Carl Leland Worley

Carl Leland Worley passed away at the River Valley Inn in Del Norte, Colorado on March 22, 2019.  He died from complications of Melanoma, at the age of 88.

Carl was born at home, near Del Norte, on June 19, 1930 to Gerald and Vada Worley.   He led an extraordinary life and his accomplishments were many.  He began raising seed potatoes as a 4-H project when he was 14 years old and continued doing so through high school.  He was active in sports, playing football, basketball and track as well as participating in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA).  He attended Colorado A&M (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he worked his way through college as a breakfast cook and Resident Assistant.  In college he was active in ROTC, football and track and it was there he discovered a new sport called wrestling.  He was named a Pacemaker in 1952 and was active in College as: ISA President, Braiden Counselor, Indean President, Varsity Track and Wrestling, Alpha Zeta, Lancer President, President’s Advisory Board, Wings and Canon, and Leadership Conference Panel Leader.

Carl graduated in 1952 with an Animal Husbandry degree in one hand and a 2nd Lieutenant Commission in the other.  During his senior year he met his wife of 66 years, Audrey Woodbury on a blind date.  They were married January 31, 1953 in Pueblo, Colorado.   

He served in the infantry at Fort Carson, CO, Fort Sill, OK and then Korea.  While in Korea, he fired the 240 mm Howitzers that had a 19 mile range.  It was the largest gun the Army had at that time.   When asked why his men got along so well, he said “cause I picked the farm boys”.  While in Korea he built “Worley Field” a baseball field, so his men would have some good clean fun during their down time.  He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant while in Korea. 

After the Korean War, Carl, Audrey and daughter Annette returned to the San Luis Valley to farm with his father.   Their family grew to seven with the addition of daughters Kerry, Carla, Gail and Yvonne.  The family moved east of the Sargent School in 1962. 

Carl was very active in the Sargent community, church and school. Carl wanted to see the community thrive, he served on the Building Committee of the Sargent Community Church, Sargent School Board and helped build cabins at Beaver Creek youth camp. 

He was a charter representative of the SLV Research Center and served as vice-president and president from 1982-1986. He was a strong advocate for researching alternative methods of producing clean seed.  From 1966-1984 he served on the Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association acting as vice-president and president from 1968-1969.  He served on the Rio Grande Canal Water Users Association for many, many years. He started attending water meetings in his teens with his dad, Gerald.   He also served on Colorado Potato Administrative Committee.

In 1977 he partnered with Dick Boyce and founded Hi-Land Potato warehouse. In 1998 Carl accomplished a dream of bringing a potato dehydration plant to the valley.   He partnered with David, Gene and Doug Ford, Dick McNitt and Bill Metz to build the Sunshine Potato Flake Plant near Center, CO.  (now IPG)

Carl was awarded Potato Seed Grower of the Year in 1976, Colorado Master Seedsman in 1982, SLV Seed Potato Grower of the Year in 1993, and National Seed Grower of the Year in 2004. He was recognized as Friend of SLV Experimental Research in 1996.

Carl is survived by:  Annette (Tom) Hosmann of Springfield, Missouri, Kerry Worley of Columbus, Georgia, Carla Worley of Monte Vista, Colorado, Gail (Bob) Mattive of Monte Vista, Colorado and Yvonne (Lee) Seaman of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. 

Carl enjoyed spending time with his 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, watching them and their families grow.  He loved taking them to Santa Maria to fish, watching their sporting events and teaching them about farming.  Matthew (Samantha) Smartt (Dali, Tristin) of Monte Vista, Colorado, Chris Hosmann of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Grant (LaRae) Mattive (Lane, Cason) of Monte Vista, Colorado Andrea (Nick) Denning(Brooke, Layla) of Littleton, Colorado, Marcia(Eric) Stephens (Kimaya, Keiryn, Kalina) stationed in  Australia, Megan (Brandon) Cleghorn of Monte Vista, Colorado, Tim Hosmann of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Michelle (Curtis) Jones (Emma) stationed in El Paso, Texas, and Reid Mattive, Center, Colorado.

Carl was a man that was reluctant to sit still.  He was enjoyed showing his potato packing shed to a visitor, usually at a walking pace that was closer to a jog.  He was a steward of the land.  He disliked any implication of farmers being less than kind to the land and environment. “The soil is my living”, and for Carl it was a good living, one he could pass on to his kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Carl was active on the farm well into his 80’s.  The farm was a part his entire life, he shared his knowledge and joy of farming with his family and he left the farm in capable hands.

A life well lived.

Carl is preceded in death by his wife Audrey Mae Worley, parents Gerald Leland and Vada Ruth Worley, and sister Twila Butler.

A funeral service will be held at 1:30 pm on Friday March 29, 2019 at the Sargent Community Church.  Interment will take place at 4:00 pm with military honors at the Homelake Veterans Cemetery also on Friday.  Contributions are suggested to the Sargent Community Church or to Beaver Creek Youth Camp and may be made in care of the funeral home office. 

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Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista is in care of the arrangements.