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Loretta Joy Bailey

December 30, 1941 ~ December 17, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Loretta Bailey Obituary

Loretta Joy (Stevens) Bailey, passed away peacefully, on December 17, 2023, at the age of 81, in her hometown of Canon City, Colorado. Born in a little house on Greenwood Avenue on December 30, 1941, in the same charming town, she was a beacon of light and wisdom to all who knew her. Loretta's life was characterized by her insatiable curiosity, her unwavering strength, her passion for learning, and the joy of sharing her wisdom with others.

Loretta was the beloved matriarch of a family that cherished her deeply. She is survived by her daughters, Kimberly (Richard) Worsham of Canon City, Colorado, and Jonna (Donald) Rehor of Fort Mojave, Arizona; her granddaughter, Emily (John) Meyer of Wailuku, Maui; her grandsons, Eli DeLuna (Deb Stidham) of Sandy, Utah and Jacob DeLuna (Season Rovang), of Port Orchard, Washington, as well as her brother, George Stevens (Janet Kirkland) of Colorado and sisters, Renee (Tim) Chase of Utah and Jo (Joe) Lozano of Colorado.  In addition, a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins who will fondly remember her warmth and guidance. Each family member was a unique thread in the vibrant tapestry of her life, and she nurtured these relationships with the same love and attention that she gave to all of her endeavors.

Loretta was preceded in death by her devoted parents, Lloyd and Beatrice Stevens, and her younger brother, Roger Stevens, whose memories she held close to her heart.

When Loretta was 5 years old, her family moved to 226 Riverside Drive.  She relished in telling the many stories of her and her siblings growing up in South Canon.  She wrote about many of these memories with a light heart and a good sense of humor.  She saved these writings to share with her family, as they have become invaluable treasures.  She attended Madison and Garfield Elementary Schools where her favorite class was recess.  Even though she was often the shortest child in her class, in nearly every grade, it never stopped her from participating in school events.  At Wilson Junior High, she was a cheerleader and basketball player.  One of her proudest moments was when she was the high scorer at a basketball game.  Not too bad for being under 5 feet tall.

A proud graduate of Canon City High School, Class of 1960, Loretta's thirst for knowledge never waned.  She worked many different jobs and lived in many different states throughout the1960’s.  While living in Golden, Colorado, she became a teacher’s aide at Jefferson Elementary School.  It was there that she found her passion (one of them) for teaching others. She and her family then moved to Florence, Colorado in 1971, where she worked as a dietitian for St. Joseph Hospital and Manor.  At that time, the family also owned and operated a cattle business, where they raised chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, horses and rabbits.  Loretta would dress in her white uniform and work a full day at the hospital, then change into her boots and jeans and tend to the animals, mend fences and whatever else needed to be done.

In the 1980’s, Loretta went on to build a career that reflected her deep compassion for others. As a substance abuse counselor, she touched the lives of many in her community, offering them hope and a path to recovery.  During her over 15-year tenure with Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Loretta was one of the founders of the Fremont County Task Force on Wife Abuse, Inc.  An organization that launched Fremont County’s first 24-hour help line and Safe Home for battered women.  Later, Loretta joined the Colorado Department of Corrections, where she continued to make a difference.  She received several awards and accommodations for her work as a Correctional Officer until her much deserved retirement.

Loretta’s dedication to service extended beyond her professional life as she became an active volunteer for the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, in Canon City. She spent countless hours researching the history of the area in and around her beloved hometown. Her dedication and devotion to the preservation of historical records and important archaeological finds was admirable, and Loretta's contributions to the museum’s website, especially her "Then and Now" blog series, were celebrated for their insightful reflections and historical relevance.

Loretta's interests were as varied as they were rich. She was a member of the Kiwanis, the Red Hat Ladies, Friendly Neighbors, Geology Club, Stones and Bones and several other organizations throughout Fremont County.  Loretta made very dear and life-long friends everywhere she worked or volunteered.  She was a self-taught scholar, particularly in the fields of history, archaeology, paleontology, and geology, with a special focus on the heritage of Fremont County. Her love for traveling, dancing, learning, golfing, reading, writing, and drawing was matched by her enthusiasm for practicing Deep Meditation, Qigong and cheering on her favorite basketball team, the Denver Nuggets.

Inherited from her father, Loretta loved the outdoors.  Fishing and hunting trips with her family, as a young girl, were a big part of her early development.  She would find peace and inspiration beside a mountain lake or stream.  Later, as a mother and then a grandmother, Loretta enjoyed spending time with her family in the beautiful mountains of Colorado sharing her vast knowledge of rock formations and fossils.  She always made it fun to learn.  Also passed down to her, by her father, was Loretta's gift for storytelling. She would captivate listeners, as she masterfully retold his tales with precision and vivid detail.  The stories usually began with, “My Dad always said...”

Above all, Loretta loved her family fiercely and valued the friendships she cultivated over her lifetime. Her presence was a comfort and joy to those around her, and her legacy of love and learning will continue to inspire.

Loretta's journey through life was marked by an unwavering spirit of generosity and a commitment to enriching the lives of others. Her story is one of enduring love, profound knowledge, and a ceaseless desire to leave the world a better place than she found it. As we say goodbye to Loretta Joy (Stevens) Bailey, we celebrate the remarkable woman she was and the indelible impact she made on the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to have known her.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sangre De Cristo Hospice and Hildebrand Care Center for their kind and compassionate care given to Loretta.  A gathering will be hosted by the Royal Gorge Museum and History Center, 612 Royal Gorge Blvd, Canon City, CO on January 13, 2024 from 1-3 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Royal Gorge Museum and History Center or, to Sangre De Cristo Hospice, 601 Greenwood, Canon City, CO.

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