Wanda Wenona Vance Richardson-Speck
Wanda Wenona Vance Richardson-Speck passed away Tuesday at the E. Dene Moore Nursing Home of Rifle, CO. She was 3rd born to Ira and Nellie Bly Richardson Vance at Norris, Fulton County, Illinois. Living a long and community minded life in Rifle, she was well known and highly respected still by many citizens of the community. She was married to Harry Leon Richardson in Glenwood Springs on Nov. 18, 1932. On August, 2015 she was treated to an impressive 100th birthday party Methodist Women’s open house, a time she relished for the fact that she was so highly recognized by the leaders of the community, hospital, and nursing home. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Leon Richardson, parents in Illinois, her brother Wilbur Woodrow Vance, her son Harold Leon (Sonny) Richardson and son James Vance (Jim) Richardson, as well as older sister Wilda Wendolyn Vance Carlton, three nephews, Ellis Dale Carlton, Gary Ralph Carlton and Kim Fleet. She is survived by one sister Winifred Wilmadean Vance Fleet of San Rafael, California. Grandchildren surviving include Debbie Craig, Robyn Burbidge, and Christy Richardson of the Fruita general area and Scotty (Joan) Richardson and Patti Richardson of California as well as 16 great grandchildren, 24 great great grandchildren; also nephew Wilbur Gene Carlton of Winnemucca, Nevada, niece Alice Ione Carlton Forrest of Yates City, Illinois, Maureen Hunt of Morgan Hill, CA and Risa George of San Rafael, CA. A number of nieces and nephews also survive.
At approximately age 15, Wanda traveled from Illinois to Meeker, Colorado to help an ailing grandmother Mrs. Rodric R. (Mary) Richardson. Not long after taking up Colorado residence, she met and married Harry Leon Richardson in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She had attended high school in Canton, Illinois. She attended Rifle High School upon residence in Colorado. Wanda spent the early years of her marriage to Harry frequently traveling north with her husband on his work as a seasonal sheep shearer at which he was quite good. These trips later helped the building of their homes to come. They lived in a camper he had built on the back of their pick-up. Wanda washed Harry’s canvas sheep-shearing clothing by hand daily and spread it on rocks to dry. During this time from their early earning in shearing, they built their first house together at the top of First Street. Harry later went to work at the Rifle Creek Fish Hatchery. Together while managing their finances, they built their second house on the Fifth Street hill.
When Rifle still had a J.C. Penny’s store on Third street (where the Garfield County Clerk’s office now is located), Wanda enjoyed working in the men’s clothing department. Wanda was a faithful volunteer at E. Dene Moore Care Center for 30 years, where she served coffee and made the residents’ lives more enjoyable. Prior to that she also volunteered at the hospital in the gift shop and organized a singing group of community members called the Swinging Seniors which performed at various nursing homes. For many years, Wanda’s most driving goal was to reach 100.
What a person and what an achievement of perseverance and service to people she demonstrated, be it in volunteer work in E. Dene Moore and the old hospital or just in everyday life, greeting and meeting her fellow Rifle citizens.
Funeral Services will be Saturday, January 9 at 2pm at Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church 200 East 4th St, Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Rifle.
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