In loving Memory of Dennis Davies
March 28th, 1940 - August 19th, 2015
Dennis Lyman Davies, (Denny) 75, of Fort Collins, Colorado, passed away August 19, 2015 after a valiant battle for seven and a half years with cancer of an unknown primary source. He never truly gave up and faced the "final" hour with amazing courage.
He was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho on March 28, 1940. His family moved to many places as his father was a Walgreen Soda fountain manager. Eventually the family settled in Lakewood Colorado where an innovative family venture brought the first stainless steel diner this side of the Mississippi River...named Davies Chuck Wagon Diner (now in the National Register of Historic Places), serving as a specialty Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken. Denny being independent and adventurous became quite a "culinary artist" at a young age often handling the night shift.
The summer of 1951, he began eight memorable summers of working at his Grandpa Davies’ lodge up Rock Creek Utah. He was living in Louisville, Kentucky, and the trip to Duchesne Utah was a grueling two and a half days riding a bus with a nine hour layover in Denver He acquired an everlasting love for his Grandfather Davies’ lodge, the mountains, and riding horses. Denny and his cousin, Jerry Adams, became quite adept with handling pack horses and being horse wrangler-guides when helping with the fishing pack trips up to Rock Creek. Uncle R. Davies was instrumental in teaching him how to drive a team of horses with a buck rake for haying. Denny cherished those times at the Lodge and at the upper Stillwater of Rock Creek.
Denny was a graduate of Lakewood High School, and a 1964 graduate with a BS in Animal Science (majoring in Biology) from Colorado State University. He was active on the livestock judging team and CSU rodeo club.
After graduation, he and Teresa Pearl married and taught school a number of years. Later they moved to a country setting Northeast of Fort Collins where they built a successful mobile home court (Davies Mobile Home Court), an indoor arena/building with extensive horse facilities, and an outdoor arena.
Denny had a natural love of raising and training calf roping, bull dogging and starting a foundation on barrel racing horses, as well as training and running race horses. He was a Colorado State Rodeo Association, National Old Timers Rodeo Association (later named Senior Professional Rodeo Association) member. He won his share in earlier years at these rodeos and made many everlasting friendships. He judged at several Senior Pro rodeo Finals.
Some special highlights, he recalled, of his rodeoing was owning Bum, 1979 CSRA bulldogging horse of the year, and winning a RMQHA circuit champion calf roping at the pre-Denver Stock show. He raised, trained and sold many performance horses that carried the family’s Running Two brand. He greatly enjoyed helping young inspiring ropers, doggers and barrel racers of all ages…a mentor to many. In earlier years he held jackpot ropings at the home place indoor arena/building.
Denny continued to operate and manage the mobile home park, work as a Quality control specialist at Anheuser Busch and raise roping cattle on the rural acreage on Douglas Road, Fort Collins. Several relaxing hobbies comprised of creative ideas with welding horse shoes into wine racks, door knockers, book ends, as well as braiding reins, headstalls, and belts.
Denny and Merlue Frasier Irwin, (raised on a cattle and horse ranch in the Sandhills near Benkelman, Nebraska) became good friends in the early 60’s at CSU. On August 16, 1998, they married at the Sodbuster Inn, in Greeley Colorado. They continued to reside at the ranch, bred, raised and trained performance horses, rodeoed some, until the time of his illness.
Denny is survived by his wife, Merlue, his sister Nancy Tullis and husband, Terry, Sandy, Utah; his sister, Judi Nielsen and husband Devon, Layton, Utah; Paula Davies, sister-in-law and brother (Brent deceased), Lakewood, Colorado; Roger and Jackie Herrick, brother and sister-in-law, Stapleton, Nebraska; Dianne Anderson, sister-in-law, Drumright, Oklahoma; uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, many long-time and new friends and his little companion, Chaz.
He is preceded in passing by his parents, William Lyman Davies and Helen Stallings Davies, and a brother, Brent Davies.
Denny was a lifelong LDS member and was ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on September 19, 2010 in Fort Collins.
A private Family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Utah and a private family interment and memorial will be at Wauneta, Nebraska Riverside cemetery.