Obituary: Rhea Lucille Kness
February 25, 1930 – October 3, 2021
Rhea Lucille Delorme Kness was born, February 25, 1930 to Francois and Margaret (Jollie) Delorme on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She was the youngest of 5 children. In the mid-50’s she moved to Ignacio, Colorado, which is on the Southern Ute Reservation. There she worked for the Indian Agency in the dining hall for the boarding schools. She raised her 3 daughters, Margaret (Danny) Pacheco, Cindy (Tony) Svatos and Pam, (Gary Link, deceased) Atencio for many years in Ignacio before moving to Leadville, Colorado.
While in Leadville she owned and operated Rhea’s Magic Mirror Beauty Salon. This was during the 70’s and 80’s which was big hair, long hair and wigs. The shop was always lively. Her customers included a wide variety of locals, from Ma Brown and her girls to Sister John and Sister Mary. She was always very stylishly dressed in her matching hats, gloves and shoes.
She married Charles Kness in 1981 and after his retirement from Climax they moved to Glenwood Springs, then to Rifle and finally Grand Junction where they thoroughly enjoyed retirement. After Chuck’s death she moved to Boulder to be close to her daughter Pam. The last years of her life she resided at Heritage Park Nursing home, in Carbondale, which was near her daughter Cindy. While living at Heritage she took up painting, something she had not done for years. The staff at Heritage took wonderful care of her, especially during the 2020 Covid pandemic. While we were unable to visit in person for a year and a half, we were able to visit through a window. This was extremely difficult for her and her family. Heritage took great care of mom, for which we will always be very grateful. There she quietly and peacefully passed away on October 3, 2021.
She is also survived by her granddaughters Dianne (Brian) VanVoorhees and great-grandson Hudson; Vanessa (Cody) Self and great-grandchildren Aria, Alyssa, Megan, Trenton and Brooklyn. She is also survived by her grandson Daniel Francis Burns (Miranda Dettmann) and great-granddaughter Tommie Bee. She welcomed in and loved all her extended family.
A small gathering of family and friends will be held at the Svatos residence in Glenwood Springs. Cremation has taken place.
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