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Monday, August 10, 2020
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Gann Celebrates Her Independence and Her 90th Birthday
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Joann Y. Gann was born on July 4, 1930 in Wray, Colorado, the only child of Kenneth and Mildred Rounds. Gann, who has lived in Rye for over 40 years and continually since 2009, had to work pretty hard to get to her 90th birthday. In the last eight months she has had two of her three hip replacement surgeries, endured her way through the pandemic and, as many of you know, had a fall after returning from the store last November. As luck would have it, the lady delivering the mail heard Joann holler and found her by her backdoor. Rye Fire was called and they carefully picked her up, took her in to be taken care of and she spent a few months recovering at a rehab center.

When Joann tells the story about what happen she says, "l broke my humerus but it wasn't very funny!!!" She has kept her very funny sense of humor and quick wit throughout the ordeal.

A union carpenter by trade, her dad moved around a lot to go where the work was. Gann attended high school in Englewood, Co.

On December 18, 1948 Gann met her best friend’s brother, Bill, at a Company Christmas party. They hit it off very well and one year later to the day, December 18,1949, began 57 ˝ years with the man she describes as her “everything”.

Bill and Joann had their first of four children, William Jr. after a move to Evergreen, Co. in April 1958. Robert followed in 1960, Patricia Ann in 1962 and Sandra Kay in 1964.

Bill moved from the Denver Power Plants to the Cabin Creek Hydro Electric Plant in 1966 and he and Joann, four children and three dogs moved to Lawson, Co. Joann’s days were filled with baking, making clothing, school projects and trips, photography, camping, fishing, tending to the dogs and helping the children raise their Dutch Hare Bunnies, which they sold in Idaho Springs, Co.

Bill transferred to Pueblo in 1973 at the Commanche Power Plant. After four months in Colorado City the house they built in Rye was ready. The home was on Old San Isabel Road across from Table Mountain Road.

The first winter had snow, and snow, and more snow. Eight-foot piles of snow were great for sledding.

Summer had animals aplenty. Besides the dogs and rabbits, 100 baby chicks joined the family and the days were filled with family experiences. During the oil crisis Joann would walk to town with her brood of children to get groceries to save on gas and have some exercise. That exercise paid off well when they began hiking and fishing in the mountains.

In 1977, they decided to build a house up on Table Mountain. You could see for miles.

Joann would haul water every couple days and fill the holding tank on the travel trailer so they could bathe or shower and do dishes and flush the toilet in the travel trailer as the house was still under construction.

They had 25 acres, 15 of it canyon wall, they would drag fallen trees up with the tractor or go up Ophir Creek and haul wood down from there. Joann and Bill grew a garden every year, teaching the children at a very young age how to love and respect fresh food. They planted so that they would freeze enough every winter and were constantly working in the garden or chopping the wood. They continued to search for another place to live as Bill wanted acreage.

When the oldest, at age 21, had gone off to college at Colorado School of Mines he would bring different types of beer home for Joann and Bill to try and they began their connoisseur life in beers and ales.

Would you like to read the rest of this story? You can subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View anywhere in Pueblo County for only $37.50/yr. Call (719) 676-3401 and get signed up.


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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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