1917 - January 13, 2009
Marian Sue Okes was born Dec. 28, 1917 to Joseph "Ray" Okes and Madge Alden Lilly Okes in East Raleigh, W.V. She died Jan. 13, 2009, at 91.
In March 1918, when only 3 months old, her parents moved West to Colorado. Her father had come ahead to the area as he wanted to homestead. He found living quarters for his family. Her mother, sister Mildred and Marian then came to Colorado by train. Her parents built a house on Tucker Street and proved up on a homestead north of Craig. Two years later, brother Donald Okes joined the family, and when Marian was 10 years old, brother Kenneth was born.
At 12, she asked to take Jesus into her heart.
Through her childhood years, Marian enjoyed being part of the first 4-H program in Moffat County.
She learned to cook and sew and perfected these skills as she grew. Marian attended school in Craig, graduating from Craig High School and earning a full scholarship to Mesa College in music. She loved to sing and was part of a contata. She also sang and played the piano with a band, along with her sister Mildred, Vern Blevins and Joe Self. They played at dances and had a wonderful time.
Marian worked at the telephone company and was the one who called the alarm and notified the workers when the huge fire destroyed the Texaco refinery. She transferred with the telephone company a few years later to Corvallis, Ore. She rented a room from dear friends. It was there she met her husband, Forrest Conrow. Forrest was working in the ore mines in Nevada. They were married Sept. 16, 1943, in Magill, Nev., at the home of some dear friends.
In April 1945, daughter Sharon Lee was born in East Ely, Nev. When she was about nine months old, the family moved to Eugene, Ore., for a short time. The family then moved June 10, 1949, to Craig. Daughter Rae Elise was born at the Hayden hospital. Forrest opened the Craig Radio Shop on Yampa Avenue and did radio repair for many years and also experimented with television, helping to bring TV to the Yampa Valley.
Marian did bookkeeping for the shop, ironing and babysitting to help make ends meet. She also enjoyed working as a clerk at JC Penney Company for 20 years.
Marian was a wonderful cook and could make something delicious out of very meager rations. She was active in the Rebeccah Lodge and held state office. She was a bluebird leader, a member of the First Christian church, where she was very active in the children's Sunday School and Bible school as her children grew.
She enjoyed her grandchildren immensely, and as most lived out of town in their early years, she would leave their little hand prints on the hallway mirror until she knew they were coming to visit.
She enjoyed ceramics and made beautiful nativity sets and many other things for her family. She enjoyed fabric stencil painting and made many beautiful items for her family.
Failing eyesight caused her to have to stop doing many things she enjoyed.
She enjoyed books on tape sent by the Colorado Talking Book Library. These books were sent free of charge for her enjoyment, and she could read about eight a week between her household chores.
She was invited to share her last years in the home of Mike and Sharon Chapman, her daughter, and she was loved until her passing by not only them, but Elise and her grandchildren.
Marian was preceded in death by her husband, Forrest; parents, Madge and Ray Okes; sister, Mildred Okes, and husband, Merel Rogers; and brother Donald Okes.
Surviving family members include daughters, Sharon (Mike) Chapman and Elise (Larry) Schmedeke; grandchildren David (Sharyl) Chapman, Stacey (John) Armstrong, Janell (Shawn) Edwards, Lori (Pat) Noland, Eric (Shannon) Standard, and Schmedeke's Don (Amy), Cliff (Shannon), Frank (Jana) and Bill (Katy); 20 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; brother, Kenneth (Lyn) Okes; sister-in-law, Jean Okes; nieces and nephews, Rockie (Bill) Kephart, Mary (Kay) Okes, Sue (Kelly) Moore and their families. She loved her caregiver, Dottie Reynolds, who stayed with her when her daughter and son-in-law could not be with her.
Marian is so loved and missed by all her family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Colorado Talking Book Library in care of Grant Mortuary, as it is such a wonderful service to the sight impaired.
A funeral was Friday, Jan. 16, 2009 at Grant Mortuary with Mervin Johnson officiating. Wanda Brown sang "In the Garden" and "Old Rugged Cross." She was accompanied by organist Anne Carr.