Clarence R. Lidke

CLARENCE LIDKE PHOTOClarence R. Lidke was the son of Emil and Emma (Steen) Lidke, who had emigrated from Germany to Nebraska and then the Idalia area.  He was born May 11, 1920, on a farm southeast of Idalia which his parents rented.  Due to his mother’s failing eyesight, Clarence’s care was entrusted to his sisters, Elsie, Hattie, Anne and Mabel while his brother George, older than Clarence by 4 years, was a playmate and companion. Clarence’s mother died in 1929 and the siblings assumed total responsibility for one another.

Clarence attended 1st thru 4th grades at the Star School, just west of St. John church then went to the Ash Grove school northeast of Idalia.  His sister Hattie taught at Ash Grove when he was a student there; he finished the 7th and 8th grades at the Idalia school.  During these years the family lived several places including the Sullivan Ranch in the Beecher Island community.  Clarence had fond memories of going with the Barber boys to swim in Jack’s Gulch, located halfway between Wray and Idalia.

As the financial situation and drought of the 1930’s worsened, the Lidke family struggled, living mostly on Hattie’s teaching salary and any money the others could earn from odd jobs.  They moved to Fort Lupton where Clarence got a job at the sugar beet factory, earning $.47 ½ cents per hour.  He attended and was graduated from Fort Lupton High School.

When the sugar beet factory closed, Clarence and Mabel, with the help of their uncle Herman Lidke, built a wooden camper on their 1928 Chevrolet pickup and went to the lower Rio Grande Valley looking for work on the fruit and vegetable farms.  They picked citrus fruit, hoed cotton and worked in the vegetable packing plants; family legend is that they left Colorado with $35; about a year later, they returned to Denver where Clarence borrowed money from George to buy enough gas to get to Idalia.

In November, 1942, Clarence enlisted in the army; his first mess hall meal was Thanksgiving breakfast at Fort Riley, KS.  He chose to become a part of the Army Air Force and was sent to Tonopah, Nevada, for training.  A member of the 446 Bomb group, he was a ball turret belly gunner for a B24 crew eventually stationed at Flexton Air Base, Norwick, England.  He flew 35 missions from England to Germany and back, then returned to California at the end of the war, completing his military time as a fire fighter in California.

In 1946 Clarence bought his farm, where Bill Carpenter Sr. now lives.   He supplemented his income by doing day work for neighbors as well as exchanging labor; he stuccoed many buildings in the area.   When Hwy 385 was improved, he joined the road crew and helped build the bridge over the Republican River.  He lived on the farm until the fall of 1994, when he moved to the Burlington Care Center.    In November, 2011, he moved to HillCrest Care Center in Wray.

An avid sportsman, Clarence hunted, fished, and observed wildlife.  He was a member of NRA and helped organize the Idalia Gun Club. He assisted with the black powder shoot at Beecher Island Days and was a hunter safety instructor.  Clarence was a charter member of the Idalia Lions Club and a member of the Wray VFW.

Clarence was baptized and confirmed at St. John UCC and had served on the church board and cemetery board.

He was preceded in death by  an infant sister,  his parents;  sisters:  Elsie Moellenberg, Hattie Allen, Ann Poska, Mona (Mabel) Carpenter, sister-in-law Maxine Lidke,  brothers-in-law:  August Moellenberg, Berl Allen, and John Poska.

He is survived by his brother George, six nephews, seven nieces and their families.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, July 25, 2013, 1:30 p.m. at the St. John United Church of Christ in Idalia, Colorado with Pastor Jennifer McDowell officiating. Interment was held in the St. John Cemetery in Idalia, Colorado. Memorials may be made to Hillcrest Care Center, P.O. Box 100, Wray, Colorado 80758. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Anthony Dewayne Whomble

ANTHONY 2Anthony Dewayne Whomble was born December 13, 2011 at the Wray Community District Hospital in Wray, Colorado to Dewie and Angel (Tinsley) Whomble and became the baby brother of Hailie, 7 and Lucy, 3.  In the short time here on earth, Anthony touched many lives with joy, smiles and laughter and he will be missed by his whole family. He passed away on July 6, 2013 in Wray, Colorado.

Anthony was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Peter and Mary Redden and Nadine Workman and uncle, Ronnie Holsinger.

Anthony is survived by his parents, Dewie and Angel Whomble, sisters, Hailie and Lucy, grandparents, Jane Holsinger, Charla Whomble, Dallas Whomble, Great-grandad, Charles Workman, and aunts, Mary Krehmeyer, Angie Deal and husband, Mac  and uncles, Peter and Larry Holsinger.

Funeral services were held Friday, July 12, 2013, 10:00 a.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Norman Stott officiating. Interment was held in the Glendale Cemetery in Vernon, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Anthony Dewayne Whomble Memorial Fund, c/o Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home, 427 Adams Street, Wray, Colorado 80758. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Harlan F. Boden

Harlan Fred Boden entered the presence of the Lord on Thursday, May 30th, 2013.  He was born to Fred and Rose (Pfeiler)  Boden on March 23rd, 1926 and lived on the home farm in Idalia, Colorado all his life.  He was 87 years old.

Harlan married Shirley Keeler on June 22nd, 1952.  They enjoyed over 60 years of life together.  They lived their entire life on the family farm in Idalia and in the last few months of Harlan’s life lived together at the Hillcrest Care Center in Wray, CO.

Farming wasn’t an occupation for Harlan, it was his life.  Besides farming, he also worked as a carpenter for many years and was an excellent mechanic.  He loved his family and friends and always enjoyed meeting new people.   He was a member of the NRA and an excellent rifleman with many awards.  He also enjoyed hunting, water-skiing, fishing and in his last years looked forward to his trips to Cabelas in Sydney, NE.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother Fred and Rose Boden of Idalia and his son Michael Boden of Bakersfield, California.  He is survived by his wife, Shirley Boden of Idalia, sisters Virginia Lengel of Burlington and Dorothy (Denny) Witmer of Colorado Springs; daughter Phyllis (Michael) Beecham of La Junta, CO; his grandchildren Sarah Beecham of La Junta, Michelle (Daniel) Blackwell of La Junta, Joshua Beecham of La Junta,  Kiley (Mike) Roberts of Bakersfield, CA, Kimberly (Charlie) Sandiford of Burnsville, MN, Kody (Brandi) Boden of Fort Irwin, CA; Great-grandchildren Cayden Blackwell of La Junta, Pacey, McKenzie, and Liam Roberts of Bakersfield, CA, Presley and Finley Sandiford of Burnsville, MN, Elizabeth and Gavyn Boden of Fort Irwin, CA; and numerous cousins,  nephews and nieces.

Funeral services were held at St. Johns Church, south of Idalia on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 at 10:00am.  Services were officiated by Pastor Chuck Wright and Pastor Joe Berry.  Interment was held in the St. John Cemetery in Idalia, Colorado. Memorials may be made to Feed the Children, P.O. Box 36, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-0036. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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.