1917 - May 8, 2010
Mable Catherine Pankey Criswell was born Jan. 29, 1917, in Akron to Grace Pankey and Clarence Harrison.
She died May 8, 2010, at 93.
The Pankey family traveled to Colorado by covered wagon from southeastern Missouri. While they stayed the winter in Akron with an aunt, Mable was born. The family then went on to western Colorado and Wyoming, where they homesteaded.
Mable was raised an only child with uncles and aunts that kept her entertained until age 5, when she moved to Wyoming with her mother and stepfather, Dee Montgomery.
She attended elementary and high school in Dixon and Baggs, Wyo., and Union College in Lincoln, Neb.
Mable married her high school sweetheart, Harry Criswell, and they had five children together.
Together, Harry and Mable ranched, ran a trucking business and Mable sold Avon beauty products for a number of years. When Harry died at 50, Mable, with her two young daughters, made the move to Kansas City, Mo., to work for the Missouri Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. She worked there 16 years before retiring and returning to Colorado, making her home in Grand Junction in 1986.
Mable was an outgoing and much-loved individual. In earlier years, she was the organizer and host for community Christmas programs and style shows. She was always ready for a party or a camping excursion.
At 90, she camped in a tent in the Arches with her grandson, Walker, and great-grandson, Colt.
She loved travel, having visited England, Romania, Germany, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and many places in the continental U.S. She loved to snowmobile, ride four wheelers, explore old mining towns and take four-wheel drives through the San Juan Mountains.
In 1987, she was privileged to ride in a hot air balloon over Grand Junction. She was 70 at the time and loved the experience. She also enjoyed water aerobics at Crossroads for 20 years.
She was involved with her church and enjoyed lifelong friendships with church members from many states. The Pathfinder Club was one of her favorite church activities. One of Mable’s friends said it best.
“She was the most outgoing person I ever knew,” she said.
The last year-and-a-half she lived happily with her daughter, Tani, near Collbran.
She is survived by her children, Duane, Celesta (Dennis) Mowrey, Denny, Tani (Grover) Thompson and Jolene (Jim) Camden. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Walker (Gayle) Criswell, Danette Dillon, Darren (Michel) Mowrey, H.D. (Jinny) Criswell, Cheryl (Eddie) Relford, Carrissa (James) Fowler, and Jordan and Grace Camden. Also surviving her are 11 great-grandchildren.
A service took place May 13, 2010, at the Grand Junction Seventh Day Adventist Church. Burial was May 14, 2010, at Reader Cemetery in Savery, Wyo.