Obituaries

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Mary Teresa Laing

Mary Teresa Laing nee Simonton, 49, passed away March 17, 2017. 
Mary was born August 19, 1967 in Denver, Colorado to the late Regina and Frederick Simonton. She married the late Richard Laing.

For the past several decades, she worked in education with Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs and Leadville and the Lake County School District. Students of all ages would go to desk for technical advice about their education, a sympathetic ear, laughter, and perhaps a piece of candy. A strong advocate for education in Leadville, Mary was always involved as a parent and as a member of the community in decisions that affected students in the public school system and in higher education.

Regardless of circumstances, Mary was there for her family in times of need. The sacrifices she made during the illnesses of her parents and her brother qualify as superhuman. When her children find success, it will be because of the sacrifices their mother made for them. She was the embodiment of a strong and successful woman.

Mary was preceded in death by her father Frederick Simonton, her brother Paul Simonton, her husband Richard Laing, her mother Regina Simonton, and her brother John Simonton.

Mary is survived by her sons Gavin and Conor; her sisters Sienna Simonton, Susan Simonton, and their families; her brothers Eric Simonton (Patricia), Jim Simonton (Angie), and their families; her sister in Law Chrissy Laing, her brother in law Mike Laing, and their family; her parents in law Susan Ford and Todd Ford; her friends in every corner of the country; and all who were touched by her encouragement, wisdom, and kindness

A public ceremony will be held at the Elks Lodge in Leadville on March 22 at 1 p.m. A private family burial will take place at a later date.

Carol Overmyer Smith

Longtime Leadville resident Carol Lavonne Overmyer Smith succumbed to cancer on February 23, 2017, resting peacefully within view of the Pacific Ocean in Gold Beach, OR.  She was born near the Pacific in Hynes (now called Paramount), CA, on September 16, 1934, the daughter of Lillian Ruth (Miller) and George Merlin Overmyer, and spent her pre- and primary school years in Hynes and Littleton, CO.  She attended Littleton Jr/Sr high school where she excelled in softball, student newspaper, theater, Honor Society, student government, and was the school’s female high jump champion.  Carol graduated as valedictorian of Littleton High School in 1952, and was awarded a Joint Honors Scholarship which funded her education at Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University).  While in college, Carol majored in Occupational Therapy, was president of Kappa Delta Sorority, and met her future husband, Bernard Smith. Carol interned at Los Angeles County Hospital, received her OT degree in 1956, and worked as an Occupational Therapist in Denver.  Carol and Bernard were married in Englewood, CO on December 28, 1957, and immediately moved to Nevada, living first in Minden, and later Reno, where Carol supported Bernard’s veterinary practices.

The couple returned to the Leadville area in 1959 to manage the Smith ranch, which was homesteaded by Bernard’s grandfather in 1874.  Carol ran the household, managed the accounts and finances of the Hereford and sheep ranch, and never hesitated in performing backbreaking physical labor. Carol was instrumental in helping her husband establish his Leadville veterinary practice, which began in their ranch-house basement, but by 1966, had moved into a brand-new facility on Leadville’s Front Street. Carol multi-tasked the financial management of the ranch and veterinary clinic while giving birth to and raising eleven children. Carol, famous for her dry wit and in reference to her many children, quipped that “we would accept whatever God gave us, but we had no idea he would be so generous”.

Carol was highly artistic in a variety of mediums. Her sketches, paintings, stained-glass windows and hangings, knitted and crocheted garments and creations were marveled at by family and friends. As an expert seamstress, Carol created many outfits, prom attire, costumes, church vestments, sportswear and snowshoe decking which were skillfully and lovingly crafted for her children, St. Mary’s school, Lake County public schools, Annunciation Church, and the Nordic Sun Sportswear and Red Feather Snowshoe Companies. Carol’s culinary expertise produced gourmet meals and desserts enjoyed by family and lucky guests, and the salads she prepared while working at the Prospector Restaurant were customer favorites. Carol was blessed with a beautiful singing voice, which was on display more than once when she was invited to sing at weddings.

