Evelyn Audin Brown passed away in her sleep on July 7, 2017, just four days before her 93rd birthday. Born on July 11, 1924, in Hotchkiss, Colo., Evelyn was the youngest child of Harry (the Circle S Kid) Edwards and Lena Pearl Edwards. Evelyn came from a large family of 11 children, only five of whom survived to adulthood. Evelyn happily lived her entire life in the North Fork Valley. She was preceded in death by her parents, and all her siblings, Harry, Frank, Bertha, Helen, twins Ralph and Ray, Blanch, twins Maxine and Lorraine, Ernie, and her two husbands, Clement (Clem) Audin, Jr. and Woodrow (Woody) E. Brown, MD.
Evelyn grew up during the Great Depression and that experience shaped her character, instilling in her frugality, creativity, true grit and an acute awareness of others' misfortunes combined with a desire to be of service. Despite the hardships of her early life she had a desire to achieve, a sense of adventure, and the ability to make something out of nothing.
Evelyn's parents operated a lumber mill on Black Mesa and during the summer months the entire family moved there to work. She had many fond memories of having free run of the mesa with her brothers and sisters in a Model T Ford that they used as an all-terrain vehicle. Evelyn's first job was riding a big draft horse up and down hills, skidding logs to the mill.
As a teenager Evelyn worked at the movie theater, earning 50 cents a week and the perk of free movies for her mother. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she and her entire senior class at Hotchkiss High School graduated several months early so graduates could join the war effort. Evelyn remained in Hotchkiss, working at a drug store and for her cousin, Harry Taylor at the Taylor Funeral Home.
In October of 1942 she met Clem Audin. She told the story many times that she knew she would marry Clem the first time she saw him, which occurred on Dec. 4, 1942. Together they built their own home on Pitkin Mesa, outside of Paonia, built up the family coal mining business with Clem's brothers, and created their family with the addition of daughters Leah Audin (Denver) and Holly Audin (Eckert). Evelyn was very active in her daughters' schools, Girl Scouts and 4-H. Clem was active with the Elks Lodge of Hotchkiss and Evelyn supported him in all his endeavors and was an involved member of the Emblem Club. They traveled the State of Colorado on Elks business until Clem's untimely sudden death in August 1973.
Evelyn married Woody Brown in 1977, and designed and built her second home with him on Rogers Mesa near Hotchkiss. Evelyn took Woody's adult children, Hollis, Kelsey, Rex and Marci into her life and heart. After Woody's retirement as a physician they traveled all over the United States and the world, visiting Alaska, Hawaii, China, Africa, South America, the Galapagos Islands, Mexico, Italy, France, New Zealand and Australia.
After Woody's death in 2006 Evelyn stayed close to home, enjoying being close to her grandsons Joseph Caldwell (Vanessa) and Dustin Caldwell (Angela) and her great-grandchildren, Ava Caldwell, Emeli Caldwell and Audin Caldwell. Evelyn was also very close to her nieces and nephews, WynnDell Peters, Judy Rozman, Charles Norris, Kay Chabot, Frankie Squirell and Ralph Audin.
Evelyn will be remembered for her sense of humor, enormous capacity for fun, and love of the outdoors. During her lifetime, she hiked to the summit of Mount Lamborn with a Girl Scout troop, hiked into and out of the Black Canyon, rafted the Grand Canyon, picnicked at the drop of a hat, and bird watched all over the world. She could shoot a gun with eagle eye accuracy. She nursed injured wild and domestic animals and little kids back to health. Her cooking and entertaining were legendary.
More than anything, she would like to be remembered for the love she had for her family and friends whom she cherished above all else and for her contributions to the welfare of Colorado's children. Evelyn and Woody supported the Future Farmers of America each year at the Delta County Fair and Evelyn provided a significant contribution to build the Hotchkiss swimming pool. She established a trust through the Colorado Elks Association in honor of Clem Audin, which, thanks to the contributions of Colorado Elks Lodges, has become substantial enough to fund over $30,000 each year in small grants to children all over the state. The Hotchkiss Elks Lodge also was funded with its own trust fund to be used for North Fork Valley children.
A celebration of Evelyn's life will take place in Hotchkiss on Sept. 23, 2017, at 4 p.m. at the Hotchkiss Elks Lodge. The family would be honored to have memorial contributions made to the Clem and Evelyn Audin Fund with the Hotchkiss Elks or to a charity of the donor's choice.