Funeral services for Dove Creek resident Ocia Young will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 14 at the Dove Creek Community Center with Pastor Mark Kennedy officiating. Burial will follow at Dove Creek Cemetery.
Ocia Young was born a coal miner’s daughter in Bettyville, Ky. on September 9, 1933 to Cliffton & Ida Roberts. She was the oldest girl in a family of eight. She was raised near Millbranch, Ky. with the only way in or out by mule on rough trails. Being the oldest daughter she shared the responsibility of raising her large family, and was charged with a number of family chores. The kitchen is where she left her mark, and she perfected her mom’s famous biscuit recipe. The only problem was that she was too short to reach the counter, so she had to use a stool as her workspace; just one example of how Ocia would spend her life overcoming challenges. Times were tough and living conditions were rugged but she had many fond memories of her life in Kentucky.
While the exact way they originally met remains a tightly held secret, in the early 1950s Ocia began receiving love letters from Robert Young, a striking young man from Dove Creek, Colo. In 1954 Robert made the long trip to Kentucky in an attempt to sweep young Ocia off her feet. On June 21, 1954 Robert’s courting efforts paid off, and they were married in a small county church in Buffalo, Ky. Shortly after their wedding, they left Ocia’s family in Kentucky and set out for their new home on Squaw Point, 15 miles south of Dove Creek, Colo. They started with one frying pan, an old hand me down wood cook stove, and a homemade camper. They both hoed beans, a familiar occupation in Dove Creek, for $1 an hour and saved enough money to build a 10’ x 12’ home. Ocia bought a Model A Ford from the local school teacher Mimi Mossado for $15. She used the money she earned through hoeing weeds to buy it, and she always enjoyed reminding Robert that it was hers.
Farm life was not easy. They cleared their land with grubbing hoes and an old F-20 Farmall tractor and Ocia blossomed in her new role as a farmer’s wife. Soon Robert and Ocia started their family, with their son, Mikey. Following Mikey were Earlene, Lorraine, Lorene, Marlene, and Arlene. Robert and Ocia would travel all over the country, with their growing family in tow, working all sorts of jobs and meeting lifelong friends along the way. Eventually children would give way to grandchildren, Ocia’s true love. Nothing made Ocia swell with pride like her grandchildren and she loved when her grandkids visited with her. Tea parties, mud pies in the front yard, and a house full of sweets were just some of the rewards they could expect when visiting Grandma. She dearly loved her family, and in her later years she enjoyed crocheting for her family and friends. She would say, “now it is not a decoration so you need to use it”.
Ocia loved living in Dove Creek. Between wading in the Dolores River, welcoming friends from all over the country into her home and winning ribbons for her garden in the County Fair, she was a fixture in the community. Ocia and Robert enjoyed teasing each other about who won the most ribbons each year. When any music was playing, Ocia always loved to show that she could still do the twist. She also enjoyed fishing but only if she was using a cane pole from Kentucky. Ocia will long be remembered for her quick smile and welcoming spirit. You never left her home hungry and always had a hard time leaving.
Ocia is survived by a large, extended family which includes her husband, Robert Young of Dove Creek; son, Mikey Young and wife, Becky of Dove Creek, Colo.; daughters, Earlene Uptain and husband, Bruce of Dolores, Colo.; Lorraine Brown and husband, Jeff of Monticello, Utah, Lorene Spindler and husband, Scott of Dove Creek, Colo., Marlene Neely and husband, Steve of Las Vegas, Nev., and Arlene Goossen and husband, Jesse of Aztec, N.M.; grandchildren, Devon and husband, Ryan Lane, Coy Young, Mathew Neely, Mark Neely, Orin Goossen and Darren Uptain; one great grandchild, Eli Lane; and sisters, Dorothy McIntosh, Marie Johnson, Pat Gilbert, Margie Combs, and Buelah Withrow. Ocia was preceded in death by Ida and Clifton Roberts; sisters, Jean Johnson and May Johnson; and brother, Earl Roberts.
A memorial account in Ocia’s name has been set up at the Community Bank in Dove Creek for anyone wishing to make memorial contributions.