Elsie May

Obituary of Elsie M. May

Elsie May died June 12, 2021 at home surrounded by family, 9½ miles from her childhood home, at the age of 82. She was born August 3, 1938 at the Victor and Joyce Smelker Farm south of Stratton, the fourth child of Victor and Joyce. Elsie was fortunate to die at home in the same beloved town where she was born. Elsie attended grade school through the sixth grade at Nutbrook Country School southwest of her home, and later junior high and high school in Stratton, graduating in 1956. During grade school, Elsie would meet lifelong friend Florence McConnell at the corner west of her house, and they would walk to and from school together. Elsie met Rich May at a Kit Carson County Fair dance in Burlington in 1955, and they started dating. Elsie married Rich October 27, 1956, becoming Elsie Mae May. Elsie and Rich were married for 64 years and were blessed with five children, nine grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. After marriage, Elsie and Rich lived in Denver for six months before returning to Stratton in the Spring of 1957 to make Stratton their permanent home, and she lived there the rest of her life. Elsie worked on the family farm and was a lead hand, cook, housekeeper, and seamstress doing whatever was needed to support the operation. She drove trucks, tractors, and other equipment; moved irrigation pipe; and prepared fabulous meals, including routinely delivering them to the field during wheat harvest. She quickly mastered her mom’s fried chicken, something her kids are still working on. She was an excellent seamstress who could sew or mend anything; she sewed clothes, mended anything and everything, and embroidered squares, patched them together, and quilted hundreds of beautiful quilts. Elsie joined the Catholic church in 1958 and remained a devout Catholic her entire life. She served her Church as a charter member of the Altar and Rosary Society, coordinated and taught religious education, led the Sewing Circle for many years, and helped coordinate beloved Father Dinan’s 25th priesthood jubilee. In her spare time, Elsie enjoyed cooking, sewing, gardening, church activities, trips, and family events. Throughout her life, she was fortunate to enjoy trips to great places near and far, including Bonny State Park, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park (NP), Grand Canyon NP, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, a Mississippi River Cruise, Lake Powell, Lake of the Ozarks, a Great Lakes cruise, and Seaside, FL. Elsie looked for and collected many rocks from family trips by car, and room was made to haul them home. They now reside in her flower bed (if only rocks could talk…). Later in life when she was blessed with grandchildren, she routinely babysat grandkids when they were little allowing her kids to take trips without their kids. She helped her parents for years and in their later years, took care of her father and mother until they died. She also was involved with the Stratton schools and was a key member planning and building the original Stratton swimming pool. Elsie loved flowers; roses were her favorite, and she is the only family member to have a rose in her name, Lady Elsie May. She was a gentle, kind woman; family was the most important thing to her, and she looked out for and took care of all family. Elsie was a great cook, and she cooked, canned, and made great meals, including fried chicken, roast beef, steak, potatoes and gravy, pinto beans, pies, cakes, and cookies. Sundays at Elsie’s routinely involved a great home cooked meal, often the favorites (fried chicken, roast beef, or steak), with all the fixings. She hosted hundreds of family meals, with her house being a key gathering place when family from out of town visited, and the main question she asked when people said they were coming to visit was Will you be here for dinner? Elsie was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Joyce Smelker, brothers Ralph and Carl Smelker, and sister Dorothy Clark. She is survived by her husband Rich (Stratton, CO), daughter Joyce Malone and husband Don (Stratton, CO), daughter Cindy Grace and husband Don (Parker, CO), daughter Elizabeth Loomis and husband Paige (Lafayette, CO), son Mike May and wife Karen (Highlands Ranch, CO), son Mark May and wife Kathy (Aurora, CO), nine grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. We will remember her forever as a faithful woman and great mother, cook, and seamstress devoted to all family and friends. Memorials may be made to St. Charles Catholic Church in Elsie's memory and may be left at or sent to Love Funeral Home, 377 15th Street, Burlington, Colorado 80807. To view a memorial video for Elsie please visit this link https://youtu.be/74JClhRSFjM.
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Thursday
17
June

Visitation

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, June 17, 2021
St. Charles Catholic Church
513 Colorado Avenue
Stratton, Colorado, United States
Thursday
17
June

Parish Rosary

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, June 17, 2021
St. Charles Catholic Church
513 Colorado Avenue
Stratton, Colorado, United States
Friday
18
June

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, June 18, 2021
St. Charles Catholic Church
513 Colorado Avenue
Stratton, Colorado, United States
Friday
18
June

Interment

11:15 am - 11:30 am
Friday, June 18, 2021
Calvary Cemetery
Highway 24
Stratton, Colorado, United States
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