Gwendol “Gwen” Murphy

gwenmurphy_edited-1Gwendol “Gwen” Florence (Holst) Murphy was born the second child to Emil and Lorraine Holst. She started her journey through life March 14, 1931 during a nasty blizzard in Hartley, Iowa. At the age of two she and her infant sister contracted pneumonia. Gwen received a second chance in life but unfortunately her sister passed on. Gwen passed away at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness on July 9, 2014 while a resident at Hillcrest Care Center, Wray, Colorado.

Gwen grew up in a little town in North West Iowa by the name of Harris. Before graduating from Harris High School she enjoyed many activities. One of her favorite was basketball, which she excelled in and was fortunate enough to play on a winning team which traveled from Iowa to Texas to play. While a young woman she spent a lot of her time with family doing special things. One of her favorites was going to Lake Okoboji and roller skating at Arnolds Park with her brother. In 1949, Gwen continued her education by attending a business college in Omaha, NE. While in Omaha she worked for a company called Mutual, attended the United Methodist Church, and enjoyed the churches youth fellowship groups.

While attending a youth fellowship activity she met the love of her life. Charles L. (Chuck) Murphy and Gwen were married June 17, 1951 in Harris, Iowa. To this union were born two sons, Steven and Stanley, and on daughter, Barbara. They started their married life on a farm near Chuck’s parent’s farm in South Central NE. An opportunity arose in Gwen’s home town of Harris to purchase a grocery store. They moved to Iowa and operated the store for a couple years. They decided it wasn’t their forte so when an opportunity for Chuck presented itself they moved the family to Ragan, NE where Gwen became a homemaker. In 1964, they moved from Ragan, NE to McDonald, KS, and in 1968 on to Wray, CO.

After moving to McDonald Gwen happened onto a hobby that carried through most of her life. She became an accomplished painter. If you were to visit any family member or friend’s home you would find her beautiful art adorning their walls.

Gwen was employed by several local businesses in Wray before purchasing her own clothing store. she operated the Mode-O-Day / Fashion Crossroads until her retirement. With time on her hands Gwen could bake up her specialties, donut holes and cookies. Retirement gave them the time to relax and travel. They especially enjoyed the time they spent with her siblings and their spouses. Chuck and Gwen really enjoyed being around people so when offered the position to manage the Wray Country Club Pro Shop it was the natural thing for them to do.

Gwen was preceded in death by her loving husband, her parents, and infant sister Judith. She was also preceded by three great grandchildren, twins, Cole and Cooper Schoenthal and Ryan Dale Murphy, all born at rest.

She is survived by son, Steven (Kelly) Murphy, son, Stanley (Jo) Murphy of Wellfleet, NE, and daughter, Barbara (Dick) Dodson of Elwood, NE, brother, Dalbert (Liz) Holst of Spirit Lake, IA, sister, Beverly (Chuck) Woodworth of Milford, IA.

She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Dawn (Luis) Ramos of Killeen, TX, Dana (Frank) Miller of Valentine, NE, Matthew Dodson of Elwood, NE, Shelly Hardesty, Laura Murphy (Brandon Schoenthal), Shari (Tommy) Bolio of Benkelman, NE, Nikki (Malcom) Dornhoff of Hartwell, NE, Sheila (Jeremy) Lutz of Windsor, CO and Justin Dodson of Elwood, NE.

Also surviving, Gwen are eighteen great grandchildren, Alex and Michael Ramos; Nathan, KayLynn, Cody, and Casey Miller; Taelyn Pritchard; Alea and Ty Hardesty; Audrey Watkins, Bryant and Alivia Schoenthal; Patrick Murphy; Makenna and Marah Dornhoff; and Gracie, Lillie and Blake Lutz.

Gwen’s favorite saying was, “What a wonderful life.”

She passed away July 9, 2014 at Hillcrest Care Center in Wray, Colorado. A Memorial service was held Monday, July 14, 2014, 2:30 p.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. A joint inurnment was held for Chuck and Gwen in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado after Gwen’s Memorial Service. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains, P.O. Box 365, Wray, Colorado 80758. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Rick Schorzman

SCHORZMAN, RICKRick L. Schorzman was born November 6, 1951 in Benkelman, Nebraska to Robert and Doris (Wiley) Schorzman. He grew up and attended school in Haigler, Nebraska graduating from Haigler High School in 1970. He enjoyed football, basketball and track during his high school years.

