Lizzie May Rehfeld, of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado passed away on September 29, 2022 at the age of 91. Lizzie was born August 6, 1931, in County Adams, the township of Oliver in Unity, Ohio. She was born to Christian Jobe and Orabelle Albright and was welcomed by her sisters, Louella, Lois, Pauline, and Effie. Two of her sisters, Lois & Pauline, celebrated their birthdays on the same day, in different years. Lizzie grew up on a farm near Tipp City, Ohio where her dad raised hay, corn, oats, alfalfa, and barley as well as pigs, milk cows, and work horses. Her mother was a housewife, raising a large garden and canning what she raised. She raised chickens, and after selling eggs and cream she bought staple foods for the family.
Lizzie’s favorite memories of high school were going to football games, hayrack rides and wiener roasts, going to the local teen hangouts for cokes after school, and the Junior Class Play, “A Date with Judy’’. She enjoyed Science classes and always said she should have done better in Journalism because she had written many newspaper articles since graduating. The same goes for Bookkeeping Class, since she always did the farming and ranching books for the family, as well as all the investing. She attended Tippecanoe Elementary school and graduated from Tippecanoe High School in 1949 where she was called Erdene after a cousin that she resembled. She never really liked that name, so when she got to Colorado, she went back to her given name of Lizzie or Liz.
Liz’s first jobs were at the Louver Light Company and A. O. Smith Company (winding stators) until gaining employment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the Air Material Command in Dayton, Ohio. In October 1951 she resigned her position, and decided to make her way to Alaska, to the “new frontier”. She carried 2 pieces of luggage with her on the Greyhound bus and shipped the rest of her belongings in a trunk by train. While stopping over in Denver to visit a former classmate, whose husband was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base, Liz learned to ski. She decided to stay longer in Colorado to pursue “fun in the snow” and got a job at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. While there, she met Jim Rehfeld through a mutual friend of theirs, Lorraine Reynolds Edwards. Jim was a farmer/rancher who was born and raised near Arapahoe, Colorado.
After a long-distance courtship, Lizzie and Jim were married at the Arapahoe School on Halloween in 1953 by a lady minister (Reverend Rachel Boast) with a deaf wedding photographer, and the newlyweds spent their first night of their honeymoon at the Motel in Kit Carson. It was the beginning of a very eventful life. Jim and Liz made their first home east of Arapahoe, where Scott was born in October of 1954, then moved to a ranch near Sheridan Lake, Colorado in January 1955. Jim signed a one-year lease with Pat McHugh, which turned into years of farming and ranching for the husband-wife team. When the dirt storms would come, Liz would hang wet sheets over the doors and windows to keep some of the dirt out of the house. Many a night she got up to see if baby Scott was still breathing. She used a sweeping compound to sweep up the fine topsoil off the linoleum floors. Arrowhead hunting after a “big blow” was the Rehfeld recreation at that time. Fishing trips to local lakes were also cheap entertainment and Liz would pack a picnic lunch, the family would fish all day, catching mostly carp and bluegill. The family grew quickly, as Ronald was born in November 1955, Brenda in October 1957, and Tina in May 1960. All four children were born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.
In the early years, Jim and Liz farmed with a Case LA tractor, had a few pigs each year, a milk cow and 42 head of beef cattle to go along with 4 head of registered Black Angus heifers. Liz raised a huge garden (canning over 400-quart one year), raised fryer hens, and helped Jim butcher beef for their family.
As the kids got older, they all became 4-H members. Liz became a 4-H Leader one year before Scott was old enough to be a 4-H member. She held every leadership post in the organization up to serving as Colorado State Leader Chairman in 1980. Liz chaperoned 4-H members to the Citizenship Short Course as well as the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D. C. Throughout more than 25 years, she was a leader for leathercraft, clothing, foods, junior leadership, photography, and cake decorating. She also judged 4-H and open class at County Fairs as well as State Fair.
She was a member of the Kiowa County Extension Advisory Council and the Colorado State Extension Advisory Council. She also supported her daughters for 6 years by taking them to Little Britches Rodeos in Colorado and Kansas. Ron and Scott were both Eagle Scouts and Scott was a scout leader, with Mom’s encouragement.
