Irma A. Deselms – Sloniker

Jack & IrmaIrma Ailene Deselms – Sloniker was born June 30, 1934 on the family farm in Yuma county to Jesse C. and Mary (Saville) Speicher. She was the youngest of six children. Irma passed away May 19, 2013 at the Hillcrest Towers in Wray, Colorado.

Irma embraced life and spent her lifetime in the Wray area working in various occupations having a very strong work ethic.  Along with all the many people that she delivered groceries to around town, whether it be at a business or at home, there was a cute little Boston Terrier named Max that met her at the door of her home when her day was done. Along with Irma’s great sense of humor, she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.  She was a mom and grandma to many children of many generations in Wray.

Irma was well known for her musical ability and was involved with the Cliff Dweller’s Acting and Singing Society in several musicals they performed. Irma had an amazing voice, which gave her the opportunity to sing at many funerals through the years. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Johnny Hines Unit #30.

In l966, Irma met and married the love of her life, H. E. “Pat” Deselms on November 9, 1966 and lived in Wray, Colorado until the time of Pat’s death, January 28, 1991.  A son, Duard Deselms was born June 24, 1958, and died October 28, 2006 tragically in an automobile accident.  Later in her life, she married Jack Sloniker on October 9, 1997. Irma and Jack were able to enjoy several years together until Jack’s health failed, and he passed away January 9, 2009.  Irma was also preceded in death by her parents, Jesse and Mary Speicher, brothers, Harold, Bernard and Gordon, sister, Esther Winter and nephews, Delton, Dennis, Delwyn, and Daryl.

Survivors include her daughter-in-law, Katie Deselms of Deer Park, MD, her grandchildren,  Desteny and Wyatt Deselms and one great-grandchildren, Jace Michael Lee Deselms all of Parkersberg, VA. She is also survived by one brother, Lloyd Speicher of North Platte, NE, sisters-in-law, Ilene Speicher of Ozark, MO, and Ruth Speicher of Wauneta, NE and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral services were held on Friday, May 24, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. Interment will be held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Cliff Dweller’s Acting and Singing Society, P.O. Box 325, Wray, Colorado 80758.  Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.






Rhea K. Benedetti

RHEA BENEDETTI PHOTORhea Kathleen was born in the family home at Wray, CO, on February 20, 1929, the fourth of five children, to Clyde Grant and Dorthea (Hopkins) Pittenger. Hiqhly intelligent and quietly shy, she developed an early and ongoing love of books and learning. Rhea graduated from Wray High School as Valedictorian in 1947, and wanted more than anything else to go to college, but she was needed at home to help with her ailing father and grandmother. She took a job at the bank, and helped at home until, in the spring of 1948 she married John Barnett. They were the parents of seven children, Patty in 1949, Kathie in 1951,James in 1952, Barbra Ellen who died an infant, and three stillborns.

In 1958 . John moved to California to seek his fortune. and Rhea moved home to Wray with three young children. Life was not easy with only one income and three rapidly growing youngsters, but Rhea worked long, hard hours, learned typing and accounting and moved steadily up in the working world. From dishwasher and waitress at Farmer’s Café to secretary-bookkeeper at Consumer’s Co-op, and then the School District Office, she eventually earned the title of Business Manager for the RJ-2 School District – a position she loved and held until her retirement.

In 1982 she married Frances Benedetti, the love of her life, and embarked on a brand new adventure. After they retired in 1992, they wintered in Florida and later Arizona – but Wray was always ‘home’. In 2005, when she began to experience more difficulty because of Alzheimer’s, they came home for good.

Rhea loved to read, she did crossword puzzles in ink and Suduko was a favorite pastime. She played tennis for years, tried her hand at golf,and won many bowling trophies in the 1970′s. She loved photography, and like her father took pictures of anyone who would stand still, and every interesting bird, flower, and building that got in front of the lens. Photography led to a second hobby, scrap booking, and she spent hours clipping items from newspapers ,including every ad Granma’s Treasures ever printed. She took up gardening, and took adult education classes, for she had a great thirst for learning. Her favorite magazines were National Geoqraphic and Reader’s Digest, and she had every Condensed Book they ever printed! She was a long time member of Bonne Ami, and Heritage Club, and enjoyed many activities with her friends.

She loved to travel, and with Bene in tow saw much of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Her Albums are full of the plays and musicals they attended, Museums and Restaurants they visited , and many, many street scenes.

Her absolute favorite hobby of all time was her Grandchildren and Great­ Grandchildren. She loved taking them shopping, swimming, to plays and on vacations. She loved reading to them, playing tennis and golf with them, taking pictures of them, and just looking at them. She considered each one to be beautiful, brilliant, and a perfect gift. And much easier to raise then her own, since they could always go home.

On Saturday , May 18, 2013, Rhea went home for the last time. She will be met by her parents. brothers Robert and Wilbur and his wife Belva, sisters Betty Jo and Diana, daughter Barbra Ellen, grandson John Kenneth (Skipper) Lords, niece Marie, and all those friends who went on ahead.

