Neal Kenneth Taylor Burke

NEAL BURKE PHOTONeal Kenneth Burke, 69 years of age, passed away Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at his home in Wray. Neal was born July 20, 1944 in Scottsbluff, NE to Lloyd Eugene and Eva S. (Roth) Taylor. Eva remarried and Neal was adopted by Gus V. Burke at a very young age.

He grew up in Greeley, Colorado and moved with his parents to Las Vegas, NV in 1961 where he graduated from high school in 1963.

After high school he landed back in Greeley where he enlisted in the Marines in September of 1965, during the Viet Nam War, spending two years of that time on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, CVA42. He and Elaine Hill were married in Dec. of 1965. After his discharge from the Marines in 1969, he and Elaine moved to California with their daughter, Tracey. They separated and Neal moved around living in Florida, Phoenix, AZ, and Kansas City, MO. During this time he became a plastic fabricator. In 1995, he and a friend, Rodney Olivas, opened Accurate Acrylic Designs in Ventura, CA. They created very unique items, such as a vacuum chamber for NASA, items for Disney, display windows, display cases and holders for all types of things and just about anything someone would order. The business was sold in 2004 and Neal moved to Wray. He continued to take a few orders for the acrylic business, but was semi-retired.

Neal was very creative and meticulous and could make something out of almost anything. He was a master acrylic fabricator and could also take an old scrap of wood and make a beautiful picture frame or whatever he wanted. He also enjoyed woodworking, riding his Harley in the wilderness of California, the visits from his daughter and granddaughters after moving to Wray, Sunday night pizza with his mom.

Neal was preceded in death by his biological father, Lloyd Eugene Taylor, father, Gus Burke, and all of his aunts and uncles.

He is survived by his mother, Eva Burke of Wray, Colorado; daughter, Tracey (Dean) white and granddaughters, Kaylyn and Taylor, Ft. Collins; brother, Garry (Penny) Burke, Pahrump, NV; niece, Jana (Steve) Streelman, Carlsbad, CA; sister, Karan (Lanny) Harsh, Wray, CO and nieces Tereasa Harsh, Aurora, CO; Cori Harsh, Papillion, NE; Tobi (ron) deFrates, San Diego, CA; nephew, J.R. (Kristi) Harsh, Greeley, CO; good friend, Rodney Olivas, Wray, CO, and grand nieces and nephews.

Memorial services were held on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Norman Stott officiating.  Inurnment was held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.







Francis H. Olsen

FRANCIS OLSENFrancis Olsen of Wray, Colorado, passed away on September 20, 2013, at the Hillcrest Care Center, Wray, Colorado at the age of 100 years, 5 months and 16 days.

Born April 4, 1913 on the family homestead, to Henry and Hulda (Seipp) Olsen, southeast of Rocky Ford. The eldest of six children, he attended school at Timpas, and Rocky Ford, Colorado.

On January 22, 1941, he married Ethel Day and to this union had three children and later divorced.

On March 28, 1965, he married Lois Bradshaw and shared 16 years. They were active in various organizations, continuing education and traveling until her death.

In December 1982, he married Nola Brown and shared 25 years. He enjoyed woodworking, jewelry making and model steam engines, and together they took part in many crafts shows.

He is survived by his brother, Marvin Olsen of Denver, Colorado, children, Donna Schneider (Duane) of Greeley, Colorado, grandson, Michael Schneider of Fort Collins, Colorado; son, Jerry Olsen (Linda) of Haigler, Nebraska; grandson, Rick Olsen (Joey) of Lincoln, Nebraska; grandson, Russell Olsen (Steph) of Papillion, Nebraska, granddaughter, Jenni Evans (Dan of Salida, Colorado; great-grandchildren, Kyra and Isaak, Samuel Evans and many nieces and nephews. Step-children, Linda Pachak (Walt), Larry Bradshaw (Letha), Jan Miller (Bob), step-grandchildren, John Bradshaw, Kurt Bradshaw all of Fowler, Colorado, Barbara Kaman, Rick Brown and step-granddaughter, Terri Tibbs (Robert) all of Pueblo, Colorado.

