Obituary: Gene Darrah
Gene Darrah passed away on Jan. 15, 2015, due to complications from ALS. Gene was born on Aug. 19, 1940, in Burwell, Neb., to Lyle “Bud” and Ellen (Meuret) Darrah. Gene grew up on a ranch east of Burwell and attended a one-room country school. In 1953, his parents leased out the family ranch and moved to Grand Island, Neb., so Gene could attend St. Mary’s High School. Gene later graduated from Grand Island Central Catholic High School in 1957. In 1958, the ranch was sold and the family moved to Grand Junction, where they bought a Holstein dairy farm.
In 1959, Gene moved to Lakewood and joined the Air National Guard. In 1961, Gene moved to Granby to work with his father in real estate. In 1965, Gene and Bud bought a ranch on the Canadian River north of Walden and a summer ranch in Wiggins, Colo. They ran commercial cattle and registered quarter horses.
In 1970, Gene met a young school teacher, Dollie Durham from Worland, Wyo. Dollie refused to go out with him but on the fourth time asking, she finally relented. They were married Dec. 21, 1970, at St. Peters Catholic Church in Kremmling and had four children. Gene served as a Granby Town Trustee from 1972-77. In 1993, Gene opened a successful branch real estate office in Riverton, Wyo. Gene became a real estate broker in six states specializing in ranches and farms.
In 2001, he was diagnosed with ALS and by 2002 confined to a wheelchair. With Dollie’s help he continued selling ranches. He lost his ability to speak in 2005, which ended his 44 years in the real estate business. Gene and Dollie renewed their wedding vows on their 40th anniversary in 2010 at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church. After Mass, a reception followed with a large group of family and friends.
Gene is survived by his loving wife Dollie, sons Richard, Lyle and Allen, and daughter Kathy (Darrah) Anderson and nine grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents. In lieu of flowers to help offset medical expenses, the family humbly requests donations be made to: Lyle T. Darrah, care of Grand Mountain Bank, POB 964, Granby, CO 80446.
Gene’s funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church in Granby. Burial will be in Granby.
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