Obituary of Vera Ardena Cohea
Vera Ardena Cohea, 91 of Greeley, was called to her heavenly home by her Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 2, 2023, surrounded by her family at the home of her daughter and son-in-law.
Vera was born on March 12, 1932, to Charles J. and Martha Gentz-Mitchek at their home in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. She was the fourth of eight children, Charles Jr., Lila, Dale, Betty, Ervin, Allen and Milton. Vera was a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother and a dear friend to all who knew her. She loved her family, and they loved her. Vera was the most kind and loving person, never met a stranger and was always willing to help. Mom was a very protective mother who always watched out for her children and wanted the best for them. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her and loved her.
Growing up in the small town of Cheyenne Wells there was not a lot going on. Vera loved the farm and had her own little flock of ducks that were her responsibility along with riding her blue bike down to get the mail.
Charles and Martha were not afraid of hard work and instilled that work ethic in their children. Martha owned and operated the UP (Union Pacific) Café in town. Vera started washing dishes at the age of twelve, working alongside her siblings, before she was “promoted” to a waitress in the restaurant that was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Vera was the only member of her family to graduate from High School. She graduated with the class of 1950 from Cheyenne County High School with only 19 classmates. Vera was very proud of her accomplishment and made sure her children all graduated high school.
After graduation she moved to Sterling Colorado and lived with her Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary Gentz and became a “cousin sister” to their family of eight. She loved them all - Dorothy, Shirley, Freddie, Betty, Nancy, Alan, Lora and Carrie. That special family connection has lasted all these years.
In Sterling, Vera worked at Stickney’s for 6 years, doing the accounts receivable/payable and payroll. She loved working with numbers. When her friend Janet from Stickney’s moved to Greeley Vera asked if she could move in with the group of girls, two of whom would become her future sister-in-law’s, Mary Margaret (Bill’s sister) and Ethel (Bill’s sister-in-law). Vera was a teller at the First Industrial Bank in downtown Greeley.
She was introduced to her future husband, William “Bill”, by his sister Mary Margaret at a dance in Briggsdale where he bought her a soda. They were married on May 17, 1958, in Sterling Colorado surrounded by her family. They celebrated their 61st anniversary in 2019. From this union three children were born, Nita, Marty and Dawn. Even when times were tough and money was tight for the couple and their growing family, we never went without. Vera loved her home, even when it got noisy, the big yard for her children to grow up in and our family always had a huge garden. She spent hours and hours freezing and canning the produce every year with the help of her daughters.
Our Mom was an amazing wife and mother, the “job” she loved the most was being a stay at home mom. You knew that you were always loved by her and God. Mom would always tell us kids to look up and pray because God is always there.
Our mom could cook just about anything. When Marty was in Cub Scouts, he remembers that Mom always made the best treats for the kids. She loved her dogs and hated snakes; she enjoyed watching the squirrels and birds she fed.
When the kids were young the family often camped in the mountains of Colorado – she could out-fish Bill any day! They loved the family trip they took through Colorado, exploring the state and the trip that they made to Oregon to visit Milton and his family. If we weren’t camping, we could be found in Briggsdale or Sterling with our extended family. Growing up, family was very important to our parents.
Vera and Bill owned and operated Blue Dolphin Mobile Wash and Eagle Lawn Service, working with their children after his retirement from Monfort’s of Colorado. When Dawn was in her last year of high school, Vera decided to work part time, to get out of the house. She worked for KS Custodial, Hallmark cards as a vendor, retiring on July 31, 2014. Vera helped Dawn clean the office at D&S Steel Bldg. Co. until her health prevented her from continuing.
After the death of her husband on October 26, 2019, and the progression of dementia, her health required her to make some lifestyle changes. It is then that she moved in with Dawn and Joe and when Marty’s schedule permitted, he would take her back to her home so she could spend a few days in familiar surroundings until that was no longer possible.
It was with God’s grace and Joe’s love and compassion for our mother that we were able to keep her out of a nursing home, a place she never wanted to go and a promise a little girl made to her mother. We owe Joe a huge thank you for the care he provided for her when we were at work. Mom and Joe loved to banter with each other at times and he could always get her to laugh. Marty could always get her sing… especially Home Home on the range… Thank You, Joe, from the bottom of our hearts with our deep admiration - Love, Marty & Dawn.
Vera is survived by her children, Marty and Dawn, son-in-law’s, Donald “Joe” Schell Jr. and Michael Murphy and her dogs, Buddy and Tobey. Her sisters, Lila Maxwell and Betty Vandagriff, brother Milton Mitchek and wife Darlene, numerous nieces and nephews and a dear friend to both Bill and Vera, Robyn Juba who was more like a daughter to them.
Vera is preceded in death by her husband William, her daughter Nita Gwen Murphy, her parents Charles J. Mitchek Sr. and Martha Mitchek-Darnauer, and her brother’s, Charles Jr., Dale, Ervin and Allen.
Celebration of Life services will be held at Adamson Life Celebration Home on Friday July 14th at 10:00am with burial at Sunset Memorial Gardens at 11:00am followed by a reception at Adamson Life Celebration Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Banner Hospice of Northern Colorado in Memory of Vera Cohea. Donations collected will help them purchase a Pure Wick, which has had a lasting impact for their patients.
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