Carol was patriotic, civic-minded and invested in the Leadville community and beyond. She held memberships in the DAR, PEO, St Mary’s and Lake County School PTAs, and was a booster of 4-H, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, LCIS, LCJHS & LCHS sports teams, Colorado State University Rams and the Denver Broncos.  She was a lector, eucharistic minister, choir and parish council member at Annunciation Church, and she was office manager at the Mt. Massive Trout Club, where she developed many enduring friendships. Carol was the behind-the-scenes force managing details, campaigns and communication that enabled her husband to garner his achievements on the Lake County School Board, the Lake County Soil Conservation District, and the Upper Arkansas Watershed Association.

Besides enjoying her family and craftwork, Carol loved to travel, and she ranked trips to Venezuela and Ireland as her most memorable.

Carol had a wonderful sense of humor and was reeling off one-liners up to the end.  She was a loving mother, grandmother and aunt, and she will be greatly missed by her 11 children, 16 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband and parents, brother-in-law James Joseph Smith and his wife Marjorie (Diemer) Smith, and nephew Michael Smith.  She is survived by her brother Bill (Barbara) Overmyer of Loveland, CO; Sister-in-law Margaret Mary (Jim) Fassler of Worland, WY;  Children Monica Stevenson; Anne (Don) Spor; Erin (Warren Park) Smith; Blaine (Kay) Smith; George (Brenda) Smith; Padraic Smith (partner: John Morin); Kate (John) Borton; Vicki (Matt) Schehrer; Grace Smith-Sodic (partner: Manny Flores); Barbara Medina (fiance: Steve LaRocco), Eileen (Tom) Henry.
Grandchildren-Natalie (Robert) Sudar, Brigid Crandell, Lesley (Luke) Hinzmann, Sister Karol Joseph Spor, Ryan (Kayla) Spor, Keeley, Gannon and Quinn Smith; Ricky and Natalie Byno; Evan and Anna Schehrer; Alex Charrier, Aidan and Kiera Medina; Olivia LaRocco; Etta,
Devin and Neeve Henry. Great-Grandchildren-Emerson, Reese and Keaton Sudar; Elijah Hinzmann; Rebekah Grace Charrier. Nephews: Dennis, Stephen, Christopher, Allen and Richard. Nieces: Theresa, Becky, Debby, Amy, Jodie and Abbie.
A Rosary Service will be held Friday, June 23, and Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Annunciation Catholic Church, times to be announced later.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the “Building Fund”, c/o Holy Family Parish, 609 Poplar, Leadville, CO 80461, or P.E.O. Chapter AF, 121 Baby Doe Drive, Leadville, CO 80461.

Thomas Earl Cherrier

Thomas Earl Cherrier, 78 of Leadville, Colorado since 1965, passed away on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Evergreen Life Care Center in Evergreen, Colorado.  He was born on May 23, 1938 in Lancaster, Wisconsin to Earl Bernard and Irene Mary (Saengling) Cherrier.  Tom received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mineral Engineering from the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in Lancaster in 1960.  He enlisted in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.  After his honorable discharge, he enlisted in the Reserve from 1965 to 1967.  In 1968 he received his Master of Science Degree in Mineral Engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  He worked for the Climax Molybdenum Company for 12 years, AMAX in Golden, Colorado for 14 years and retired in 1992.  After retirement, he worked for ASARCO on the EPA project.

Tom was a member of Leadville Elk’s Lodge, #236, the Leadville Lion’s Club where he was a regular fixture at their beer tent and career fair, the Knights of Columbus and Holy Family Parish where he would help usher Masses, a member on the Board of Directors at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and a member of the Society of Mining Engineering. He was very active in the community, and assisted with the Kid’s First Program and helping in the creation of the Mineral Belt Bike Trail where you could find him sweeping off the trail, just to keep it safe. He was always walking around town, to and from, visiting with his many friends. In earlier years, he played on the local softball team, played many a golf game with his buddies at the Mt. Massive Golf Course and made trips to Alice Arm, BC. He enjoyed hiking, cross country skiing and cribbage and was a constant learner.  He always had a genuine curiosity about the world which never dimmed to him. Tom was a person who was filled with integrity.  He was loyal, steadfast, kind and genuine to all he met.

