Dorothy Blankenagel Kehmeier died at her home in Eckert Wednesday, July 6, 2016. She was 87 years of age.
Celebration of life services will take place at the Eckert Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 14, 11 a.m., following a brief family interment service at the Eckert Cemetery.
Dorothy was born on a cattle ranch on the Arizona-New Mexico border near Springerville, Ariz., on Feb. 5, 1929. She attended elementary and high schools in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico ad graduated with High Distinction from Colorado State University in 1950 with a degree in Vocational Home Economics. She and Norman Kehmeier were married in 1948.
After graduation Norman worked for a year in Wyoming for the Burea of Land Management before the young couple returned to Colorado to take up a lifetime of farming. During the next decade five children were born to them.
While her children were growing Dorothy became active in many aspects of Eckert community life. She was active and an elected officer in the American Association of University Women, in the Delta-Montrose Community Concert Association, various parent-teacher groups, the Delta County Republican party, and the Eckert Presbyterian Church.
In the early 1970s Dorothy earned a master's degree in English Literature at Western State College at Gunnison. She then taught school for five years in Delta County Schools.
When the last of their children left for college Dorothy and Norman joined the Peace Corps. They spent a year in Chad, Africa. The normal enlistment period of two years in the Peace Corps was cut to one year because of the civil war in Chad. As a postscript to their Africa experience, Norman accepted a job with the United States Department of Agriculture as a member of a team studying irrigation projects through the African Sahel. Dorothy was able to travel with the team to Senegal, Upper Volta, Mali, Gambia and Mauritania, and together they saw much of sub-Saharan West Africa. Dorothy and Norman then returned to Eckert to resume their life on the farm.
Dorothy became interested in land conservation and was instrumental in promoting conservation easements as a method of preserving land for agriculture and wildlife.
Dorothy is survived by Norman Kehmeier, her husband of 67 years; two daughters: Nancy (Ron) Anderson of St. Paul, Minn. and Ruth (Dale) Phippeny of Nucla; three sons: Ralph (Margrit) Kehmeier of Friedrichshafen, Germany; Paul (Olga) Kehmeier of Eckert; and David (Ellie) Kehmeier of San Jose, California; and a brother, John (Chelo) Blankenagel of Mexico City; five grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions can be make to HopeWest, PO Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.