Mildred (Jill) Clare Potter, age 94, passed away February 16, 2021 at the Washington County Nursing home in Akron, Colorado after a short bout with cancer.
Mildred (Jill) was born March 24, 1926 along with her twin brother Merlin on the LaShore Ranch northwest of Coalmont, Colorado to James Riach Peterson and Clara Evangeline Lyon Peterson.
Mildred was the third child and the first of two sets of twins. She was known in Jackson County as Jill and preferred this name to her real one. It was said that when the twins were born a hired hand said well why not call them Jack and Jill, and so the names were established.
Jill had an older sister, Julia, and an older brother named James “Buddy” and a younger brother and sister which were twins named Darl and Darlene.
Jill began life on the beautiful LaShore Ranch near Grizzly Creek and when old enough rode horseback to begin her schooling at the Butler School. Later, the family purchased a ranch near Hebron, Colorado, across the river from her uncle’s home. The house was below what is known as Peterson Hill, southwest of Walden. It was here she fished and played with her siblings. The family spent the summers on the ranch and then moved into Walden for school. The Peterson house was on the corner of Harrison and Highway 14.
Jill was baptized at the Walden Methodist Church in 1931. She continued to attend school in Walden up until her freshman year at which time she went to Fulerton, California to live for a time with her Uncle Roy and Aunt Mildred. Jill returned to Walden and graduated from North Park High School in 1944.
Following graduation, Jill attended Aggies (Colorado State University) for a year and then returned home to work. She taught 5th grade for one year at Walden Elementary.
On August 31, 1947, Jill married John Samuel Potter in Laramie, Wyoming. The couple made their home in Walden having moved a small house in from the Continental Oil Company. The house on 560 Harrison Street remained their home, although is doubled in size due to John’s handy work.
Jill worked for a time at the Red & White store (now a space between the IOOF hall and the liquor store) and did the books for Nelson’s Grocery & Furniture Store (the pizza parlor). She ran for Country Treasure on the Republican ticket and won, thus beginning her career at the Jackson Country Treasurer’s office in 1951. Jill continued to be the county treasurer until retiring in 1995. She enjoyed working with others in the County Court House and meeting and visiting with North Park residents who came in to pay their property taxes.
In May of 1952, a daughter Connie, was born. Jill continued to work at the office and kept her daughter with her.
Jill enjoyed sewing and made many outfits for Connie, including her prom dresses. Even after retirement, Jill continued to sew and made quilts and clothes for her grandchildren. She won many ribbons on her sewing and canning projects at the North Park Fair. She was especially proud of receiving a Grand Champion ribbon on one of her quilts.
During her life Jill was a member of the IOOF Rebekas for a time in the 1950s as well as serving in every office of the North Park Pioneers. She was president of the Pioneers for four years and helped with many of the decorations and banquets.
Jill and John branched into remodeling and repairing two houses and three apartments which they rented and eventually sold. After John’s death in 2002, Jill remained active by working at the River Rock and the Cottage. She continued helping with the Traveling Pantry up until she left the park.
Jill loved to picknick and visit with friends, neighbors, and family. Her favorite pastime was to have coffee in the mornings with her lady friends.
As her eyesight began to fail, she moved from Walden to Yuma with her daughter, Connie, and later to the assisted living apartments of Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush, Colorado. Here she met new friends and enjoyed playing bingo. However, she continued to think about Walden and missed her many Jackson County friends and the mountains.
Jill was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, John Potter, her parents, James and Clara (Lyon) Peterson, her sister Julia LeRoux, and brothers Ronald, Merlin (Jack), and Darl.
Jill is survived by her sister Darlene Diehl of Denver, Connie & son-in-law Bruce Waldron of Yuma, Colorado and granddaughter Brandee & spouse David Bullard of Otis, Co and grandson Brant Waldron & fiancé Barbara Lambreth of Bennington, NE.
Surviving great granddaughters are Cinnamon Cook, Cayenne Bullard, and Clove Bullard all of Otis, Colorado.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the North Park Pioneer Museum or to the North Park Library.
Funeral and interment will be held in Walden sometime this summer.
To send flowers to Mildred's family, please visit our floral store.