Maxine Daley Bills, Vail native, 1916-2009
Vail, CO Colorado
Maxine Pauline Daley passed away in Grand Junction on May 25, 2009. Funeral services were held at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary in Grand Junction on May 30. Interment took place at the Riverview Cemetery in Minturn, where she was placed next to her husband, Reed Matthew Daley.
Maxine was born August 31,1916, in Gilman to Henry and Pauline Elliott. She grew up on Gore Creek on the Elliott Ranch. When she was 15, she and her younger sister Arlene delivered milk from the family’s dairy farm in what is now West Vail up Battle Mountain Pass to Camp Hail soldiers, Gilman, Red Cliff and to others living along the route. Maxine drove the milk route for about five years. The truck was old and the road was dirt then. Arlene said “they learned to chain up the tires in five minutes flat”.
Maxine’s father donated the land and helped build the one-room log schoolhouse, where she attended first through eighth grades. The historic schoolhouse has since been moved to East Vail. What is now the town of Vail was sheep ranches then. Minturn was the nearest town and where Maxine attended high school.
Maxine married Reed Daley when she was 23. Reed had come to Minturn from Payson, Utah, to work at the CC Camp. He later became the top logger in the valley, respected by all. He could cut and skid more timber in a day than any man in the valley. He hand-built Maxine a log home with the first indoor bathroom in the valley. They had one child, Sue Gail Daley. After Reed passed away and for many years, Maxine was the first clerk to the first postmaster in Vail.
Maxine loved to fish, hunt and ride horses through the mountains of Vail Valley area but probably most of all loved to visit with her friends and family. She always had food enough for all when people stopped in to visit, and so many did. She was “Mom,” “Nan,” “Auntie” or “Grandma” to so many children.
With the founding of Vail as we know it today, Maxine and several of her family moved to Moab, Utah, for many years, then later settled in Grand Junction. Her last four years were spent at Grand Villa Assisted Care, where she both amused and kept the staff hopping. She, of course, made new friends there and swapped great old stories.
Maxine is survived by her son, Kurt Gordon of Dubois, Wyo.; by her grandchildren Tracy Brown of Grand Junction, Heidi Bissitt of Colorado Springs, Nicholas, Amy, and Lily Gordon of Minneapolis; and her sister, Arleen Swanson of Grand Junction.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Elliott and Pauline Ruder Elliott; her husband, Reed Daley; her daughter, Sue Gail Branscom; her brothers Herbert Elliott, Clare Elliott, Richard Elliott, Douglas Elliott and Leonard Rudar; and sister Eula Evans.
Maxine was a pioneer of the Vail Valley and will be missed by many.
Condolences to the family may be sent to Kurt Gordon, PO Box 824, Dubois, WY 82513.