Vera Maye Bagett, 91, died March 2 at Mesa Manor Care Center.
A Grand Junction resident since 1966, she was born Feb. 15, 1917, in Searcy, Ark., to Rose and Andrew Jackson West. The family moved to Lamar, where Vera spent her early childhood and later relocated to Carbondale. It was there that she met the love of her life, Guido Bagett. They were married Sept. 18, 1933, in Delta.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Vera and Guido lived in Snowmass, where they owned Bagett's Grocery and later in Marble, where they lived when the historic mudslide destroyed half the community. They later settled in Carbondale, and during World War II, with her husband in Europe, Vera remained in Carbondale with their two children.
After the war, the family ran Bagett's Grocery in Carbondale. After the birth of their third child and a move to Washington state, the family returned to Colorado and settled in Steamboat Springs, where they resided from 1949 until 1962. Guido managed the Coca Cola Bottling Plant. During this time, Vera and Guido also owned the Rainbow Cottages. Future moves took them to New Mexico and Arizona, and they eventually settled in Grand Junction.
Vera was more than a wife, mother and grandmother. She was multitalented in music and dance, singing and playing the guitar and piano. She loved to write, and in the 1950s she wrote jingles, short stories and poetry, some of which earned her prizes. Vera loved to sew and made beautiful dolls and children's and doll clothing. And she so enjoyed cooking and baking. Her hobbies were many, including flower gardening and travel. But most of all, she loved to trout fish. Many an unfortunate fish met its fate at the end of her line, most likely staring dazed at the sweet little lady in the crazy hat.
The desert gave her great joy, and she and Guido lived in Las Vegas for short periods following their retirement.
There is no way to fully describe the hardships that Vera experienced in her early years, just as there is no way to describe the love and devotion that she gave to her husband and family in those years that followed. She was a woman of great strength, determination and talent. She had a tremendous sense of humor and a smile that could light up a room. She gave love and was loved so very much in return. The world will be a sadder place without her, but for those of us who knew her, how very lucky we are to have shared a part of her life. She will be profoundly missed.
Vera is survived by her husband of 74 years, Guido Bagett; and three children, Beverly Hensley and Richard Bagett, of Grand Junction, and Karen (Bill) Aiello, of Salem, Ore. Also surviving is a sister, Pegi (Willoughby) Mercer, of Greenville, S.C. Other survivors include eight grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents and identical twin brothers, Bill and Bob West, and grandson, Wesley Dobbs.
There was a private service at Vera's request. Friends of the family attended a life's remembrance for Vera on March 15, 2008, at 620 Round Table Road in Grand Junction. The family requests no flowers.