From Rio Blanco, Colorado:
Dr. Ted Albers
October 16, 1921 ~ July 8, 2002
Dr. Ted Albers, western Colorado native, longtime resident of Grand Junction, and president emeritus of Mesa State College, passed away at his home on July 8, 2002. He was 80.
Please join in a memorial service Saturday, Aug. 17, 10:30 a.m. at the Avalon Theater in downtown Grand Junction, 7th and Main.
Ted was born in Maybell, Colo., Oct. 16, 1921, to Amos W. and Clara Maloney Albers. He met his future wife, Maxine Whicker, in 1927, and their two families became lifelong friends. After attending a one-room school in Maybell, Ted finished Cole Jr. High in Denver, and graduated from Manual Arts High School there in 1939. He entered Colorado State University, and worked for Mountain Bell; then joined the US Army Air Corps in 1942, graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1943. Ted and Maxine married April 4, 1943, in Wilmington, N.C.
After World War II, Ted returned from Europe to Mountain Bell; then studied at the University of Denver, graduating in 1949. He taught social sciences at Meeker High School, 1949-52. He earned his master's degree from Denver University in 1952; then continued as principal at Meeker, 1952-55. Ted worked for the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado State Department of Education, and the University of Colorado extension division until 1965. He earned his doctorate at CU Boulder in 1964; then served as assistant superintendent of schools in Mesa County District 51, 1966-68. In 1968, he co-founded the Community College of Denver and in 1970 became the first director of the Red Rocks Campus.
Dr. Albers served as president of Mesa College from 1970 until the end of 1974. He provided the leadership responsible for converting Mesa from a two-year community college to a well respected, yet still community-oriented baccalaureate institution. Ted retired early from his professional life due to advanced coronary artery disease. Until he died, Dr. Albers remained very proactive in advocating an expanding role for Mesa State College, always focusing on the interests and needs of its students.
After retirement, Ted concentrated on devoting himself to his family and to improving his health. He adopted a strict dietary regimen and stayed physically active by raising fruit on his acreage and putting up hay on the family ranch in northwest Colorado. He also provided constant support to Maxine, who served for 15 years in Mesa County as one of Colorado's first female County Commissioners. He participated in a multitude of community organizations, such as Lions Club, Mesa County Historical Society, Mesa Developmental Services, Grand Junction Musical Arts Association, United Way, Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Club 20, Greenbelt, Salvation Army and many others.
Ted survived the death of his parents and two brothers, Lee and Vernon. He leaves his wife Maxine of Grand Junction, children Ted L. Albers and Rhonda Davidson of Colorado Springs, and grandchildren Shannon and Brian Davidson.
Although he received many honors and awards in his lifetime, Dr. Albers always considered it his privilege to ably serve others. He is cherished universally as not only capable and intelligent, but as kind, compassionate, and humble - a truly wonderful man.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ted and Maxine Albers Scholarship Fund, c/o Mesa State College Foundation, 1450 N 12th St, Grand Junction, Colo., 81501.
Jack W. Riggan
Jack Wayne Riggan, 69, died Aug. 8. Jack was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and came to Colorado in 1939, working and residing in Moffat and Eagle counties. In 1954 he married Loretta (Retsie) Gates, his beloved wife and helper. Jack who had the heart of a pioneer and preferred the ways of the homesteader, worked hard all of his life. After retiring from Vail Associates in 1979, he continued building cabins where there weren't any and writing songs about his life, his Savior and the Bible. Jack was quick-witted, quick to help others and always able to make us laugh. All who knew him will miss the man and his music. Jack is survived by his dear wife, Retsie, four sons; Jack L. Riggan of Grand Junction, Rod Riggan and his wife Barbara of Grand Junction, Marty Riggan and his wife Gail of Montrose and Rick Riggan and his wife Marcee of Eagle. Two sisters Rose married to Marlin Behrends of Waterloo, Iowa, and Pat married to Bob Adams of Grand Junction; two brothers Richard Riggan and his wife Nancy of Orange City, Iowa, and Robert Riggan of Des Moines, Iowa. Eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive him. His father Vern Riggan, mother Jane Withem, brother Russell Riggan, sister Ramona McMillan and grandson Jonathan Riggan preceded him in death.
