Bessie Mae Skiles passed away peacefully at the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center on May 26, 2013.
Bessie was born at the family home southeast of Hennessey, OK, December 30, 1908. Her mother died in childbirth when she was 2 and Bessie remember having to do many of the farm and household chores form the age of 7. The father and family moved to Colorado in 1919 where she attended school at Pleasant Ridge through 8th grade. After the mother's estate was settled, she took her high school course of study and received a diploma. She also took a course of music.
In 1931, she was married to Roy Skiles in Fort Morgan. The couple lived with his parents in Alma, NE, until 1933. They then moved to a farm 11 miles north of Weldona. In 1939, they rented a farm north and east of Gary, CO. Bessie later bought the farm next to it. They were forced to leave the farm in 1952 because of Roy's ill health and moved to Fort Morgan to live with her sister and family. After Roy's death, she purchased an apartment house at 521 W. Railroad Avenue. Besides maintaining the apartments mostly through her own labor, she cooked at the middle school for 16 years.
Music from childhood was part of Bessie's life, and after retiring looked forward to singing with a group for the residents of Valley View Villa. She was an avid reader, could always be seen working in the yard (and yes, edging her sidewalk with her walker in hand at age 90), enjoyed visits from extended family members who never failed to stop by to hear more family stories, and spoke often of the United Methodist Women Bible studies and programs. Bessie loved to talk and share her knowledge and stories, so will be remembered by all she had contact with over her 104 years for her intelligence to the end, her wit and her many stories.
Bessie was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Skiles; her parents, Nellie and Harrie Foster; her sisters, Vada Chartier, Blanche Ragland, and Lois Janzen and their spouses; her brother, Roy Foster and his wife, Nora; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members. She is survived by nieces, Joyce Duke and Patty Everett; nephew, Ron Sand, and several great and great-great-nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. A private family burial service will be held at the Presbyterian Columbarium following the service.
Memorial gifts in Bessie's memory can be sent to either the United Methodist Church or United Presbyterian Church in Fort Morgan, CO.