Mary Jo Norell passed away Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in Delta, Colo., at the age of 84.
Mary Jo Boies was born April 2, 1930, to Eyer and Lillian (Love) Boies at their ranch on Black Sulfur. Mary was premature, weighing less than 4 pounds, and was placed in the oven to stay warm. She was an only child; however, cousin, Sally Oldand-Norell lived nearby and provided a lifetime of friendship.
Mary attended the Rock School on Piceance Creek through the eighth grade, often traveling the two miles to and from school via horseback. She continued her education at Meeker High School, having been graduated in 1948. She then pursued her studies at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., for two years.
On Aug. 27, 1950, she married Bus Norell in Rifle, Colo. They made their home in Collbran, Colo., for the first few years of marriage. Bus and Mary moved to Piceance Creek in 1957 to operate the family ranch and later retired to Delta, Colo. While living on Piceance Creek, Mary had three sons, Ken, Kirk and Dee.
Mary truly loved the ranching lifestyle and spent her life ranching and raising cattle and quarter horses. She felt most content on horseback working cattle with her father, husband and sons. Mary was a genuine animal lover and over the years cared for numerous dogs, cats, chickens, horses, cattle and any other animals that needed a home. She enjoyed rodeos, especially when family was competing. Mary was an active member of the Rio Blanco County Cowbells, Meeker School Board and the Colorado High School Rodeo Association.
Mary was preceded in death by: her parents, Eyer and Lillian Boies; and her husband of 61 years, Bus Norell. She is survived by: her cousin, Sally (Bud) Norell; her three sons, Ken (Paula) of Delta, Colo., Kirk (Linda) of Quinlan, Texas., and Dee (Vicky) of Meeker; eight grandchildren, Krista, Beri, Cynda, Clay, Joe Dee, Payton, Deena and Jace; one great-grandchild, Levi; and one on the way.