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Obituary - Eva Marie Kregel

Memorial photo of Eva Marie Kregel


Eva Marie O’Malley Craven Kregel was born February 24, 1926, to Mildred Bunker and Austin O’Malley in Denver.

When Eva was 3, her mother married Warren Craven, and Warren happily adopted her as his own. Five years later Eva, was joined by a sister, Dorothy, and four years after that, by a brother, Don. Some of her fondest memories were caring for her younger siblings while her mother worked in the fields.

Eva and her family lived on the Circle Bar Ranch south of Wild Horse until she was about 6. The family then moved northwest of Kit Carson, and it was while living there she attended Mount Pearl School. Her family made their last move to north of Wild Horse where Eva attended Wild Horse school until graduating from the eighth grade.

A couple of years before she graduated, a cute boy named Joe Kregel moved to the area and was in the grade above her. He paid her no mind as she was a silly, giggly girl. That, however, changed in the next few years. Since there was no transportation at that time, to get her to the high school in Kit Carson, Eva lived with the Herman Schumacher family north of Kit Carson for a year so she could attend school. Eva helped Mrs. Schumacher with household chores in exchange for her room and board. The next year, transportation became available, and she moved back to her family home.

During her high school years, Eva was active in band and 4-H in addition to her studies. She graduated in May 1944. Though she was awarded a scholarship to a business school in Denver, she chose to stay and help on the family farm. About a year later, she went to work at the Collins Ranch as a kitchen worker. She remained there for a couple years before she moved on to her next adventure.

That cute boy she had met in Junior High had become the love of her life. Not sure if he knew that yet because he was pretty reserved. He was drafted into the Army a few months after she graduated from high school, but lots of letters and cards were exchanged.

In 1946, Eva went to work for the O’Meara family in Denver as a housekeeper and nanny. After Joe was discharged from the Army in the fall of 1946, their courtship was blossoming. Joe would drive his Model A to see her when he could.

Mid-December 1949, Eva was baptized into the Catholic Church and made her first communion. Finally, on Christmas Eve of that year, Joe proposed to her. Her wait was over! Joe and Eva were married April 10, 1950, at the Catholic Church in Kit Carson. They made their forever home northwest of Wild Horse.

After a long 11 years of not being able to start their little family they had always dreamed of, they registered with Catholic Charities in Denver to adopt a baby girl. Patricia Maureen joined them in November 1961. Not quite two years later, they received the call their second daughter, Kathleen Joann, had arrived. She joined the family in June 1963.

Eva spent her life working beside her husband and raising their two daughters. She also enjoyed sewing, gardening, crocheting, quilting, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles and, of course, dancing with her Joey.

In December 1980, she became a grandmother. Through the next few years, she became grandmother seven more times. In 2002, her first great grandchild was born, with a total of 17 at present. Besides being a loving wife and mother, being a grandmother was one of the greatest joys of her life.

Eva enjoyed good health for most of her life, but in 2016, her health began to decline rapidly and, in 2017, Cheyenne Manor became her home away from home. She quietly passed away there April 9, 2024, at the age of 98.

Eva was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Joe; sister, Dorothy and husband Harold; brother, Don and wife Diane; sons-in-law Lyle States, Rusty Paintin; and grandson; Jeff Kregel.

She is survived by daughters, Patsy States (Michael) of Kit Carson, and Kathy Kregel of Wild Horse; grandsons, Steve (Niki) Buzzard of Broomfield, Brandon (Lili) States of Centennial, Chris (Tina) States of Richmond Hill, Georgia, Tyler (Veronica) Buzzard of Wiggins, and Jason Buzzard of Kit Carson; granddaughters, Joni States of Kit Carson, and Kayla (Michael) Buchanan of Kit Carson; 17 great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. April 16 at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Kit Carson. Visitation will start at 9:00 a.m. at the church, with the Rosary beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Kit Carson Volunteer Fire Department.

Arrangements are under the direction of Brown Funeral Home.