Sunset Meadows plans Nifty 90s party for elders
Sunset Meadows throws a special party each year for residents aged 90 and over.
The big soirée brings family, friends and other residents together at Sunset Meadows each year, with the ultimate goal of making senior citizens feel special.
This year, eight residents from Sunset Meadows I and II — two buildings of senior housing in Craig — will be honored from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Each of the residents will have their names and stories read out loud so that party-goers can hear about the long and exciting lives they’ve lived.
Twanette Ayres, 96
The oldest resident at Sunset is Twanette Ayres who is 96 years young.
Her vibrant and enthusiastic personality can make just about anyone smile. She lives at Sunset Meadows I with her adorable Dachshund named Henry.
Born July 10, 1919, Twanette goes by Toni for short. She had two brothers and one sister, and they grew up on a farm in Frankfurt, Indiana.
She lost one brother at a very young age when he was a toddler, and she’s outlived her other brother and sister.
Toni married James Ayres, who served in the Navy, and she lived in Washington, D.C. when he was serving overseas during World War II. James passed away in 1995.
They were married for 54 years. Toni has one daughter, Kathy and a son, Jim, who lives in Craig with his wife Glenda. She has four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Toni worked at a seed lab at Purdue University for several years and she was also a cosmetologist. Additionally, she worked the farm with her husband and children, raising Hampshire hogs and growing corn and soybeans.
“She’s always been a sweet, wonderful mother-in-law, always,” said Glenda Ayres.
Toni loves to sing hymns and is proud of her Christianity.
Dorothy Murray, 94
Born Sept. 17, 1920, Dorothy Murray has a sharp personality and is as sweet as apple pie.
Dorothy has four sisters and one brother who served in World War II. She and her family grew up north of Fowler in Colorado on a dairy cow farm.
She lived in Albany Springs and went to Bluff Springs country school for five years as a child.
She married Van in 1950. Her son-in-law is Jerry DeLong who works for Craig Police Department.
Dorothy is proud of her entire family and has one daughter, two granddaughters and four great grandsons here in Craig.
Mary Preece, 93
Mary Preece was born on Dec. 11, 1921, on a ranch southwest of Hayden. As a child she rode a horse to school, and in the winter it got tricky.
“In the wintertime, we had a lot of snow, and my dad would hook up the sleigh,” she said.
Mary had two brothers and one sister.
After Mary married her husband, John, she lived in a sheep wagon and sometimes even in a tent during the summer months.
“My husband had a sheep business, and we stayed up there with the sheep,” she said. “In the winter, I stayed at the house in Vernal.”
The couple owned nearly 54,000 acres of land in Northwest Colorado and in Utah.
“My son calls me the old iron horse,” she said with a laugh.
Her husband died in 1975, and Mary remained in Craig.
She used to love to golf, bowl and ski — both alpine and water skiing.
“I skied Steamboat every week,” she said.
Mary has two children — a daughter, Lona, who lives in Mansfield, Missouri, and Cleve who lives in Craig. She has five grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Like many Colorado residents, Mary loves the Broncos, and if you need to find her on a Sunday afternoon, she’ll probably be in front of her TV cheering the Broncos to victory.
Faye Paulson, 93
Faye Paulson was born on May 9, 1922 in Dixon, Wyoming. She weighed only 2 pounds and 1 ounce, and her parents used to put her in a shoebox, she said.
She was the first born of two sisters and four brothers, and they all grew up in Baggs, Wyoming.
Faye was one of six students who graduated from high school in Baggs in 1941. She then attended Central Business College in Denver.
Shortly after, in 1946, she met and married her husband Ralph and the couple exchanged vows in Steamboat Springs.
“He was in the service and when he came back from the service, we started dating,” she said.
The couple ran Frontier Filling Station on Victory Way in Craig for 30 years until they sold it in 1987.
Faye has one daughter, Carol Preece, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She loves to play Wii bowling and often scores 300.
“I love to bowl and I love to sew,” she said, adding that she also loves to play games on her iPad.
“I love my iPad. My iPad is my favorite,” Faye said.
She’s also a breast cancer survivor.
Ena Peed, 93
Ena Peed was born June 7, 1922 in Nebraska and moved to Craig when she was 16 years old.
Ena worked at the movie theater and would often times finish her shift at midnight, and that’s when the fun would begin.
She would go for sleigh rides, have chili and hot chocolate or go dancing at the White Horse.
Ena speaks highly about living in Craig, and she loves the people.
“I love the size of it,” she said of Craig.
In 1938, she was told that she wouldn’t live to be 17, so she quit school and started working. Little did the doctors know that she would live to be in her 90s.
She married Lyle Peed, and the happy couple had three kids. Jack and Kendall Peed are her two sons that are still living.
Lyle and Ena bought land up on Bakers Peak where they built a log cabin.
“We would get up there every weekend and there was a beautiful spring in the back,” she said.
Iris Kuskie, 91
Iris Kuskie was born on Aug. 24, 1924 in Bottineau, North Dakota. She has three siblings and enjoys watching TV, dancing and reading.
She married Olave and had three girls, one of whom passed away.
“When I married my husband, he was in the service,” she said, highlighting that he served in the South Pacific during World War II.
Her husband helped build the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and Iris worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant in Colorado Springs for several years, she said.
For about 10 years, her husband worked on elevators.
She has a daughter who lives in Craig, helping her with various things when needed, she said.
Iris likes to go grocery shopping with her, and her favorite treat is Drumsticks ice cream.
Ray Wagner, 90
Ray Wagner was born on May 16, 1924, growing up in Axel Basin, south of Craig.
Following in his family tradition, Ray enlisted in the Army infantry in 1941 during World War II.
He was 17, a year too early to be in the military, but his father fabricated his age and helped him get in.
Ray’s father fought as a lieutenant in the cavalry during World War I and his great-grandfather fought in the Civil War.
Ray served in Italy, Germany and Russia. He also went from Africa to Italy to Greenland for two years. He then brought dead soldiers home, delivering them to their families.
After the war, Ray eventually settled in Craig and established Wagner Construction.
The company is now owned by his son, Jay. He has five children, Chris, Jay, Clint, Wayne and Julie, and 12 grandchildren.
Ray likes everything about Craig, and he especially likes ranching.
Ruth White, 90
Ruth White was born on April 22, 1925 in Craig.
She has two sisters, Opal and Pearl, and never married.
“I was never interested in getting married,” she said, noting that by the time she was 24 her mom said it was too late and that other women already had kids.
Ruth said she “ran like heck” from men.
She lived a rugged and free life, working for auto mechanics and selling auto parts at various shops throughout Craig.
Ruth was an auto clerk for 30 years, and she can change the tire on any old car or truck that comes her way.
“I also took lessons on how to work with speedometers,” she said.
She liked to drink, swim and play pool. As a matter of fact, you can catch Ruth playing a game of pool on any given day in the lounge of Sunset Meadows II.
Floating on the Yampa River taught her how to swim, something she always enjoyed in her younger years.
“You get in the moving part of that river, and you don’t have anyone around, you gotta learn how to swim,” she said.
She also enjoyed dancing on Saturday night and going to church on Sunday.
She has one niece and two nephews who have blessed her with many grandnieces and grandnephews.
The staff at Sunset Meadows also helped compile this information.
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Many Craig residents may not be aware of it, but there is a poetry group that meets once a month at Downtown Books & Coffee.