From Rio Blanco County, Colorado:
Robert J. Story
1909 ~ 2003
Robert J. Story died of lymphoma at the Colorado Veterans' Home in Homelake, near Monte Vista, on Friday, May 30, 2003. He was born in 1909.
Bob was a long-time employee of the Meeker Herald.
He was an infantryman in the Seventh Division and fought under General Patton from Africa to Austria.
The Seventh Division was one of the longest in combat service of any American unit in any war. Among his military decorations is the Purple Heart. Bob was active in the American Legion and in Masonic bodies in Meeker.
He is survived by his daughter Karin Kruger of Oklahoma City.
There will be cremation. Services in July, both at St. James Church and a military burial service, will be announced later.
Meeker Mortuary will be in charge of the arrangements and a more complete obituary will be published at a later date.
Rayma G. Harper
August 25, 1916 ~ May 31, 2003
Rayma G. Harper, 86, of rural Dinosaur died May 31, 2003, at the Rangely District Hospital.
A native of Oklahoma, Harper was born on Aug. 25, 1916, to Floyd Phillip and Georgia Ellen (Johnson) Harper.
As a young child the family moved to Moffat County where she attended school, graduating from Craig High School.
On Aug. 27, 1933, she was united in marriage to William Bradley 'Jay' Harper often laughing that she loved the way her name looked before she was married and didn't see any reason to change it.
During World War II, she operated a cafe in Craig, and throughout her life also owned the Highway Bar in Hayden, a gas station on Skull Creek and helped operate a dairy farm in Loma, Colo.
Rayma was an avid Denver Bronco fan and enjoyed reading, crocheting, crossword and jigsaw puzzles and spending time with her family.
She was an avid outdoorsman, an excellent marksman having taken a trophy deer near Hayden.
Survivors include two daughters, Marchetta Dwire and her husband Sill of Santa Fe, N.M.; Lucille Swain and her husband Joe of Blue Mountain; six grandchildren, Richard of Evanston, Wyo., Sherri of Grand Junction, Tom of Lakewood, Phyllis of Denver, Brad of Grand Junction, Marla of Santa Fe, eight great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by two sisters, Lorene Lee of Hayden, Dolores Allen of Sadan, Kan., three brothers, Donald Harper of Salem, Oregon, Richard 'Dago' Harper of Hayden and Joe Harper of Westminster.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Jay, one son, Phillip Bradley, one daughter, Shirley Harper, six brothers, one sister and her parents.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 3 from the Rangely Mortuary with Ran Cochran officiating.
Interment was made in the Grand Junction Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Rangely Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Winifred F. 'Winnie' Shults
May 18, 1917 ~ May 9, 2003
Life-long Meeker resident Winifred F. 'Winnie' Shults died May 9, 2003, at her home.
Winnifred Fern Burke was born May 18, 1917, in Meeker, one of 15 children born to pioneer residents Fred and Anna Z. (Jones) Burke.
She attended the Burke school on Piceance Creek and assisted her large family in their ranching duties.
On September 19, 1937, she married Ivo E. Shults and the couple began their ranching operation in Powell Park 'with a hammer, nails, saw and a pile of old boards.'
Winnie enjoyed her work and life on the ranch and raised a wonderful flower garden. She was a charter member of the Cowbelles as well as the White Powell Extension Club.
Her neighbors always found her to be ready and willing to help and her home was open to all. She was the proud matriarch of her family and loved the time she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband of 65 years, Winnie is survived by two children, LoAnn Klinglesmith and her husband Lowell and Lonnie Shults and his wife Peggy, all of Meeker; four grandchildren, Ladd Klinglesmith and his wife Ronnie of Mack; Lenny Klingelsmith and his wife Jackie of Meeker; Todd Shults and his fianc'e Michelle of the home ranch in Meeker; Amy Shearrow and her husband Kevin of Grand Junction; five great-grandchildren, Brody Ann Klinglesmith, Trysten Lynne Klinglesmith, Lori Ann Klinglesmith, Lila Rae Klinglesmith and J.T. Shearrow. She is also survived by two sisters, Claire Burke and Nettie Faye Modlin, both of Meeker as well as four brothers, Dean Burke and his wife Fern and Dale Burke, who all work the original family ranch on Piceance Creek; Lex Burke and his wife Jan of Rifle and Pat Burke and his wife Peg of Montrose as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Her parents, three sisters, Mary, Nancy and Anna; and five brothers, James, Thomas, Dick, David and Freddie have all preceded Mrs. Shults in death.
The family would like to thank Winnies' sisters, Nettie and Claire, Kim Rule and her staff of Pioneer Hospital Home Health, Irene Kilbane as well as all of their family, friends and neighbors for their support and love during Winnie's illness.
Memorial services were held Monday, May 12 at the Meeker Mortuary Chapel with Ran Cochran officiating. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Home Health Department of Pioneers Hospital.
Esther Arleen Jensen
May 10, 1939 ~ May 8, 2003
Esther Arleen Jensen, 63, of Delta, Colo. died Thursday, May 8, 2003, at home in Delta.
She was born May 10, 1939, in Abar, Colo., to Lyal and Eva (Page) Packer. She married Lowell K. Jensen on June 29, 1958 at Leadville, Colo.
She was employed as a school bus driver for Delta County School District 50.
