Velda Marie Mitchell Counter passed away peacefully June 30th in Salida, CO with family at her side.
Velda was born February 25, 1936 in Nogales, Arizona to “Ernie” (Donald Ernest) Mitchell and Ruth Berkley Mitchell Knickerbocker. In December 1947 the family moved to Salida.
She attended Salida High School, graduating in 1954. She enjoyed planning three class reunions starting with the 50th reunion, ending with their 65th in 2019.
She married Robert G. (Bob) Counter in Santa Fe, NM. Velda and Bob had four children Don, Dianna, Jim & Janette.
Velda worked at various jobs. She owned and operated her own hair salon in Salida for 30 years, retiring in 2000. Her salon was Velda’s Beauty Boutique.
While raising their children she became active in Boy Scouts, Shavano Indian Dancers, Campfire Girls and Rainbow Girls. She was a very talented seamstress and often created uniforms, dresses, suits, or made alterations. Her son Don fondly remembers while the Boy Scouts were on a 50-mile hike and Velda volunteered to drive supplies into various locations during their hike. She often would transport home any scout who felt they could not continue on with the group. On one rendezvous a scout was trying to talk Don into stopping and going home. Don told him you can quit but there is no way I’m taking that jeep ride home with her if I give up!
She was “feisty” to the end. The family would like to apologize and offer huge thanks to the CNAs, Nurses, Doctors and Hospice staff. Giving up was not part of her skillset.
She and Bob spent weekends taking the jeep out with four kids and a dog or two, camping at many locations enjoying nature. She shared her knowledge of the history in Salida and surrounding areas with anyone who would listen. Members of her family had been in the area since the early 1900’s.
She is survived by her children Don (Peg) Counter, sons Donny & Steve of Muskego, Wisconsin; James Counter of Camp Verde, Arizona; Janette (Don) Blake of Salida, Colorado. She had nine Grandchildren of which Mike McFarland & Lisa McFarland Patterson were with her in her final days. Six Great Grandchildren two were able to make it to be with in her final days Elisia Patterson & Lizzy McFarland. Her constant companion Mattie, who had a perfect bond from the day they met at Ark Valley Humane Society. Favorite Grand-dogs Scooter and Bella and slightly less-favored cats Missy and Molly Blake.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bob Counter, parents Ernie Mitchell and Ruth Knickerbocker, daughter Dianna McFarland, son-in-law Larry McFarland, mother-in-law Hazel Counter, father-in-law Perley Counter, sister Doris Sabo, and sister-in-law Alice Counter.
In lieu of flowers donations in her honor suggested by family are:
Christmas Mountain USA – as she was proud to be one of the first donors many years ago.
Ark Valley Humane Society - as she was a lifelong dog owner & reluctantly two cats….
Blood Bank of your choice – as she had received blood donations to sustain her life the last few years.
No services are to be held at this time. Please lift a glass in her honor. The family will celebrate her in a private gathering at a later date. Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home. On line condolences may be sent to the family at lewisandglenn.com
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