1976 Big Thompson Canyon Colorado Flood



Victims of the Big Thompson Canyon Flash Flood

Near Loveland, Colorado
July 31 1976

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Big Thompson Canyon, Colorado

July 31, 1976

Flash Flood

It was a beautiful summer Saturday in Northern Colorado, as thousands of residents and tourists visited beautiful Estes Park, to begin a weekend of fun. It was Colorado's Centennial Weekend, but nobody could have imagined what Mother Nature had in store for those unlucky enough to be travelling the canyon that evening.

By late afternoon, light rain began to fall over the Colorado Rockies; by dusk, huge thunderheads made their appearance. At 7:35 p.m. the first signs of the impending disaster emerged when the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning. By this time, most of the park's visitors had begun the drive down the canyon toward Loveland and most of the canyon's residents were enjoying the Summer Olympics from Montreal on television.

At 9:00 the National Weather Service issued a more urgent warning for everyone in the canyon to expect flooding. For most, this warning was too late. A phenomenal 11 inches of rain fell in 4 hours. The narrow canyon funneled this into a wall of water nearly 20 feet high. For many, there was nowhere to go and tragedy was the result.

At least 144 are known to have died that night, and 88 people were injured. Seven victims have never been located. The flood destroyed 316 homes, 45 mobile homes and 52 businesses. 73 mobile homes suffered major damage.

Research by

**This list has been cross-referenced with the Social Security Death Index to supply dates of birth, residences, etc.**

Do you have any stories or memories of those on this list? This is a list of all known victims - there may be many more that were not found. If you have information on this, please send it to me so that I can add your information to the list.

Any stories, memories, or photos of the victims you wish to share are welcome. for all items received, a rose will be placed in that person's memory next to the information.

35th Anniversary of Big Thompson Canyon Flood July 31 2011.  Please remember the victims of this tragedy in a special way

**Note: Following question from a visitor if anyone out there can answer it:

I've been coming here to Estes Park from about the time I started walking. I do remember a pink restaurant in the canyon, and it seems like it sat on its own little "island". -They use to have smorgasbords on Sundays I believe. Do you rememer the name and location of this restaurant? Also, I'm sorry, I dont even know if you are from this area, but it would be really nice if there was someone around here that could take you down that canyon and tell you where everything use to be. As I drive up and down it, I seem to remember certain things, but there are alot of empty spaces in which I do believe there were hotels and so forth. It would be great to go up and down the canyon with someone who could tell me about what use to be where. (I am lucky-I was suppose to leave Sunday, but something told my sister, cousin and I to leave, so we did, early afternoon on the 31st.)
Terri Smith <tlsmith0824@yahoo.com>

**Note: Can anyone answer this question from a visitor?

We were in Stratton Colorado and had heard of the flood. The Fairgrounds in Burlington, Colorado was beginning the celebration for the state, and I came up with the idea that the survivors who had lost everything would need beds, furnishings, clothing, food, water and other necessities, so we borrowed a wheat truck from JJ Weingart's rendering plant and set up at the fairgrounds in Burlington. The local radio station was there and they sent out a broadcast plea for donations. Jack Malone and I, Judy Dowell Malone, collected donations all day and filled the huge truck. We set off to deliver the items and funds to the Clover Leaf Racetrack, as that was as close as we were permitted to go and the designated drop off point. I often wonder, somewhere near Drake was a place, and the name Lion or Lyon comes to mind, and a lone shop stood on the left as you went up the canyon toward Estes Park. The old guy who was the owner of this shop was always so kind and I always looked forward to seeing him. I have wondered all these years if he made it out, and on my birthday (Feb. 1st, 2007) when I turned 51, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 E Non-hodgekins Lymphoma Mantle Cell Cancer and I've been told I can expect to live 6 months to 18 months now, so I'm pretty sure I will never make it back to that lonely road going up to Estes Park, nor would I want to disrupt the glorious memories of the park I often visited and camped on alongside the river, but the memory of the older man with the store has haunted me. I didn't even know his name, but I do remember his kindness and his face. Can you please put a name to this face in my memory and inform me if he passed on or if he survived? I would like to think I will see him again when I pass onto the other side. - - Hamilton, Ohio
*********************

Memorial to Victims of the Flood

**This list has been cross-referenced with the Social Security Index to supply dates of birth, residences, and where the card was issued**

ADAMS, Greg, 27, Loveland, CO
**Gregory ADAMS, b. 26 JUL 1949, d. JUL 1976 , Issued in KS 1965

APPLEBAUM, Joseph, 68, Lakewood, CO

APPLEBAUM, Norma, 68, Lakewood, CO

BACK, Irene, 48, Denver, CO

BACK, William Ray, 55, Commerce City, CO
**William BACK, b. 18 DEC 1922, d. 31 JUL1976, SSN Issued Indiana before 1951