There will be an outdoor memorial service on Saturday Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at K-Ranch three miles west of Dinosaur on Highway 40. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of Jack W. Riggan, P.O. Box 126, Dinosaur, Colo., 81610.
Author Jack Olsen
June 7, 1925 ~ July 16, 2002
Author Jack Olsen, age 77, died at his home July 16.
He was born June 7, 1925, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Rudolph and Florence (Drecksage) Olsen.
Olsen wrote for Vanity Fair, People, Paris Match, Readers Digest, Playboy, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, the New York Times Book Review and others publications.
He was the author of 31 books published in 15 countries and 11 languages. One book entitled "Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth" (1971) wrote about sheepherders in northwest Colorado using poisons to kill predators.
His magazine journalism appears in 13 anthologies.
Olsen was called "the dean of true crime authors" by the Washington Post and the New York Daily News, and "the master of true crime" by the Detroit Free Press and Newsday.
He is survived by his mother, Florence Mae Olsen; his wife, Su Olsen, Bainbridge Island; three sons, John R. (Diane) Olsen, Niwot, Colo., Evan Olsen, Little Rock, Ark., and Harper Olsen, Seattle; four daughters, Susan (Rich) Jetley, Boulder, Colo., Julia Olsen, Denver, Barrie (Frank) Olsen, New York City, N.Y., Emily Sara (Korum) Bischoff, Bainbridge Island; one sister, Carolyn Grentz, Havertown, Pa.; and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by a son, Jonathon Rhodes Olsen.
Remembrances can be made to the Sierra Club or to Helpline House of Bainbridge Island.
Arrangements were under the direction of Kass Funeral Home.
Mary Ellen (Ridings) Baird
Oct. 7, 1920 ~ July 22, 2002
Mary Ellen (Ridings) Baird passed away on July 22 in Montrose. She was 81. Mary was born Oct. 7, 1920, to Addison Clifford and Martha (Phillips) Ridings in Holbrook, Ariz. She spent her childhood in Meeker and was graduated from high school there. She spent 43 years in Meeker and was employed as a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for 12 years. This was a job she enjoyed immensely. She also loved being in the mountains,
iking, rock collecting and picnicking. Mary enjoyed music and studied ornithology. She was a gifted, creative cook. As her physical strength decreased, Mary's spiritual strength increased. In her declining years, she believed she was left on earth to pray for others. Our comfort is that mom is at last pain-free and joyous in the arms of her Savior Jesus Christ. We will be reunited with her in Paradise.
Survivors include her four daughters, Lois Blackmom of Kernersville, N.C.; Carolyn Kendall-Wildrick of Evergreen; Deanna McKinney of Colleyville, Texas; Barbara Shults of Montrose; five grandsons, Greg Warren, Eddie Wildrick, Bret McKinney, Christopher McKinney and Clint Shults; two great-grandsons, Michael Warren and Charles Warren along with three great-granddaughters, Maclaine Shults, Aryn McKinney and Madison Shults.
Memorial contributions can be made to Camp Redcloud, PO Box 130, Lake City, Colo. 81235.
Arrangements were under the direction of Callahan-Edfast Mortuary.
Ruth C. Danielson
March 6, 1914 ~ July 15, 2002
Ruth C. Danielson, 88, died peacefully at the Pikes Peak Hospice Monday, July 15, 2002.
Ruth Collette Keefe was born March 6, 1914, to James Edward Keefe and Mabel Clara (Cassidy) Keefe in New Rockford, N.D. She was the fourth of five daughters: Esther Miller, Mildred Ecklund, Margaret Lucille (Jung) Friedl and Mary Katherine 'Pat' Hanson.
