From Rio Blanco County, Colorado:
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.
Mary Lou Hutton
August 2, 1927 ~ June 2, 2003
Mary Lou Hutton passed away June 2 in Lodi, Calif. She is the sister of Phyllis Wigington and has visited Meeker many times
Mary Lou was born Aug. 2, 1927 in Elkhart, Kan., to John E. and Addie (Murphy) Fothergill. The family moved to Rifle in 1937. On June 3, 1945, Mary Lou married W.A. (Bill) Hutton.
Surviving children are William J (Skip) of Bozeman, Mont. And Renny Jo Hutton of Lodi, Calif., and three grandsons and two granddaughters. Husband Bill Hutton resides in Rifle.
Mary Lou and Bill lived in Rangely in the late 1940s before moving to California.
May 23, 1953 ~ June 4, 2003
Richard Visich, 50, of Meeker died June 4, 2003, at the Colorado University Hospital in Denver after a prolonged battle with Leukemia.
Thomas Richard Visich was born May 23, 1953, in Rangely, the son of Thomas Paul Visich and Sally Cook. He was raised in the Western United States and served his country in the United States Marine Corps.
Following his discharge, Richard worked in the oil fields, as a truck driver and later at an auto auction. He loved spending time with his family and was an avid outdoorsman and particularly enjoyed fishing.
Richard loved to write poetry and was a deeply religious man, loving church work and Bible studies. He also enjoyed playing pool and was well known for his love of playing the lotto and buying his lottery tickets and playing bingo.
Survivors include his mother, Sally Ridings of Meeker, two sons, Kenny and Adam, three sisters, Kathy Drake and her husband Terry of Rangely, Tammy Ridings of Meeker, Martha Padilla and her husband Carl of Meeker; two brothers, Ronald Visich and his wife Linda of San Lorenzo, Calif.; Edward Ridings and his wife Tonya of Cortez, two step-brothers, Tim and Tom Ridings and his wife Johnnie as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
His father, Tom and his step-father, Joe Ridings have preceded Richard in death.
Memorial services were held Wednesday from the Meeker Mortuary Chapel with Pastor Troy Notz officiating. Military honors were provided by V.F.W. Post No. 5843 of Meeker.
Cochran Memorial Chapels has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Walter T. Stahlecker
December 13, 1919 ~ May 29, 2003
Walter Theodore Stahlecker was born Dec. 13, 1919, in rural Bethune, Colo., to John and Maria (Dobler) Stahlecker. He was born again in Christ through Holy Baptism in the name of the Triune God on Feb. 22, 1920, at Hope Evangelical Congregation of Bethune. He was raised both in the Bethune area and in the San Luis Valley. He was confirmed in his faith on June 16, 1935, at Hope Evangelical Congregation. His confirmation verse was 1 John 2:15 - 'Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.'
After completing in schooling, Walter began working as a cowboy, primarily on the Medano Ranch in the San Luis Valley. In 1942 he entered the army and served in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, being discharged in 1945.
On Sept. 18, 1946, he was united in marriage to Vera Kloeckner. This union was blessed with six children and more than 56 years of companionship.
Stahlecker attended Colorado A & M (now Colorado State University) graduating in 1950. After working for Farmers Home Administration for several years he returned to cowboying before beginning a lengthy career in education. He taught for several years in the classroom before entering school administration. He earned a master's degree in chemistry and physics from the University of Wyoming, and a master's in education administration at Adams State College. He served in the Sangre de Cristo, Rangely and Florence school districts before retiring in 1981.
Stahlecker's retirement allowed him and Vera the opportunity to spend the next 11 years with the Laborers for Christ program. He as able to use his many talents while traveling the country and assisting Lutheran congregations with building and remodeling churches. Twenty-two communities were touched by their efforts of love.
Stahlecker departed for his heavenly home on May 29, 2003, at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings.
Stahlecker is survived by his wife, Vera, of the home; four sons - Paul (Jackie) of Durango, Dale (Beverly) of Santa Fe, N.M., Joel (Lisa) of Divide, and Alan (Sheri) of Lincolnville, Kan.; two daughters - Susan (Chuck) Pierce of Divide, and Jean (Ron) Bruns of Colorado Springs; two sisters - Lydia Adolf of Bethune and Dorothy Klein of Wray, 16 grandchildren; Matt, Marty, Brian, Corey, Rob, Mandi, Sara, Kelly, Joshua, Aaron, Rebecca, Andrea, Daniel, Jon, Todd and Briann; 10 great-grandchildren; Daryle, Mathew, Cheyanne, Kamisha, Jeffrey, Natasha, Noah, CJ, Cassie, Andrew and many cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
Stahlecker lived a life full of love for family, friends and God. More important than the many accomplishments of his own life are the ways that he has touched the lives of other people. An optimist at heart, he has inspired many to live life fully and with joy and thankfulness by is example. He had found the strength in is faith to take the wisdom and experience of the past and use it to look to the future. Even until his last he had 'too much to do,' with chronicling the family history in words and with the woodcarvings he whittled. His book 'Memories and Musings of an Old Cowpoke' has brought joy to family, friends and the many people who have read it. As busy as he kept himself, he always took the time to support and be with the ones he loved. As a cousin said: 'when an older person dies, it is like a library burns down as so much knowledge and precious memories go with them. In Walt's case, it is as though we have lost a whole wing of the Smithsonian.' Fortunately for us, he has touched so many lives that a part of him will live on in each of us. Husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and teacher, he will always be remembered as the true definition of a great man.