christensen of Craig and numerous nieces and nephews, brother and sister in-laws.
Leslie was preceded in death by his parents, son David and brothers Jim and Charles.
A memorial service was held Sunday, July 16 at the Hayden Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Walter Nelson Wheeler
July 24, 1920 - July 14, 2000
Walter Nelson Wheeler passed away Friday in his home in DeBeque of natural causes. He was 79. A funeral service was held at the Open Bible Fellowship July 18 at 11:00 a.m. in DeBeque. A graveside service followed at Russey-Hurlburt Cemetery in Parachute.
Mr. Wheeler was born July 14, 1920 to Robert and Mabel Nelson Wheeler in Grand Valley, Colo. He married Delores Cox Wheeler on Sept. 22, 1960, who survives him. He was an avid gardener and loved to hunt and fish. Mr. Wheeler enlisted in the Navy during World War II in 1942 and fought until 1945. He retired from the Summit County road and bridge department, where he had worked for 32 years. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Survivors include his wife Delores (DeeDee) Wheeler, a sister, Lula (Bobbie) Cameron; a son, Bob Wheeler and his wife Lori of Silverthorne; a daughter, Teresa Ryan and her husband Jason of DeBeque; a stepson, John Mather and his wife Judy of Delta; five grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Plateau Valley, P.O. Box 294, Collbran, Colo., 81624. Arrangements were handled by Rifle Funeral Home.
April 26, 1914 - July 27, 2000
Della Martin of Grand Valley, Colo. died of natural causes July 27 at the age of 86 in Rifle.
Della was born April 26, 1914 in Woodward, Okla.
Della is survived by three sons, Marl and Pat Martin of Grand Valley, Max and Gail Martin of Carlin, Nev. and Martin of Lasalle, Utah; one daughter, Melba and Jim Carpenter of Radersburg, Mont. and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.