BAILEY, Keith, 51, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
**Keith BAILEY, b. 14 DEC 1924, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80542, Mead, Weld, CO; Issued CO 1967

BASHFORD, Stannis, 17, Loveland, CO

BECKER, Louise, 75, Waverly, IA
**Louise BECKER, b. 23 MAY 1901, d. JUL 1976; Residence 50677, Plainfield, Bremer, IA; Issued IA 1973

BELL, Eleanor, 51, Drake, CO
**Eleanor BELL, b. 25 FEB 1925, d. JUL 1976, Issued CO before 1951

BELL, Myrl, 52, Drake, CO
**Myrl BELL, b. 25 SEP 1923, d. JUL 1976, Issued CO before 1951

BISSING, Terri, 27, Glenwood Springs, CO - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat

BOKELMAN, Frances, 62, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
**Frances BOKELMAN, b. 12 AUG 1914, d. AUG 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued California before 1951

BROOKS, Dora, 40, Austell, GA

BROOKS, Elbert, 41, Austell, GA

Memory for Elaine Campbell CAMPBELL, Elaine PFC, 20, Ft. Carson, CO
**Elaine CAMPBELL, b. 05 JUL 1956, d. JUL 1976, Issued Michigan 1972

"The first we had heard about the flood in Colorado was when two men from the army came to our home in Michigan to notify us that my sister Elaine was listed as missing in an area where a flash flood had occured the night before. Elaine had joined the army out of high school and was stationed at Fort Carson. She and her boyfriend George Mc Carty were enjoying a weekend pass, hiking & camping in the canyon. The army indicated that people were being found alive, so we had hope that maybe Elaine & George had found a way out. Being in Michigan and not really understanding the whole picture of what had occured we waited for word that Elaine was ok. It turned out Elaine's body was found the day after the flood but, because of the time involved in identifying the bodies it was a week before we knew she had not made it out. Unfortunately George was one of the people who's body was never located. Elaine was a wonderful artist and it is ironic that the place she died is just the type of place she would have loved to sit and draw. She had a wonderful ability to capture the beauty of the outdoors in her art work.

Our family was able to attend the memorial & dedication service on the 25th anniversary of the flood where we were able to meet others who lost loved ones & get a better understanding of the enormity of what took place. It was a very healing experience." Memory submitted by Rose Errante

CARLSON, Stanley J., 22, Greeley, CO
**Stanley CARLSON, b. 08 JUL 1954, d. JUL 1976, Issued Colorado 1966

CARLSON, Tanya, 19, Greeley, CO

CARR, James M., 21, Loveland, CO
**James CARR, b. 24 AUG 1954, d. JUL 1976, Issued Colorado 1969

CARTER, Etta Marie, 56, Belleville, IL

CHANNER, Genevieve H., 62, Drake, CO

CHANNER, Glenn, 65, Drake, CO
**Glenn CHANNER, b. 02 MAY 1911, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80517, Estes Park, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

CONLEY, Michael O., 30, Colorado Springs, CO - Estes Park Policeman
**Michel CONLEY, b. 13 MAR 1946, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80907, Colorado Springs, El Paso, CO; Issued Colorado 1958-59

CURTIS, Larry, 25, Sterling, CO
**Larry CURTIS, b. 09 MAR 1951, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80751, Sterling, Logan, CO; Issued Colorado 1966

DECKER, Verna, 94, Drake, CO
**Verna DECKER, b. 15 JAN 1882, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80515, Drake, Larimer, CO; Issued California before 1951

EYL, Norman W., 58, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Norman EYL, b. 04 JUL 1918, d. JUL 1976, Issued Nebraska before 1951

FELTS, Mary Jean, 29, Springfield, IL
** Mary FELTS, b. 26 DEC 1947, d. JUL 1976, Issued Illinois 1964

FUJIWARA, June, 27, Maui, HI - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat
** June FUJIWARA, b. 24 JUN 1949, d. JUL 1976, Issued Hawaii 1965

GAFF, Mildred, 50, Denver, CO

GODDARD, Richard, 19, Denver, CO


   GRAHAM, Beverly, 33, Loveland, CO - mother of Lisa and Teresa


Beverly Graham


This is a picture of Beverly Graham in her junior year of high school at Woodrow Wilson in Dallas, TX.  She was a wonderful person:  great friend, sister, wife and mother.  Her parents were gracious and caring people.  They had a cabin in Colorado and Beverly often took friends along on a summer trip.  During these trips we rode horses, fished and hiked and had lots of picnics.  She loved Colorado and being outdoors.  Beverly and her husband moved to Colorado after they were married.  They had two beautiful daughters."
 
