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Elizabeth N. Poage

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 12th, 2013

Elizabeth N. Poage, 95, passed away Tuesday, May 28, at her home in American Canyon, with family by her side.

Elizabeth was born March 1, 1918 in Monte Vista, CO. to Carl Henry Nelson and Lula Busch Nelson (who came to the union with a son, Rollie Busch Wheeler). Lula died that year of the Spanish flu epidemic. After several years of single parenting, Carl “Butch” married Nola Harney. Nola was an excellent seamstress and taught Elizabeth that skill, specifically, that her homemade garments should look as good on the inside as on the outside.

After graduating from Alamosa High School in 1935, Elizabeth attended Santa Monica Junior College and then returned to Colorado to finish her B.A. at Colorado State College (University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley. She began her teaching career at a two room schoolhouse in La Garita, later accepting a position with the Del Norte schools, meeting her future husband at a local dance.

Elizabeth and Raymond (who predeceased her in 1998) were married June 15, 1944, making their home on the old Poage homestead, up Trout Creek, west of South Fork, CO. They had two daughters, Caroline Rae Poage (Rod Lissey) of American Canyon, CA, and Patricia Joan Haught (Butch) of Del Norte, CO. Butch and Patty have one son, Dr. James Haught, DVM, Bennett, CO. She is also survived by nieces, Bev Moe (Art) of Fresno, CA., Marynell Larson (Doug) of Ft. Collins, CO., Jackie McKenzie (Cecil) of Farmington, NM,; nephew, John Fuller (Jan) of Centenniel, CO.; many cousins, including Judy San of Marshall, CA.; many grand nieces/nephews and great-grand nieces/nephews.

In 1956 Elizabeth and Raymond bought and moved to the old Pat Wheeler Ranch (Raber Ranch) east of Del Norte and Elizabeth went back to teaching in Del Norte. About 1960 Elizabeth continued teaching high school math with the Center schools-having the honor of teaching several Boettcher scholars, but thoroughly enjoying the teaching of all of her students. In 1963 she received a National Science Foundation grant to attend Stanford University, enjoying many renowned professors, namely George Polya. Because of family responsibilities, after attending two summers, she finished her Masters at Adams State College, Alamosa, CO in 1967, and continued to teach at Center until she retired in 1978.

Elizabeth was not only a great mother, encouraging her girls to take on a wide variety of activities, but she, herself was an accomplished seamstress, knitter and stitcher of hardanger. She also was an avid reader, an amateur geologist and loved to play pinochle, dance and garden. She was a firm believer in manners, saying “please” and “thank you” in the most trying of circumstances. On more than one occasion, she would say “oh chit, to quote my Swedish grandmother, she was a grand old lady”.

After retiring from ranch life, Elizabeth and Raymond, moved to Montrose, CO, and after Raymond’s passing, Elizabeth spent many enjoyable years in Cody, Wyoming, with friends. In Oct. 2007, Elizabeth moved to American Canyon to live with her daughter, Rod and many cats.

The family would like to thank all of Elizabeth’s caregivers, especially those from Mary’s Help Home Health Services, Inc. of Vallejo and from Sutter Care At Home of Concord. Nancy Rivera of Judith’s was able to consistently make Mama’s bountiful head of hair look nice and many thanks to her!!

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 1350 Amador, St., Vallejo, on June 18, at 2 p.m. Another memorial service is being planned for the first weekend in Aug. in Del Norte, CO. Instead of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Memorial Fund of the church or a charity of your choice .

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