Tom is survived by two cousins from his maternal and paternal sides of the family and a sister in law. He is preceded in death by his mother and father, two brothers: Lynn Flavian Cherrier and Timothy Bernard Cherrier, and a loving aunt, Catherine Cherrier Blaney.

A memorial of Tom’s life will be held in Leadville at a later date.  Burial will take place in South Lancaster Township in Wisconsin.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville and Martin Schwartz Funeral Home of Lancaster are assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Tom’s online memorial at www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.

Marilyn Martha Schroeder-Luoma

marilyn-schroeder-luoma-photoMarilyn Martha Schroeder-Luoma, 86, of Bend, Oregon since 2010, long-time resident of Leadville, Colo. passed away on February 5, 2017 in Bend, Oregon. She was born on March 13, 1930 in Buena Vista, Colo. to George P. Fields and Kathleen J. Mahon-Field.  She married Robert John Luoma on July 12, 2010 in Canon City, Colorado.

Marilyn graduated from Lake County High School in 1948.  She worked as a desk clerk for the Vendome Hotel and the Silver King Motor Inn of Leadville.  She was a member of the Leadville Elks Lodge, the Leadville Eagles Lodge and enjoyed playing in the Leadville bowling leagues.  Marilyn enjoyed snowmobiling, bowling, crocheting, watching baseball, football, sporting events and classic movies.  She loved animals and spending time at her cabin at Williams Fork Reservoir. 

Marilyn is survived by her sons Norman C. and wife Mary Schroeder and John K. and wife Terry Schroeder, all of Leadville; stepchildren Robert, Dave, Beckie and Dale Luoma, all of Bend, Oregon; grandchildren Sheila K. (Chad) Bailey of Granby, Colorado, John M. Schroeder and Kathy F. Schroeder of Leadville; great grandchildren Carver C. Bailey and Corbin R. Bailey; brother George F. and wife Maelene Fields of Denver, Colorado; nephews George P. Fields, and James M. (Jacquie)Fields of Arizona and niece Randi Sue (Tom) Hamilton of Wyoming.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her first husband, Norman E. Schroeder.

A rosary service will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017 at the Bailey Kent Funeral Home Chapel in Leadville.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Buena Vista with Reverend Father Stephen Parlet as Celebrant.  Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Buena Vista.  A reception will be held at St. Rose of Lima Parish Hall, following burial.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Mrs. Luoma’s online obituary at www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for her family.Spac_50

 Nancy Lee Leonard

Nancy Lee Leonard, 68 of Leadville, Colo. passed away on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 at Life Care Center of Evergreen, Colorado after a lengthy battle with cancer.  She was born on June 5, 1948 to David R. Leonard, Sr. and Ella Mae (Bowser) Leonard in Niagara Falls, N.Y.  Nancy was a supporter of the Denver Rescue Mission.  She was very creative and loved to craft, crochet, decorate cakes and bake.  She was a loving person with a heart to help those in need.  She will be forever in our hearts!

Nancy is survived by her daughter Tina Leonard of Dillon, Colorado; sons Mike Leonard of Ohio and Jonathan Leonard of Georgia; sister Patricia Jennings of Buena Vista, Colorado; brother David R. Leonard, Jr. of Leadville; four grandchildren and four nieces and nephews and their families.  She is preceded in death by her parents.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at The Church at Agape Outpost, 15404 Highway 9, Breckenridge, Colo., 80424.  The service will stream live online at www.agapeoutpost.org (click on the Media tab and then on Live Stream).  A reception will follow the service at the Agape Outpost Fellowship Hall.  Donations may be made to the The Church at Agape Outpost Benevolence Fund in memory of Nancy Leonard to benefit the homeless and those in need in our area.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Nancy’s online obituary at www.kentfuneralhomes.com.Spac_50

Joseph W. “Jody” Manly

joseph-manly-obituary-photoOn January 10, 2017, Joseph W. “Jody” Manly passed away at home after a long battle with cancer.  The Leadville icon and Godfather of Skijoring was born in Dillon, Colo. on February 24, 1932 to Joseph J. and Clara (Carmen) Manly.  Jody attended school in Breckenridge, Colorado and graduated in 1949.  He joined the Navy in 1950 and served in Long Beach, California until 1954.  At the time of his discharge, Jody returned to the mountains he loved.  He met and married Nancy (Moede) Manley in Dillon and went to work for Public Service Company of Colorado in Leadville.  He and “Nan” moved to Leadville and raised two boys, Jeffrey and Joseph, Jr.  He retired from Public Service in 1992.