From two of Beverly's best friends forever, Markey Schutza and Kate Welchly.

 

 

GRAHAM, Clara, 64, Cedar Grove, CO - grandmother of Lisa and Teresa
** Clara GRAHAM, b. 07 FEB 1912, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Texas before 1951

GRAHAM, Lisa, 2, Loveland, CO

GRAHAM, Teresa, age 9 (never located)

Roses and memories courtesy of Karen Lambert Allard:

"To answer your question about Teresa Graham; I believe she was 9, and yes, she was related to Clara (her grandmother) Beverly(her Mom) and Lisa(her baby sister). Her grandfather LeRoy was the only survivor that night because he was a volunteer fireman for Cedar Cove and had been called out for the mudslides. My father worked for the State Hwy Dept., and he also had been called out for mudslides above Drake that night. He headed north on Hwy. 34 and was only able to make it to Waltonia before the water rose above the tires on the plow truck and began washing it away. He bailed out onto the side of the mountain, and saw the Waltonia Motel peel away from the side of the mountain and wash away, as did his truck. He said the water rose above the tires in less than 2 minutes. My sister and I were babysitting 4 miles down the canyon at Cedar Cove, and we heard the power plant "scream"(for lack of a better word) when it was washed away by the water. We were lifted out by the National Guard at 10 AM Sunday morning, and did not know if our Father and 2 of our brothers were alive or not until 2:30 PM when they arrived at Loveland High School. That is where all the survivors were taken, and where they were compiling the lists of missing and accounted for persons on chalkboards . They asked each person arriving to give their names and names of family members. They ended up condeming our house in Drake because they found 2 bodies in it, as well as a phone pole through our picture window, and the hundreds of dead fish from the fish hatchery in Glen Haven. Our house was located at the bridge where the North Fork and the Big Thompson met each other. If you look at pictures of Drake, our house was the big white one with the 2 cherry trees on each side of the front corners. Another victim, Earl Smith, was living in a small trailer and was hooked up to our power as he and my father were good friends. He did not survive because he had cerebral palsey and my brothers could not get to him in time to warn him.

I hope you find the pictures and information helpful to you, and I want to say from the bottom of my heart "Thank You" for not letting the victims of The Big Thompson be forgotten. I have been back there 4 times since the flood, and have been able to place a rose in the river for my friend Teresa, and found a strange kind of peace in that. For the record, there was no warning that night, and no one in the canyon that night ever dreamed the Big Thompson would flood the way it did as it had flooded before, but not like it did that night. The water just kept rising and did not stop. From a survivor's perspective, it helps greatly to talk about it.

I look forward to seeing Teresa's name along with a rose beside it as she was the sweetest girl and so deserving. Her whole family was...her Mother was a beautiful woman, and her baby sister was as perfect as could be imagined. Clara was a spunky woman, and I know that when they decided to try and drive out that night, she gave it her best shot to save them. I know LeRoy was a broken hearted man after he found out they had perished, and I am positive he never recovered from his broken heart. So many people suffered the same pain and took it with them to their final resting place."

GREENLEE, Valah Constance, 84, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

HARMON, Greg, 18, Keokuk, IA
** Greg HARMON, b. 27 AUG 1957, d. JUL 1976, Issued Iowa 1971-72

HASKELL, Chad, 5, Des Moines, IA

HASKELL, Emma, 63, Des Moines, IA
** Emma HASKELL, b. 09 MAR 1913, d. JUL 1976; Residence 50317, Des Moines, Polk, IA; Issued Iowa before 1951

HASKELL, Judy, 31, Des Moines, IA
** Judy HASKELL, b. 16 AUG 1944, d. JUL 1976; Issued Iowa 1961-62

HASKELL, William F., 70, Des Moines, IA
** William HASKELL, b. 31 MAR 1906, d. JUL 1976; Residence 50317, Des Moines, Polk, IA; Issued Iowa before 1951

HASKELL, William, 32, Des Moines, IA
** William HASKELL, b. 25 AUG 1943, d. JUL 1976; Issued Iowa 1959

HAZZARD, Clarence, 73, Austin, TX
** Clarence HAZZARD, b. 13 JAN 1903, d. JUL 1976; Residence 78704, Austin, Travis, TX; Issued California before 1951

HENRY, Frances - 36, Drake, CO

HENRY, George - 51, Drake, CO
** George HENRY, b. 05 JUN 1925, d. JUL 1976, Issued Iowa before 1951

