Obituary: Milton C. ‘Dude’ Sullivan

Longtime Williams Fork rancher Milton C. “Dude” Sullivan passed away March 4, 2009, at Sand Rock Ridge Care Center in Craig. Dude was born one of 13 children to Brendan and Mary Marshall Sullivan on Nov, 10, 1930, at the Sullivan Ranch, located on the South Fork of the Williams Fork River near Pagoda.
Dude was educated in ranch school houses until the age of 10 when he and four of his brothers began attending school in Hayden and later completed high school in Meeker. At Meeker High School, he was a member of FFA receiving the “State Farmer Award,” participated in football, basketball and was a 1948 state champion in track, setting a long-standing record in the mile run. Upon graduation in 1948, Dude returned home to the ranch and was integral in developing the successful livestock and hunting operation. At the 2000 Colorado State Fair, the Sullivan Ranch was awarded the Colorado State Centennial Farm and Ranch Award as one of the oldest continuously owned ranches operated by one family. Dude was very proud of his stewardship in advancing the ranch operation through his generation.
Dude never married but he could be found surrounded by his many nieces and nephews. Many a day was spent riding horseback across his beautiful ranch viewing his beloved columbines and watching elk with his “girls” or working cattle or hunting elk with his “boys.” He instilled in each of them a desire for education, many of whom have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, cattlemen and businessmen. His influence remains in their lives.
Dude was preceded in death by his father Brendan and mother Mary, brothers Patrick, Roger, Brendan J., Thomas M., Byron J., Patrick C. and sisters Mary (Raymond) Yoast and Cecelia Knott.
Dude will be missed by his brothers Francis (Carolyn) of Meeker, Melvin (Flora) of Craig, James of Littleton, and sister Jeanette (George) Gruber of Littleton, his many nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.
A celebration of his life will be held during the Memorial Day Weekend at the Sullivan Ranch.