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Virginia Pulliam

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Virginia Pulliam Obituary
Long time Loveland resident, Virginia (Ginny) Pulliam, wife of late David Rice Pulliam (D.R.) passed away January 8, 2014 in Denver, CO. She was just shy by 12 days of her 104th birthday. She is the last of the pioneer Pulliam family to carry Pulliam as a last name. Born January 20, 1910 in Indianapolis, Indiana, she was preceded in death by her parents, Lee Vernon and Nellie Elizabeth Dynes, sister, Vivian D. Routledge and brother, Vernon Eugene Dynes. Her mother's family bore the name of Fruits and McAnally of Brookville, Indiana. She attended schools in Indianapolis and was a graduate of the last class of the original Shortridge High School where she was devoted to drama and Latin. She studied to be a teacher at Butler University in Indianapolis. She married John Doane Sparks of Atlanta, Georgia in 1930. He was the International Exeutive Secretary, and Treasurer of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. Headquarters dedicated in his name are on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis. They moved to Denver from Indianapolis in 1941 She joined the Denver Assistance League as an early member. For 23 1/2 years she taught 2nd and 4th graders at Graland Country Day School in Denver, Colorado (also started Girl Scouts there). Summers were spent as a counselor at Geneva Glen Camp in Indian Hills, CO, The Denver Convention Bureau, as a hostess at 4UR Ranch in Creede, CO and as probation officer in Denver's Juvenile Court under Judge Phillip Gilliam. The court is now named after him. Her first date in 1961 with David Rice Pulliam (D.R.,) a prominent Loveland rancher and farmer was lunch at the National Western Cattleman's Club and the National Western Rodeo, a lifelong event attended each year, along with participation as Life Members of the National Western Stock Show. She was a member of the Silver Spur Club. D.R and Ginny married on September 16, 1967 and established residence in Cedar Cove along the Big Thompson River. Soon after their marriage they sailed around the world. They went on many trips, often including their family. They spent winters in Boynton Beach, FL. In the historic July 31, 1976 Big Thompson flood, D.R. and Ginny were swept away in the wild current hanging onto a beam as their home broke up around them. (In this flood, the water crested at 22 feet and over 140 people died). They survived by getting into a tree and were ultimately rescued, flown by helicopter to McKee Hospital in Loveland. Over 140 people died in this flood on Colorado's 100th Centennial. Later they were again flown by helicopter to St. Luke's Hospital in Denver where they were allowed to have the honor of the first married couple to share a room together. After the 1976 flood, D.R. and Ginny moved to Loveland and lived in a home on Lake Loveland. She loved watching the sunsets, the birds, the red foxes and especially the black fox that made his home in the pfitzers. D.R. was an early President of the original Loveland Rotary Club and an active and dedicated member until his death. He gave Ginny the distinction of becoming the second Paul Harris Fellow in Loveland. Since then a generous anonymous person has given her another Paul Harris honor. She grew up with a very active Rotarian father. His Indianapolis Rotary group were honored to listen to the first international telephone conversation. The earphones and Rotarian's picture of this historical event are still in the family. Ginny is survived by her daughter, Sandra Olson and husband Bob Olson of Littleton, CO, two grandchildren, Julie Olson of Denver, and Jenny Kelly and husband Dan Kelly, and two great grandchildren Jessie and Ian, all of Littleton, CO and many members of the Pulliam family, some still living in the Loveland area. To commemorate her life, a memorial celebration will be held at the Outdoor Chapel of the Community Church of the Rockies, Estes Park, Co in June of this year. Cremains will be placed privately alongside her husband, D.R., at the Columbarium at the Community Church of the Rockies. Ginny and her family have requested that memorial donations be made to the Boys and Girls Club Pulliam Youth Center in Loveland 103 Smoky St., Ft. Collins 80523. The Pulliam Community Building Foundation, 1127 Garfield Ave., Loveland, CO 80537, or the Pulliam Scholars, Warner College of Natural Resources Development Office, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1401.

Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on Jan. 12, 2014
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