Wilma O. Clark

orth Fork area resident Wilma O. Clark passed away at the Delta County Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 29, 2005. She was 81 years old.

A graveside service was held at 11 a.m. June 3 at the Riverside Cemetery in Hotchkiss with Glen Ruggles officiating.

Clark was born Feb. 20, 1923, to William Thomas and Olivia (Moore) Clark in Windsor. She was the youngest of seven children. Her dad nicknamed her "Billie." The family moved to Dunkley when Billie was a young girl.She was raised in the Dunkley neighborhood on what was known as the W.L. Youst place.

During World War II, she was a "Rosie The Riveter" at the Fort Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo. In 1946, Billie, with her horse "Pat," was selected rodeo queen at the annual Larimer County Junior Rodeo held in Fort Collins. Billie had taught Pat many tricks.

In the late 1940s, Billie and her high school chum, Betty Emery, moved to the Steamboat Springs area and started the first Clark-Emery cattle ranch. In the mid-1950s, they moved to the Hayden area and bought a ranch on the Williams Fork River where they lived until the early 70s.They moved to the North Fork Valley, living for a time in Paonia and then later moving to Crawford. In the early 1990s, they bought a small place on the outskirts of Hotchkiss.

Throughout her life, Billie enjoyed music, art, animals, fishing, hunting, camping, traveling, riding horses and spending time with friends. She was an accomplished horsewoman and trainer. She raised and showed appaloosa horses.

Billie is survived by a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and six siblings.

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Fork Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 27, Hotchkiss, CO 81419 or to CAWS, P.O. Box 292, Crawford, CO, 81415.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.

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