Dee Ann Kropp of Paonia, Colo., exchanged her earthly home for her heavenly home on April 23, 2016.
Dee Ann was born Oct. 23, 1937, in Washington, D.C., to George and Doris Pickrel. Most of her childhood and teenage years were spent in Lakewood, Colo., where she learned a love for horsemanship and playing the accordion, among many other interests. She and her beloved horse Charlie displayed their talents often in the local Westernaires.
While at Western State College in 1955, she met James "Jim" Kropp and they married in 1956. The young family, now including two boys, Kris and Kevin, lived in Denver, Caldwell, Idaho, and Breckenridge before settling in Salida, Colo., for 35 years. In 1969, "Dee Dee" began driving throughout the winters over the treacherous Monarch Pass to achieve her teaching degree. A labor of love ensued, teaching Pre-K and first grade at Salida schools for 20 years.
Her love for horses continued with riding excursions in the mountains from the family ranch on the North Fork. Skiing, backpacking, traveling, and time with great friends added adventure to a busy life.
A move to the family orchard and home in Paonia in 1995 would be the place where she and Jim enjoyed the closeness of family. Dee Dee and Jim enjoyed Paonia as a "home base" from which they wintered in warmer climates and also traveled. They were faithful attenders at the grandchildren's many sporting and school events. Dee Dee was able to live out her last days in the family home in Paonia where she experienced so many wonderful memories.
She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Doris Pickrel; and grandchildren, Kelsey, Samuel and Jordan Kropp.
She is survived by husband, Jim Kropp; sons Kris (Tami) and Kevin (Karen) Kropp; grandchildren, Kristen Kropp, Kori Kropp, Kanielle (Justin) Rubino, Noah Kropp, Kacey Kropp, Annavah Kropp, Keaton Kropp and Enoch Kropp; and sisters, Darla Knapp of Fort Collins, Colo., Sandra Davis of Lakewood, Colo., and Sherry Grossneck of Arvada, Colo.
A memorial service with family members will be held this spring among Dee Dee's favorite wildflowers at the family mountain cabin.
In lieu of flowers, Dee Ann desired that donations be made to the charity of your choice.