Jody soon became a household name in Leadville.  He was an active member in the community.  Known for his love of hunting, fishing, skiing, skijoring, yard sale bargaining, and storytelling, he never knew a stranger.  If you had a moment or more than likely an hour(s), he would be glad to share his expertise on any subject.  When it came to organizing an event, Jody was the “go to guy”.  He knew the best fishing hole, best bait, and if you needed a pole he would have one or a dozen.  He was well known around the skijoring circuits.  His expertise in organizing and course building earned him the title of GODFATHER of skijoring.    He made many life time friends and was consulted on a regular basis, mentoring newbies to the sport.  He will be missed at the Coffee Club at Paul’s place.  He enjoyed visiting with the “gang” and getting caught up on all the goings on and gossip.  Jody valued his friendships.  There are too many to mention, but know that we the family appreciate all the love, care and friendship given to him.

Jody was preceded in death by his wife Nancy, his parents, his brother Elton and grandson Ed Johnson. He is survived by his sons Jeffrey (Alberta) of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Joseph Jr. (fiance Suzanne Sumners) of Leadville; niece Mary Bowker Young (Jeff) of Long Beach; nephew Mike Bowker (Misako) of Roy, Utah; and great nephew Matthew Bollig of Grand Junction, CO.  He leaves grandchildren Robert (Tamra) and Helen (Jack) Shandy, all of Billings, Montana;  grandson Brenden Lacy of Aurora, Colorado and numerous step-grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jody wished to have a memorial service this summer at the Elks Lodge in Leadville.  The dates will be determined when the snow melts.  Donations may be made in his name (Joseph W. Manley), to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for cancer research.

Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence, remembrance or “story” for his family.Spac_50

Nemecino (Casey) Casias

nemecino-casias-obituary-photoIt is with a deep sadness and heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dad, Nemecino (Casey) Casias, who passed away January 2, 2017 in Leadville, Colo. Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special someone to be a Dad and he definitely was that special someone.

Casey was born in Ortiz, Colorado in 1931. He lived there until his enlistment into the Army from 1949 to 1952. He served his country during the Korean War and was a recipient of the Silver Star on two occasions, a bronze star and a purple heart. He married Olivama Vigil shortly after his return from Korea and moved to Leadville in 1954. He was a Master Mechanic for Amax/Climax Mine and retired in 1984 with over 25 years of service. After his retirement he provided his expertise to many in the community by keeping their vehicles in running condition. He kept young at heart by going out to his garage every morning to repair any vehicle that was brought in for his delicate attention.

During his life, he was active in the Elks, Eagles and the local union of mine workers, as well as a number of years in the local bowling and baseball leagues. He spent the majority of his free time riding horses with his kids when he was younger and catching as many fish as was allowed from the lakes and streams of the Rockies.

Casey was a wonderful man. He was loved in life and will be missed and cherished in death. He was an amazing husband to his wife of nearly 62 years before Ollie’s passing in March 2015. He was an amazing father to 10 children, and grandfather to numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a friend to the entire community and would go out of his way to help anyone in need. His passing will leave a hole in the hearts of many.

He is survived by 8 of his children Elizabeth Davis, Christine Casias, Christopher Casias, David Casias, Carrie Casias-Scura, Dean Casias, Ann Casias and Rose-Mary Brandt-Casias; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces and several brothers and sisters.

Loved ones that cleared the path for his journey to the Lord are his loving wife of 62 years and 2 of his children Evelyn and Christian Casias.

We have lost, Heaven has gained, the most wonderful man this world contained, there’s just one thing that makes us glad; God chose you to be our dad.

