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Bertha Velma Guernsey Small
© Cheyenne Star
14 Apr 1994
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell



Bertha Velma Guernsey was born in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, on July 14, 1901, to Cyrus Everett and Lucy Emaline Trammell Guernsey. She passed away on March 10, 1994, at the age of 92 at Southwest Memorial Hospital.
She married Worth Small on December 21, 1919, and started a family, James Everett "J. E." and Joe Wendell Small, and twin boys born March 22, 1929 who died at birth.
In the mid-forties, the family moved to Yellow Jacket, Colorado where her paternal grandparents, the Guernsey's had homesteaded, and where her parents had already moved. This is where they continued to live for several years.
Bertha and Worth cooked in mine, oil field and timber areas where they made many friends and were well known for good food.
They retired in the fifties and moved to 410 N. Beech in Cortez, Colorado when Bertha's parents became ill. They cared for them until their death and this was to be their home and their lifetime.
Both enjoyed their family, friends, gardening, going to the mountains and fishing, until Worth passed away on March 9, 1969.
Bertha married Lawrence Sowle in September of 1971 and continued to live on Beech St. They had friends in to eat, played cards and did some traveling before Lawrence passed away in 1976.
Her companion for the last seven or eight years of her life was a beautiful "Kitty Blu"." He was a frequent visitor of hers after she moved to Madison house.
Bertha loved to be outdoors. She made a big garden and had fruit trees, lots of flowers and a nice lawn, all of which she took care of as long as possible. Even after she had to have a cane, and then a walker, she would put them aside and depending on her hoe for balance she would be out in her flower beds in the summer.
She loved to cook and have friends in and was famous for her fresh apple cakes. She baked these every Christmas and gave them as gifts along with other "goodies". She enjoyed this part of the holidays. Her friends came over and they cooked, visited and ate as they worked. She loved this, as she did all of her life.
She was active in her church. She rarely missed a service as long as she could possibly go.
She drove her own car until she was in her late 80's and was very independent and seldom asked for help. She was never "down" for long and had a great sense of humor. She could laugh at herself and with others.
Bertha was a multi-talented lady and besides cooking, gardening and fishing, she sewed, crocheted, embroidered and tatted. Five days before her death she was tatting lace and embroidering pillow cases. Two weeks before, she was playing hymns on her harmonica at a church service at Madison House. She also played the piano and loved to sing.
In January of 1993 unable to stay alone any longer, she moved to Madison House. She met old friends and made new ones and took part in all their activities.
On March 7th she fell and broke her hip and was put in the hospital where she passed away on the 10th, 1994. Her humor was intact to the end. She said, "I have a new Indian name, it's Bertha Fallsdown", - - That is the way she lived her life.
Burial in Cortez Cemetery, Cortez, Colorado.


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