Darralee Mathews of Palisade, CO. passed away at Hope West Hospice with her husband Richard Mathews at her side she was 71. Darralee was born on North Island US Naval Air Station, San Diego CA. to Lt. jg Darrel N. Coba and Barbara Anne Coba August 27, 1951.
She was the oldest of 3 children. The family traveled with her father's duty assignments until returning to Colorado, where Darralee began her schooling. She attended schools in Salida, Saguach, Saint Scholastica in Canyon City, graduating from Salida High School. She went on to the University of Northern CO. graduating with a degree in English in 1973.
It was there while working on the college newspapers she developed her lifelong passion for journalism, newspapers and graphic arts. After graduating she moved to Phoenix, AZ. and worked for the Do It Now Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping curb drug use in society.
Always interested in learning something new she took classes in pottery and cooking, becoming quite accomplished. As life and the job changed, she came back to CO. and began a new phase in her journey, living with her sister Pam and brother-in-law King Loyd on a ranch on Garfield Creek. She worked for the Glenwood Post and later the Showmass Sun in various capacities.
It was during this time that her sister and brother-in-law introduced her to what would become another passion, river rafting. With her sister, brother-in-law and friends she rafted the 275 miles of the Grand Canyon spending 30 days on the river on that trip, she also rafted the Delores and San Juan rivers. She enjoyed being on the waters. As her life changed, she briefly moved back to the Salida area and then decided to come to the Grand Valley.
She was hired as a reporter for the Palisade Tribune, it was there in an interview she met her future Husband. The ownership of the paper changed and for a period of time she, worked as a graphic artist and then manager of the copy center at Office Max, she also worked for Alpha Graphics in graphic arts, layout and production.
She joined the Grand Mesa Chorus, Sweet Adolines, and enjoyed singing and preforming with the chorus she was the secretary for the management team for several years.
She was hired at the Free Press in Grand Junction where she handled customer orders as well a wrote a weekly food column.
Always interested in archeology from her college courses she begins studying ancient Egypt and became quite knowledgeable. When the opportunity arose, she got a spot in a Smithsonian Institutes’ Museum of Western CO. sponsored a trip to Egypt. This, to her, was the trip of a lifetime.
Things changed again at the Palisade Tribune and Darralee came back this time as General Manager/Editor. She had found her small hometown roots again.
She enjoyed supporting the local groups and activities in town and reported on activities and the Town Council and wrote another food column.
She was asked to join the Palisade Altrusa Chapter. Her dedication to literacy, civic service and the community projects were perfect fit.
She served as secretary for both the chapter and the regional governor. She enjoyed her special friends and their time together. She often said how fortunate she was to have these like-minded ladies as friends and be able to give back to the community she so loved.
Among her other talents she loved to paint and was a gifted beader, many of her friends have bracelets, earrings, and pendants she made. She rarely gave a gift she had not made. She also won several prizes, at the County Fair and Peach Festival for homemade jams, with fruit from the family orchard.
Things changed again at The Palisade Tribune. It was sold and Darralee went to work in the classified dept at the Daily Sentinel. She retired at 66 and spent time reading, beading, and working worth with Altrusa International in Palisade.
Those who have known Darralee will tell you she was a humble person that always put others needs before her own. She was generous with her time and talents, always contributing something for the cause. She was dedicated to her profession and beliefs. She was brave throughout her life, and she stood on her own two feet and faced whatever life presented and managed a smile. She was the best friend you could ever have.
She was diagnosed with ALS in October of 2020 and passed away in December of 2022. She and Richard were together, rarely apart, for 31 years and married for 13 years. They meet in a newspaper office!
She was preceded in death by her father, her mother, and brother John.
Darralee is survived by: Her husband Richard, stepdaughter Jennifer (Andrus) March, Stepson Dr. Mason Mathews, granddaughters: Sophia, Isaline, Sister Pam (King), nephews Ryan (Jessica) Christopher, and many cousins, and her one uncle, as well as her dogs Angus and Nia.
A celebration of life will be held at The Palisade Veterans Memorial Building in Palisade 120 w 8th st.
24 May 2023 starting at 1 PM.
Please consider donation in Darralee
name to Hope West or the ALS Association
Rocky MT. chapter 10855 Dover st, ste 500 Westminster, CO 80021