Kiowa County’s Farm-Ranch Wife for 1981 was Liz, which was a high honor for her. The nominator said, “Liz Rehfeld’s accomplishments as a farm and ranch wife are apparent and are exemplified by the achievements of the many people and organizations for which she has provided guidance, leadership, and enthusiasm.” Liz was very involved in the community including the following: an active member in the Sheridan Lake Extension club, a Goodale club member as well as being on the Farm Home Administration board in both Cheyenne and Kiowa Counties, a member of the Bent-Prowers Cattle and Horse Growers Association, R-Calf USA member, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Farmers Union member, member of the Chivington Grazing Association and in later years she was a member of the Prowers County NRCS board in Holly, Colorado. She was an advocate for Angus cattle and was a member of the Colorado Angus Auxiliary. She was on the Kiowa County Fair Board from 1986-1991 and was instrumental in getting the Kiowa County Community building built.
Lizzie was a member of the Southeast Colorado Art Guild, the Daubers Art Club, the Brush and Palette Club and the Weavers Guild. While in high school, she borrowed her sister’s camera and began a lifelong love affair with photography. She took several classes and was an artist skilled in watercolor, pencil, charcoal, and oil. She also enjoyed ceramics, leathercraft, flower arranging, weaving, and creating beautiful greeting cards which she sent to her family and friends.
Liz was known for entering several items in the Kiowa County, Sand and Sage and the Holly fairs. She would submit a variety of items including canned vegetables, homegrown vegetables, baked goods, paintings, photography, antiques, and flower arrangements.
Once Jim and Liz moved to their home between Bristol and Lamar, she began volunteering at the Colorado Welcome Center, a service she would continue for 25 years. Additionally, Liz was a member of the Prowers Medical Center Ladies Auxiliary and volunteered at the Prowers Medical Center Gift Shoppe for many years.
Lizzie was baptized October 11th, 1953, by their wedding minister, Rachel Boast. Liz was a member of the Sheridan Lake Federated/Bible Church for 37 years; all her children were baptized there, and she was on the Mission Board, was the Sunday School treasurer, and member of the flower committee. She then began attending the Christian Church in Lamar, Colorado, and became a member in 1993. She enjoyed bible studies with Women’s Fellowship and Senior Saints and served on the Mission Board.
In 1992, Jim and Liz began to build a log home off Highway 196 and County Road 17 northeast of Lamar and west of Bristol, Colorado. They loved sitting at the kitchen table or on their balcony and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Arkansas River, miles of pastureland and their black angus cattle. Liz loved traveling and would convince Jim to go on many adventures. They traveled to Alaska (finally) on their 25th Wedding Anniversary, to Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, Hawaii, Canada, to leaf peep in the Northeastern U.S., several Ohio vacations to see her side of the family, Yellowstone National Park, to California for a 4-H exchange trip, as well many Colorado fishing trips.
From October 2018 until her passing, Liz resided in the Cheyenne Manor nursing home in Cheyenne Wells, CO. Her decision to move into the nursing home was to be closer to family. During her time in the nursing home, she made many friends with the staff as well as residents. She enjoyed her time coloring, crafting, reading, jigsaw puzzling, playing bingo and Bunco and getting to visit with her doggie Bella. She absolutely loved having visitors including friends and family and going on outings.
She is preceded in death by her husband James K. Rehfeld, her parents, her in-laws; Emil and Lelia Rehfeld, sisters; Louella Snell, Lois Albright and Effie Brooks, brothers-in-law; Bill Snell, Dean Brooks, Daniel Arnold, Wayne Boland, and William (Khaki) Rehfeld and Sister-in-law, Bonnie Boland.
Lizzie is survived by her sons; Scott (Helen) Rehfeld of Ansley, NE, Ronald Rehfeld of Arapahoe, CO, daughters; Brenda (Bruce) Fickenscher of Chivington, CO and Tina (George) McDonald of Cheyenne Wells, CO. Grandchildren include Tyrell (Angela) Fickenscher, Megan (Heath) Bachman, Brandon (fiancé Kelsie) McDonald, Jessica (David) McVey, Tawna McDonald, Erin Rehfeld, Samara Rehfeld, and Thomas Rehfeld. She is also survived by her great grandchildren Joseph, Maxine, Krystal, Brinley, Raylee, Jameson, and Lincoln as well as her sister Pauline Arnold.
A memorial service for Lizzie was held at 10:30AM on Friday, October 14, 2022 at the Cheyenne Wells Christian Church with Ian Blacker officiating. A private family inurnment was held at the Arapahoe Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lamar Christian Church, Lamar Salvation Army or to the Stockings for Soldiers either direct or in care of the Peacock funeral home office. Memorial contributions can also be made to the Lizzie Rehfeld Memorial Fund, c/o Eastern Colorado Bank, P. O. Box 888, Cheyenne Wells, CO 80810.
Services were under the direction of the Peacock Family.
For online condolences please visit our website at www.peacockfuneralhome.com.