Ranch hand’s son Edward Leroy McAdow made life in Kremmling
July 12, 2011
Edward Leroy McAdow lost his fight to leukemia on July 4, 2011. After battling the disease since his initial diagnosis in 1997, he passed away at the Hospice of Arizona in Surprise, Ariz., as the city held its grand fireworks display in celebration of our county’s freedom. He was surrounded by loved ones as he passed.
Leroy was born to Eddie and Edith McAdow in Denver on Sept. 12, 1942. Leroy, his parents and older sister, Ilene, left Denver in 1944. They made the two-day journey over Berthoud Pass to the Troublesome in a wagon with Eddie driving the team of horses, Pat and Neg, with Edith driving the family’s Chevy truck with Ilene and Leroy inside.
Upon arriving on the Troublesome they went to work on the Van Place (Ted Scott’s) then to the Gochy Ranch (Agular Ranch) in 1945. In 1947 the family moved to the Earl Smith Ranch (Spring Creek Ranch) and then onto the Taussig Ranch.
Leroy started school in the one-room schoolhouse while his family lived on the Earl Smith Ranch. Both he and his sister Ilene would attend school by riding horses with the Smith children and others from the area to and from school.
In 1946 Leroy and his family welcomed the addition of his youngest sister Lois. In 1950 the McAdow family moved to Kremmling where Leroy was very active in 4-H and helping with the family business. He began to learn several trades at a very young age; carpentry, mechanical, heavy equipment operation and the like.
The family owned and operated the school buses, bringing students to and from the schools in Kremmling. Leroy drove a bus in the morning and afternoon throughout his senior year high school year as would his youngest sister. In addition to driving a school bus up the Williams Fork for many years, Leroy and his family hauled coal in dump trucks from the mines in Oak Creek to several customers around the Grand County area as well as bagging the coal into gunny sacks to be sold in the family’s front yard in Kremmling on a type of honor system for payment; until, over time, people began to take the sacks of coal and not paying for it, therefore the honor practice was discontinued in the 1970s.
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During his high school years he could be seen driving the family Scout around town while his parents were away in Denver on business. Later in his years he would tell his children stories about how his Dad would put a rock on the tire of the Scout. Leroy would note the mileage and the location of the stone, place the stone in his pocket, carefully drive the Scout out of the yard in the same tracks by which his father would park it in. Then return home later to park it exactly where it had been, replace the stone and reverse the Scout enough to get it back to the exact same mileage so as to not get caught.
Leroy and his family truly supported one another as they also worked as custodians to the Kremmling schools and bank while they owned and operated the ambulance and school buses, pumped septic tanks, performed excavation work and the like.
As his early years passed, Leroy discovered a true love and skill for the carpentry trades. His official start began with a Kremmling area builder known as Clint Strohmeyer while Leroy was attending school at Kremmling Union High School. Building homes would become his full time source of income for his young family.
In 1960, Leroy married his wife of 43 years, Doree Barton. They had attended school together in Kremmling. Soon after being married in December 1960 they welcomed their first daughter, Mimi, into the world. A year later, in December 1961, they added their only son, Wayne, to the family.
Soon after they relocated to the Denver area where Leroy became a subcontractor, framing for Woods Brothers and U.S. Homes during the remainder of the 1960s and into the 1970s. At one point in time he began to run the Components shop for Woods Brothers until he finally returned to building as sitting around was not his thing.
In November 1970, Leroy and his wife welcomed their youngest daughter, Trista into the family. By late 1979, as the housing market began to collapse in the Denver area, he began to make plans to move his family from Conifer back to Kremmling.
In 1980, his daughter Mimi began to attend college at Adams State in Alamosa. Leroy and the remainder of the family officially relocated to the Con Ritschard Ranch on the Colorado River between Parshall and Kremmling. They lived in the “House on the Hill” for a year before moving up the Troublesome to the Pickering Place, also known as Ritschard’s Middle Ranch.
While living on the Pickering Place for a few years the family began to save to purchase land on the other side of the Troublesome at a location that Leroy would build their family home. During those years on the Pickering Place and their home on County Road 222, Leroy proved to not only continue to be a an expert carpenter and home builder but also and expert 4-H parent. He and his wife helped their youngest daughter as the family raised sheep, pig, steers, chickens and Trista’s favorite; horses.
In recent years Leroy would come to meet his current wife, Ann Funk. Together for the past nine years and married for final four years of Leroy’s life. They were married in Ninilchik, Alaska, and would have celebrated their celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on July 28, 2011. The couple resided in Big Horn Park, Mountain Home Idaho, Longmont and most recently Surprise, Ariz.
In 2010 Leroy and Ann purchased a home in Sun City Grand, Surprise, Ariz. The couple enjoyed a new life of play. They were involved in golf, or as he called it “pasture pool,” pickle ball, bocce, Jeeping and enjoying their numerous new friends. Leroy become a member of the Scottsdale, Ariz., Chapter of the Oldsmobile Club of America and was able to show off his completely restored 1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85 Convertible.
The couple also enjoyed spending parts of their summers together over the past several years in Alaska with his younger sister, where he discovered that fishing was wonderful in such a beautiful place. He had plans of returning this summer with his wife and his grandson Rhett to enjoy the Red Salmon run on the Russian River.
Leroy was preceded in death by his son Wayne in 1981; father Eddie in 1995; mother Edith in 2001; and grandson Rutger Jennings in 2005. He is survived by his wife Ann Funk; daughters Mimi (David) Fanshier of Littleton; their two children Courtney and Justin, Trista (John) Jennings of Granby; and their five children, Connor, Colin, Tennessee, Reata “Rhett” and Hayden; stepsons Brad (Shellie) Funk of Longmont and their three children, Andrea, Erika and Tom, Willie (Jill) Funk of Nederland; and their daughter Lexi and Mark Funk; great granddaughter Halle Gibson; as well as his oldest sister Ilene (Louis) Heeney of Kremmling; and younger sister Lois (Dick) Yost of Granby/Ninilchik, Alaska; four nephews and five nieces.
The family has established a fund in the name of Edward Leroy McAdow for the construction of a new playground at the Indian Peaks Charter School in Granby where three of his grandchildren attend school. If you would like to make a contribution please send it to: Leroy McAdow Memorial Playground, c/o Indian Peaks Charter School, PO Box 1819, Granby CO 80446.
A celebration of Leroy’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, at the Granby Community Center with a reception to follow.