Preceded in death by sisters; Winifred, Mavis, brothers, Roy, Lawrence, daughter, Karel, Ethel Day, Lois Bradshaw, Nola Brown, step-granddaughter, Michelle Bradshaw Day.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 5, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at the Fowler Christian Church in Fowler, Colorado.

Russell A. Olsen

RUSS OLSEN PHOTOAfter a six year courageous and victorious battle with pancreatic and liver cancer, Russ was called home to be with his Lord and Saviour on September 9, 2013 at the age of 52. Russ was born to Howard and Gladys Olsen on December 2, 1960 in Yuma, Colorado. many Yumans will remember what a miracle he was to this union. He graduated high from Yuma High School in 1979. Russ was voted, “Most likely to Succeed”, his senior year and succeed he did, in many ways.

He married his high school sweetheart, Keree Hall, on December 17, 1980. They were blessed with two children, son, Soren Christian Olsen, 1988 and daughter, Maren Katrine Olsen, 1989.

He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983. He actually wrote his own degree through the Independent Studies Program. Russ was sought to write programs for a graduate class in entomology and to help with PhD thesis for a student.

After graduation, he moved to Aurora, Colorado with Keree to begin his professional career with Johns Manville as a Computer Systems Analyst. Russ was later employed by MCI Telecommunications as a Programmer and then Wang Laboratories as a Senior Analyst covering six states. He then founded Premier Systems Unlimited, Inc. in 1989. Russ held contracts with the State of Colorado, the State of Utah and U.S. West Communications.

In 1994, the family moved to Wray, Colorado. Russ continued with his contracts driving back to Denver during the week for the next two years. As the contracts were ending he was considering what the next direction should be. Russ decided to put a survey in both the Yuma Pioneer and Wray Gazette newspapers to see if folks felt that providing an e-mail and Internet access would be beneficial for businesses and personal use. He also received only 10 surveys back from potentially interested folk. He also told Keree this may only be a part-time job. The family joke was, when did the part-time part start?

Most know Premier Systems Unlimited, Inc., as At one time the business provided services to Yuma, Washington, Kit Carson, Lincoln and Logan Counties.

Russ was an avid hunter, sailor and fisherman; a friend to many and a stranger to few. He was mostly proud of his children’s accomplishments.

Russ was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Gladys. In addition to his wife, Keree, he is survived by his son, Soren (Laura) Olsen and daughter, Maren Olsen; grandchild, Alina Jensine Olsen (Lil Spud). He is also survived by his sister, Jeanne Lewis of Scottsdale, AZ, brother, Roger (Candy) Olsen of Arvada, CO, father-in-law, Bruce Hall of Yuma, CO and sister-in-law, Liesa (Everett) Johnson of Thornton, CO, Aunt Edith Robertson of Yuma, CO and many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Funeral services was held Thursday, September 12, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at the New Life Christian Center in Eckley, Colorado with Pastor Glen Kline officiating. Private Family Interment was held in the Yuma Cemetery in Yuma, Colorado. Memorials may be given to Hospice of the Plains, or to the Wray or Yuma Fire Departments for Fire Works. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.




Clifford E. Castor

SONY DSCCliff Castor passed away peacefully, Sunday, September 8, 2013 after a 2 1/2 year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 73.

He was born November 11, 1939 in Wray, Colorado to parents, William John and Lena F. (Hesse) Castor. He was blessed to have four brothers and two sisters who he loved spending time with. Cliff was baptized and became a member of the RLDS Church and continued his membership until 1974 when he joined the Methodist Church. Cliff lived  a few years in Oregon as a child, but returned to Wray at the age of nine. He grew up spending his time outdoors swimming, creating adventures and being mischievous with his four brothers.

Cliff attended Wray School participating in football, wrestling and track. When Cliff’s mother was transferred to Greeley with the phone company he chose to stay in Wray moving in with his Grandpa and Grandma Hesse to complete his high school education. In 1958, his senior year, he was the 127 pound State Wrestling Champion. In l958, he enrolled at Northern Junior College to join in their wrestling program, Northeastern Plainsmen, achieving a win to assist the team in winning the 1959 Championship of the Empire Conference.