HENRY, Laurie Lee - 9, Drake, CO

HENRY, Shirlee Ann - 14, Drake, CO

** "My grandparents vacationed at the Waltona Motel every year. We have a small farm in central Ohio, and the night before they were due to leave; they spoke with George and Fran Henry at the motel. Fran told them that it sounded like it was thundering; and they had predicted rain. My grandparents loved staying with the Henrys. They had fond memories of the two little Henry girls going down the river in their inner tubes. I have many pictures (slides my grandmother took and postcards, etc.) of the area. My grandparents were devastated when they heard the news the next day. They ended up visiting friends in Nebraska that year; just for a few days; then came back home. They never again made it to Loveland. Their hearts were broke. The Henrys were wonderful people; and the Waltona Motel was more of a home for the folks that stayed there than it was a motel. They looked forward to seeing the same friends year after year. My grandparents are gone now, but I still have memories and stories that were told of their visits. Thanks." - Submitted by Terry Blevins

HOBBS, Dorothy, 66, Drake CO
** Dorothy HOBBS, b. 17 OCT 1909, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

HOBBS, Ellis, 68, Drake, CO
** Ellis HOBBS, b. 10 SEP 1907, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

Rose in memory of Kimberly HortonHORTON, Kimberly, 18, Aurora, CO
** Kimberly HORTON, b. 25 OCT 1957, d. JUL 1976, Issued Colorado 1970

I met Kim in a pit orchestra at Hinkley High School for the production of "Man of La Mancha." She was a classical guitarist and played the hauntingly beautiful solos for Dulcinea -- the sweetheart and obsession of Don Quixote. Kim was a year older than me and I hadn't crossed paths with her before because she was in the previous class. In the pit, she sat next to me in the orchestra because we both played solo instruments (I am a bassoonist). What I enjoyed about meeting her was that she had a reputation for being "brainy" and maybe even seemed to be aloof at first to some, but despite that reputation she was immediately friendly to me in the rehearsals. She shared very funny insights, criticisms, rather dark sense of humor about the escapades going on in the evolution of the production. I learned that Kim was a musical prodigy and not only was an accomplished guitarist, but also a talented singer. She was part of an elite madrigal group of singers at Hinkley. I also learned that she was indeed "brainy" and simply put: Kim was probably a genius. I admired her. She was a beautiful dark-haired teenager, talented, intelligent and she concentrated on the music like a professional. When I learned that she was with a group of girl scouts that were over taken by the flood, I was shocked that such a bright life would be taken in God's plan. I questioned His will as if we can argue the rational with Grace and Nature. Kim was a beauty and a blessing for those of us who met her. I thank God now that I was one of the people He shared her life with. I wish her parents could know that their daughter lives on in the memories of people they haven't even met. I guess I will carry her memory with me the rest of my life in appreciation of our temporary time here and the people that love us even in extended relationships like a friend you met once or twice and then never again." Thank you,

Memory Contributed by Michele Murray

HUFFSMITH, Richard, 19, Loveland, CO
** Richard HUFFSMITH, b. 23 JAN 1957, d. JUL 1976, Issued Colorado 1971

HUFNAGLE, Ken, 66, Loveland, CO
** Kenneth HUFNAGLE, b. 14 JAN 1910, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Nebraska before 1951

HUFNAGLE, Nora, 67, Loveland, CO
** Nora HUFNAGLE, b. 13 JAN 1909, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

Hufnagle Roses and Memories Courtesy of Kathleen Tuttle (Foster) The grandmother of my ex-husband lived in Cedar Cove. She and her husband had originally owned cabins at Cedar Cove. When Grandpa Roy Foster died, Grandma Nora (Null) Foster sold all but one cabin on the North bank where the Cedar Creek joined the Big Thompson. Grandma retired to California (from makng draperies) and from her town house in Fort Morgan and later stayed with her daughter, Donna in Lincoln, NE. My husband and I (along with several other friends) spend weeks and summers staying and working at the flagstone cabin. When our daughters were little, we spent more time there. That spring, Grandma met and remarried Ken Huffnagle from Nebraska. They had just returned to Colorado in June. We had picked up our things in order for the newly weds to have more room and privacy.

That weekend of the flood, we planned to go to the cabin and visit them. My husband could not get off work early enough and the rain from all week made things dark and gloomy. We headed up the next morning not knowing what happened. When we arrived in the area of the Big Thompson school, law enforcement officers stopped us, rerouting traffic to Masonville. We heard the helicopters which were attempting to rescue survivors in the still pouring rain. We went to the High School where these survivors were being taken and to the Fire Station where we encountered our next door neighbor, LeRoy Graham. We learned that his wife had gone to our cabin to warn Grandma and Grandpa and had not been seen since. LeRoy had taken the Fire Station vehicle (he was a volunteer fireman) and went out to warn other residents of the area. We understood that he had been washed out of the vehicle and survived by hanging onto a tree.

