Edward Richard Lewis | CraigDailyPress.com

Edward Richard Lewis

Edward Richard Lewis was born on February 18, 1931, in Leadville, Colorado the second son of Harry P. and Margaret M (Mahoney) Lewis. He passed away at The Memorial Hospital January 27, 2015. He lived most of his life in Leadville and would go to Palisade to work with his grandfather in his peach orchard. The orchard is still there just smaller. Even though the orchard was sold he kept in touch with the Hope Family. We still go there to buy our peaches. While growing up in Leadville he was very much a free spirit. He experienced every nook and cranny of life he could. He met his soul mate at the age of 12 Barbara May Tritz. He courted her for several years. They were married July 16, 1949 in Leadville and made their home there until 1978. In this time he continued to live his life spontaneously. He would have a job and it would be hunting season somewhere so he would quit his job, grab his wife and off they would go for the adventure. Then he would always return to Leadville. He was part of the rodeo group and rode Saddle Bronc, Bare Back and Bulls. He was pretty darn good. It scared Barbara a lot but she was right there by his side with the kids. They were blessed with three children, Colleen Marie, March 1950, Vickie Jean, May 1952 and Gayle Francis, July 1958. This compact family was out on adventures, rodeos, stock shows, horses of their own, fishing, picnicking, motorcycle riding, and snowmobiling. In the summer you might have seen all of us in the lot behind the house playing baseball with the kids on the block. We had mom as a cheerleader. Working as a unit they remodeled the house. There was lots of laughter and tears and colorful words along the way. We all learned how to do something new and things about each other as a family. Our dad taught us many important lessons. The one that sticks the most is that we were equal, because we all put our pants on the same way one leg at a time. Edward worked at the Public Service Electric Company in Leadville. After all the children left the nest, Edward and Barbara sold their home and moved to Craig where Edward went to work for Yampa Valley Electric. They lived in town for a few years, but the wide open space was calling him. So he set out and found forty acres of land and bought it. He could look at it and see his dream. For the rest of us it was forty acres of sagebrush, gofers, snakes, and badgers. With the help of his children, their husbands and grandchildren we helped his dream come true. Once again we built a new world. First we built a room on the house so we could all fit when we came to help and visit instead of stacked sardines. We then moved on to a three car garage, corral, and barn. Their dream continued to grow with the arrival of his haying equipment and the cherry on top was the arrival of the cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits and his horse. The dream was complete with flowers and trees. We all had a piece of the dream and made our new home. After a few years he decided to take an early retirement and moved to Grand Junction to live in a warmer climate in 1988. They were tired of the snow and the cold. The lived in three different locations in Junction until they found a home. They picked the first one because it had a clothes line. After they developed the home and the yard with their flowers and fruit trees they decided it was gypsy time and time to move again. They then lived in a large fifth wheel until they found the house and location they wanted. It was very cozy when we all came to visit. They found their final home in Clifton, Colorado where they made their dreams come true with a garden, fruit trees, a beautiful yard and a place where all their children could come and call home. Still, they were not “house plants” they made a few trips. Their adventures included a trip to Canada, New Mexico, Oregon, Arizona, and going to visit their children. When his wife Barbara passed away May 5, 2010 he came to live with his daughter Vickie because she had the country life. He enjoyed feeding the animals, the outdoors and the life he had in Craig. He continued to have adventurous trips to Arvada to see his Aunt Rose when she turned 105 and two other trips down to see her. He went to Grand Junction once a month, on picnics to California Park, drives to see the leaves change, and to watch his grandson, Wyatt, buck out his calves that he had started out his bull riding with. Edward was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Margaret Lewis; his brother John Lewis; granddaughter Bianca May Flanders; his wife Barbara Lewis and his Aunt Rose O'Connell. He is survived by his daughters Colleen (Wayne) Dell of Cotopaxi, CO, Vickie (Michael) Flanders, Hayden, CO and Gayle (Dave) Barkee, Cheyenne WY; his grandchildren Eddy Dell, Theda Godfrey, Michael Flanders Jr., Amanda Boswell, Wyatt Flanders, Brandie and John Barkee, Daric and Tricia Barkee; his great grandchildren Raven Godfrey, Salam Godfrey, Austin Fladers, Cody Boswell, Ethan Boswell, Morgan Flanders, Talon Flanders, Hanna Jackson, Cadence Barkee, Lyric Barkee and his brother in–law Dale Tritz. Edward will be remembered for his love of the outdoors and projects with his family. A group of people can take on a project and complete it. When a family unit takes on a project they learn how to do it together, they develop communication, and they learn about each other. In doing this they learn love, togetherness and pride in their success as a family. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at The Grant Mortuary Chapel in Craig, CO with Fr. Geronimo Gonzalez Officiating. Edward will be laid to rest in Craig Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer's in care of Grant Mortuary.