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1968 William "Willie" 2024

William "Willie" Floyd Daves

June 21, 1968 — April 8, 2024




 A Celebration of life for Cortez resident William Daves will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Arriola Bible Church. 

 William Floyd Daves was born on June 21, 1968 in Cortez, CO the son of Wayne and Susie Daves. He entered the presence of the Lord on Monday, April 8, 2024. 

 Willie was the oldest of two children and joked that he was always the favorite child. He was certainly the best brother to his younger sister, Paula. He took good care of her and would always take her turn of being “It” when playing hide and seek with their cousins. 

 Willie cried on his first day of kindergarten, but it wasn’t because he didn’t want to go. He wanted to ride that big yellow school bus, not be driven to school by his mom. He always enjoyed school and assured his parents that he was doing great… and was always surprised when his report card came out. He loved learning, but the details got in the way. 

 Willie accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at a young age and was actively involved in Arriola Bible Church throughout his life. He spent many summers volunteering at San Juan Bible Camp and helping out with youth group activities. 

 Willie graduated from Montezuma Cortez High School in 1986 and began working construction with his Dad, Wayne Daves. They were an excellent team and he learned the trade from one of the best. They enjoyed building and helping people from all walks of life. They were always happy to share a doughnut or slice of cheese and apples with their current employers. It was a special time of life that they shared and it took two exceptional people to work that closely together. 

 Willie met Nancy Bourne McDonnell and began fostering a friendship that soon blossomed into love. When Willie asked Nancy out on a date she said she couldn’t date him because he was too young. But she never said she wouldn’t marry him. They were married on April 16, 1994. Willie not only became a loving husband, but also a stepfather to Robbie and Megan. They quickly outgrew his bachelor pad and moved to a new home to raise their family. 

 Willie loved being outdoors and was an avid hunter. He loved the comradery that he shared with his aunts, uncles and cousins. He was as strong as an ox and was always ready to help carry or load any animal they got. 

 Willie loved people and especially loved kids. He was the best uncle to Caleb and Caroline. They always had fun with Aunt Nancy and Uncle Willie. Caroline remembers Uncle Willie taking her to the rock shop and helping her make jewelry. He often took both of them to the Ute Cafe for biscuits and gravy and pancakes. 

 Upon Wayne’s retirement, Willie went to work at Dolores County and then later for the State of Colorado. He spent many winters making sure the roads were plowed and safe for travelers. He talked fondly of the summers spent spraying weeds with the summer help. 

 While he enjoyed each job he had, one of his favorites was selling his breakfast burritos. He started his business with $125 and a new egg pan. His little yellow car became known as the burrito wagon and he became Burrito Willie. He loved providing delicious food to all of his old friends and new ones that he made.

 One of the greatest joys that Willie had was being Grandpa. He was blessed with loving Roman and Livia, children of Megan and Wes and Emery and Robbie, children of Robert and Candace. 

The kids loved Grandpa Willie and the chickens at his house. It was always a special time when the grandkids came to visit. They played chase in the house and had lots of cuddle time. Willie was never happier than when he had a grandchild in his arms. 

 Willie was always a caregiver at heart and that was made evident when he began caring for his wife, Nancy after her stroke in April of 2018. The love that they had for each other was evident in their home and how they interacted with each other. It is not easy needing full time care or giving full time care and yet God gave them the grace they needed for each other. They were truly a remarkable couple and Willie will be greatly missed. 

 After Nancy’s stroke, they were both often heard proclaiming, “God is good.” That truth was believed and lived out in their daily lives. We are thankful that while we are grieving, we are not grieving like those without hope. For we know that Willie is whole, and vibrant and walking with the Lord. And that we will see him again. 

 Surviving Willie are his wife, Nancy Daves of Cortez; children Robert McDonnell (Candace) of Albuquerque, NM and Megan Hunt (Wes) of Alexandria, VA; his grandchildren Emery McDonnell,  Robbie McDonnell, Roman Hunt and Livia Hunt; his mother Susan (Joe) Wofford of Arriola; his sister Paula Podgornoff (Matthew) of Cortez; his nieces and nephews Caleb and Caroline Podgornoff of Cortez and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers-in- law and sister-in-law, step brothers and step sisters.

 Willie was preceded in death by his father, Wayne Daves and niece, Madison Podgornoff. 


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