Welcome to the memorial page for

Milton "Bud" Ernest Mekelburg

October 19, 1934 ~ September 14, 2017 (age 82)

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Memorial Service
September 23, 2017

10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church
110 W. 4th Ave.
Yuma, CO 80759

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         Milton Mekelburg began life near his Grandfather Mekelburg’s farm north of Yuma  as the second son of Edward and Avaline Mekelburg and passed away on September 14, 2017 at the Yuma District hospital.  At the age of five, the family moved to a farm south of Abarr where Milton became a “sandhill” boy. . Soon the family grew to six boys and one girl, so Milton worked away from home  for many neighboring farms and for relatives near Yuma. His early schooling began in the Abarr area for elementary. His mother, Avaline, was interested in one son being a preacher, so Milton attended Winfield boarding high school in Kansas where he said he grew up, but the idea of becoming a preacher ended there.  He returned to Yuma High School to finish his junior and senior years where he demonstrated his leadership skills in student council and on the basketball court.

         While at Yuma High School, he begin noticing a very studious student also in student government, Genevieve Hanson, and they began dating and doing many social things with Milton’s older brother, Leon, who was dating Doris Rutledge, a good friend of Genevieve. After graduation, Genevieve attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and the couple married after that year on August 30, 1953 in the St. John’s Lutheran church in Yuma. Milton followed his new bride back to Lincoln, Nebraska, pulling their first home behind their car where they set up housekeeping at Union College. After college life in Nebraska, Milton spend a short time at Colorado State University before returning to begin his life-long vocation of farming.

         The family started to grow in 1954 with the birth of their first son, Roger, followed by Arlen in 1956, Sue in 1958, Todd in 1962, Teresa in 1965, and Sara in 1966 to make an even half dozen with an equal amount of boys and girls. The family was really completed when his parents joined in the work of the farming operation in the 1960’s along with two of his sons and their wives in the 1980’s.

         In the late 1950’s Milton helped put together an organization that would be his life long love, the Yuma Soil Conservation District which led to not only working with local farmers to begin soil saving methods using terraces, stubble mulch, and windbreaks, but led him to leadership in the Colorado Soil Conservation organization and the National Soil Conservation Service where he served as president. Milton had the opportunity to share his ideas on behalf of farmers on the national level to lawmakers which would make a positive influence for many agricultural people in the United States. He enjoyed traveling all over the United States meeting farmers to see what methods they were using to conserve soil and water and what they needed. He always enjoyed a good conversation over the hood of a pick-up or standing by a tractor. Milton though always had an interest in his home county and enjoyed seeing terraces in many fields, windbreaks, and other soil conservation practices. He practiced many of the soil conservation ideas on his own land through terraces, stubble mulch, wildlife habitats, and was one of the first to put in a Living Snow-fence alongside Highway 59 near his own home to keep the highway open in winter plus provide a living shelter for wildlife.

         In the coming years Milton became involved in the Yuma Feedlot at Schramm and was part of the Yuma Manufacturing business creating center pivot irrigation systems.

         In 1984, Milton closed his farming practice. From then on he particularly enjoyed working with farmers who had financial challenges to they wouldn’t lose their farms or their equipment. Milton worked with many banks and financial institutions to keep farmers on their land and in their homes that had been in their families for generations. He also used his shop on the home place to restore antiques for people in the area. He was always up for a visit to an antique auction or browsing any antique shop while he was traveling. In later years, he and Gen enjoyed their expanding family of grandchildren which meant visiting homes in other states where the family had spread out. He was proud that all his children were working in areas like teaching, medical institutions, and colleges that provided services for others. Milton moved to Yuma from the family farm in 2014.

         Milton was preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve, and his parents, Edward and Avaline Mekelburg along with three brothers, Leon, Maurice, and Wayne. Surviving family members include brother-in-law, Bill Hanson and his wife, JoAnn of Yuma; brothers Gale and wife, Kathy of Napma, Idaho; Gary and wife, Marcia of Casa Grande, Arizona; sister Carol and husband Art of Sutton, Nebraska;  sons Roger Mekelburg of Joshua, Texas and his wife, Kathy;  Arlen Mekelburg and his wife, Melissa of Loveland, Colorado; Todd and his wife, Janya of Highland, California; daughters Sue Helm and her husband Dean of Loveland, Colorado; Teresa Johansen of Loveland, Colorado; and Sara and her husband, Tim of Yuma along with eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 23 at the Presbyterian church in Yuma. Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

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