She is survived by her husband, Francis of Ft Collins, two daughters ,Patty (and John) Zion and Kathie Lords .and one son. James Barnett of Brush. Their families include Shelley Zion, Jasmine and Jamica of Denver, Heather Mosenteen, Anthony and Alex of Sterlinq, Theo Zion of Denver, Mike (and Kim) Zion, Tylinn and Kenzie of Ovid, and Mark Zion, Stephanie Lords, Damien, Kiara, Alysa,and Eric, Dan (and Kelly) Barnett and Calvin of Bodega CA, and Anne (and Skip) Kelley and Porter of Imperial NE, Francis’ children and their families, and many other relatives and friends.

A memorial service was held on  Saturday, May 25, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Steve Wynkoop. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains, Wray Public Schools or Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Lethia Lavonne Jones

LAVONNE JONES PHOTOLethia Lavonne entered into life August 5th 1937 to John Henry and Lois Cloud in Magdalina, New Mexico.   She entered into eternity January 8th 2013 in Wray, Colorado. After a long battle with COPD.

Lavonne and her brother John, grew up and went to school in Socorro and Lovington, New Mexico where their family lived on a ranch at Green’s Gap in New Mexico.

Lavonne married Richard B. Hunter Sr. May 23rd 1953.  From this union 2 sons were born, Richard B. Hunter Jr. and Charles L. Hunter.  While in the Air Force Richard Sr. was stationed in Cheyenne, WY. In 1960 while in the process of moving to a base in Illinois, Richard Sr. was killed while visiting friends on a trip through Wyoming.

After Richard Sr.’s death, Lavonne moved to a ranch on the Members River at Baird, New Mexico.  She moved from there to Gallop, New Mexico, then on to Hudson, and Kersey, Colorado. Finally arriving in the Vernon and Wray area.

When living in Vernon she drove farm trucks during harvest time for several different farmers.  She also worked as a cook, north of Laird, for Ceres Land and Cattle Company.  During this time her boys kept her on her toes while they were growing up. There was never a dull moment; something was always happening.

Lavonne met Grant Leroy Jones and they were married March 29th 1975, at the 1st Baptist Church in Wray.  Lavonne seemed to love new adventures and places.  After the boys were grown she traveled with Grant while he traveled in the oil field industry. They traveled wherever there was work on the rigs.

Lavonne loved to bowl and bowled in the women’s leagues until the Yuma Bowling alley closed down. She owned her own upholstery business and recovered furniture and chairs, and any other odd jobs she could do. She waited tables at the Sandhiller Restaurant for years, also worked for Alfa-Flour in the lab, and was a cashier for the new Wray Co-op Service Station.

Lavonne always had Violet Flowers all over the house. She really had a talent for starting and growing them, no matter what the color.  She loved Christmas cactus’s and had a huge one in Oklahoma that seemed to bloom almost all year around.  She also loved to make her knitted southern dolls and was always knitting dresses for them.

Lavonne took very good care of her mother for years checking on her a couple times a day. They were very close.  After her mother passed away, and then Grant passing away from cancer, she decided to move to Colcord, OK next to her brother John. She wanted to be closer to her brother, sister-in-law, and family. Having moister air and lower sea level seemed to help with the COPD. She loved the trees and her house, and living in Oklahoma right next door to her brother on his ranch. She always had the most beautiful flowers growing in pots around her house. She especially loved volunteering for the Hospital Auxiliary in Silom Springs, AR. She loved meeting and helping people as a Pink Lady at the hospital, as a volunteer.

She also found a couple new friends while in Oklahoma named Tricket and Little Girl. She loved her 2 dogs and she spoiled them whenever she could, they were her new kids. They kept her moving with fetch and wanting to set in her lap.

She had just moved back to Wray December of 2012 to be closer to her son and family. After moving back to Wray in 2012 she enjoyed watching the great grand kids play soccer and going to the great grandkids programs when her health allowed. Lavonne and both her dogs enjoyed their new home in Wray.

Lavonne was preceded in death by her father John Henry Cloud and her mother Lois Cloud. By husbands Richard B. Hunter Sr. and Grant L. Jones.

She is survived by sons Richard B. Hunter Jr. and wife Nina of Wray and Charles L. Hunter of Salt Lake City. Grandsons Travis Hunter and wife Melisa of Wray, and James Wills of Frederick, CO. Great Grandchildren Jillian, Jalen, and Jerren Hunter, and Kyle.Lavonne is also survived by her brother John Cloud and wife Ann of Colcord, OK, and children Sue, Sandy, Casey, and Stacy, along with many Niece’s and Nephew’s. She will be missed by all.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, January 12, 2013, 10:00 a.m.  at the Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray, Colorado with Pastor Glen Kline officiating. A Private Family Inurnment will be held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Wray Southern Baptist Church or Hospice of the Plains in Wray, Colorado. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home in Wray, Colorado was in charge of arrangements.


Eunice L. (Ming) Wisdom

EUNICE L. WISDOM (PAPER)Eunice Lulu Ming Wisdom was born on January 26, 1927 on the Rosenkrantz Ranch south of Laird, CO.  Her parents were Andrew Jestarus and Lulu Lucinda Ming, and she was the oldest of 5 children, Bob, Sam, Wanda, and Russell.

