Estella "Mae" Behunin February 23, 1908 – July 23, 2006
Estella “Mae” Behunin, 98, passed away July 23, 2006, in Rifle.Mae was born Feb. 23, 1908, in Woodruff, Kan. She was the oldest of eight children born to Elmer and Bessie Kiser. When she was 2 years old, the family moved from Kansas to homestead on the eastern plains of Colorado. She helped farm and care for her younger siblings at an early age. As a young woman, she worked at many different jobs, earning a good living for herself. She loved to dance and frequently won dance contests. She had survived three serious car accidents, several major surgeries, breast cancer and many illnesses.Mae married Robert “Perry” Behunin Christmas day in 1945. Four years later they had their only child, Shirley Kay. Mae enjoyed gardening, baking, growing magnificent flower gardens and caring for her pets. She attended The Open Door Fellowship Church in Rifle. Her faith and dedication to God, and her perseverance, determination and independent nature are examples of the exceptionally strong woman she was. Her first love was her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, followed by her love for her family. Her faith remained strong through many trials, hardship and pain. She will be missed by all, but never forgotten. Only God knows how many lives she touched and influenced in her lifetime.She is survived by her daughter Shirley (Dennis) Cooley, of Rifle; brother Albert (Deloris) Kiser, of Rock Springs, Wyo.; sister-in-law Arvilla Kiser, of DeBeque; grandchildren Dennis “Wayne” (Wanda) Cooley, of Lakewood, Wendy Middleton, of Rifle, and Chad Cooley, of Rifle; great-grandchildren Carissa Cooley, Daniel Cooley, Jonathon Cooley, Ashley Cooley, Alicia Cooley, Brittany Middleton and Jared Fowkes; great-great-grandson Jareth Fowkes; stepson George Robert Behunin and family of Indonesia; several stepgrandchildren, stepgreat-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.Mae was preceded in death by her husband; sisters Rebecca Ellen Young, Dorothy Rowena Jessie Pack; brothers Robert Dale, Harold Lee Hison, Andrew Everett and William Stanley; stepson Homer Behunin; and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.There will be graveside services held for family and friends at 2 p.m. Friday at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Rifle with grandson Wayne Cooley officiating.Rifle Funeral Home is entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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The Pitkin County commissioners want to ensure that every effort is made to include longtime local families in a study that will look at access and use of the Maroon Bells Scenic Area.