August 16, 1937 – June 29, 2020
Verla Jean Brown was born on August 16, 1937 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Ralph and Mildred Cox. She passed peacefully at UC Health Hospital in Aurora, Colorado on June 29, 2020 with a heart condition impacting her kidneys, lungs and liver.
Verla graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in May of 1955, then attended a one-year program at Parks Business School in Denver, Colorado. Following her graduation from Parks, she returned to Steamboat Springs where she remained for the rest of her life.
Verla was married to Phillip Vanatta on June 9, 1956 (also of Steamboat) and she lost him in a work-related traffic accident near Steamboat on April 19, 1968. They had two children, Lonny who was born on February 21, 1957 and Dirk who was born on September 30, 1968.
Following the accident, Verla married Larry Brown on March 28, 1970 and they just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just before her passing. Larry was a wonderful husband and step-dad and filled both roles in every possible way.
Most of Verla’s life was dedicated to supporting and encouraging Larry and her two special sons who also remained in Steamboat their entire lives. Lonny was an accomplished amateur and professional ski racer and owned an operated his own guide and outfitters operation. Dirk was involved in the hunting and guiding business with his brother and also enjoyed fishing, golfing, and generally any outdoor sporting activities.
Verla knew what she wanted; seldom changed her mind; had a “bit” of stubbornness in her; had a heart for others; and was extremely well organized. She was an outstanding cheerleader in high school; she was an avid bowler and was secretary of the mixed Bowling League she participated in for over 30 years; she enjoyed shopping; and she was probably best known for keeping the most beautiful and well keep log home and plush yard in western Colorado and maybe west of the Mississippi.
Verla was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Philmore Cox; her sister, Fairolene Chapman; and most recently her son Dirk Vanatta who passed away on July 30, 2019. She is survived by her husband, Larry; her son, Lonny; her brother, Glen Cox; and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be missed by all.
Due to Verla’s request, no services are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Routt County Humane Society in honor of Verla Jean Brown’s Memorial Fund at Yampa Valley Bank, P.O. Box 775770, Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477.
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