Cliff returned to Wray and was united in marriage to Virginia Newton on January 17, 1960 in Vernon, Colorado. Cliff and Virginia shared 53 happy years together and their relationship was a shining example of what true love is…companionship, humor, flexibility, difference of opinion and love for one another. To this union three children were born; Todd, Rindi and Stephanie. Cliff was a wonderful father who taught them by example how to work, play, love and enjoy the outdoors. He was always understanding, forgiving, and a genuinely caring man.

He began working in the construction business and formed his own company, Castor Construction in 1972 remaining in business for thirty-five years. Over the years, he lost count of the many homes he had built and remodeled. The satisfaction of a customer was the goal Cliff insisted on for each job he completed, he worked diligently until both he and the customer were happy with the project.

In 1990, Cliff and Sam Ming formed, Castor-Ming Construction to build the WRAC facility for the Community of Wray. Cliff was especially proud of this accomplishment and happy that the facility has benefitted the community.

Cliff was a member of the Wray Fire Department from 1972 to 1992 when he retired. He was proud to be part of the organization striving to make all the fires and the short Monday night meetings, which often times turned into late night fun. He also enjoyed participating in the summer Fireman Races; they always had a great time and even brought home a few trophies.

At home when Cliff was idle he was restoring antique furniture, gas pumps, and his 1955 Chevy and El Camino; fishing was still a priority if the weather was good. He loved the outdoors, winter or summer, especially at the cabin. Spending a day alone enjoying nature was Cliff’s form of relaxation. He was also always eager to go on hunting, snowmobiling, and scouting trips with the guys.

Cliff was a man of few words and many talents, he had a strong presence, and one always knew when he was in the room smiling his sheepish smile. Cliff never missed the opportunity to watch his grandchildren participate in sports, plan trips to the mountains, and build things for them. He took them on many adventures and they all got to experience fishing with him. He had a mischievous side he shared with his grandkids, but taught them all to be better people. Cliff loved his family and took every opportunity to be involved in their lives.

Cliff considered himself a lucky man because he was living where he wanted and loved his work, he was truly happy in his environment; he believed in supporting his community by giving back in every possible way he could. He was gifted with the ability to turn wood into beautiful things and he generously shared these projects with others. The toys, furniture, decorations and benches he made will be enjoyed by many family members and friends forever. He loved to sit on the bench he made for Virginia on summer evenings and watch the neighbor children play. It truly was the simple things that made him happy.

Cliff was preceded in death by his father, William, mother, Lena and two brothers, Bill and Kenneth, his mother-in-law, Helen Newton, father-in-law, Earl Newton, two brothers-in-law, Wayne and Bob Newton, three sisters-in-law, Glenda and Patty Newton and Betty Castor and three nephews, Ralph Castor, Gene and Randy Newton.

Cliff is survived and will be deeply missed by his wife, Virginia, son Todd, daughters Rindi and Stephanie and husband, Woody Woods, grandchildren, Austin and wife, Danielle, Branden and Sydney, Sierra and Jacob, Logan, Megan, Morgan and Addie. Great-granddaughters, Madison, Bryson and Jaxyn Woods and Natalie Johnson. Brothers, John and wife, Neva, and Jim Castor, sisters, Beverly Morris and Phyllis Schinke and husband, Don, and brothers-in-law, JE and wife, Patty, Dean and wife Carol Newton, many nieces, nephews, and friends.

A Memorial service “Celebration of Life” was held on Saturday, September 14, 2013, 10:30 a.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Rev. Norman Stott officiating. A Private Family Inurnment in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to the Cliff Castor Memorial Fund. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Chloe Rebekah Wisdom Funeral Services

CHLOE REBEKAH WISDOM, 4 was born August 20, 2008 to Clint & Renee (Moore) Wisdom in San Jose, Costa Rica. She passed away August 12, 2013 in Wray, Colorado. A Funeral service will be held at the New Life Christian Center in Eckley, Colorado on Thursday, August 15, 2013, 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Glen Kline officiating. Interment will be held in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray, Colorado. Memorials may be made to Chloe’s Fund. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.