Charles "Charley" Tyler Porteus died suddenly at home from a heart attack on Jan. 21, at the age of 40. He was born in Grand Junction, Colo., to parents Rod and Arlene Porteus on Feb. 5, 1975. He lived in Yampa, Colo., and went to SoRoCo High School where he excelled at wrestling, football and baseball. Charley also played the tuba in the high school band and was a member of FFA. He skied for the Winter Sports Club, where he won numerous races and trips to the Jr. Olympics. Classmates remember him fondly as an outgoing, fun-loving student.
After high school, Charley attended and graduated from WyoTech Automotive School. He was a gifted mechanic and could fix anything. Later, he attended and graduated from Mesa Hotline School, which allowed him to work as an electric lineman for Xcel, City of Fort Morgan, and the City of Fort Collins. To Charley, being a lineman was more than just a job. He was proud of the work that he did and was deeply respected by his colleagues for his skills, work ethic and integrity. He often said, "Everybody wants to be a lineman, but not everybody can."
Charley loved spending time with his parents, swapping jokes and hosting theme parties. He enjoyed skiing with his father, Rod Porteus, and there aren't many around who could keep up with the pair of them. His mother, Arlene Porteus, could always coax Charley out onto the dance floor for a lively polka or a song.
Charley shared a bond with his brothers, Jay Porteus and Scott Porteus, that remained strong and unbreakable. The trio is legendary for their athletic ability and the pranks that they used to play. In truth, many people who knew Charley called him brother. He was a patient man and a constant and steady friend, always ready with a joke or to lend a hand.
Charley possessed a big, gentle heart and spent hours playing with and doing magic tricks for his nieces and nephews, Lacey Porteus, Ashlee Porteus, Molly, Mason and Adele Porteus, and David Drake. The world would be a better place if every child had an Uncle Charley!
Charley married the love of his life, Annie DeCosta, in 2005, although they had been together for many years previous. They made their home in Sterling, Colo., after several years in Fort Morgan. There, they enjoyed raising horses, gardening and horseback riding in the mountains. They loved to entertain family and friends with games, drinks and fantastic meals. Many a fond memory was made under their roof. Annie loves Charley deeply and was always in awe of his kindness, steadiness and patience. She also really liked that red beard! Annie and Charley celebrated 10 years of marriage last summer. In an anniversary card to Annie, Charley wrote: "Some people say that they have soulmates. What is it when someone is your soul? Annie, everything in my soul is you ... Every day you are my heart and soul. I wish I had a million years to love you!"
Charley lived life to the fullest and had no regrets. He enjoyed being with his family and friends, as well as fishing, hunting, the Denver Broncos and his horses. He was a champion, a great warrior, universally respected, a born protector of those with less strength, an honest and sweet man. He was one of the greats. He will be forever adored, loved and missed by all. The lights are on in heaven.
Charley is survived by his wife, Annie Porteus; parents, Rod and Arlene Porteus; brothers, Jay (Kelly) Porteus and Scott (Becky) Porteus; in-laws, Doug and Claudia DeCosta, Lea DeCosta and Johnny (Sam) DeCosta; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Charles Porteus Memorial Fund at FMS Bank, P.O. Box 1040, 520 Sherman, Fort Morgan, CO 80701-1040, 970-867-3319.
At their March 5 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes made two appointments to the county planning commission. Steve Shea was reappointed for a three-year term.