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Obituary: Eva Marie O’Malley Craven Kregel

By Administrator

April 19, 2024

Eva Marie O’Malley Craven Kregel was born on February 24, 1926 to Mildred Bunker & Austin O’Malley in Denver, Colorado.

When Eva was 3, her mother married Warren Craven and Warren happily adopted her as his own. Five years later Eva was joined by a sister, Dorothy and four years after that by a brother Don. Some of her fondest memories were caring for her younger siblings while her mother worked in the fields. Eva and her family lived on the Circle Bar Ranch south of Wild Horse, until she was about 6. The family then moved north west of Kit Carson and it was while living there she attended Mount Pearl School. Her family made their last move to north of Wild Horse where Eva attended Wild Horse school until graduating from the 8th grade.

A couple of years before she graduated a cute boy named Joe Kregel moved to the area and was in the grade above her. He paid her no mind as she was a silly, giggly girl. That however changed in the next few years. Since there was no transportation at that time to get her to the high school in Kit Carson, Eva lived with the Herman Schumacher family north of Kit Carson for a year so she could attend school. Eva helped Mrs. Schumacher with household chores in exchange for her room and board. The next year transportation became available, and she moved back to her family home.

During her high school years, Eva was active in band and 4-H in addition to her studies. She graduated in May of 1944. Though she was awarded a scholarship to a business school in Denver, she chose to stay and help on the family farm. About a year later she went to work at the Collins Ranch as a kitchen worker. She remained there for a couple years before she moved on to her next adventure.

That cute boy she had met in Jr. High had become the love of her life. Not sure if he knew that yet because he was pretty reserved. He was drafted into the Army a few months after she graduated from high school, but lots of letters and cards were exchanged.

In 1946 Eva went to work for the O’Meara family in Denver as a housekeeper and nanny. After Joe was discharged from the Army in the fall of 1946 their courtship was blossoming. Joe would drive his Model A to see her when he could.

Mid December of 1949 Eva was baptized into the Catholic Church and made her first communion. Finally on Christmas Eve of that year, Joe proposed to her. Her wait was over! Joe and Eva were married on April 10, 1950 at the Catholic Church in Kit Carson. They made their forever home northwest of Wild Horse.

After a long 11 years of not being able to start their little family they had always dreamed of, they registered with Catholic Charities in Denver to adopt a baby girl. Patricia Maureen joined them in November of 1961. Not quite 2 years later they received the call their second daughter Kathleen Joann had arrived. She joined the family in June of 1963.

Eva spent her life working beside her husband and raising their 2 daughters. She also enjoyed sewing, gardening, crocheting, quilting, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles and of course dancing with her Joey.

In December of 1980 she became a grandmother. Through the next few years she became grandmother 7 more times. In 2002 her first great grandchild was born with a total of 17 at present. Besides being a loving wife and mother, being a grandmother was one of the greatest joys of her life.

Eva enjoyed good health for most of her life, but in 2016 her health began to decline rapidly and in 2017 Cheyenne Manor became her home away from home. She quietly passed away there on April 9, 2024, at the age of 98.

Eva was preceded in death by her parents, husband Joe, sister Dorothy and husband Harold, brother Don and wife Diane, son-in-laws Lyle States, Rusty Paintin, and grandson Jeff Kregel.

She is survived by 2 daughters, Patsy States (Michael) Kit Carson, CO; Kathy Kregel Wild Horse, CO; grandsons Steve (Niki) Buzzard Broomfield, CO; Brandon (Lili) States Centennial, CO; Chris (Tina) States Richmond Hill, GA; Tyler (Veronica) Buzzard Wiggins, CO; Jason Buzzard Kit Carson, CO; granddaughters Joni States Kit Carson, CO; Kayla (Michael) Buchanan Kit Carson, CO; 17 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The funeral mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Augustine Church in Kit Carson followed by burial in the Evergreen Cemetery in Hugo. Memorial contributions should be sent to the Kit Carson Volunteer Fire Department in Kit Carson, CO. Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at Visitation and funeral services were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home in Cheyenne Wells.

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