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Obituary - Delmar D. Moellenberg

Memorial photo of Delmar Dean Moellenberg


Delmar Dean Moellenberg was born in Idalia to August A. Moellenberg and Elsie H. (Lidke) Moellenberg May 19, 1932. He died May 8, 2024, in Wray.  With the exception of four years, he was proud to have spent all of his life living in Idalia, a community he loved.

Delmar spent a happy childhood growing up outside of Idalia on a farm and ranch. His early memories included a tremendous storm that ended the dustbowls of the 1930s, when it rained two-and-a-half feet in a few hours.

Both the Moellenbergs and Lidkes had large extended families, and he enjoyed spending time with many aunts, uncles, and cousins throughout his life. His cousins were also his lifelong friends. There are many a tale of shenanigans they thought up to pass Sunday afternoons and holiday get-togethers after family dinners.

As a child, he began helping on the farm and ranch, feeding livestock and harvesting crops. This became a lifetime vocation at which he thrived. He had a deep appreciation for and knowledge of nature and the outdoors, livestock, crops, local history, and wide-open spaces. He truly loved horses from his first one before the age of four to the many he raised and broke. His ultimate favorite was his last roping horse, Pat.

Delmar was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Church south of Idalia, where he was a lifelong member and served the church in many capacities. He was a member of the first class to graduate from the consolidated Idalia High School in 1952. He was drafted into the Army in 1953, and was discharged in 1955. After the Army, he furthered his education by attending classes at the area GI school for veterans in Joes.

In July 1963, he went on a blind date in Lusk, Wyoming, during Cheyenne Frontier Days and met Roberta Lee Gay, his perfect mate. They married May 24, 1964, in Steamboat Springs. They had three daughters, Gay, Joy, and Dell Rae.

Within the Idalia community, he was an avid volunteer. He helped build the gym at the Idalia school, an addition to St. John’s Church, the Homestead, and worked on many other construction projects around the community. Other commitments included serving as a 4-H leader, high school football referee, hunters safety instructor, a founder of the Idalia Gun Club, and a member of the Idalia Lions Club, Wray Elks Lodge, and Colorado Cattleman’s Association. He also served on the Yuma County Sheriff’s Posse for several years. In 1985, he was awarded the Colorado Soil and Water Conservationist of the Year by the state Department of Agriculture for responsible farming practices, and was the Colorado nominee for the national award.

Family and community were central to Delmar’s life. He enjoyed many dinners, gatherings, hunting and fishing trips, and special and ordinary occasions with family. He and Roberta square danced and played cards every month for years with friends. He loved learning and, as part of that, visiting museums and national and state parks, which were always the focus of family vacations. Later, after the girls left home, those were destinations for many road trips with Roberta and friends.

Delmar is proceeded in death by his parents, August and Elise Moellenberg; father-in-law, Robert Gay; mother-in-law, Elaine Gay; sister, Lois Marie Hilzer; brother-in-law, Rodger Hilzer; and nephew, Rodger Scott Hilzer.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Roberta; daughter, Gay and husband Jeff Uhland, and granddaughters Tori and Mindi, of Eads; daughter; Joy and husband Cody Akey, and granddaughters Alaina and Railyn, of Wray; daughter, Dell Rae and husband Mike Ciaravola, and grandson Dante of Loveland and his significant other Kayla Hand, and their expected great-grandson in August. He is also survived by brother- and sister-in-law, Robert and Margaret Hagenbuch of Oak Creek; brother-in-law, William Gay of Steamboat Springs; nephews, Shane and wife Genny Hilzer of Eaton; Shad Hilzer of Greeley; and Todd and wife Sarah Hagenbuch and children Trevor and Amelia of Phippsburg; and nieces, Shannon Hilzer of Greeley and Heidi and husband Mike Dowell of Tampa, Florida; as well as numerous cousins and friends.

Funeral services were held at St. John’s Church south of Idalia May 18, followed by graveside services at the St. John’s cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of Schmidt - Jones Funeral Home.