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November 7, 1923 - May 10, 2016
Service Date May 16, 2016
A Vigil & Rosary will be held, Sunday May 15, 2016 at 6:30pm at St. Mary Catholic Church
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Cecilia Anne Kiefer Schmalz
November 7, 1923 – May 10, 2016
Cecilia Anne Kiefer was born on November 7, 1923, at the family home in Mack, Colorado to Charles and May Kiefer, members of the pioneering Kiefer family who helped settle Fruita. She passed away peacefully in her home on May 10, 2016.
The youngest of six children, Anne was proud of her rich heritage. Her father’s diverse friendships included Ute leaders Chipeta and Atchee. Anne remembered her parents visiting with John Otto (founder of the Colorado National Monument). Her great uncle was in Otto’s wedding.
Although a child of the Great Depression, Anne’s memories did not ever include feeling poor. Living on a farm, they produced most of their own food; there was little money, but always love, food and clothing. Her family provided many meals to others who were hoping to find a better life on their journey west.
Through her eight years at the Mack grade school and her four years at Fruita Union High School, she was known as “Cecilia”. Later, she was called “Anne” by friends and family. Having graduated from Fruita in 1941, she and two close friends celebrated their 75th class reunion last month.
Anne spent several years working as a bookkeeper in Grand Junction and Delta before meeting her husband Charlie Schmalz whom she married on November 8, 1945. Nine children followed; however, two, Francis, and Mark Joseph, died shortly after birth. Anne worked as a cook with the Montrose school district from 1980-1987.
In her spare time (seriously?…raising seven kids…spare time?) Anne became an accomplished seamstress, making beautiful clothes for grandchildren, aprons for all of the family, and nearly 1000 dresses for little girls all over the world. She continued this ministry until last month.
“Mom, you can rest now.”
“Oh, I can make one more dress. Somebody needs it.”
Anne was also a historian, documenting family memories and photos every year in individual albums for each of her children. She was famous for making delicious bread, rolls and cookies to the end. She loved geography, maps, baseball, books, photographs, and more recently, cross-word puzzles.
A lifetime lover of open, wild country, Anne climbed her first 14,000′ peak, Mt. Sneffels, in 1969. She continued hiking well into her 80s, completed a dozen races in Moab and climbed the highest peak in many states. She also completed her goal of hiking from Montrose to Ouray. Anne was a member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness.
Anne relished the various life roles of wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. Although tiny physically, she welcomed everyone with gigantic warmth and love. Many, many unrelated children called her “Grandma”.
Anne is survived by her seven children: Charles (Paulette) Schmalz, Regina (Bill Brueggeman) Sowell, Marty (Diana) Schmalz, Regis (Roxie) Schmalz, Marianne Schmalz, Chris (Birgitt) Schmalz and Mark (Terry) Schmalz; 11 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Genevieve Kiefer and Joyce Schmalz. She was preceded in death by her husband, two babies, siblings and parents.
A Vigil and Rosary will be held at 6:30 pm Sunday, May 15, 2016, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Montrose. A Funeral Mass will be Monday, May 16, 10:00 am at St. Mary Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Delta City Cemetery in Delta, CO, at 1055 East 3rd Street.
Crippin Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of all arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to HopeWest Hospice, 725 South 4th Street, Montrose, 81401 or Catholic Outreach, 245 South 1st St., Grand Jct. 81501.