Eunice spent her early years on the ranch until the family moved to Wray, CO.  She graduated from Wray High School in May, 1945.  Her favorite memory is going to dances, especially the Fall Festival Dance in 1943, when Dale first asked her to join him on the floor.  She was 15 and from that point on, they were inseparable.

High school memories were a little bit different in 1945.  America was nearing the end of WWII and many of the men and some of the ladies were stepping into service for their country when they left high school, and Dale was no exception.  He asked her to marry him in 1944, just before leaving for boot camp.  He called her one Tuesday to let her know he had a very short layover and wondered if she would like to get married next Tuesday.  The answer was a resounding “YES!” and Eunice married the love of her life on October 16, 1945 at the Wray Methodist Church.  After a very short honeymoon in Denver (which they traveled to by bus), Dale shipped out to Germany.

Eunice’s first job was a “hello” girl, working as a switchboard operator until Dale came home from the war.  She also sold Avon for several years.  After Dale and Eunice bought Wray Lumber in 1964, she took care of all the back office secretarial and bookkeeping needs.  Her duties multiplied after Dale’s sudden passing.  Eunice endured many trying years at Wray Lumber but quietly and steadily took the rough times, one day at a time, until the business was back on its feet.  She sold the business and retired in 1996.

Dale and Eunice firmly believed in serving their country and their community.  Eunice remained committed to the Wray Community throughout the years belonging to the Las Viente Club, Wray Alumni Association, Wray Chamber of Commerce, Veterans Auxiliary, Cub Scout leader, and Sunday school teacher at the Methodist Church.

Eunice is survived by her children; Pam (Jim) Coulter, Wray, CO, Michael (Roni) Wisdom, Del Norte, CO, Tim (Jody) Wisdom, Wray, CO, and Dan Wisdom, Wray, CO.  Grandchildren Jesse (Mark) McKinney, Wray, CO, Gabie Cushen, Wray, CO, Lisa (Nathan) Buxman, Columbia, MO, Angie (Mike) Harms, Wray, CO, Stacey (Dan) Gaines, Corpus Christi, TX, and Kathryn Polanec, Budapest, Hungary, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.  She is also survived by her brothers, Bob Ming of Aurora, CO, Russell Ming of Highlands Ranch, CO, sister-in-law, Carol Oakley of Rapid City, SD, and brother-in-law Don Wisdom of Wray, CO.

Eunice was preceded in death by her parents Andy and Lulu Ming, her brother Sam Ming and sister Wanda McFadden, parents-in-law, Lawrence and Opal Wisdom, step-father-in-law Spencer Newbanks, brothers-in-law Dick Wisdom and Darrel Oakley, sisters-in-law Lois Wisdom and Sandy Ming, and her beloved Dale.

A part of Eunice left us when Dale left her.  She struggled to understand how the love of her life could leave her so suddenly and early.  However, her love for her family and church helped her through this difficult time.  She leaves behind a legacy of love, pride, laughter, joy, and a strong faith in the Lord.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado 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.

Raymond “Ray” Leroy Mann

Raymond “Ray” Leroy Mann was born on January 8, 1931 in rural Eckley near Old Baldy to Curtis Theodore “Ted” and Jessie Marie (Dull) Mann. He passed away on March 1, 2013 at Laurel Manor Care Center in Colorado Springs.

After graduating from Kirk High School in 1949, he married his high school sweetheart , Ruby Coriene Yelek, on March 20, 1950. To this union were born 5 children: Carol, Kenneth, Karen, Kendra, and Kellie Jo.

Ray is survived by his wife, Ruby, and his 4 daughters: Carol Mattheis & husband , Kenton, Karen Sladek & husband , Edward, Kendra, and Kellie Jo, and grandchildren:   Jason & wife, Emily, Jonathan, Jeremy & wife, Charissa, and Jenna Sladek, and great-grandson, Madden Sladek.  He is also survived by his sisters:  Juanita McCauley and Wanda Bauder, and brother-in-laws: Warren Bauder, Bill Stockwell, Archie Yelek, and Don Tweedy. The family would also like to include Kevin and Pam Adler and family and Tim and Mary Kieffaber and family as survivors as they were very special to Ray.

Ray is preceded in death by his son, Kenneth, his parents, Ted and Jessie, his brother, Darrell , and sister, Myrtle Stockwell, Ruby’s parents, Frank and Cora Yelek, his sister-in-laws: Thelma Tweedy, Sara Sutton, Rosa Mann, and Frances Gray, and brother­ in laws: Bob Gray and Clarence McCauley .

Ray farmed and ranched for many years in Yuma County, Colorado and Dundy County, Nebraska.   Inlater years, he did custom butchering for many local people.   He loved to grow things to give away in his huge garden-onions , cantaloupes, watermelons, and pumpkins, which he supplied both Idalia and Liberty school children For  jack-o-lanterns  for many years.

A graveside service was held at 10:30 a.m. on April20, 2013 at the Kirk Cemetery. Memorial contributions will be given to the Idalia School Library, to benefit the children that Ray so fondly liked to help and visit with, and to the American Diabetes Association. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.