Grandpa Ken was found in a whirlpool near the cabin a few days later. His body was brought out by some brave young men, including my brother-in-law, Bill Foster, by going in by jeep across Storm Mountain. Grandma's body was later found by Sunny Jims. The water washed away most of what was in the cabin, leaving it a shell that later was demolished.

"Grandma" May Schell lived nearby and was also my daughter's dance teacher. We thought very highly of her and her family.

We remember our friends and loved ones fondly and are thankful for those who missed being in the flood or survived. Our daughters (the youngest named Teresa like LeRoy's daughter) were too small to remember, but return to show their children and tell them of the flood.
Kathleen Tuttle (Foster) , Cassandra (Foster) Young, Teresa (Foster) Roseman


JENKINS, Helen Evelyn, 61, Denver, CO
** Helen JENKINS, b. 09 JUL 1915, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Minnesota before 1951

JOBST, Dorothy, 57, Omaha, NE

JOBST, Rev. Eugene, 57, Omaha, NE

JOHNSTON, Rae Ann, 28, Crystal, ND - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat

KARSTENS, Debra Koch, 22, Loveland, CO
** Debra KARSTENS, b. 29 SEP 1953, d. JUL 1976; Issued Nebraska 1968

KARSTENS, Don, 23, Loveland, CO
** Donald KARSTENS, b. 02 APR 1953, d. Jul 1976; Issued Iowa 1965

KINDRED, Evelyn, 62, Drake, CO
** Evelyn Kindred, b. 25 Sep 1913, d. Jul 1976; Residence 80515 Drake, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

KOERNER, Kurt, 20, Arvada, CO
** Kurt KOERNER, b. 29 OCT 1955, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1970

KRONENBERGER, Ed, 52, Littleton, CO
** Edward KRONENBERGER, b. 11 MAY 1924, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

KRONENBERGER, Ester, 50, Littleton, CO
** Ester KRONENBERGER, b. 10 DEC 1925, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

KRONENBERGER, Kim, 22, Littleton, CO
** Kim KRONENBERGER, b. 30 DEC 1953, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1966

Kronenberger Family (Click on Photo for Larger Version)

Photo and Memory submitted by Julie A. Kronenberger

Nature’s Fury...

It was the coldest, wettest, scariest night of their eleven-year-old lives. As soon as the sun rose, they began the steep hike down the canyon mountain -- Julie and Sue, best friends “forever,” Michael and Corky, the adults who kept them safe, and the unnamed neighbor lady with her black poodle. The problem was that Michael and Corky were not Julie's parents; Julie's parents were missing... Read more of Julie Kronenberger's story.

LAFFERTY, Mildred, 58, Drake, CO
** Mildred LAFFERTY, b. 15 JAN 1918, d. JUL 1976; Last Benefit 80234, Broomfield, Adams, CO; Issued Kansas before 1951

LAFFERTY, Pat, 61, Drake, CO
** Pat LAFFERTY, b. 15 DEC 1914, d. JUL 1976; Last Benefit 80234, Broomfield, Adams, CO; Railroad Retirement before 1951

LEE, Ealy A., 62, Loveland, CO
** Ealy LEE, b. 12 JAN 1914, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

LEMON, Kelly, 13, Des Moines, IA
** Kelly LEMON, b. 29 AUG 1963, d. JUL 1976; Residence 50317, Des Moines, Polk, IA; Issued Iowa 1975-76

LEYDEN, Barbara, 29, McLean, VA - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat
** Barbara LEYDEN, b. 11 APR 1947, d. JUL 1976; Issued Michigan 1965

LOHRY, Andrew, 73, Drake, CO
** Andrew LOHRY, b. 30 JAN 1903, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80515, Drake, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado 1951-52

LOHRY, Elizabeth, 47, Drake, CO
** Elizabeth LOHRY, b. 01 JAN 1929, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

LOOMIS, Cathie M., 29, Seattle, WA - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat

LORENCE, Brenda, 15, Phillipsburg, KS

LORENCE, Debbie, 13, Phillipsburg, KS

LORENCE, Jim, 43, Phillipsburg, KS
** James LORENCE, b. 22 NOV 1932, d. JUL 1976; Issued Kansas before 1951

LORENCE, Phyllis, 41, Phillipsburg, KS
** Phyllis LORENCE, b. 27 FEB 1935, d. JUL 1976, Issued Kansas 1951

MACIEJEWSKI, Benjamin, 48, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Benjamin MACIEJEWSKI, b. 26 JAN 1928, d. JUL 1976; Issued Nebraska before 1951