We will celebrate our parents in a joint service in the early summer. A notice to our family and community will be sent out in mid-June.

Bailey-Kent Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.baileykentfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for Casey’s family.

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Ward Osborn

wade-osborn-obituary-photo-001-2Ward Osborn, 65, of Leadville, Colorado passed away on December 24, 2016 in Leadville. Ward was born on May 24, 1951 in Holdredge, Nebraska to Marvin and Carol Osborn.  He attended school in Kokomo, Colorado and graduated from Lake County High School in Leadville. Ward served in Vietnam and Germany with the Army from 1969-1977 and was awarded the bronze and silver stars. He was currently working in the maintenance department at Copper Mountain.  Ward enjoyed rocks, hiking, electronics, computers, fishing, and he loved the outdoors.  He was a kind and loving man who will be missed by all who knew him.

Ward is survived by his daughter Lily Ramirez of Ogden, Utah; brothers Trent Osborn of Dolan Springs, Arizona and Marvin and (Faith) Osborn of Leadville; sisters Cheri Pitkin of Montrose, Colorado, Anjula and (Chris) Cottle of Cheyenne, Wyoming and Michelle (Dave) Stewart of Vancouver, Washington and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.

In honor of Ward’s love of the outdoors, a memorial service will be held sometime in May or June of 2017. Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.baileykentfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or remembrance of Ward for his family.Spac_50

Piper May Nachtrieb

Piper May Nachtrieb, of Leadville, Colo. passed away on December 1, 2016 in Aurora, Color. She was born on November 22, 2016 to Wade and Shiloh (Sparkman) Nachtrieb.

Piper is survived by her parents of Leadville, big sister Erie Nachtrieb of Leadville, paternal grandparents Joe and Debra Nachtrieb of Leadville, maternal grandparents Darrel and Loretta Sparkman of Leadville, great grandfather David Sparkman Sr. of Salida, Colorado, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

All services will be private. There will be a Celebration of Life and spaghetti benefit on January 14, 2017. Contributions can be made to www.youcaring.com/wadeandshilohnachtrieb or directly to the family.

Bailey-Kent Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.baileykentfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for her family.Spac_50

Carol Dice

Carol Dice, 62, of Leadville, Colorado passed away on November 14, 2016 in Leadville. Her services will be private. Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family. Please visit www.baileykentfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for Carol’s family.Spac_50

Rose Everett

rose-everett-photoRose Everett, 78, lifelong resident of Leadville, Colorado passed away on Friday, November 4, 2016 in Leadville.  She was born on January 31, 1938 in Leadville to John and Molly (Widmar) Kochevar.  She married Paul A. Everett at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Leadville.  He preceded her in death.

Rose attended the West Park Elementary School and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Leadville.  She was an excellent student and made straight A’s.  After graduation she worked as a school attendant and was the receptionist at the Leadville Medical Center.  She was also a homemaker, caring for her husband and children.  She loved gardening, reading and church and was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America.

Rose is survived by her children David, Janet and Richard; grandchildren Leann, Jamie, Jerica, Dwayne, Brittni and Sydney; great grandchildren Kaden, Gauge and Samuel; brother Joe and several nieces, nephews and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Paul, son Kurt, sister Margaret and brother George.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 from 6 -7 p.m. with a Rosary Service to begin at 7 p.m. at Annunciation Catholic Church, Leadville.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 10 a.m. at Annunciation Catholic Church with Reverend Father Rafael Torres-Rico as Celebrant.  Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Leadville.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Mrs. Everett’s online obituary at www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for her family.

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Eileen (Blamey) Bertolas

eileen-bertolas-obituary-photoEileen Helen Bertolas, 84, succumbed to her death after a short battle with cancer on November 2, 2016 at her home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.  Eileen was born on May 8, 1932 in Leadville to Frank & Mary Ellen (McHale) Blamey.  Eileen attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, worked at the Manhattan Café until she met Albert “Bart” Bertolas. In 1953 they married in Raton, New Mexico. Together they had 3 sons and 3 daughters.

