Dorothy Virginia Turner Kleckner passed away early Saturday morning, April 8, in Aztec at Cranes Roost Assisted Living Home. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, April 15, at 11 a.m. at the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. Burial will follow at Hilltop Cemetery.
Virgina was born in Buena Vista, Colo., to Bill and Lora Turner, on July 19, 1925. In total, there were seven children: three girls: Doris, Virginia and Bonnie; and four boys: Bill, Albert, Art and Frank. Virginia spent her first 20 years in Buena Vista, graduated from Buena Vista High School and attended Parks School in Denver for a time.
She married Carl Kleckner on Dec. 23, 1945. Two days after they married, Carl took his bride to his families’ ranch in the snowy mountains of Pagosa Springs where they would spend the next almost 50 years together. Within a few years, Carl built their new home on the lower ranch and the new home was equipped with electricity and indoor plumbing. Virginia learned the skills to be a rancher’s wife and lived and raised her family in her home at the foot of Pagosa Peak.
Virginia joined the Community United Methodist Church in June 1954, and served as president of the United Methodist Women and various other positions in the church. She was a proud charter member of the Mountain View Homemakers Club, and joined the Red Hats in later years. She was honored as the Archuleta County Fair Queen in the ’90s.
In 1995 Virginia’s “Mr.” (Carl) died and five years later, the house he built her burned to the ground destroying almost 48 years of living, though the home was rebuilt. Virginia sustained a full life at the ranch until 2008 when she was no longer able to drive. In the fall of 2009, she moved to Aztec to live among her family there. She was cared for in her daughter’s home by family members until 2015 when she began her residence at Cranes Assisted Living Home in Aztec.
Leaving behind: her children, Kathy McWhirter, Debby Snook (Darrel), of Aztec, Bob Kleckner (Eleana), of Pagosa Springs; nine grandchildren: Kelly Pickens, Michael McWhirter and Melissa Dugger, Stacey McKnight, Leslie Beery and Lance Snook; Bobby and John Kleckner and Lorena Bacon; 16 great-grandchildren and two great-great-granddaughters, Carl’s sister Ivy Gaines, of Durango, and many nieces and nephews and friends.
Donations in Virginia Kleckner’s memory may be made to the Community United Methodist Church at P.O. Box 300, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.