Sarah Elizabeth Kathryn Delaney Amick was born April 13, 1914, to her pioneer parents, James and Anne Carbrey Delaney, on their Ranch near McAndrews west of White River City near County Road 5 and Highway 64.
She was the eldest of three children, including her Brother William Robert Delaney and her younger Sister Clair Delaney. She was named in honor of her Grandmother Sarah Durkin Delaney who also had a Ranch home in that area. Her Mother Anne was also a school teacher.
Elizabeth attended school in White River City and later in Meeker with her Brother Bob and Sister Clair where they stayed at a home at Fourth and Water St., and prepared meals there during the week. On weekends they would return to the Ranch home at McAndrews riding the mail stage. Since their home was on the opposite side of the White River, it was necessary to walk across a narrow cable bridge to reach the road and was often risky crossing during high water.
An avid horsewoman, Elizabeth enjoyed riding and herding cattle with her Father and often would ask to join her father in deference to staying home and doing housework. Her father James was killed in a tragic horse team accident in 1935 and her mother supported the family by teaching school.
Elizabeth graduated from Rio Blanco County High School with the class of 1932 and was the last surviving member of her class.
She was joined in Marriage to Morris Henry Amick following her graduation on July 4th, 1932 and lived on the Amick Ranch owned by Morris’ father J.D. Amick, where they managed cattle and harvested hay and wheat. The Amick Ranch was located on County Road 8, just south of the K-T ranch.
As a member of the “greatest generation” Elizabeth and Morris lived on very meager means during the great depression with a monthly wage of $27. World War II brought similar restrictions, but in the 1940's they were able to purchase the Ranch from J.D. Amick and had a thriving cattle and grain production and added the Clark place of about 2000 acres on Little Beaver.
To this union was born two Children, Robert Dean on July 27, 1943, and Sandra Irene born December 17, 1944.
The cattle operation involved hiring ranch workers and cowboys to manage cattle on a permit near Ripple Creek during the summers. Russ and Myrtle Harp and June and Oma Graham were among the pool riders who served in those roles in the 1950's.
Family gatherings for Christmas, Thanksgiving, picnics and much more were favorite activities in both Meeker and Glenwood. As an Avid horsewoman, Elizabeth delighted in riding a sidesaddle in the annual 4th of July Range Call parade in her black velvet riding habit and hat depicting pioneer women of yesteryear. She frequently rode at the ranch and on cattle drives, and continued her enthusiasm for riding while a sorority house director in Boulder
During those years Elizabeth was renowned for being a community service activist and advocate, and served in many roles as a member and President of the Fortnightly Club, The Meeker Woman’s Club, and Mesa Club. She worked actively to promote the building of the Meeker Public Library as part of the Meeker Woman’s Club efforts in the Fairfield Community Center.
She also was a District and State President and Chair of International Affairs of the Colorado General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was honored to represent the GFWC at State and National Conventions and was a delegate to the U.S. State Department where she learned of many important developments including those of the emergence of terrorist activities in the middle east that eventually resulted in the 9-11 tragedies.
She worked closely with the Soil Conservation District and Woman’s Club on the School Conservation poster contests with Kay Bivens and Phyllis Lake.
She also chaired the Minnie L. Harding scholarship fund with the GFWC. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Bluebird Campfire Girl leader, a 4-H leader for the Electric and Dressmaking clubs, and attended State 4-H conventions with her Children. She was credited with starting the Meeker School Lunch program at the elementary school in 1949 while serving as president of the Fortnightly Club and of the Parent-Teachers Association.
She was an avid member and historian with the Rio Blanco County Historical Society for Many Years contributing to the wealth of knowledge recorded from conversations with her pioneering parents and her Aunt Mary Delaney Oldland who had settled in the White River City area in 1884.
She was instrumental in the drive to build Pioneers Hospital and served as a Red Cross Home Nursing Instructor and First Aid Instructor for many years in the community teaching first aid and home health care to many Meeker mothers and others.
Elizabeth was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party and served as a precinct committee woman, as well as attending State Democratic Conventions. In 1956 and in 1960 she served as a delegate and was fortunate to meet candidates Adlai Stevenson and President John. F. Kennedy. President Kennedy sent her a personal letter thanking her for her support of his campaign in 1960 which she has treasured for years.
