Milton C. "Dude" Sullivan, a longtime Williams Fork rancher, died March 4, 2009, at Sand Rock Ridge Care Center in Craig. "Dude" was one of 13 children born to Brendan and Mary Marshall Sullivan on Nov. 10, 1930, at the Sullivan Ranch located on the South Fork of the Williams Fork River near Pagoda.
"Dude" was educated in ranch school houses until the age of 10, when he and four of his brothers began attending school in Hayden; he completed high school in Meeker.
At Meeker High School, he was a member of FFA and received the "State Farmer Award."
He also participated in football, basketball and was a 1948 state champion in track, setting a long-standing record in the mile run. Upon graduation in 1948, "Dude" returned home to the ranch and was integral in developing the successful livestock/hunting operation.
At the 2000 Colorado State Fair, the Sullivan Ranch was awarded the Colorado State Centennial Farm and Ranch Award, being one of the oldest continuously-owned ranches operated by one family.
"Dude" was very proud of his stewardship in advancing the ranch operation through his generation.
"Dude" never married, but he could be found surrounded by his many nieces and nephews.
Many a day was spent riding horseback across his beautiful ranch, viewing his beloved Columbines and watching elk with his "girls" or working cattle or hunting elk with his "boys."
He instilled upon each of them a desire for education and many of them have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, cattlemen and businessmen. His influence will remain present in their lives.
"Dude" was preceded in death by his father, Brendan, and mother Mary; brothers Patrick, Roger, Brendan J., Thomas M., Byron J., and Patrick C.; and sisters Mary (Raymond) Yoast and Cecelia Knott.
"Dude" will be missed by his brothers, Francis (Carolyn), of Meeker; Melvin (Flora), of Craig; and James, of Littleton; sister Jeanette (George) Gruber, of Littleton; and his many nieces, nephews, and numerous friends.
A celebration of his life and friendship will take place during the Memorial Day Weekend at the Sullivan Ranch.