Obituary: Earl Eugene Counts
March 16, 1930 — April 2, 2018
Earl Eugene Counts, known as Gene Counts, entered eternal life April 2, 2018, at the age of 88.
He was born to Robert Taylor Counts and Lula Maria Lilly March 16, 1930, at a place known as Dresser’s Cabins in Craig, Colorado. He was raised in the Craig area, living at the homestead on Great Divide and the ranch at Cedar Mountain. He went to first grade at Greasewood Country School southwest of the Great Divide homestead and was taught by Mr. Wesly Morrow. He then moved to Cedar Mountain and attended the country school called East Cedar Mountain until he completed the eighth grade. He then attended Moffat County High School, graduating in 1948.
Gene married the love of his life, Loretta Killillay, on Oct. 1, 1950. They had three children, Audrey, Donna and Rob. Gene was a rancher and farmer all his life, raising horses, cattle and dry land wheat. He was a self-taught mechanic and welder, repairing and modifying his machinery to make it run better. He worked for a brief time in the 1950s for the Uranium Mine near Maybell and Lay Colorado.
Gene loved the land and the life of a wheat farmer, planting and watching the fields turn gold. He loved to hunt and fish; going fishing at the lake or a river for an afternoon was the family vacation. Gene was also a musician, who loved to share a story through writing a song and singing with his guitar. He wrote many songs for family, friends and neighbors and shared his faith in God through his songs. He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren how to sing. He was a member of the Big Gulch Better Community Club and wrote and sang songs for the Christmas programs at Midway Hall.
Gene was a good friend and mentor to many young men who worked for him or with him. He was a man who would quickly forgive a wrong, and his word was gold.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his older brothers, Robert, Charles and James; and his sisters, Mary Wagner/Cane and Juanita Updike.
He is survived by his wife Loretta and children Audrey and husband Vern Rutz, Donna and husband Les Curtis and Robert and wife Lorraine, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.