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Obituary: Betty Birdsill

Betty Birdsill

August 18, 1934 – June 10, 2021

Betty Birdsill, 86, of Battlement Mesa, Co., long time resident of Grand County, Co. and Golden Co. area. Died June 10, 2021 at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Grand Junction Co.

Time and place of services TBD

Donations in her name to:

Home Care and Hospice of the Valley, in Glenwood Springs Co.

Obituary: Imogene Carolyn (Verstile) Storm

In Memoriam

Imogene Carolyn (Verstile) Storm

August 19, 1933 – March 25, 2021

Memorial Service for Imogene Storm to be held on Saturday June 19, 2021. The service will be held at Winter Park Christian Church at 1:00pm with inurnment to follow immediately at the Fraser Cemetery, Fraser Colorado.

Obituary: Tabor Ann Menhennett

Tabor Ann

Menhennett

May 15, 1991 – May 25, 2021

Our beloved daughter, Tabor Ann Menhennett, was called to her heavenly home surrounded by family on May 25, ten days after her 30th birthday. She was born May 15, 1991, in Lamar, Colorado the only child of Tom and Vicki Menhennett.

Tabor was a natural athlete joining gymnastics at age three and always having tremendous speed. She loved playing club soccer where her team went undefeated several seasons. In middle school, she joined the boys’ team when they were short players. Usually, they ranked in the top three teams. She lettered in soccer her freshman and sophomore years. Tabor also enjoyed playing volleyball in junior high.

Dance was another one of her passions beginning lessons at age five. She always assisted the younger kids and made sure to invite grandparents, aunties, cousins–all her relatives, to her Christmas and spring performances. Tabor competed at state and national levels over a period of ten years. She danced, taught, and choreographed dances while attending Red Rocks Community College. She loved to dance in the house with her mom to whatever music might be playing.

Tabor loved animals, particularly her dogs Koda and Ellie Mae. The first year that she joined the Obedience Class in 4H, the instructor remarked that she had the unruliest puppy to ever join the class. Tabor dedicated her summer to remedy that. At the Fremont County Fair, she and Evee won first place ribbons, qualifying for state. There, they earned second place.

She enjoyed horseback riding and being outdoors, especially the Kremmling area where she loved to hunt and fish with her dad and of course, collect rocks.

Miss Tabor loved kids. She would get so excited and her face would light up every time she spoke of “her kids” at preschools. Education was very important to her. Tabor scored in the top 1% nationally on the GRE test. She received a BA in Elementary Education from Metro State University and will be awarded, posthumously by CU Denver, a double Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Psychology. Her plans were to become a neuropsychologist.

Being a great cook, Tabor usually made the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. She delighted in trying new recipes, watching the latest cooking shows, and trying a variety of restaurants and meat markets.

Tabor was proud of being a descendent of Chief Geronimo, and John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee. Tabor was loyal and passionate about her beliefs defending the underdogs and standing her ground politically especially during the last presidential election. She delighted in Marvel movies, country music, singing, and attending Avalanche and Broncos games.

Tabor is survived by her parents, Tom and Vicki Menhennett, her grandmother Virginia Rivale, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her grandparents Glen and Esther Menhennett, great grandparents Bob and Grace Menhennett, grandfather Sosten Rivale, uncle Art Rivale, and her cousin Shanon Rivale. Tabor’s honorary pallbearers are all her cousins. In lieu of flowers you may donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in remembrance of Tabor Ann Menhennett.

A rosary will be held Thursday, June 10, at 1 P.M. with a Catholic Funeral Mass immediately following at St. Michael Catholic Church in Canon City where Tabor served Mass and sang in the children’s choir. Burial will be in Kremmling the next day, Friday, June 11, at 12 noon.

Obituary: Lurline Underbrink Curran

Lurline

Underbrink Curran

July 5, 1949 – May 31, 2021

Lurline Underbrink Curran or “Lur” as she was known to those close to her, passed away at her home in Kremmling on May 31, 2021 surrounded by family after a long battle with breast cancer.

Lurline was born on July 5, 1949 to Clyde and Margaret Underbrink in Quincy, Illinois. Lurline was the eldest of 4 children. Her siblings are Adah Gore, William Underbrink, and Noble Underbrink all of Kremmling. The Underbrinks move to Kremmling from Lewis Town, Missouri in 1955 where Lurline attend school at West Grand graduating with the class of 1967.

