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May 19, 1965 - January 16, 2023
Service Date February 2, 2023
A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 10:00 AM at Victory Baptist Church in Montrose, CO. Please consider donating to HopeWest in her memory in lieu of flowers at hopewestco.org.
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Karen “Michelle” Swayne Courtney was born May 19, 1965, in Norfolk, VA to Robert J. Swayne Jr. and Lydia J. Swayne. Spending her first six years of life near Virginia Beach inspired a love for the ocean and sandy beaches that never faded. Then her family moved to Chattanooga, TN so her dad could study to become a Baptist preacher. When Michelle was twelve years old her family moved to Grand Junction, CO as her dad followed his call to preach the gospel “out West.” Michelle married her high school sweetheart, Ron Courtney, in 1982. In the winter of 1988, the family moved to Montrose, CO and never left. Both of her children graduated from Montrose High School.
Michelle devoted herself completely to being a mother, and she loved volunteering at her children’s schools. She was always cheering from the sidelines at their extracurricular activities including ringing a cowbell, which caused some embarrassment. She enjoyed teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, and decorating for special events at her church. She spent many years catering for the Camp Robber Café and caregiving for elderly ladies.
Michelle loved sewing and made her own dresses in high school; as her children grew, she took an interest in quilting. That interest turned into a passion that she continued enjoying right up to the very weeks before her passing. She was very proud of the awards she won at the Black Canyon Quilt Show. Michelle loved outdoor activities with her family including riding ATVs, boating, rock crawling, and riding snowmobiles. She always liked having “Grammie Days” to spend time with each of her five grandchildren. In her later years, she spent her free time paddle boarding, bike riding, playing pickle ball, and taking dance lessons. In the summer of 2022, she challenged herself to bike the fourteen-miles of Vail Pass; an accomplishment that demonstrated her inner strength during a very trying time of personal hardship.
Michelle fought a brief, but severe, battle with cancer. She passed away on January 16, 2023 at the HopeWest Ferris Care Center surrounded by her sisters. Her passing was peaceful as she entered the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ. She is now perfectly complete, enjoying the splendors of Heaven that we can only imagine. Michelle is survived by her husband Ron Courtney, daughter Hannah (Scott) Stephens of Montrose, son Andrew (Sadie) Courtney of Grand Junction. Her mother Jennifer Swayne, of Grand Junction, sister Melissa (Neil) Jones of Milledgeville, GA, sister Melanie (Dale) Hoaglund of Queen Creek, AZ, and sister Mindy Swayne of Grand Junction, CO. She will be missed greatly by her grandchildren: Eli, GraceAnna, and Seth Stephens and Hunter and Caleb Courtney, as well as her five nephews and one niece. A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 10:00 AM at Victory Baptist Church in Montrose, CO. Please consider donating to HopeWest in her memory in lieu of flowers at hopewestco.org.
Crippin Funeral is assisting Michelle’s family.