Colorado Central Magazine has quite a few readers over the age of 60, so when I scan the obituaries of the eight different regional newspapers we receive here, I’m sometimes taken aback to learn that we’ve lost another subscriber.
Several of them passed away in 2015 and I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to them.
Ed Quillen’s mom, Dorothy, passed away on Dec. 11, 2015 at the age of 84. I met Dorothy at the memorial service for her son in 2012, here in Salida. She had read aloud a wonderful and stirring tribute to Ed and it was apparent where he had gotten much of his skills with the written word. She graciously allowed us to reprint it in the magazine.
Born in Douglas, Wyoming, where she graduated from high school, Dorothy married a local fellow, Edward K. Quillen, Jr., in 1950 and moved with him to Greeley, where Ed was born. Together they raised four sons, two of whom preceded her in death: Ed and his brother Philip.
Dorothy worked as a secretary for the University of Colorado Department of Continuing Education in Boulder. She then worked for Semester at Sea, concluding her career working from home doing typing and word processing. She was also a member of Calvary Church, where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir for many years.
Pastor Don Simonton died March 17, 2015 at the age of 86. Considered a Vail pioneer, he was the founder and first director of the Colorado Ski Museum; the creator of the Vail Ski School’s Meet the Mountain program; a cofounder of the interfaith chapels at Vail and Beaver Creek; and the initiator of the annual pilgrimage to Mount of the Holy Cross. He also founded new congregations and churches in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
He was the first director of Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in the foothills of the Sangre De Cristos, which continues to operate today and was featured in the August 2013 issue of Colorado Central.
Born in Chicago in 1929, Don earned degrees from Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) College and Lutheran Theological Seminary, also in Gettysburg. He moved west and worked as a ranch hand and as a seasonal park ranger in the Tetons. He then decided to become a minister.
In 1993, he and his wife June retired and moved to Grand Junction but spent their summers at the Rainbow Camp outside Hillside.
Mary Eleanor Fry died at the age of 94 on Nov. 28, 2015. I met Eleanor back in 1980 when we both worked for The Pueblo Chieftain. She was state editor there until she retired in 1982. I remember her as a meticulous, no-nonsense editor who initially intimidated me – a young man working his first newspaper job.
Eleanor was born in Spearville, Kansas. Her father owned the Spearville News, where she began her career in journalism. She received her degree from Kansas University with a major in journalism in 1943.
From 1951 to 1957, she was the city editor of the Salida Mountain Mail before moving to Denver to write for various publications. She was a world traveler and noted historian, having founded Pueblo Lore magazine and serving as president of the Pueblo County Historical Society for three years.
According to her obituary in The Pueblo Chieftain, Eleanor had researched and written over 250 different articles. I was flattered that she was a subscriber to Colorado Central up until her passing.