From Rio Blanco County, Colorado:
Staff Sergeant Grant R. Unrien
October 7, 1973 ~ August 5, 2004
Staff Sergeant Grant R. Unrien, 30, died Aug. 5, 2004, at the Veteran Affair’s Medical Center in Grand Junction following a valiant battle with cancer.
Grant Ross Unrein was born Oct. 7, 1973, in Boulder the son of Denis and Linda Kay (Switzer) Unrein.
As a young boy the family moved to Meeker where Grant attended schools, graduating with the class of 1992.
While in school Grant participated in track, wrestling and football. He graduated on Saturday and on Wednesday began a 12-year career with the United States Army.
Grant was a fine and outstanding soldier as can be witnessed by his numerous medals and citations.
Shortly before his death he was honored by the United States of America by receiving the Meritorious Service Medal.
He was a life member of V.F.W. Post #5843, enjoyed being outdoors hunting and fishing and was an excellent pool player.
As a youngster, Grant’s mother, Linda, passed away. It was Grant who “helped” his father propose to Linda’s best friend, Anne, who became his second mom.
He is survived by his
parents, Denis and Anne Unrein of Meeker, one brother, Denis Unrein, II of Las Animas, one step-sister, Leslie Croley of Mt. Vernon, Wash., three nieces, Jesika Unrien, Cheri Filloon and Lindsay Croley, one nephew, Trenton Croley and a great-niece, Neveah Filloon. He is also survived by his grandmother Opal Switzer of Medford, Ore.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14 from Cochran Memorial Chapel. Full military rites will precede the interment in Highland Cemetery. Friends may call Friday until 8 p.m. or Saturday prior to services at the funeral home.
Les 'Pappy' Spence
April 1, 1921 ~ September 29, 2003
Les Spence passed away at his home on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2003. He was born on April 1, 1921, in Eli, Neb., to Clarence and Bula Spence. He attended schools in Eli before joining the Army and served in World War II from 1942-46.
Spence was a medic truck driver transporting many soldiers to and from the front line during World War II.
He was honorably discharged in 1946. He worked for many ranches and ranchers throughout Colorado and Nebraska through the years. He was also as a heavy equipment operator.
Spence Married Lucile Sigman on Sept. 1, 1946, in Eli. Lucile is deceased.
Les is survived by one sister Mae Kimble of Bartley, Neb., son Leland Spence of Rangely, daughters Wanda Austin of Colorado and Donna Gene Perry of California, along with three grandchildren and six great grandsons.
Spence enjoyed many things in life, which included rodeo, fishing and hunting and just visiting with his many friends.
A memorial service will be held at the Rangely Elks Lodge Saturday at 2 p.m. Oct. 11 with Pastor Tom Helmick officiating. There will also be a meal at the Elks lodge following the service and all Pappy's friends are invited to attend.
Roy C. Sizemore
Graveside services for well-known Meeker resident Roy C. Sizemore will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Highland Cemetery with the Rev. Steve Samples officiating. Full military rites will follow.
Sybil Frances Hess
June 9, 1907 ~ September 30, 2003
Sybil Frances Hess, 96, of Palisade, Colo., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003, at the home of her daughter, Susan Coffman, in Palisade.
A graveside service was held Oct. 2 at Highland Cemetery in Meeker.
Hess was a homemaker. She was born June 9, 1907, to Amos Kenney and Irene Banta Kenney at Meeker where she spent her childhood and attended schools. She was a 1927 graduate of Rio Blanco High School in Meeker.
Hess lived in Durango, Colo., prior to moving to the Grand Junction area.
She was a member of the Meeker Methodist Church. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved holding each newborn baby in her arms. The family picture album shows grandmother with each of the newborn grandbabies and great-grandbabies. Hess was an avid reader and loved the outdoors. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble. Survivors include a son Dewey R. (Jean) Hess of Houston, Texas; three daughters; Susan (Steve) Coffman of Palisade, Colo., Stella (Jerry) Moore of Overton, Nev., and Linda (Robert) Kirkham of Harvest, Ala.; a sister-in-law, Opal Kennedy, of Kingman, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
A son, Alan Hess, a daughter Elizabeth Valentine, three brothers: Zach, Charles and Cecil Kenney and a sister, Elizabeth Kenney, preceded in death.