In 1973, Lurline became a mother giving birth to her daughter Kelly Lee Curran (Friesen) followed by her son Casey Richard Curran in 1974. Anyone who knew Lurline, knew her children were her world. She never missed an event of theirs even if it was in two different locations. She could always be found cheering loudly for Kelly or Casey in the bleachers sporting her wildly colored leggings before leggings were even cool.

Lurline began her 33-year career at Grand County in 1982, when she took a position as administrative assistant in the Planning Department. Lurline quickly climbed the ladder, being promoted to Planning Technician in 1987, and later appointed Director of Planning on February 1, 1988. During her time as the Planning Director, Lurline consistently applied and enforced Grand County’s land use regulations and contributed to the success of many large planning projects throughout Grand County, such as the Grand County Headwaters Trail Master Plan, Wolford Mountain Reservoir Project, Pole Creek Meadows, Grand County Strategic Growth Plan, 1998 Grand County Master Plan and Governor’s Smart Growth Award, Reserve at Elkhorn Ridge, Fairways at Pole Creek, Legacy Park Ranch, Young Life Crooked Creek Ranch – Special Use Permit and providing the community of Tabernash with central sewer.

In 1999, Lurline was appointed as County Manager, a position that she held until her retirement in 2015. During her 16 years as County Manger she had many successful accomplishments including but not limited to; the Fraser Road & Bridge Shop and land acquisition, upgrading the Grand County Emergency Medical Services to a modern professional service, Grand County Judicial Center, Administration Building remodel, Middle Park Fair & Rodeo, Implementation of an Employee Pay Plan, Fairgrounds improvements, Airports improvements and Public Safety Communication sites and improvements. She also was a key leader in successfully negotiating numerous agreements related to water resources and water projects on behalf of Grand County’s citizens, including, but not limited to: the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, Windy Gap Firming Project 1041 Permit Amendment, Windy Gap Firming Project Intergovernmental Agreement, Grand County Moffat Collection System Project – Mitigation and Enhancement Coordination Plan, Grand Lake Clarity, Shoshone Outage Protocol, Intergovernmental Agreement for the Learning By Doing Cooperative Effort, Gore Canyon Whitewater Park – Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD) water right, the storage and release of the 5,412.50 acre feet of environmental fish water in Granby Reservoir, Windy Gap Bypass Project, Grand County’s Stream Management Plan, Water Delivery and Stream Flow Improvement Agreement with the CWCB, Integration Agreement with the Grand County Water Users, Berthoud Pass Sedimentation Pond, Carriage Contract with Reclamation for the Windy Gap Firming Project, Big Lake Ditch Project, Acquisition of Shares in the Grand County Irrigated Land Company (Vail Ditch), Agreements with the City of Englewood and Climax for use of the Cabin-Meadow Creek Collection System, participation in the Historic User Pool telephone calls, securing Reclamation’s control over water scheduling through the Adams Tunnel, Grand County’s Representative on Colorado River Roundtable, and Grand County’s Designated Senate Document 80 Representative. She was also recognized by Grand County and commended for her fiscal tenacity and Grand County’s fiscal stability throughout her tenure and one of history’s largest economic downturns, all while keeping Grand County debt free and without employee layoffs.

Lurline continued her education later in life, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a bachelor’s degree in comparative religion in 1999. She later returned to Regis University earning her Master’s Degree in Psychology in 2005.

In 1997, Lurline became a grandmother for the first time when her granddaughter Reilly Lurline Weimer was born. She would later be blessed with 3 more granddaughters, Haley Marie Weimer (1999), Erica Michael Weimer (2000) and Sidney Lee Curran (2003). In 2006, her only grandson Bodin Casey Curran was born. Later in 2006, 3 more step-granddaughters joined the mix Hayley Grace Friesen (2000), Cameryn Brie Friesen (2002), and RJ Dakota Friesen (2005). All 8 of her grand children spent countless amounts of time with their Grandma Lur and Papa Paul on the Colorado River, the Green River, and traveling to Europe learning many life lessons and sharing her love of the river.

In 1985, Lurline met the love of her life, Paul Grant to whom she has spent the past 36 years with. They shared a love of the river, camping (spending weeks at a time on the Green River), and their creating opportunities for their grandkids to experience the outdoors.

Lurline is survived by her husband Paul Grant, her children Kelly Friesen and her husband Matthew Friesen, Casey Curran and his wife Nowell Curran, her 8 grandchildren, Reilly, Haley, Erica, Sidney, Bodin, Hayley, Cameryn, and RJ. Her sister Adah Gore (Queen 1) and her brother Noble Underbrink. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews that she adored.