Ruth grew up in New Rockford and Carrington, N.D., graduating high school from New Rockford. She worked as a secretary in Bismarck, N.D.
Ruth married Roderick Warren Danielson on Nov. 1, 1937, in Cathy, N.D. They had three children, Lea Collette, Mark Giles and Judith Katherine.
Following Rod's service as a counter-intelligence officer in WWII, they lived a year in Venezuela while he worked for Richmond Oil Co. Then they moved to Rangely - living there for 24 years while Rod worked for Chevron Oil Company. Both Rod and Ruth served the oil boom community in many ways as it grew, through helping start PTA, community concerts, scouting and their local church, St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Ruth knitted and sewed exquisitely. She and Rod also enjoyed playing bridge, hunting and fishing and prospecting for uranium. Rod served on the school board for many years. After the children were grown, Rod was transferred to Midland, Texas. They lived there about seven years. They traveled extensively. After his retirement they moved to Colorado Springs in 1978. Rod died on Aug. 3, 1988.
Ruth is survived by her daughters, Lea Dickinson of Colorado Springs and Judy Danielson of Fort Collins. Her son, Air Force Capt. Mark Danielson, was shot down on June 18, 1972, in southeast Asia and remains missing. Ruth fought tenaciously for 30 years to get her son back. Ruth and Rod made many dear friends who shared their concern for the POW/MIA issue across the country. For example, in 1991 the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Harley Owners Group 'adopted' Ruth and Mark giving her an Honorary No. 1 Lifetime Membership card and a ride through the city on the back of a Harley. In her thank you speech, Ruth declared, 'In my youth I aspired to be the belle of the ball, but now I am thrilled to be the Hag of the HOGS.' Despite excavations in 1994 of Mark's crash site, Ruth never believed there was enough evidence to prove the death of Mark and the other 11 missing crewmen. Her feisty, spunky attitude, witty humor, hard work and strong-will will be missed by all.
Ruth is also survived by nine grandchildren: Paul Dickinson (Lori), Lisa Corboy (Chip); Mark Danielson, Jr.; Jody Willey; Amber Willey; Matthew Dickinson (Dena); Jesse Dickinson; Jula Willey and Dane Willey and five great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her youngest sister 'Pat' Hanson and nieces: JoAnn Kline (Dick), Lynnette Jung-Springberg (Peter), Marianne Van Oort (Arnold) and nephew Jim Hanson (Linda).
Her parents, her husband Roderick, and her three older sisters preceded Ruth in death.
A memorial service was held Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m. at the Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs. Private internment was at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver where she was buried with her husband, Rod. Friends may wish to make Memorial contributions to Pikes Peak Hospice, the Mark Giles Danielson Scholarship Fund at Colorado State University Foundation or to a charity of their choice.
Randy Joe Smith
April 21, 1959 ~ July 3, 2002
Randy Joe Smith of Grand Junction passed away July 3, 2002, at St. Mary's Hospital. Randy was born April 21, 1959, to Clifton O. and Jo Ann Shaw Smith. He was graduated from Rangely High School. He was a member of the rodeo club and was a bull rider. He was a member of the First Baptist Church and attended in Palisade. Randy worked as a ranch hand, heavy equipment operator and general laborer until he retired at a very early age due to a disability.
He was a devoted father and is survived by his daughter Patricia Ann Smith and his son Ethan Wayne Smith. He is survived by his mother Jo Ann, one sister Franki B. Smith and a niece Shonte Lynn Smith all of Grand Junction. Aunts, uncles and a host of friends also survive Randy. His father and grandparents preceded him in death.
A potluck service of remembrance will be held at 3064 Sandpiper Avenue, Grand Junction on Saturday, July 13 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Mark Johnson officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Callahan Edfast Mortuary.