Family celebrates together as matriarch turns 100 in Rangely
Mossie, the matriarch of the Percifield family, stands atop a pyramid of five generations with each of her three daughters having great-grandchildren.
Mossie’s home is filled with family pictures, three with five generations together, and one that epitomizes her life. The picture is of the hands of five generations, starting with Mossie’s as the foundation, with four hands stacked on top, each seemingly softer then the one below, each touching the others, symbolic of the loyalty and support of the family through the years.
Mossie was born in Tennessee in 1914. When she was 5-years-old her parents decided to move the family west to make a new life. They traveled by train to Gillette, Wyo., where Mossie’s father William David Fortner worked in a coal mine while building a home for his family on a ranch approximately 45 miles from town.
Mossie started school in Gillette, but attended a rural school after the family moved to their ranch. W.D. and his wife, Hester, had four girls, Cora, Mossie, Ruby and Cleo. When the children reached high school, they had to go back to Gillette and that is where Mossie was graduated.
She went on for “Normal Training,” which was teacher training, then she taught school for three years. On Jan. 5, 1934, Mossie married Raymond Percifield.
She said, “I married my friend” and she grinned as her daughters told of the two sneaking off to Deadwood to get married. Raymond was a truck driver and started his own trucking business. The two started their family in Gillette, where Betty was born, followed by Patty and then Sandy.
Soon after World War II started, Raymond was required to move his family to Wendover, Nev., where he used his trucks to help construct runways for the U.S. military. The family lived there approximately five years.
Raymond sold his trucks and bought the Nevada Club while there. He sold the club and moved his family to Rangely in 1947, when he bought the Ace Hi. The family ran the business for 21 years.
Mosssie said she was raising three girls, helping wait tables, cooking, bartending or doing whatever needed done.
“I was going and doing all the time,” she said.
Mossie still resides in her home in Rangely and has retained her sense of humor.
When asked what she thought about being 100 she said, “Well, it’s 100.”
It is heartwarming to hear how proud her daughters are of her and to learn of a family truly unlike many others, not only in Rio Blanco County, but in this day and age.
It is rare to have a family with five generations living and loving one another and celebrating the life that made it all possible.