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October 15, 1917 - February 21, 2014
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Clyde Chester Free October 15, 1917 ~ February 21, 2014
Clyde Chester Free, age 96, of Montrose, Colorado died February 21, 2014 at the Hospice Care Center in Montrose. Clyde was born October 15, 1917 to James Marion and Cora Bethina Free. When Clyde was two, his parents moved from the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas to Montrose, which took two years traveling in a covered wagon to arrive at the Uncompahgre Valley. They had stopped in Pueblo, Colorado and were told about the opportunities with the newly constructed Gunnison Tunnel and decided to continue on to Montrose. He spent his childhood and graduated from Montrose High School. When Clyde was 15 years old his folks bought 40 acres 5 miles out on Spring Creek Mesa, and he was raised there.
Clyde married his wife Carrie January 1, 1941 in Montrose. Clyde drove the San Miguel Stage Line for two years before going into the service. He served his country in 1944 during WWII. He was assigned to the Pacific Theatre in the retaking of the Philippines. He received a purple heart. Two weeks after returning from the war, they traded their house on South 4th for 40 acres on Maple Grove Road. They started farming with a team of Horses and raised poultry, purebred Suffolk sheep, milk cows, beef cattle and Quarter Horses. Clyde spent the next 20 years working as a shop foreman on Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, Crystal and Silver Jack Dams. Together, Clyde and Carrie owned and operated the Big Cimarron Getaway Cabins during the summers from 1986 to 2006.
Clyde and Carrie have been married for 73 years, but started dating five years before their marriage. Clyde took Carrie to her first high school dance, an activity which they have enjoyed throughout their lives. They were 4-H Leaders and led the Montrose Square Dance 4-H team to state several years during the 1950’s
Surviving family members include his beloved wife, Carrie of the family home in Montrose; son James Free of Montrose; daughter Shirley (Jim) Bruck of Cimarron, Colorado; four grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren. Clyde was preceded in death by three brothers. At Clyde’s request, cremation has taken place and private family services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, Montrose, Colorado.