Richard Fred McNitt

Valley resident Richard Fred McNitt, 79, passed away on Feb. 27, 2023, in Monte Vista, Colo.

Dick was born on July 24, 1943, in Tulia, Texas, to Robert and Lucile (Clennin) McNitt. The family moved to the San Luis Valley in 1948 when he was five years old. Dick graduated from Sargent High School and from Colorado State University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Production. After college, he came home to farm with his brother Martin.

He married Alana Parker in Woodland Park, Colo., on June 27, 1971.

Dick loved being a farmer and driving a tractor was one of his greatest joys.  He operated his own potato warehouse from 1985 to 2013.  He was one of the founders of the Sunshine Potato Flake plant in Center, Colo., in 1999 and was proud of its contribution to the potato industry in the Valley.

Dick served on various boards during the years which included the Sargent School Board for 12 years, the Santa Maria Water Board, the Rio Grande Water Board, the Santa Maria Trout Club Board, the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee and the Sargent Church Board.

Dick loved spending time with family and friends and enjoyed playing bridge, shooting sporting clays, fishing at Santa Maria Reservoir and traveling. He was a long-time member of the Sargent Community Church and will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Dick is survived by his wife Alana, his daughters Amy and husband Patrick Crowder of Monte Vista, Colo., and Melinda and husband Joe Marino of Edwards, Colo., his four grandchildren Sydney, Dylan, Landon and Faith Crowder, his sister Margaret Wolfe of Oakdale, Calif., and his brother Martin and wife Dolores McNitt of Carbondale, Ill.

Cremation was chosen and a memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 10 a.m. at the Sargent Community Church. Following the service, interment of ashes will be held in the Monte Vista Cemetery.

Contributions are suggested to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Sargent Community Church.

Arrangements are in the care of Rogers Family Mortuary. To leave online condolences, please visit Dick’s obituary at