VALLEY — V.W. “Bill” Ellithorpe died peacefully on June 27th following a brief illness with his family by his side. Bill was born to Harry and Jessie Belle (Wilson) Ellithorpe Dec. 31, 1920 in Quinter, Kan. He had three siblings, Eleanor Frye and Bob Ellithorpe who preceded him in death and Barbara Bowdish Remmers who survives.
Bill married Dorothy Milner Hocker on Aug. 17, 1945. Dorothy had one child, Kennie Ann Hocker Still (Doug) who he raised as his own. Bill and Dorothy had five children together; Jim Ellithorpe, Rick Ellithorpe (Kathy) Laurie McClung, Kathy Ellithorpe and Lon Ellithorpe. Dorothy, Jim and Lon preceded him in death.
Bill is survived by 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. There are several nieces and nephews who also survive.
Bill lived his life in the mountains of Southern Colorado and the farmland of the San Luis Valley. As a young man was an avid skier and had many memories of the earliest days at Wolf Creek ski area. His grandfather, Wilson, opened the Kentucky Belle Mine in Creede and had interest in the Equity mine. In his youth Bill spent time in those mines as well as worked in the Summitville Mine. Bill and Dorothy’s early years were spent in the Blanco Basin near Pagosa Springs farming and ranching - a place that lived in his heart until the day he died. From 1969 to 1973 he and his family spent spring, summer and fall at his mining interest at Crater Creek. No adventure was too big for him and Dorothy to tackle; no dream too big to dream.
When he wasn’t looking for gold he could be found farming and ranching around the valley and in later years at Ellithorpe & Sons potato warehouse in Center.
Most important is that Bill was always a loving Dad and Gramps and he will be missed daily by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service was held at Bill’s request. A celebration of his life has been tentatively set at the Veterans Center at Homelake on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. Any updates will be published in the newspapers. Please come prepared to share laughter and your good memories!
Memorial contributions can be made to the Monte Vista Cemetery Association at 121 Adams Street Monte Vista, CO 81144 for the purpose of chapel maintenance and the construction of a columbarium.