Jensen moved to Delta in 1973 from Leadville, Colo.
She especially enjoyed watching NASCAR racing, ranching and her job as a school bus driver.
She is survived by a son, Lyal and his wife, Dale Jensen of Delta, Colo.; two step-sons, James and his wife, Dottie Jensen and Ronald and his wife, Donna Jensen both of Colbran, Colo.; two daughters, Patty and her husband, Mike Robinson of Delta; and Linda and her husband, Mark Abolt of Meeker; one brother, Pirl Oliver Packer of Aurora, Colo.; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Her husband, her parents, a sister and a brother preceded her in death.
Funeral services were held on May 12 at Mesa View Mortuary Chapel in Delta. Burial was at Mesa View Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at the online memorial at www.mesaview.net.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Mesa View Mortuary-Cemetery in Delta.
March 13, 1918 ~ May 7, 2003
Andrew Jackson 'Jack' Herman, 85, a life-long resident of Colorado, died Wednesday, May 7, 2003, at Heritage Senior Homes in Palisade, Colo. He was born March 13, 1918, the sixth child of Andrew and Nettie (Black) Herman.
Jack was graduated from Grand Junction High School with the class of 1937. He enlisted in the Army in January of 1942, receiving training at Ft. Sill, Okla., Ft. Lewis, Washington and Camp Carson at Colorado Springs. He left the united States and was stationed in New Guinea for 21 months for special training. He was then transferred to the sixth Ranger Battalion, advancing to the rank of sergeant.
He took part in the invasion of Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines.
Jack was one of 121 hand-selected volunteer men to slip 25 miles behind enemy lines to liberate the more than 513 allied prisoners from Cabanataum, a large POW camp near Manila.
Some of these POWs were the last survivors of the Bataan Death March. On Jan. 28, 1945, POWs were carried out by soldiers and Philippino water buffalo carts safely to allied lines.
He received a Philippine Liberation ribbon with two bronze stars, a distinguished Unit Citation and a Bronze Star for his fine and honorable service.
He was honorably discharged from the Army Nov. 6, 1945. Jack was truly a bonafide war hero.
In 1947, he married Bette Hart who passed away in Grand Junction in 1979.
He worked in agriculture for many years in the Palisade/Clifton areas. Jack moved to Rangely and worked for the school district until his retirement. He returned to Palisade in December of 1999.
Jack is survived by 15 nieces and nephews who found 'Uncle Jack' to be a quiet, gentle man with great integrity and dignity. He will be sorely missed. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Lester and Orin Herman, and three sisters: Retha Muhr, Fruita, Reba DaLee, Hotchkiss and Leona Oberly, Clifton. Jack was a member of the Rangely Christian Church, the Rangely Elks Lodge and American Legion Lincoln Post No. 50 of Palisade.
Services were May 12 at the McLean Funeral Home Chapel in Palisade with Pastor Roger Ferguson officiating. Burial was in Palisade Municipal Cemetery with military honors by VFW Combined Posts 1247 and 4663 of Grand Junction.
Memorial contributions may be sent in his memory to the Scholarship Fund of Palisade American Legion Lincoln Post No. 50, P.O. Box 611, Palisade, Colo., 81526.
August 5, 1921 ~ May 3, 2003
Ralph Gilbert, 81, well-known gunsmith of Meeker passed away on May 3, 2003, at the Walbridge Wing.
Ralph was born Aug. 5, 1921, in Molina, Colo., to Howard and Annie Gilbert. Ralph started school in Mesa, then moved to Roan Creek when he was 10 years old and attended country schools.
As he grew up he helped his father on their ranch. Ralph joined the Army in 1941 and was an M.P., truck driver, scout and taught Karate. Ralph was injured in the Army and received a medical discharge. He then met Velma Leota Close and they were united in marriage on April 21, 1944, in Rifle, Colo. They recently celebrated their 59th anniversary.
Ralph worked on the Brennan, Oldland and Savage ranches. He was an outstanding bareback and bull rider in the local rodeos in his younger days. Ralph was totally disabled in 1965 and the family moved to Meeker.
After the move Ralph started to play around with guns. He ended up getting his federal firearms license in 1968. As he was unable to work steady, Ralph made the gun business a hobby. Ralph excelled in competition shooting with the guns he had built himself.
Ralph's guns were known nation wide and made him proud. His health worsened over the years, causing frequent hospital confinement. He became a resident of the Walbridge Wing in August of last year.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers; Roy, Joe and Jimmy Gilbert, and his first grandson, Pat Keller. Survivors include his wife, Velma Gilbert, two sons; Harold Gilbert of Dubois, Wyo., Casey Gilbert and his wife Teresa of Meeker, one daughter; Audrey Sills and her husband Larry of Meeker, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and five sisters; Ethel Atwood, Lucille Harville, Ruby Stout, Fern Bowman, all of Grand Junction and Adelle Crandell of DeBeque.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 7, 2003, from the Meeker Mortuary Chapel with Pastor Troy Notz officiating. Interment with military honors was made in the Highland Cemetery. The flag draping Ralph's casket was also used for his brother Joe. Pallbearers were Mike Brennan, Wiley Berthelson, Davey Bill Smith, George Rienau, Gene Mintz and Tim Mantle. Memorial contributions are suggested to the activity fund of the Walbridge Memorial Wing.