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June 13, 2012
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Sonya Patricia Bertroch

Sonya Patricia Bertroch of Delta passed away peacefully on June 7 in the Delta County Memorial Hospital after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was 74. Sonya was born May 6, 1938, in Eagle to George and Dorothy Collett. Her father, George, was employed by the D&RGW Railroad; Sonya spent her childhood years in small railroad towns, including Camp Hale in Pando. The family moved to Range, where she attended her elementary school years in Range and Sweetwater. Sonya attended and graduated from Eagle County High School in Gypsum. On Feb. 5, 1956, Sonya married the love of her life, Leslie G. Bertroch (deceased), in Elko, Nev. In 1958, Sonya, her husband and first-born daughter, Melody Sue, moved to the booming railroad town of Bond, where Les was employed with the D&RGW Railroad. There, she set up a loving and caring home for her young family. Two years later, a second daughter, Valerie Ann (Hop), was born. During the next 11 years, Sonya would become the Bond Postmistress, develop lifelong friendships, sell beauty products to her many friends and family, and host bridge parties with her many friends long into the night. She and her two young daughters would travel to the many honky tonks in the surrounding areas to watch, dance and enjoy the music of her husband’s country western band. She loved music, especially country, and played a mean saxophone.In 1969, Sonya obtained a position with the Eagle Valley bank as secretary to the bank president; she would move her family to Eagle. During the next 10 years, Sonya and Les would begin their adventure in the horse business and as owner operators of a small self-service gas station. With the help of one of her dearest friends, her two girls became heavily involved in junior and Little Britches rodeos. Although somewhat afraid of the horses and allergic to them, every weekend during the spring, summer and fall, Sonya hauled her daughters and their horses to every event, making sure that their every need was cared for. As her daughters became older and their rodeo events lessened, Sonya and her husband would begin a new adventure in the raising, training and showing of her beloved Appaloosa horses. This would continue for several years.Sonya’s many new friends in Eagle would introduce her to a new passion — bowling. Sonya loved to bowl. She and her friends would travel weekly to the area bowling alleys in Avon and Glenwood to compete in the leagues and tournaments. Sonya would become the secretary of many of these leagues, a position she retained for more than 30 years. In 1979, Sonya and her husband would relocate to Crawford where they continued their horse business and her retired husband operated a small ranch. In 1981, Sonya and Les moved to their final residence in Delta where she obtained a position with Combined Insurance as a very successful insurance representative. During the years in Delta, Sonya again became very involved in the sport of bowling. She served as secretary on several of the bowling leagues and was an organizer and secretary/treasurer for the many tournaments held at the local bowling alley. Sonya attended the yearly state bowling tournaments and national tournaments traveling to places such as Reno, Las Vegas, New Orleans and more. Sonya loved to travel. When she and her countless friends were not traveling to bowling events, they were on a gamblers flight to Wendover, Reno, Elko or driving to Blackhawk, Ignacio, Cortez. “Spending my children and grandchildren’s inheritance,” she would say with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.In 1995, Sonya began her career with Martin Mortuary as a counselor for grieving families. She transferred to Mesa View Mortuary in Delta. When it was purchased by Taylor Funeral Service & Crematory, Sonya retained her position as a family counselor until her passing, attending the needs of grieving families, helping them set up the arrangements and making sure every detail was attended to. Sonya was an avid sports fan. She loved watching her favorite sports teams — the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rockies. She was able to attend a few games in Denver. Watching her enthusiasm when the players would enter the field or the court, listening to her cheering them on and booing the referees is a special memory for those who were with her. Watching her beloved quarter back, John Elway, win back-to-back Super Bowls; staying up until midnight to watch her Nuggets win in double overtime; seeing her Rockies make it to the championship; “That is what being a fan is about,” she would say.Sonya’s greatest joy was spending time with her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The holidays, family birthdays and family outings to the lake for a picnic and a boat ride or a backyard BBQ were special to her and she treasured every moment.Sonya was a remarkable daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was the ultimate caregiver and was always there for anyone if needed. She was a strong, kind, gentle and caring woman who lived life to its fullest. Her zest for life, her unconditional love and her ability to bring out the best in everyone around her will live on through the lives that she touched. Sonya is survived by her daughters, Melody Clark (Joe) of Grand Junction and Valerie Ross (Bob) of Delta; grandchildren Melissa Musella (John) of Virginia Beach; Joe Clark Jr. (Melissa) of Grand Junction, Robbie Olsen of Eagle, Rachell Olsen (Jake) of Grand Junction, Stephanie Ross of Grand Junction and Kelsey Ross of Delta; great-grandchildren Alyssa, Samantha, Johnny, Aidynn, Trinity and Gianna; her precious yellow cat, Punkie; and several family members including uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and dear friends.Sonya is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 39 years, Les; her wonderful parents, George and Dorothy Collett; a baby brother, Georgy (George Jr.) Collett; and other family members and dear friends.In honor of Sonya’s memory, a service will be held at Taylor Funeral Service & Crematory on Saturday, June 16, beginning at 10 a.m. at 682 1725 Road in Delta. A luncheon hosted by family and friends will be held at the Bill Hellman Rec Center following the services at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Sonya’s family respectively requests that donations be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research Efforts.

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The VailDaily Updated Jun 13, 2012 12:43PM Published Jun 13, 2012 12:42PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.