Memorial to honor former Craig resident |

Memorial to honor former Craig resident

Ryan Sixkiller-Allen, center, rides with family members amid the wilderness of Northwest Colorado. Sixkiller-Allen, a resident of Dixon, Wyo., and originally from Craig, died Jan. 6 in Grand Junction from multiple cancers. A memorial service in her honor is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds with a reception to follow at the Pavilion.

A memorial service this afternoon at the Moffat County Fairgrounds will honor former Craig resident Ryan Sixkiller-Allen, who died Jan. 6 at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.

Ryan's father, Bill Sixkiller, of Craig, said his daughter was at peace after a long battle with multiple types of cancer.

"She'd been dealing with that all her life," Bill said.

Ryan, who turned 32 days before her death, was first afflicted with a tumor at age 18 months. After undergoing treatment, she remained healthy until being diagnosed with breast cancer in her 20s and more recently, a sarcoma near her heart.

Bill said fighting cancer was a big part of Ryan's life, more so since 2010 when her 7-year-old daughter Hannah was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors.

"I don't think anything was more important to her than taking care of her daughter," Bill said.

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Hannah has since received treatment and has a positive prognosis. Northwest Colorado and Wyoming residents raised more than $20,000 for the family in summer 2010.

"The folks here are unbelievable, helping out with things like that," Bill said.

Part of the fundraising involved rodeo activities, which were a favorite of Ryan who was heavily involved in the Moffat County rodeo scene while growing up in Craig, specializing in roping and goat tying.

"She grew up at the fairgrounds here," Bill said.

After moving to Dixon, Wyo., Ryan continued to take advantage of the outdoor opportunities offered by the region such as horseback riding, a pastime she shared with her daughter.

The memorial service will pay tribute to Ryan in one of the places she loved the most, Bill said.

"I would imagine it'll be pretty big," Bill said. "I think people will want to remember her the way she was because she was always friendly and always had a big smile on her face."

The memorial includes a reception at the fairgrounds' adjoining Pavilion. A memorial fund in Ryan's name also has been set up at Bank of Colorado.

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The Sixkiller family will host a memorial service for Ryan Sixkiller-Allen at 2 p.m. today at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. A reception will follow at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. Memorial donations may be made to the Ryan Sixkiller Memorial Fund in care of Bank of Colorado.

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