After high school he attended Nebraska Technical College in Milford, Nebraska graduating in 1971 with a degree in Motor Vehicle Technology. After college graduation he worked at White Machine and Motor in Goodland, Kansas until 1973.

In October of 1973, Rick married Deb Smith in Haigler, Nebraska. Rick and Deb made their home in Deb’s hometown of Wray, Colorado. At that time Rick went to work for Charlie Adamson as a mechanic.

Gary Stone later appointed Rick as his Deputy Clerk and Recorder. Gary and Rick spent their coffee breaks with the guys at the Sheriff’s office. That is when Sheriff Bob Murphy lured Rick into coming to work for him as a deputy. Rick had finally found his true calling in law enforcement and started his 38 year career serving the citizens of Yuma County.

Rick graduated with honors from the Colorado Law Enforcement Academy in Golden, Colorado in 1979.

Rick eventually left the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department and joined the Wray Police Department. Working his way up the ranks he became the Chief of Police of the City of Wray and served the City of Wray for 16 years.

Sheriff Bruce Zulauf convinced Rick to come back to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department where Rick served until 2013.

Rick’s pride and joy was his daughter, Heather, born in 1974. A few years down the road Heather blessed him with two grandchildren, Katie and Corey. They were the love of his life.

Over the years Rick was active in Jaycees, as a D.A.R.E. instructor, EMT for the Wray Ambulance, River City Cruisers and road with the Patriot Guard Riders.

He enjoyed many activities during his lifetime, hunting, fishing, trapping, NASCAR, fast cars and fast motorcycles. He looked forward each year to the annual trip to Kansas City Race Way with his brother, Danny.

Rick and Deb owned and operated Schorzman Small Engine Repair part-time for many years.

He suffered many major health issues over the years but he always came out the winner and came back strong. He lost the final battle on June 28 at his home in Wray with his wife at his side.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Bob and Doris.

Those left behind to celebrate his life are his wife, Deb; daughter, Heather and husband, Larry Schiferl of Evans, Colorado; grandchildren, Katie Lynn Rogers of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Corey Rogers of Evans, Colorado; sister, Kathie and husband, Ron Fry of Alliance, Nebraska; brothers, Bob and wife Laverne of Tucson, Arizona; Dan and wife, Deb of Benkelman, Nebraska; mother and father-in-law, Frank and Shirley Smith of Wray.  And a host of other family members and friends all of which were dear to Rick.

Rick is now riding that Harley in the wind.

He passed away Saturday, June 28, 2014 in Wray, Colorado. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at the Wray United Methodist Church, 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. Interment was held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Wray Volunteer Fire Department. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Wanda M. Jacobson

WANDA JACOBSONWanda Mae Howard was born December 17, 1932 to Roy William and Irene Elizabeth (Hoover) Howard in St. Francis, Kansas.  She passed away at the Wray Community District Hospital in Wray, Colorado on June 13, 2014.

Wanda Mae Howard married John E. Jacobson on April 17, 1952. They had three children, Lyle D. Jacobson, Gail M. Oleson and Lewis J. Jacobson.  She loved her art, painting with oils, gardening and helping others. She was a bookkeeper for the family business, John’s 66. She loved to grow flowers and could always be seen working in her yard on Main Street. The house was always open to family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband,  John E. Jacobson and son, Lyle D. Jacobson in May 1983.

She is survived by her daughter, Gail Oleson, son, Lewis Jacobson, sisters, Marion Howard Crites, Orpha Howard Brown, brother, Ray Howard,  grandson, Jeremy Jacobson, granddaughter, Danielle Goodman Cunningham, three great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and numerous great nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 2:00 p.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. A Private Family Inurnment will be held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Wray Art Guild. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray was in charge of arrangements.

Lorin Junior Selby

JR SELBY PHOTOLorin Junior Selby was born on Feb 6, 1946 in Wray Colorado to Lorin and Vera Selby.  He passed away June 16, 2014 at his home in Sugar City, Colorado after a long battle with cancer.

