Longtime Phippsburg resident Blaine Dale Whaley died Sept. 12, 2007. He was 85.
Blaine was born Dec. 23, 1921, to James and Jessie Knaus Whaley. Blaine stayed in Routt County all of his life. Growing up, he attended school in Phippsburg, Hart Mountain, Yampa and Pine Grove.
Blaine was the fourth child in a family of seven. His mom passed on when Blaine was 10. While his dad worked, Blaine helped care for his three younger siblings. He learned to cook, do the laundry and other housework at a young age. He helped care for his three younger siblings. He taught himself to play the piano, guitar, violin, mandolin and mouth harp.
At the age of 16, he worked for different ranches in the area and at his father's sawmill. He loved ranching and ranched most of his life before he sold his ranch and livestock and moved to Phippsburg, where he did carpentry work and cared for the water and sanitation plant.
Blaine served in World War II along with his three brothers. Wes and Merle served in the Army, and Newell served in the Navy. Blaine was stationed in France as a guard at a prison. He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a corporal in the United States Army.
Blaine met his beloved wife in 1945 at the county fair in Hayden and married Verna Decker on Dec. 21, 1947. They have shared almost 60 years together. In those years, they raised two kids together and deeply enjoyed their grandkids and great-grandkids. His kids have many happy memories of him playing music at dances, playing cards with anyone who stopped by and at his monthly pinochle gatherings in Yampa. Some of their fondest memories are the hours they spent together in the hayfield learning to drive tractors, sweeps, mowers and the stacker as they put up loose hay.
Blaine is remembered by the community (even up to last winter) plowing snow in his old Allis Chalmers tractor for many residents in Phippsburg. He was known as the local handyman and carpenter. He still drove his 1965 Chevy pickup. He was respected as a hard worker and a loving husband and father.
Blaine is survived by his wife, Verna; son, Lynn and his wife, Charlotte; daughter, Susan and her husband, Dave Deppe; brothers Wesley and his wife, Jackie, and Jim and his wife, Eloise; a sister, Myrtle and her husband, Boyd Phillips; five grandchildren, Jay, Dusty and Jerry Whaley, and Bruce and Mandy Deppe; and six great-grandchildren, Jaelyn, Larhae, Treyston, Braedon, Garrett and Cai Whaley. Blaine is preceded in death by his parents, James and Jessie; a grandson, Brian Deppe; a sister, Vivian Johnson; and brothers Merle and Newell Whaley.
The man we called granddad will be greatly missed by his family, friends and community.