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V.O. Price - September 04, 2011

Vernon Oliver “V.O.” Price, age 85, of Haxtun, was born to Vernon G. and Mary (Davis) Price Nov. 20, 1925 in Haxtun. He died Sept. 4, 2011 in Haxtun.

He was the oldest of six children: Joe, Millie, Jack, Allen and MaryAnn. V.O. attended Haxtun School but stopped to help his family out.

He met a young lady named Arvilla “Jean” Buss who also lived in Haxtun. They dated for a couple of years and were married in Fort Morgan Oct. 17, 1943. To this union, five children were born: Robert, Lennette, Vernell, Barry and Kimberly.

Shortly after their wedding at the age of 18, V.O. was drafted into the Amphibious Navy. Before going to the Pacific, he was a lifeguard at the ocean near Myrtle Beach. He served on board a ship stationed in Japan and repaired boats so they could go back into use. He was also part of a crew responsible for disposing of leftover equipment, including tanks.

On V.O.’s return, he and Jean moved to the Fairfield area where he worked for different families as hired help. He always had a great love of horses and his work often included breaking and working them.

The Price family moved 1.25 miles east of Haxtun on old Highway 6, and V.O. started working for Bud Grauberger until 1960, when V.O. and Jean bought a farm out by the Haxtun Gun Club. He continued to work as a hired hand but also sharecropped with the three Swedes.

The family’s time together included a lot of rodeos where V.O. raced his horses Blackie and Flicka. To practice his roping skills, V.O. would have his kids pretend they were calves and run ahead of the horse so he could rope them until Mom put a stop to it!

He was active in the Saddle Club and had the honor of being one of the original Pony Express riders with the National Pony Express Association out of Julesburg. When he no longer rode for the organization, he continued to support it by driving trailers to pick up horses and supplies for the riders.

V.O.’s health began to decline after a car accident in May of 2006, and in September of 2006, he went to the Haxtun Hospital District’s ECU as a resident.

He and several other men were honored on Veteran’s Day with certificates signed by Haxtun mayor Tommy Thompson, expressing appreciation for their service in the military. V.O. was a 64-year member of the American Legion.

He received an honorary high school diploma in 2005. He also received an honorary lifetime membership to the Haxtun Gun Club this year.

V.O. and Jean had been married 66 years and enjoyed dancing with their friends with whom they carpooled to area dances, and would go out for breakfast. They also enjoyed celebrating their birthdays going out to eat at Mexican restaurants.

The grandkids always remembered riding the horses and visiting the animals on the farm.

Preceding him in death are his wife, Arvilla Jean; son, Barry Price; daughter, Kimberly Ann Leidle; son-in-law, Gene Thompson; grandson, Tad Thompson; parents, Vern and Mary Price; brothers, Joe and Jack; and sister Millie Hargraves.

V.O. is survived by his son, Robert Price and wife Linda of Haxtun; daughters, Lennette Hutt and husband Duane of Haxtun and Vernell Brown and husband Gary of Greeley; 12 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; five step-great-great-grandchildren; brother, Allen Price of Texas; sister, MaryAnn Fonseca of Las Vegas, Nev.; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.