Edna Elizabeth Roberts Sweeney
January 19, 2013
Edna Elizabeth Roberts Sweeney was born January 11, 1907 in Pocatello, Idaho to Marie and Daniel Roberts. In 1919 her folks sold their small wheat farm in Arbon Valley in Southern Idaho, and traveled to Maybell in two wagons and a black top buggy pushing 30 head of horses. Her Uncle had property there and they were coming to meet up with him. It took one month to make the journey camping along the way. She always told of when they stopped at Red Wash near Vernal and made biscuits after a recent rain. The red clay runoff turned the water red in turn making the biscuits red.
She graduated from Maybell High School May 16, 1924. There were only two in the graduating class. After graduating she attended business college in Erie, Pennsylvania. To help with school expenses she worked picking fruit on her sister’s fruit farm and was an assistant cook at a Christian youth camp. The next year, she came back to Colorado and finished business college. After graduating, she traveled to California along the coast up to Washington selling magazines. Later she moved back to Maybell and got a job in Craig as a bookkeeper at the Ben L. Wright Clothing store, and working there until 1929.
In Craig she met her first husband and they moved to Albuquerque where her daughter, Carmen, was born in 1930. They later moved back to Maybell and eventually divorced. She worked at an office in Craig and also carried the mail to Brown’s Park. For extra money she boarded teachers in the small house she lived in with Carmen.
She met her husband, Pat Sweeney, at the Maybell dances. They were married June 13,
1938. Another girl, Patricia, was born to this union in 1939. Together they built successful ranches south of Lay. They were held in high regard in the ranching community of Colorado. She often talked about the hard work they both put in and her cooking for all of the ranch hands. She was a very good cook although she didn’t like cooking! They later sold their ranches in Lay and bought a small ranch in Wilson Creek between Craig and Meeker. After her husband passed away she still lived there until she was 96. She moved to Grand Junction and lived there for several years spending time with family and friends. She has resided at Sandrock Care Center for the last 3 years.
Edna always had beautiful, bountiful gardens and loved being outside. She enjoyed taking her grandkids on hikes, hunting, and fishing — even into her nineties. She also enjoyed bowling, participating in many state and national tournaments, continued bowling in leagues until she was 85. She enjoyed traveling and visited Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and Europe, including Switzerland, her mother’s birth country. In her down time you could find her putting together puzzles, doing word games or reading. She attributed her longevity to all of these activities.
Edna loved her family and spent as much time as she could with those she loved. It is not easy to sum up 106 years in one page. She was such an amazing and strong woman. She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a mother, a grandmother/great grandmother, an aunt, and a community member. Each of us has different memories with her and few of us ever saw the whole person she was, but we all loved her the same. She was a private person and didn’t want a big fuss made over her passing. Private memorial services will be held at a later date. In Edna’s memory, gifts may be given to Horizons Specialized Services or The Humane Society of Moffat County.
Edna passed from this world January 2, 2013 just nine days before her 106th birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sister, her husband (Pat Sweeney), and her son-in-law (Bill Gillingham). She is survived by her daughters Carmen Gillingham, of Hollywood, and Patricia (Dick) Pearce, of Craig. She is also survived by her grandchildren Terri Gillingham, Danny (Stephanie) Pearce, and Donald Pearce; great grandchildren Heather (Robert) Botelho, Sara Sorenson, Jake Baldry, Wacie Laabs, Clayton Pearce, and Samantha Pearce; and many nieces and nephews.