He grew up on the family farm south of Wray and graduated from Wray High School in 1964.  Following the death of his father he worked on the family farm until the 1980s.  He moved to Arizona in the 1980’s and operated a dry cleaners.  In the early 1990’s he moved to Sugar City where he served part-time on the town council while driving a truck for a living.  He served on the Sugar City town council and was instrumental in obtaining a grant to build a new town hall.  While driving truck he injured his back and retired in Sugar City.   

Junior was a member of the Methodist Church, as well as the Masonic Lodge and the Elks.  He was a past member of the Jaycees and built a motorcycle track as a fundraiser.  He enjoyed playing pitch and talking about cattle and farming with his friends.  He was a private pilot and member of Flying Farmers. 

Junior was married to Pat Willig (Ramseier) and they had one son, Justin.  Justin married and gave Junior three grandchildren – Andrew, Jacob, and Gabriella. 

Junior was preceded in death by his parents Lorin and Vera Selby and his son Justin.

His survivors include Justin’s wife, Olivia and his three grandchildren of Excelsior Springs, Missouri and John and Theo Selby of Gilbert, Arizona. 

A graveside service and inurnment will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.






Melvin Gene Ritchey

GENEMelvin Gene Ritchey was born October 14, 1947 to Marlin and Sylvia (Fincher) Ritchey in Yuma, Colorado. He went home to his heavenly Father May 22, 2014 in Wray, Colorado.

As a young boy the family lived in rural Yuma County. His entire education was in Wray, Colorado. When he was in high school, he worked for his Dad in the excavation business. After high school he continued to work for his Dad, then he had his own business Ritchey’s Excavation. He also worked for Wray Redi-Mix, then he went to work for the East Yuma County Cemetery District. He retired from there on October 31, 2013 after 36 years. He was very involved in all the changes and decisions on our cemeteries in the District. He had belonged to the Wray Elks.

December 4, 1965, Gene and Lois Prather were married in Wray, Colorado. Three children, Ron, Travis and Sabrena joined the family. Unfortunately the marriage did not last. Later, he found love with Linda Menke. Gene really enjoyed having his grandkids around. He always had ice cream, and as the grandkids always said the best cookies in the country. Sometimes we think he enjoyed feeding them full of ice cream, cookies and anything sugar filled and then sending them home for the parents to deal with the sugar high. He also loved to give the grandkids a huge cup to go pick purple mulberries.

Gene loved to go hunting and fishing. He often talked about going fish or hunting before and after school. He and his brother, Sonny always went opening day deer hunting until Sonny’s health wouldn’t let him. At that time, Gene and son, Travis started their deer hunting together. One of his delights was taking granddaughter, Ozzi on her first hunting trip when she was 2 ½ months old.

Gene, Sonny, Steve Ivins, Joe and Victor Hart got to go fishing many times. GeneLooked forward to retiring, so he could go fishing anytime he wanted to. Gene also loved to garden. He was like his Mom, they could have a garden the size of a postage stamp and feed a ton of people. He became an avid canner, Learning from his mom and passing the dying art on to his son, Travis. He spent many hours and miles hauling Sabrena and her horse to 4-H and fair events.

He is preceded in death by special friend, Linda Menke, his parents, Marlin and Sylvia Ritchey, brother, Sonny Ritchey, brothers-in-law, Jim Ellis and Wilber Snelling and infant nephew, mother and father-in-law, Leo and Beryl Prather.

He is survived by his son, Ron Ritchey and wife, Kusuma, The Woodlands, Texas;Son, Travis Ritchey, Wray, Colorado; daughter, Sabrena McCasland and husband, Brian, Wray, Colorado; grandchildren: Simone, Carson and Gavin Ritchey, The Woodlands, Texas; Ozzi Ritchey, Wray; Kordell, Kenzie and Kennedi McCasland, Wray. Sisters, Mary Lou Walwer and husband, Bob, Winter Haven, Florida, Mable Snelling, Yuma, Colorado; brother, Merle and wife, Charlotte, Wray; Special friends, Steve Ivins, Joe Hart, Victor Hart, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A Memorial service was held at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado, Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. Inurnment was held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.