 Eileen was a lifelong member of Holy Family Parish (Annunciation Church), the Eagles Auxiliary,  a member of the Altar & Rosary Society and Catholic Daughters.  Eileen’s life was centered around God and family. She loved taking care of her grandchildren, great grandchildren, cooking and delivering Meals on Wheels, taking Sunday rides, bowling, making chocolate covered cherries, watching her favorite game shows or Judge Judy. In addition, she compiled a scrap book of children she supported at St. Jude’s Children Hospital. When she wasn’t babysitting, she was busy answering the phone or bringing her sons lunch at “Bart’s” the family business.

 She is survived by her six children: Mary (Jim) VanPelt, Kathy (Eddie) Micklich, Albee (Barb) Bertolas, Tina (Bob) Tekansik, Alan (Saige) Bertolas, Rohn (Cindy Mascarenas) Bertolas, 14 grandchildren, 3 (step) grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, 5 (step) great-grandchildren, sisters in laws, Beverly Blamey, Annie Blamey, Rita Blamey and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers, Johnny, Francis, Joe and Aloysius Blamey, sisters, Agnes Pinkston and Dolores McGeehan and great grandson, Corey McEachern.

Eileen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

Rosary services will be held at 7 p.m. on November 11, and the Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. on November 12, at Annunciation Church.  Fr. Rafael Torres-Rico, Pastor will officiate assisted by Deacon Tony Werckman. Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery; with reception to follow at the Eagles Lodge.  In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Holy Family Parish.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.baileykentfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for Eileen’s family.Spac_50

Jean Johnson

johnson-photo-2Jean Johnson, 89 and a longtime resident of Buena Vista, Colorado died in her sleep September 17, 2016 after a lengthy illness.  She was widely known in the
community as a medical technologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Leadville, Colorado, as an organist at St. Rose of Lima and Grace Churches, and as a member of the Columbine Garden Club.

She was born Aug. 24, 1927 to Dorothy and John Race of Parker, Colorado, and the third of four children. She grew up on the family dairy farm near Parker, now a historically preserved stagecoach stop known as the
Seventeen Mile House.  She graduated from Parker High School in 1944 and from the University of Colorado in 1949.  For two years she worked at Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, where she met Edward L. Johnson. They were
married in 1951.

In subsequent years they had three children, Kristine Johnson of Worcester, Mass., Neil Johnson of Denver, Colo. and Erik Johnson of Buena Vista.
Dr. Johnson, a veterinarian, re-enlisted in the U.S. Army and the family spent many years in postings throughout the U.S. and in Berlin, Germany. Once the children were school age, Jean resumed her career as a medical
technologist and volunteered for various civic and church activities.

Dr. Johnson retired as a colonel to the family ranch north of Buena Vista and spent several decades studying and performing music and being a volunteer fireman.  Meanwhile Jean became the mainstay of the laboratory at St.
Vincent’s Hospital, working there until age 74.  She volunteered in many church activities, played the organ and piano, and won numerous prizes in gardening.

She is survived by her three children, her siblings, Ruth Race Dolan and John Race, Jr., sister-in-law Gene Avery, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Buena Vista on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 11 a.m.  Runyan-Kent Funeral Home of Buena Vista is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Mrs. Johnson’s online memorial at www.kentfuneralhomes.comSpac_50

Roger M. Avila

Roger M. Avila, 69 of Leadville, Colo. passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Leadville.  He was born on November 13, 1946 in Taos, N. M. to Frank and Eliria Avila.  He married Ida Avila.  He worked at the Comfort Inn in the maintenance department.

Roger is survived by his wife Ida of Leadville; son Roger Avila, Jr. of Leadville; daughters Maxine Avila of Thornton, Colorado, Paula Aldava and husband Juan of Bozeman, Montana and Stephanie Bogeart and husband Mark of Belgrade, Montana; grandchildren Eric, P.J. Gurule, Toni Avila, Stefan, Miguel, Osiel, Alonzo Aldava, Ethyn, Ryllieh, and Alyxcia Bogeart and great grandchildren Khyree and Avalana Lee Gurule.  He is preceded in death by his parents, granddaughter Laura Gurule, brother Leroy Avila, sister Gloria Montoya and nephew Frankie Salazar.