Elizabeth was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Parish since childhood and served on the Altar and Rosary Society and the Denver Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Glenwood Springs Deanery. She was honored to travel to Denver for World Youth Day in 1993 where she met Pope John Paul II.
The marriage ended with the sale of the Ranch properties in 1966 and Elizabeth purchased her present home at 789 Fourth St in Meeker from the Marshall Steen family. Her favorite acquisition was a 1967 Buick Riviera with all the features, and she was sometimes referred to as “Auntie Mame” by her fraternity and sorority students and her family for her fearless, creative and daring approach to life and was an inspiration to the youth whose lives she touched.
Elizabeth was invited to become a house director for several fraternities and sororities at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1968 by her friend Agnes Fredericks. Her son Robert had graduated from the University and was employed there, so Elizabeth was able to be close during those years while still summering in Meeker and Glenwood Springs, and maintaining her rental properties in Meeker.
Elizabeth served with the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and later the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority which was her final tenure before retiring and returning to Glenwood Springs in 1978 where she lived for 27 years in the Manor II Apartments built by her Brother Robert.
In Glenwood Springs she enjoyed being involved in social and community service activities with her sister-in-law Connie Delaney and her Brother Robert, and their Children, Rob, Diane, and Ralph. She was a member of the Valley View Hospital Auxiliary, participated in many other community activities.
As a descendant of a pioneer and fully Irish family lineage, a highlight of her life was a two-week tour of her ancestral family origins in Ireland in 1968 with her son Robert. She kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in a red dress and rode a horse cart to the famed Lakes of Killarney, and was rowed by boat across the lakes to a beautiful Irish village and cottages with red roses. She enjoyed the hospitality of visiting ancient castles and ruins of churches. She visited Irish clubs where mead and old time cuisine were served, and she stayed at the Great Southern hotel and visited Trinity College where the book of Kells is on display.
A prolific photographer, Elizabeth took thousands of photos of her lifetime of ranching, community and public service activities, and family gatherings which she shared with her family and organizations. She loved fine art and purchased a wonderful and award winning seascape painting by the late Clare Sullivan who was also a close friend.
She also was given two very old English tapestries by her Aunt Mary Delaney Oldland which she proudly displayed in her living room.
Elizabeth is survived by her Children Robert Amick and Sandra (McKay) Bradfield (Harold), her Niece Diane Delaney, her nephews Rob Delaney and Ralph (Betty) Delaney, her Grandchildren Hank (Carmen) McKay, Brooke (McKay) Mantle (Dean), Haley (McKay) Kracht (Bill), her Great Grand Children Tyler McKay, Bailey Mantle, Doak Mantle, Joe McKay, her great nieces Laurie Delaney and Alexsis Silva-McKay, and her great nephew Ryan Delaney.
She was preceeded in death by her parents, her Brother Robert and Sister Claire, her Grandparents John and Sarah Durkin Delaney, her Uncles Frank Delaney, Joe Delaney, Ed Delaney, her Aunts, Bess McGuire, Sally Martin, and Mary Delaney (Ambrose) Oldland, and her Cousin and dear friend, Margaret Oldland Fremin.
The family of Elizabeth is very proud of their cherished and beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt, and is honored to have shared her enthusiasm for life, her Irish wit and sense of humor, her contributions and unselfish dedication to community, public service to youth, preservation of family and pioneer history, and a zeal for living to the fullest and most creative measure during her 97 years of exemplary life
A Funeral Mass is planed for 11 a.m. today, February 18th, 2012, at Holy Family Catholic Church with the Rev. Jim Fox celebrating. Interment will be at the family plot at Highland Cemetery following the Mass. A luncheon for family and f riends will be held following interment at the Holy Family Church Annex.
Farnum and Holt Funeral Home of Glenwood Springs has been entrusted with arrangements.
In remembrance of Elizabeth, donations may be made to the Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs Minnie L. Harding Scholarship fund or the Rio Blanco County Historical Society. Please contact the family for details at 970 878-4311.