Eda Marie Van Gaalen
Eda Marie Van Gaalen passed away peacefully on Dec. 30, 2004, after suffering a stroke. She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 63 years, George Van Gaalen.Eda was born on March 2, 1919, in Hyattsville, Wyo. to Virgil and Ane Kristine Bennetsen Helms. She spent her early life on her father’s cattle ranch on the No Wood Creek in northern Wyoming. She was a graduate of Ten Sleep High School in Wyoming and the Barnes School of Business in Denver.She married George Joseph Van Gaalen in Denver on Jan. 14, 1939. Soon after their marriage, George and Eda moved to Glenwood Springs, where they lived until 1979. Their two daughters, Tina and Valarie, were born and raised in Glenwood Springs. Eda worked for the U.S. Forest Service. Her duties ranged from office management and budgeting to aerial reconnaissance for ground firefighters and firefighting aircraft. George and Eda spent their retirement years in Grand Junction.Ed had many hobbies. She loved books from an early age and read countless books during her life. She loved nature and participated in a wide variety of outdoor activities. Her children and grandchildren all have fond memories of fishing and camping trips. She collected thousands of gem and mineral samples. Many of her cherished friends are fellow members of the Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club.She is survived by her two daughters, Tina, (American Fork, Utah) and Valarie (Grand Junction); two sisters; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Her family and friends will greatly miss her wisdom, wit, and loving influence.A memorial service took place Jan. 22 at the Callahan Edfast Mortuary in Grand Junction. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eda’s name to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131.
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