She was preceded in death by her parents, mother Margaret Underbrink (1973), her father Clyde Underbink (1995), and her brother William (Bill) Underbrink (2020).

Lurline was a good daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, partner, horsewoman, slow pitch pitcher, umpire, Middle Park Fair and Rodeo supporter, rafter, outdoorswoman, CrossFitter, and her love of the F word. She will be remembered for her grit, stubbornness (bull headedness), dedication, passion, perseverance, kindness, and compassion.

Services for Lurline will be June 11, 2021 at the Headwater Center in Winter Park Colorado at 2 p.m. If you would like to share any stories please email them to friesenkl13@gmail.com by June 10, 2021.

In lieu of flower, the family has established a Lurline Underbrink Memorial Scholarship Fund at Blue Credit Union in Granby, Colorado.

Obituary: Carla Craig

Carla Craig

September 24, 1932 – May 22, 2021

Carla was born on September 24, 1932 in Olathe, Colorado, but moved to Granby while still very young. She lived there most of her life with the exception of her college years and marriage to Don Hakonson, with whom she had two children. She returned to Granby after her divorce and became the Kindergarten teacher in Granby Elementary, where she served for over 20 years.

Carla married Jerry Craig in 1968 and the two remained happily married until his death in 2009. Shortly thereafter, Carla received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, but she continued to live independently for many years before moving to Denver area, to be closer to her daughter Lisa. Her faith in God gave her strength through many difficult times, and she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Carla was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence Wallis and Jack and Norna Malone, brother Danny, sister Jeanine and her son, Mark. She is survived by her siblings, Don, Sandy and Sharon, her children, Lisa, Matt and Laura, as well as eight beloved grandchildren, two cousins, and their expanding families. She was greatly loved by many and will be remembered for her faith and kindness.

Due to COVID and family health concerns, the memorial service for Carla will be private. Any who wish to do so may send flowers or donations in her name to West Alameda Community Baptist Church, at 333 S. Eaton St., Lakewood, CO 80226.

Obituary: Frank Shepherd

Frank Shepherd

December 8, 1946 – April 30, 2021

Frank Shepherd, age 74, passed away suddenly on April 30th at his cabin in Moffat County, CO. He had a great last day of target shooting, riding his ATV and playing with his beloved dogs. Frank moved to Grand County 29 years ago and knew he had found heaven on earth. He was an avid trap/skeet shooter and snowmobiler. His passions were golf, skydiving, skiing, scuba diving, flying and sailing. He lived his life fully and with no regrets. He is survived by his wife Julie Richards, dogs Baker and Trixie, lap cat Sugar Pie, in-laws Sherree & Kenn Miller, niece Mandy Lett (Mike), nephew Robert Baumgardner (Krystal) and brother Paul Shepherd. Donations may be made in Frank’s name to Grand County Pet Pals. A celebration of life will be held later in the summer.

Obituary: Bobby Blea

In Memoriam

Bobby Blea

June 5, 2021

The family of Bobby Blea wish to invite family and friends to a memorial service to be held on June 5, 2021 at St Anne Church in Grand Lake, at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow the service.

Obituary: Daniel “Dano” Welcome

Daniel “Dano”

Welcome

December 21, 1954 – May 8, 2021

Dano passed quietly at home. He is survived by his parents Kenneth and Alice Welcome of Saratoga Springs, NY. Also surviving are his siblings, Mary (Ed) Nisley of Poughkeepsie, NY, Judy Welcome (Jerry Barger) of Berthoud, CO, Ed (Erin) Welcome of Granby, CO, and Tom Welcome of Albany, NY. He has 8 nieces and nephews and 3 great nieces. He was preceded in death by his sister Rita Scott of Burnt Hills, NY. Dano has called the town of Fraser, Colorado his home since the mid 80’s. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and making fine wood creations. He cheered on the Red Sox as a lifetime fan. A celebration of life will take place later this summer.

Obituary: Benjamin Kenneth Lynch

Benjamin Kenneth Lynch

June 30, 1989 – April 25, 2021

Benjamin Kenneth Lynch, with us in this world from June 30,1989, when he was born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to April 25, 2021, when he tragically took his own life. Ben was an athlete, friend, son, brother, husband, father and uncle. He was a ride-or-die, get-your-hands-dirty, quit-yer-bitchin, hard working man who excelled with his feet strapped to a board and tools in his hands. Born and raised in Kremmling, CO, his mother, Cynthia Lynch, encouraged his adventurous spirit and taught him to be brave, she taught him to go-big. He “went big” in his many childhood endeavors, snowboarding, dirt biking, Boy Scouts, ice hockey, soccer, drum playing, bagpiping, rattlesnake hunting, and much more. His brothers Allan and Ehren Miller, taught him to be tough. They taught him respect and how to be a brother to all those he befriended… and many friend brothers he had.