MACIEJEWSKI, Betty, 49, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Roberta MACIEJEWSKI, b. 19 OCT 1926, d. JUL 1976; Issued Nebraska before 1951

MANONGDO, Priscilla, 28, Quezon City, Philippines - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat

MARES, Allyson, 5, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

MARES, James Jr., 33, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

MARES, Jamie, 8, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

MARES, Renee, 32, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Renee MARES, b. 13 AUG 1943, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1962

MARES, Ricky, 6, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

MARSHALL, Eula, 77, Wichita, KS
** Eula MARSHALL, b. 21 JAN 1899, d. JUL 1976; Residence 37138, Mount Juliet, Wilson, TN; Issued Tennessee before 1951

MATTHEWS, George, 17, Aurora, CO

MATTHEWS, Katherine, 54, Aurora, CO

MCCARGO, Lois, 63, Big Thompson Canyon, CO

Memory for George McCarty MCCARTY, George W., Jr., 20, Newport, Rhode Island; b. 02 Sep 1955, d. 31 Jul 1976. Listing courtesy of Betty McCarty -Conklin - See also CAMPBELL, Elaine

"Back in 1976, I lived just down the hall from George for a time at Fitz. While we were not fast friends, I knew him quite well. In fact, he had stopped at my room not long before the tragedy to borrow some boot polish for a parade on base. He was a good guy who I remembered drove a blue Pinto or hatchback, and who talked of enjoying the nearby mountains as often as he could. I saw him a lot with Elaine (who I thought was stationed at Fitzsimons as an enlisted nursing student or permanent party), and knew George had another close friend in the barracks (his name escapes me 34 years later). I worked in the public information office at Fitz and I can remember that the news of this tragedy hit us all hard. A memorial service was held on the base but I have never forgotten George. Now, after all these years, I have moved back to Colorado from Minnesota. I thought instantly of the many who died when we drove to Estes Park in the first months we were back in 2009. Many people in my military years rushed into and then faded from my memory, almost like it all never happened. But the flood, and the loss of two people I saw regularly, affected me, and still does today. I pray time has helped ease the pain for all victim families."  Memory submitted by Mark Fode



Memory for Jack McCissackMCKISSACK, Jack, 58, Aurora, CO
** Jack MCKISSACK, b. 10 JUN 1918, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80010, Aurora, Arapahoe, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

"We spent many happy weekends with Jack (my father-in-law then) at the house on the river. It was a wonderful place to go relax & fish. The house had a beautiful rock patio that snuggled right up to the river. All you had to do was drop your line in the water. At the time, his granddaughter was almost 2 years old. We had talked about going up there that weekend, but decided to go to my cousin's BBQ instead. When we heard the news the days following were horrific. We all hoped & prayed that maybe he was alright & hadn't been rescued yet. When the news came that they had located him on Aug. 20, we were devastated.

As the years have passed, he is always missed. I wish he could have seen his granddaughter when she got married this past Father's Day. Now he has a great granddaughter. Hpe he keeps watching over us & will always be in my prayers. Loving memories of you!" Sandi

Memory Courtesy of Sandi

MILLER, Dr. Jeffrey, 27, Greeley, CO

MOORE, Deborah, 17, Drake, CO

MORGAN, Homer, 21, Aurora, CO
** Homer MORGAN, b. 26 SEP 1954, d. 31 JUL 1976; Issued Texas 1971

MORNINGSTAR, Dorothy, 69, Lisbon, IA
** Dorothy MORNINGSTAR, b. 27 NOV 1906, d. JUL 1976; Residence 52253, Lisbon, Linn, IA; Issued Iowa 1964

MORNINGSTAR, Leon, 65, Lisbon, IA
** Leon MORNINGSTAR, b. 31 OCT 1910, d. JUL 1976; Residence 52253, Lisbon, Linn, IA; Issued Iowa 1956

MORTON, Charles E., 62, Drake, CO

Memory for Myrtle NelsonNELSON, Myrtle, 45, Fleming, CO

Memory for William NelsonNELSON, William, 48, Fleming, CO
** William NELSON, b. 16 FEB 1928, d. JUL 1976, Issued Colorado before 1951

"I came to know William (Bill) and his wife Myrtle one summer when I had been hired by one of the farmers in Fleming but who attended my home church.

BIll was a  jovial person, and was not small in stature, but was rather large, and was always wearing farmers overalls.  His wife, she was short and rather thin, and together they were "Mutt and Jeff", he being the large farmer, she the tiny farmers wife.  They owned a farm east and north of Fleming, and during wheat harvest, friends help friends.
Anyway, Bill and Myrtle were helping  the same family that hired me, and Bill had an old Ford truck that I learned to drive.  This was during wheat harvest, and back then, as long as the combines were running, we were on the payroll and had to keep the trucks running. 

