Leo Leas Wittwer August 15, 1918 - October 12, 2016 Leo was born in a log cabin on Taughenbaugh Mesa south of Rifle, Colorado on August 15, 1918, the second of Conrad Carl Wittwer and Fannie Mae Loshbaugh Wittwer's four children. He lived the last six of his 98 years at Eagle Ridge of Grand Valley and recently received care from HopeWest as well. He graduated from Rifle Union High School in 1937 and married his high school sweetheart, Ruby Delores Brady, in 1940. They had four children. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Wichita, KS where he worked in the wing assembly unit for Beechcraft. Returning to Rifle, he worked on various farms for several years before moving to Denver to work for Continental Airlines modifying B-29s. Shortly thereafter he was drafted and about to be shipped to Russia during WWII when he was discharged due to his wife's health. He held various jobs before being hired by Public Service Co. of Colorado (now Xcel Energy). He started as a groundsman and then a lineman in Rifle where he was injured on the job. After a nine month hospital stay and taking a correspondence course to be an electrical engineer, he was transferred to Grand Junction where he worked until his retirement in 1983. He was proud of the drawings he did to establish various electrical lines in downtown Grand Junction. In high school he played football and enjoyed singing in a barbershop quartet, and he continued barbershop singing for 20 years after the family moved to Grand Junction. His hobbies included gardening where he grew vegetables for the family and dahlias, some of which were as large as a dinner plate. Those dahlias graced the sanctuary of First Christian Church (DOC) for many summers, and through his woodworking hobby he built much of the furniture used in the church sanctuary for worship and lighting. He was elder emeritus and held many positions in his church, including singing in the choir. He was a lifetime member of the Moose Lodge in Rifle. In Grand Junction he was a member of Masonic Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Order of Eastern Star holding offices in all of them. He was also a member of El Jebel Mystic Order of the Shrine. He served as Rainbow Dad for Rainbow Girls in Rifle and Grand Junction. In his younger years, he enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping trips with his brothers and killed a black bear north of Rifle when in his early 30s. Leo is survived by his brother, Chester of Durango, and sister, Laura Norcross of Grand Junction. He is also survived by his daughter, Joyce (Lamar) Edwards of Grand Junction; sons, Duane (Susan) of Grand Junction, and Gary (Cathy) of Tucson, AZ, and his youngest son's partner, Melanie Dalby of Golden. He has eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ruby; brother, Carl of Rifle, and his youngest son, Richard "Rick" of Golden. Leo's service will be at First Christian Church (DOC), 1326 N. 1st St., at 10:00 a.m. on October 24, 2016. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Sunday, October 23, 2016 at Martin Mortuary. Memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church or HopeWest, 3090B N 12th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506. Friends and family may leave their condolences at www.martinmortuary.com .
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