Craig resident Earl VanTassel Jr. died Nov. 5, 2003. He was 85.
VanTassel was born April 18, 1918, in Craig to Earl H. and Eleanor (Matzke) VanTassel.
VanTassel attended first grade at the Antelope school, then the Breeze Basin School, and graduated from Craig High School in 1937. He married Florence E. Prather on Jan. 18, 1943, in Craig, and to this union five children were born, one child died at birth. VanTassel was a rancher all of his life and also worked many years for the Moffat County School District as a bus driver. He was very active in the community, serving over 40 years as a member of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board. He was also active as a 4-H leader and was a main stay at the county fair and the 4-H livestock sale. He was also on the first Colorado Conservation Board, Moffat County and the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Young Farmers, the Elks, the Sheriff's Posse, and the 4-H Foundation. He also helped at the rodeos and helped at the local sale barn for many years. He loved animals, his friends and neighbors, and especially his family and his ranch work, which he was actively pursuing at the time of his death.
VanTassel is survived by his wife, Florence; children Vivian (Loren) Murray, of Craig, Gary (Valerie) VanTassel, of Craig, Gaye (Brian) Schnackenberg, of Craig, and Verla (Alan) Rossi, of Mack, Colo.; eight grandchildren Debbie (Dan) Coakley, Kaby (Vince) Turner, Bryn and Tory VanTassel, Levi and Chelsey Schnackenberg, and Jennifer and Tony Rossi; and two great-grandchildren Justin and Jessica Coakley.
VanTassel was preceded in death by his parent, one infant daughter, and two brothers Donald and Gilbert.
Services were Nov. 10, 2003, at First Christian Church with Mervin Johnson and Beryl Wright officiating. The organist was Anne Carr and the soloist was John Allen. Selections were "Dear Daddy," "This World Is Not My Home," and "The Place Where I Worship Is The Wide Open Places."
Pallbearers were Bryn VanTassel, Tory VanTassel, Levi Schnackenberg, Tony Rossi, Justin Coakley, Brian Schnackenberg, Alan Rossi, Loren Murray, and Dan Coakley.
Honorary pallbearers were all of Earl's special friends.
Interment was at Craig Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the 4-H Foundation in care of Grant Mortuary.