A rosary service will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 at Annunciation Catholic Church.  A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. Inurnment will be private.  Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville is assisting the family with arrangements.  Please visit Roger’s online memorial at www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.Spac_50

Gail B. Dunning

gail-dunning-obituary-photoYou were fortunate if you knew Gail B. Dunning.  If you did, you would have experienced her genuine kindness, dignity, gentle grace, determination, fluid intelligence, dry wit, love for Colorado history and natural beauty, endless curiosity, compassion, inspiring courage, integrity and vitality of spirit.

Gail transitioned suddenly early Saturday morning, September 3, 2016, at her Leadville cabin. A seizure is believed to be the cause of death.  She made the transition peacefully and quickly with her two fur babies, Zeva the heeler and Sir Thomas the Siamese, by her side.

For having such a petite frame, Gail was a human dynamo.  She was born in Greenville, North Carolina and spent her childhood living in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.  Gail excelled in everything she touched—art, writing, languages, scholastics, music, photography, athletics and business.  From grade school through high school she participated in virtually every special activity offered; she was a human sponge for experiences and knowledge.  She received love and care during her summers from her Aunt Katie in Pennsylvania who owned and ran a coal mine.

Gail attended Drake University where she was the president of Chi Omega sorority. She graduated from the School of Journalism with high honors.  At Drake, she met Kit Williams who became her husband in 1982.

During her adult life, she pursued her love for business.  She received her MBA from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs while working full time.  During her years in Vail, she was a publicist, curator of antiques, entrepreneur in property management and retail, avid winter skier, sky diver, scuba & snorkeling enthusiast, and a successful businesswoman.

Gail called Vail her home but The Historic Hotel Delaware in Leadville, Colorado, was her passion.  She transformed the old 1886 hotel into a thriving, fully operational historic hotel filled with antiques, art and vintage clothing. It was her dream to create a living historical interactive experience for guests. She worked tirelessly to give Leadville a source of historic pride and to develop the community’s businesses and government.  Toward the end of her life, the demands of the hotel were very taxing on her physically and spiritually.  It was clear to those who knew her well that her dwindling energy was channeled into the hotel.

Gail was also a deeply spiritual person.  She had a closeness with the spirit world and listened to her guides.  With her passing, she assures us we are to be happy for her!!  She is rejuvenated and wishes all of us support Kit in the years to come.

From your friends, co-workers, family, and husband, “Thank You Gail” for being such a remarkable person and for touching our lives.  You rarely thought of yourself but always considered the needs of others, yet unaware of the magnitude of your gifts to others.  You are missed.

Gail is survived by her husband, Kit C. Williams of Vail, Colorado, and her sister Loraine Dunning-Cavallo of Wellington, Florida.  Her father, Preston Markham Dunning, Jr., M.D., her mother, Barbara Temyer Dunning, and her brother, First Lt. David Michael Dunning, U. S. Army, preceded her in death.

A memorial celebration will be determined at a later date.  Any contributions in Gail’s name would be appreciated by her favorite organizations—St. Jude’s Children’s Research (www.stjudge.org/donate-now). FusFoundation which is the vanguard for treating brain tumors and disorders (www.fusfoundation.org/donate).Spac_50

Fred L. Slifka

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Fred L. Slifka, 76 of Leadville, Colorado, passed away on Monday, August 8, 2016.  He was born in 1940 in the old St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville to Edward A. and Emily A. Slifka.  He graduated from the Leadville High School in 1958 and worked for the Climax Mine from 1959-1992, retiring after 33 years of service.  Fred was a member of the Leadville Elk’s Lodge, #236.  He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, jeep rides, his mountain cabin, his boys and grandchildren.

Fred is survived by his wife Kathy of 53 years, 3 children; Michael (Andrea, Sydney, David); Gary (Jeanette, A.J.) and Doug (Wendy, Denver).

A celebration of his love of life and family and friends was held August 12, 2016 at his home in Leadville. Bailey-Kent Funeral Home of Leadville assisted the family with arrangements.  Please visit Fred’s online memorial at www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.