BIll was always fun to be around, and his wife was just as fun.

A year or so later she was a route driver for some company that kept the penny gumball machines in service stations and the like, and she always stopped at the Enco station in Haxtun while I worked there.
I left Haxtun for the US Army in 1968, and never had a chance to see either of them again. I got the news about the flood while I was stationed in Augsburg, Germany.  My parents told me about it in a letter, and one of my cousins and her husband had been camping there that night when they heard the water and moved, fortunately, to much higher ground.
I was sad to hear I had lost two friends, and from the list, it shows no information on Myrtle, so I guess her body hasn't been recovered yet.  I knew one of them had not been found, but had forgot which one." Memory of William and Myrtle Nelson submitted by Gerald Hinde

OGLEY, Tena-Marie, 19, Ovid, CO

OLER, Nettie, 52, Longmont, CO
** Nettie OLER, b. 04 JUN 1924, d. JUL 1976; Last Benefit 80011, Aurora, Arapahoe, CO; Issued Kansas before 1951

PALMER, Nona J., 19, Denver, CO
** Nona PALMER, b. 24 DEC 1956, d. JUL 1976; Issued California 1973

PLANT, John Joseph, 42, Broomfield, CO

PLANT, Judy, 37, Broomfield, CO

PLANT, Michael, 14, Broomfield, CO

PRIMM, Grace, 79, Kansas City, MO
** Grace PRIMM, b. 11 APR 1897, d. JUL 1976; Residence 64111, Kansas City, Clay, MO; Issued Illinois before 1951

PURDY, Sgt. W. Hugh, 53, Loveland CO - Colorado State Patrolman
** Willis PURDY, b. 28 SEP 1922, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

REMSING, Frances, 48, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Frances REMSING, b. 19 MAY 1928, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Michigan before 1951

REMSING, Martin J., 65, Loveland, CO
** Martin REMSING, b. 19 OCT 1910, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Illinois 1958-59

REMSING, Martin, 8, Big Thompson Canyon, CO
** Martin REMSING, b. 07 SEP 1967, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado 1975

RHOAD, Carol L., 23, Grantsville, PA - Visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ Retreat
** Carol RHOAD, b. 07 JUL 1953; d. JUL 1976; Issued Pennsylvania 1969-70

RICHARDSON, Elizabeth, 54, Springfield, MO

RICHARDSON, Leonard, 59, Springfield, MO
** Leonard RICHARDSON, b. 27 MAY 1917, d. JUL 1976; Issued Missouri before 1951

RICHARDSON, Lisa, 16, Springfield, MO

RICHARDSON, Rebecca, 9, Springfield, MO

ROGERS, Ellen, 58, Brighton, CO
** Ellen ROGERS, b. 14 JUN 1918, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado before 1951

ROGERS, Wes, 59, Brighton, CO
** Wesley ROGERS, b. 16 FEB 1917, d. JUL 1976; Issued Michigan before 1951

RUDD, Cheryl, 19, Greeley, CO
** Cheryl RUDD, b. 19 AUG 1956, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1971

SAUNDERS, Eugene, 65, Lawrence, KS

SAUNDERS, LaVera, 60, Lawrence, KS
** LaVera SAUNDERS, b. 05 FEB 1916, d. JUL 1976; Issued Kansas before 1951

SCAVONE, Irene, 77, Oak Lawn, IL
** Irene SCAVONE, b. 10 JAN 1899, d. JUL 1976; Residence 60453, Oak Lawn, IL; Issued Illinois 1953-55

SCHELL, Claude, 86, Greeley, CO
** Claude SCHELL, b. 04 MAY 1890, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80631, Evans City, Weld, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

SCHELL, Mae L. , 70, Greeley, CO
** Mae SCHELL, b. 17 MAR 1906, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80631, Evans City, Weld, CO; Issued Colorado before 1951

"When I first moved to Greeley I wrote a story about Claude Schell's singing career for Town and Country News. He was a concert tenor on the Chautauqua circuit. Advent of talking movies put the show out of business, and he went back to his first trade of printer.

