Longtime Mancos resident Clay Vern Bader died Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, at his home. He was 91.
Mr. Bader was born to Ernest H. and Mary (Ames) Bader on July 4, 1921, on the Old Fort Lewis College campus, where his father was the college dean. He attended grade school at Fort Lewis and graduated from Durango High School in 1939, living with the families of Ezra Needham and Frederick W. Kroeger. He met his future wife, Jean Kelly, at Fort Lewis.
Mr. Bader graduated from Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now Colorado State University. He was immediately inducted into the Navy and sent to Northwestern Midshipman School in Chicago.
He underwent further training at Harvard University, sending for his bride, and they married in 1943 in Melrose, Mass. Mr. Bader went on to be a communications lieutenant for the Command of the South Pacific for 18 months.
After returning from World War II, he moved to Mancos and began ranching with his in-laws, Mary and Ira Kelly. The Baders ranched together for almost 50 years.
Mr. Bader served as a Montezuma County Commissioner for two terms, during which time the county secured the property that now hosts the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.
He was a member of the Mancos Masonic Lodge where he was most worshipful master in 1956, 1984, 1985 and 1993 and was named inspector general honorary of the 33rd degree in 2007. Mr. Bader was a lifelong member and president of the Mancos Cattlemen’s Association and a member of the Southwestern Livestock Association for more than 50 years, serving as president and twice named Man of the Year.
Mr. Bader served as president of FLC’s Alumni Board and was inducted into the FLC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He served 12 years on the San Juan National Forest Advisory Board, including several years as chairman; was a member of the Mancos Water Conservancy District for 28 years; the Colorado State Groundwater Commission; and on the Federal Land Bank Board for 18 years, as chairman several times. Mr. Bader was a member of the Mesa Verde Museum Association for 15 years, the chairman three times, and the Escalante Shrine Club of the Al Kaly Shriners, also serving as president.
Mr. Bader is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jean Kelly Bader of Mancos; children Margie Russell of Mancos and Kelly Clay Bader of Kim; siblings Margaret Crawford of Golden, Floy Singleton of Paonia and Bill Bader of Spokane, Wash.; five grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today, Aug. 28, 2012, at Mancos First United Methodist Church, 470 W. Grand Ave. The Rev. Craig Paschal will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Centennial Alumni Scholarship (MASA), 10453 Road 42, Mancos, CO 81328; or Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Box 740, Cortez, CO 81321.