Yampa community remembers Carey and Bertha Trantham


— David Trantham remembered his parents, Carey and Bertha Trantham, as a great team, whether raising their children or playing on the softball diamond.

Bertha and Carey Trantham passed away March 8 and April 13, respectively, at the ages of 93 and 97. They spent 71 years together after marrying Dec. 21, 1936, in Yampa.

At Saturday's memorial service at Yampa Bible Church, David remembered both of his parents taking him sledding through Yampa as a child - Bertha pulling him to and from the store, David riding with all the groceries, while Carey would opt to hitch the sled to the bumper of the family's Chevrolet and tow David down the road.

"There's not that much traffic in Yampa, at least not back then, so you didn't worry about that," David said. "Then he hit the brakes and the truck stopped, and the sled didn't. I slammed straight into the bumper and flopped right back down."

Bertha May Montgomery Trantham was born at her parents' home near Yampa on June 7, 1914. Carey William Trantham was born in Willard, Mo., on Sept. 10, 1910. In 1915, his family moved to Yampa, where Bertha and Carey both grew up and graduated from high school.

The Tranthams raised their children in Yampa and were remembered for their athleticism. At one time, the whole family was on Yampa's town softball team, with Bertha as the pitcher. Both parents played basketball in high school.

The Tranthams' son Carey remembered his mother's "sweet jumpshot" that kept her beating him at games of horse well into her mid-60s.

"I was really blessed to have been theirs and to have lived in this community," he said.

Granddaughter Denise Schurr recalled her grandfather's green thumb and raspberry bushes - and his annoyance with the cats that would disturb his garden.

"Grandpa had reinforcements. He had a BB gun he'd use to scare them away," Schurr said. "No cats were harmed in the process, of course."

So when the time came for Grandpa Trantham to teach his grandchildren how to shoot, he doled out medicine bottles for them to use as targets, Schurr said.

"He, of course, still used the cats," she said.

Bertha taught at the Yampa country school and later for Moffat County Schools, and Carey worked for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

"I thought it was fitting that when we were up at the cemetery, the train drove by and tooted its horn," said Leonard Browning, pastor at First Baptist Church of Craig and a former neighbor of the Tranthams.

The family relocated to Craig in 1956. Carey and Bertha lived there until 2001, when they moved to Grand Junction. In 2006, the Tranthams moved to Denver, where they lived until their deaths.

The Tranthams were active members of Yampa Bible Church and later First Baptist Church in Craig. Even after leaving Northwest Colorado, Bertha continued to write to the church, in her impeccable penmanship, to let everyone in Craig know she was praying for them, Browning said.

"Carey and Bertha were old-school, and I mean that in the best sense of the word," Browning said.


jeannie berger 8 years, 10 months ago

What a great story, my condolences to the family.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.