Helen Catharine Linke, 90, of Granby, Colo., passed away quietly at the Cliffview Assisted Living Center in Kremmling, Colo., on Oct. 13, 2009.
She was born March 13, 1919, in Hillrose, Colo., to Raymond and Malva (Wise) Odell. When she was a toddler, her family moved to Denver where Helen attended Skinner Elementary School and graduated from North High School in 1937.
During her youth, the family enjoyed coming to Grand County for visits to the Schmuck's Windy Gap Ranch, outside of Granby. During these visits she became acquainted with the Linke family.
On Nov. 1, 1941, Helen married Gilbert Walcher. She traveled to California and Mississippi while he was in the Army. While Helen was in California she worked for the USO, publishing a USO newsletter.
In 1943 Gilbert was killed in World War II at the Normandy invasion.
Helen returned to Denver and worked for her father. In 1947 Helen attended Pasadena State College in California for a year. After Gilbert's death, Helen once again joined her family for visits to the Windy Gap Ranch and was re-united with the Linkes.
On Feb. 11, 1950, she married William F. "Bud" Linke, her childhood friend, in Casper, Wyo. They moved into their house, a wedding present from her father. They celebrated 59 years of marriage together while keeping the ranch going and raising two children. For 24 years they spent winter months enjoying their second home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
For many years Helen was a Sunday school teacher for the Central Assembly Church in Granby and served as the secretary of the Granby Chamber of Commerce. She was well known for riding her motorcycles, beginning with her 1934 Harley and culminating with her Special Edition Honda Goldwing and the many others she owned in between. She was a member of the Motor Maids and would ride to rallies all over the United States. Helen was riding her motorcycle well into her 70s, even riding cross-country.
She was a member of Ports of Call and loved to travel. Helen enjoyed Israel, Rome, Turkey, Tahiti, England, and Austria. She also enjoyed gardening and sports. She spent many hours ice-skating, roller-skating, skiing, bowling and fishing.
In her latter years one of her greatest joys was her "little dollies," her great-granddaughters. They enjoyed tea parties, playing school, driving the Kawasaki mule around the ranch and rides in Great Grandma's convertible.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her husband Bud; daughter Sandra (Chuck); son, Richard (Dela); grandsons, Doug (Christi), Vince (Karen); and three great-granddaughters, Skyler, Haiden, and Briana.
She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant daughter, Rosemary; and her brother Donald L. Odell.
Memorial services for Helen will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday
Oct. 24, 2009, at Church of the Eternal Hills with Pastor David Heil officiating. Inurnment will be at Granby Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to be made to Cliffview Assisted living Center P.O. Box 1119, Kremmling, CO 80459 or Heart of the Mountains Hospice P.O. Box 1093, Granby, CO 80446.
Arrangements were entrusted to the care and direction of Foran-Schoenfeld Mortuary, Hot Sulphur Springs.