Clarene Ione Yonkers of Craig died Feb. 11 at Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado in Grand Junction with her family at her side. She was 80.
She was born Oct. 12, 1931, in Glenwood Springs to Albert Oleson and Ione Carpenter. In 1949 she graduated as valedictorian from Eagle County High School in Gypsum.
She married Russell Ping in 1950 and the marriage ended in divorce. On Feb. 25, 1969, she married Thomas Yonkers and moved to Edwards. She and Tom owned Whitewater Package Liquor in Edwards for many years and they retired in Grand Junction in the late 1990s. Following Tom's death in 2002, Clarene moved to Craig to be closer to her daughter, Karen. She lived there until her death.
Clarene enjoyed dancing, puzzles, playing cards, bingo, playing the piano and crocheting. She and Tom enjoyed vacationing in Las Vegas but most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.
In addition to her husband Tom, she is preceded in death by her parents, brother Sam Oleson, and step-daughter Shelly Yonkers.
She is survived by her sons, Michael Ping of Grand Junction; Ronnie (JoJo) Ping of Montrose; and Rick Ping of Gypsum; and her daughters Kathy (Bob) Hammer of Soldotna, Alaska; Karen (Josh) Zimmerman of Craig; step-daughters Linda (David) McFann of Denver; and Cindy Hersey of Alaska. She is also survived by her sister, Linda Rynolds, 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held Feb. 14 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction. Memorial donations may be made in Clarene's memory to The Memorial Hospital Foundation, PO Box 1203, Craig, CO 81626 or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado at 3090 B North 12th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506.