Allie Elizabeth Baer, always called Betty, was the first child born to William (Bill) and Willie Meadows Baer. She was born in Cortez, Colorado on September 15, 1923 and passed away in Farmington, New Mexico on 31 January, 2018, at age 94.
The family lived in Rico, Colorado where her father was a miner. She was especially close to her daddy. When she was seven, her parents bought a farm in McElmo Canyon and moved there. Over the years, five sisters Mamie, Charlotte, Lorna, Myrna and Barbara, and a brother Wm George (called Buddy) joined the family.
She grew up in a loving home and had happy memories of her wonderful childhood. She had a strong work ethic that came from her parents. They also believed in early to bed and early to rise which she did alll of her life.
She graduated from 8th grade, then repeated it. That was the highest grade taught at Battle Rock School and her folks had no money to send her to high school in Cortez. She enjoyed reading and was an avid reader throughout her life.
Betty learned to sew when she was young. Her mother taught her to make doll clothes and sew them by hand. She learned to use a sewing machine and became an excellent seamstress. For many years she was proud of having her own sewing business, working for the public, and pleasing her friends and customers with her sewing skills.
She married George James in Monticello, Utah on October 26, 1940, when she was 17. They had four children, Bob, Joe, Bill and Shirley. They lived several places but mostly around the Four Corners area: McElmo Canyon, Rico and Cortez, Colorado, Mexican Hat, Utah, Shonto and Kaibeto, Arizona. After retirement, she and George settled in Dolores, Colorado. Betty’s last few years have been spent in Buffalo, South Dakota and Farmington, New Mexico.
She loved horses. As a young girl she rode a horse to school. George shared her passion and their courting days were often spent riding horses. When they moved to Dolores in later years, they relished all the time they spent with Sonny, Windy and B-Bar.
Betty was always busy and kept a tidy home. She raised bountiful vegetable gardens and beautiful flower beds. Her favorite flower was the columbine.
She never joined any church but she taught her children to love the Lord as she did. She prayed with them and read them scripture stories.
She enjoyed going along with her family while they hunted. She butchered the meat herself that they got and was willing to cook anything her boys brought home except skunks or porcupines. When she and George lived in Rico and their children were young, she milked a goat for the family’s dairy needs. Camping and picnics were some of her favorite things.
In Mexican Hat she was hired as Assistant Post Master. Later she was Post Master at Red Lake Trading Post in Arizona. She enjoyed the job and the people she met there very much. She and George loved Lake Powell, bought a boat and went there often.
George died January 30, 2000. She lived alone until September 2012 when she moved to South Dakota.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three sisters Charlotte Baer, Barbara Baer and Mary (called Mamie) Ismay, two grandsons Gary James, Nick James and a great-granddaughter Brittany Harvey. She is survived by her sons Bob James (Lorraine) of Farmington NM, Joe James (Patricia) of Flagstaff AZ, Bill James (Linda) of Magnolia, TX, and daughter Shirley Clarkson (Bill) of Buffalo SD, 13 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren, sisters Lorna Butler of Summit Ridge, Myrna Palmer of Cortez and brother Buddy Baer of Walla Walla WA, as well as a beloved niece Debbie Wallace.
Mother’s greatest joy in life was her children. We were just four ordinary children but we didn’t know that. She saw us as exceptional and always made us feel so “extry-special”. She never won a prize for anything, she never was president of anything, she never had her name in the headlines, but to her family she was the greatest at everything- the greatest cook, the greatest friend, the greatest example. Though standing only five-feet tall she filled our world with goodness and love. We are blessed to call her Mother.
A viewing will be held Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1800 E. Empire in Cortez with funeral services to follow, Bishop Tim Lanier presiding. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Garden on Summit Ridge next to her husband.