Harold John Denker was born May 28, 1924, in Dwight, Ill. He was the third born of six children to Lena and August Denker. Harold was baptized and confirmed in Goodfarm Lutheran Church of Dwight. Harold moved to Berwyn, south Chicago, to work with his uncle as a mechanic.
Harold married Mary Roeder, of Dwight, on Sept. 5, 1947, and they settled in Hayden after some years spent in Arizona and California. Harold leased wheat and barley farmland from Margaret and Herb Sterns as well as Ione and Stanley Brock, and he leased the Horner/Mason land.
During winter, Harold drove trucks hauling pipe and oil equipment to Utah, Nevada and Wyoming, and he hauled feed from the Hayden Granary to Clifton for several winters. He also worked as a service station attendant with Linde Sunburg’s Standard station and with Duke Whitlock’s Enco station. Harold was a master mechanic and co-owned C&D Truck and Tractor with his good friend Bill Coley. Harold moved the shop to Poplar and Pearl streets after Bill’s death and worked on farm equipment and vehicles and enjoyed the company of all who stopped at the shop to swap stories.
Harold was a valued member of the Hayden community and held many positions of leadership during his 64 years in the Yampa Valley. Harold served on the Town Board, Soil Conservation Service District board and on the Farm Bureau board. Harold faithfully worked with the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service committee of Routt County for many years. Harold and Mary worshipped at Concordia Lutheran Church in Steamboat until Faith Lutheran Church was built in Craig. Harold served his congregation faithfully as many of the council positions, Bible study leader and elder.
Harold is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mary; his parents, August and Lena; brothers Clyde and Bud; and sister Fern. He is survived by his daughter Joyce (Jim) Folley; his son Jim, of Hayden; sister Esther Shrewsbury, of Pontiac Ill.; brother Roy (Dolores), of Tucson, Ariz.; grandchildren Jared (Corie) and Justin (Shana) Folley, Jamie (Scott) Simpson, Jaques (Rachel) Denker, Jana (Ryan) Venzke and Jacquelyn Denker; and seven or eight great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be at 9 a.m. Jan. 27, 2013, at the Faith Lutheran Church in Craig. Memorial donations may be made to the church, in care of Grant Mortuary.