Mae was my daughter's dancing teacher. She often spent weekends at the Schells' cabin in Big Thompson Canyon. Through sheer luck, she was not there when the flood swept the Schells to their death." Submitted by Frank Sitchler

SCHLATTER, Catherine, 23, Denver, CO

SEIBERT, Annie Gussie, 61, Caldwell, TX,
b. 17 Nov 1914, d. 31 Jul 1976; Buried in Masonic Cemetery, Caldwell, Burleson Co., Texas **Thanks to Sidney Schuhmann for this information**

SEIBERT, Casper Louis, 62, Caldwell, TX
** Casper SEIBERT, b. 05 SEP 1913, d. 31 JUL 1976; Residence 77836, Caldwell, Burleson, TX; Issued Texas before 1951; Buried in Masonic Cemetery, Caldwell, Burleson Co., Texas **Thanks to Sidney Schuhmann for this information**

Memory and Photo Submitted by Judy Seibert Kornegay: "The canyon and the Waltonian was a place my parents loved.....a place visited before many times, and a place I feel is now holy land. Mother and Daddy enjoyed life every minute of every day, they passed on a good name and good values to their children, and we give thanks to God for allowing us to have had such wonderful parents. They were genuine people, the kind of people who are remembered for so many things....their lively spirits, their giving natures, and their Christian lives. They are missed by so many. Their memories are held dear by all who knew them. People who visit the canyon memorial take pictures just to share with us, showing respect and adding dignity to our loss. The memorial event was a remarkable healing experience and I thank all who played a role in its organization. I'll never quit missing my parents. I can only make use of past hardships with faith in God, to help someone who is unfortunate and who is faced with similar difficulties of sudden loss. Then something good can come of what we have endured and the world will be a better place because of it. The good we do each day for others can live on, long after the sadness has gone and the pain has passed away. I love you Mom and Dad."
A favorite bible passage....Matthew 18:20...."Where two or more are joined together in my name, there am I in their midst."

SHEETS, Rex, 26, Loveland, CO
** Rex SHEETS, b. 01 DEC 1950, d. JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1967

SMITH, Earl, 30, Drake, CO
** Earl SMITH, b. 26 JAN 1946, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80515, Drake, Larimer, CO; Issued Wisconsin 1961-62

Rose and memory courtesy of Karen Lambert Allard:

"Our house was located at the bridge where the North Fork and the Big Thompson met each other. If you look at pictures of Drake, our house was the big white one with the 2 cherry trees on each side of the front corners. Another victim, Earl Smith, was living in a small trailer and was hooked up to our power as he and my father were good friends. He did not survive because he had cerebral palsey and my brothers could not get to him in time to warn him."

SMITH, Jacob, 3, Elgin, IL
** Jacob SMITH, b. 10 MAY 1973, d. JUL 1976; Residence 98002, Auburn, King, WA; Issued Illinois 1977

SMITH, Joseph S., 64, Drake, CO

SMITH, Lylith, 57, Lexington, TN
** Lylith SMITH, b. 03 JAN 1919, d. JUL 1976; Residence 38351, Lexington, Henderson, TN; Issued Wisconsin before 1951

SMITH, Sara, 6, Elgin, IL

STARR, Ann, 80, Loveland, CO
** Ann STARR, b. 17 APR 1896, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO; Issued Colorado 1963

STINNETT, Shirley, 56, Kansas City, MO
** Shirley STINNETT, b. 16 JUN 1920, d. JUL 1976; Issued Missouri before 1951

TURNER, Drew H., 25, Fort Collins, CO
** Drew TURNER, b. 18 MAR 1951, d. 31 JUL 1976; Issued Colorado 1963

VENRICK, Ross, 61, Catawba, OH
** Ross VENRICK, b. 10 JAN 1915, d. JUL 1976; Residence 43010, Catawba, Clark, OH; Issued Ohio before 1951

WATERS, Clarence, 63, Riviera, AZ
** Clarence WATERS, b. 19 AUG 1912, d. JUL 1976; Residence 86442, Bullhead City, Mohave, AZ; Issued South Dakota before 1951

WATERS, Mary Sue, 62, Riviera, AZ
** Mary WATERS, b. 08 APR 1914, d. JUL 1976; Residence 86442, Bullhead City, Mohave, AZ; Issued California before 1951

WATSON, Cheryl, 21, Loveland, CO
** Cheryl WATSON, b. 17 DEC 1954, d. JUL 1976; Issued Iowa 1970

WATTS, Aaron, 3, Fort Collins, CO

WEISS, Beulah, 60, Loveland, CO
**Beulah WEISS, b. 07 APR 1916, d. JUL 1976; Residence 80537, Loveland, Larimer, CO;Issued California before 1951

WOODRING, Edna May, 57, Estes Park, CO
** Edna WOODRING, b. 20 FEB 1919, d. JUL 1976; Issued Pennsylvania before 1951

WOODRING, Fred, 63, Estes Park, CO
** Fred WOODRING, b. 11 APR 1913, d. JUL 1976; Issued Pennsylvania before 1951

 

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Story of Michelle McNab and her family's experience in the Canyon