At 16 years old Ben left home to travel with Airblaster and K2, where the snow grew deepest. He was young in his ability to inspire and to film, to adventure and to carve, to throw the famous Ben-Lynch-lay-one-out backflips that would drop your jaw. It was the mountains that brought him to the highest of peaks and the deepest of crevasses. His feet were always planted in Grand County and to Grand Lake where he returned to work alongside his father Craig Schmuck for Native Sons. Together they ran heavy equipment and dug into the earth. They stacked wood and kept the freezer full of meat. Craig taught him how to make a living in a small town where winters weaned out the meek and he showed him how to love.

With the love he learned, he met his dream woman and talented wife, Jenni Helms. There were few who could keep up with Ben, yet Jenni, a Ferrari mechanic and skateboarder ran circles around him, and together they began their dance. They exchanged vows August 18, 2020, continuing their lives together in Lyons, Colorado. It was there that they started their husband/wife business, Wyld Services, doing fire mitigation and excavating, side by side. It was there that they started each day in excited anticipation for the birth of their daughter, River Rose. It was there that they said an excruciating farewell to River as she passed away in her mother’s arms on the day she was born. A turning point in Ben’s life.

Our country boy Ben was multifaceted and impassioned about living off of the land. If he wasn’t carving snow, he was happiest scoping for elk, fishing for trout , picking a guitar and turning wrenches. He was a hunter and a fisherman who carried honorable confidence in the great outdoors. He was an excavator, a logger, a mechanic and a musician. He was a simple man who required very little to appreciate the land around him and to feel the joy of a hard days work. No matter what the task, he got it done with poise and a smile. His phrase, “let’s geet er done”, was known to all.

It was Ben who was teaching us all along. He taught Winter Park how to have a little more fun. He taught snowboarders to encourage snowboarders. He taught his friends hard work and he always showed them another way. He taught us to use our imaginations and he showed us humility. He taught us how to hug, and to take in a deep breath before our soft ribs caved. Lessons from Ben have taught each of us to be a little more creative, a whole lot more wild, and to squeeze just a bit tighter.

He was there and then he was gone. Everyone noticed when he was there. Everyone noticed when he was gone. We will await his return and we will find him when Merle Haggard sounds through the stereo. When an ole’ blue chevy turns the corner. When the first snow of the season falls. When we carve down the mountainside. When we find an alternate route. When we sing a little louder and dance a little harder. His presence everlasting. Until next time Ben – rip in peace.

With profound love,

Your family, your friends, Grand County and the snowboard community. We can’t thank you enough for the splendor you’ve left us.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to

an organization of your choice dedicated to mental health awareness, sports-related traumatic head injuries, or alcohol abuse.

Ben’s memorial service will be held on May 22, 2021, at 2PM MDT, Grand Lake Town Park, Grand Lake, Colorado 80447. Everyone is welcome.

Obituary: John Aron Rhone

John Aron

Rhone

January 11, 2021

John Aron Rhone (Aron) passed away on January 11, 2021 at the age of 58. He is survived by his wonderful son, Alexander John Rhone, also known as AJ to many, his brother Kyle (Stephanie), and a sister, Rema (Tony), as well as one niece and two nephews, and so many other family and friends. Aron was predeceased by his Dad, John, and his mother, Dorothy, as well as a brother, Dirk. Aron loved to read, especially history, was an amazing cook, loved riding horses and anything to do with ranching. He spent many years in the kitchen at the Grand Lake Golf Course. He served for many years on the Grand Lake Town Board¸ proudly serving as Mayor Pro Temp before ending his service. He enjoyed telling stories about his younger years working for Sombrero Stables, growing up in Grand County, being a cowboy, and riding in many Town parades with that infamous cowboy hat. His son was the light of his life and was so proud of AJ’s art talents and his graduation from Middle Park High School. His cremains will be buried at the Grand Lake Cemetery alongside his dad, mom and brother, and a celebration of his life will be planned soon. Rest in peace and comfort Aron, we love you and will miss you greatly.