Dale L. Trahern | PostIndependent.com
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Dale L. Trahern

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Dale L. Trahern, 81, of Rifle, passed away Nov. 30, 2009, surrounded by his loving kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. Dale was born in Garden City, Kan. to Forest & Dorothy (Wallace) Trahern and was raised in Liberal, Kan. until 9th grade when he moved to Moscow, Kan. where he met Betty Lou Snyder and they became high school sweethearts. They graduated together and were married on July 23, 1946, as soon as the wheat harvest was in, at the young age of 17. They were married 62 years before his sweetheart Betty passed away a year ago on December 15, 2008. Together they farmed at Moscow, Kan. and raised four children, Shelia, Van, Alan, and Vickie. Dale & Betty could really dance and will be remembered as accomplished “Two-Steppers”! Then, in 1963 they moved to Rifle to become “Colorado Ranchers” where another child, Jess, was born to them. In later years they became The “Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus” for the whole Rifle Area at the church, library, nursing homes, schools and every annual Christmas Parade of Lights until last year when Betty passed away. They loved this role and all kids and grown-ups everywhere recognized Dale as “Santa” all year long. He didn’t just “play” Santa; he “was” Santa. And all his grandkids & great grandkids loved knowing their Grandpa was Santa! Dale was a Perfectionist and believed that “If it was worth doing – It was worth doing Right!” He took pride in raising the highest quality quarter horses you could find on his ranch near Rifle and had several top honors in the quarter horse cutting class. He was a Garfield County Horse 4-H Leader and belonged to the American Quarter Horse Assn., Garfield County Fair Board, Bookcliff Cattle Growers Assn, Garfield County Sheriff’s Posse, Western Slope Racing Assn, Community EXPO Project, and an active member of the Rifle United Methodist-Presbyterian Church since 1963. He was a natural born hunter and loved his time on the Mamm Peak Range and in 1971 & 1972 he and his sons, along with family and friends built the “high cabin” up on Houston Mountain for hunting, which led him into his Guide & Outfitting business which he operated throughout the 1970s. His pride and joy, next to Betty, were his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. He was passionate about the things he liked especially his kids’ and grandkids’ sports and wanted to attend all their functions and being a part of each of their individual talents. He knew they each were the best! He built one of the highest quality tubing runs ever, right on the ranch and had lots of family, church, and community tubing parties at the ranch. He enjoyed playing the Jews’ Harp, (mouth harp), and was quite good at yodeling too. His favorite songs were the old “Cowboy Ballads” and he liked to watch western movies on TV and really enjoyed watching the Colorado Rockies games. After selling the ranch in 1980 they moved into town, Dale became active in real estate and became co-owner of Rifle Brokers until his retirement in 2006. Fishing was one of his favorite pastimes and he enjoyed the fishing trips to Lake Powell which led to the whole family celebrating Dale and Betty’s 50th Wedding Anniversary on the lake. The grandkids remember Grandpa taking them to the Rifle Sales Yard every Friday years ago and having the best hamburgers and ice cream cones ever! And most recently, the great grandkids remember Grandpa’s favorite place to take them to eat was the Base Camp Cafe where they took excellent care of him! Thank You to Dad’s Base Camp Family! Dale is survived by sons, Van (Marcia) Trahern of Austin, Texas, Alan (Debbie) Trahern of Elko, Nev. and Jess Trahern of Olympia, Wash.; daughters, Shelia (Jim) Estes of Rifle, and Vickie (David) Downey of Grand Junction; step-mother, Leona Trahern of Liberal, Kan.; brother, Dick (Barbara) Trahern of Turpin, Okla.; sisters, Guylene Stoddard of Overland Park, Kan. and Lorene Reever of Liberal, Kan.; nine grandchildren, Angela Carter, Karen Earl, Shannon Hoffmeister, Renee’ Thompson, Amber Miller, Lora Caron, Gabriel Downing; Jedediah Downey, Sara Milholland; 17 great-grandchildren, Alyx, Wyatt, Monika, Cody, Jeffrey, Leah, Nicole, Gabriel, Levi, Brooke, Zachary, Alyssa, Austin, Kacey, Ty, Jamie, Kimberley, and another on the way. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Betty Lou; his parents; step-father, Guy Downing and sister, Donna Moody. A viewing is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Rifle at 10 a.m., with funeral services following at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 200 E. 4th St., Rifle, CO 81650.


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