McLean Funeral Home, Palisade was in charge of arrangements.
George Nelson Murphy Sr.
March 10, 1937 ~ September 15, 2003
George Nelson Murphy Sr., 66, of Denver, Colo., passed away at Swedish Medical Center in Denver on Monday, Sept. 15, 2003, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born March 10, 1937, in Phenix, Mo., to William and Eunice Murphy.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Murphy; sister, Helen Small; and second wife, Amalia Murphy.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Denver; one daughter, Maria Arredondo and husband, Silverio, of Aztec; two sons, Patrick Murphy and George Murphy Jr. of Colorado; and one stepson, Raymond Prosser of Ralls, Texas. He is also survived by his mother and stepfather, Eunice and Cliff Cress of Meeker; four brothers, Jimmy Murphy of Grand Junction; Bill Murphy and wife, Janice, of Rawlins, Wyo., Lester Murphy and wife, Kathleen, of Aztec; and Dan Murphy of Denver; three sisters, Mary Thelen and husband, Wayne, of Rawlins, Linda Bosick and husband Dan, of Meeker and Martha Hilkey of Colorado Springs; nine grandchildren, Michelle, Alicia, Veronica and Silverio Jr. Arredondo; Larry, Elias and Cean Murphy; Brandon and Brittany Murphy, and one great-granddaughter, Tiana Valencia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He served in the Army and was an MP.
He worked in the oil field for most of his life.
After he retired from the oil field, he moved to Denver and worked as the manager of a mobile home park. He loved to cook and play pool, but most of all he loved his family.
He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Wesley E. Painter
June 11, 1930 ~ September 13, 2003
Wesley E. Painter, 73, of Grand Junction, Colo., passed away Sept. 13, 2003, at his home with his family by his side.
Painter was born to Ellsworth and Bonita Gallher Painter in Boulder, Colo., on June 11, 1930. His family moved to a ranch near Salida and Pagosa Springs where he attended elementary and some high school before moving to Rangely where he was graduated from high school and went on to Western State College in Gunnison for one year. Later he worked in the oil fields for R & R Well Service and Texas Oil Company.
Painter served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Pine Island AV 12 and the USS Kenneth Whiting as a gunner's mate for four years. He then went back to work in the oil fields until his marriage to Sally L. Hanna of New Castle, Penn. On April 12, 1955, at Los Alamos, N.M., they moved to California where he worked for the telephone company. They didn't like living in California and moved back to Colorado where he went to work for Grand Junction Steel.
Painter joined the Grand Junction Fire Department in October of 1959 where he served until January of 1988. He retired as a Battalion Chief of Operations. While on the fire department, he started the Explorer Scout Cadet program and was an arson investigator. He was also an honorary deputy sheriff and a vocational instructor for firefighting. He was a past-president of Western Valley Firemen's Association and a past-president of the Colorado State Firefighter's Association. He developed, organized and acted as chairman of the Mesa County Arson Task Force. After retiring from the fire department, he worked as a driver for Wells Fargo Armored Service for several years.
Painter loved hunting, fishing, fly tying and four-wheeling. He spent all his summers at Frost RB Park on Grand Mesa.
Painter is survived by his wife, Sally, their three children: John (Virginia) Painter, Judy (George) Buniger and Mark (Pam) Painter; seven grand children and four great-grandchildren; two sisters: Audrey Killebrew and Delores Roberts; a step-brother, Larry Wooten and a step-sister, Connie Allen.
His parents and his stepmother preceded him in death.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life was held Sept. 17 at the Palisade Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Eddie Scroggins and Rev. Don Blanchard officiating.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that contributions be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 60307, Grand Junction, Colo., 81506 or to the American Cancer Society, Mesa County Unit, P.O. Box 3115, Grand Junction, Colo., 81502.
McLean Funeral Home of Palisade was in charge of arrangements.
September 11, 2003
Irma Ingersoll, 95, a former resident of Meeker, died in Hallandale Beach, Fla. On Sept. 11, 2003, she suffered a heart attack while swimming.
Ingersoll was the widow of Ross Ingersoll, an area sheep rancher in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
She is survived by her daughter Margaret, sons Robert (Allene), Herbert (Jeanne), seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Her remains were cremated. A memorial will be held in Utah in June 2004, where interment will take place.