The DALC is sorry to let you know that longtime-DALC member Harry Counsil passed away on January 9. His funeral was January 15.
The DALC will be memorializing Harry and also Darrell Anderson with additional $250 scholarships for two teachers to attend the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture’s Summer Institute.
If you would like to send a card to Darlene, her address is:
9 Carla Circle
Broomfield, CO 80020
DALC: In Memory of Harry Counsil…
September 16th, 1927 — January 9th, 2019
Harry Ellis Counsil died at home in Broomfield, Colorado on January 9, 2019. He was 91 years old. His mother and father, Owen and Neva Counsil, left Oklahoma in the year 1916 and moved to Kim, Colorado to obtain a farm under the Homestead Act. Harry Counsil writes in a series of vignettes he penned in retirement that the following 15 years were, “Relatively prosperous.” The dugout, a cellar like structure vividly rendered in Willa Cather’s classic post World War 1 immigrant novel My Antonia, that the Counsil’s built after they claimed their farm was replaced with a log cabin and there Neve Counsil bore six children—Effie Ellen in 1918, Herman Joe in 1921, and Owen Chester in 1923. A second story was added and Elton Carlos was born in 1925, Harry Ellis in 1927, and Vera Fay in 1932. On July 7,1937 farming, family life, and friends of the Counsil’s as well as most of the rest of the country was forever changed by events beyond their control. Namely the stock market crash and the dust bowl combined to usher in the Great Depression.
This chapter of the story of their lives reads like pages out of John Steinbeck’s Great Depression novel Grapes of Wrath. With the farm gone in wind, the Counsil’s packed all their possessions into a 1930 Chevrolet truck with high sideboards and on that July day headed west on what Harry Counsil describes in a vignette, ironically entitled, The Big Camping Trip as a “nomadic journey that lasted three months.” He said in midlife that when they got to Oregon his father planned to go on to California, but his mother said they had gone far enough. They eventually settled in Nyssa, Oregon on October 8, 1937. Harry Counsil was then 10 ten years old. He graduated from high school in 1945, enlisted in the Navy, and served during World War ll in a non-combat role as a metal smith. While he was always proud to have served in Navy those experiences took on greater in retirement.
After he was honorably discharged in 1948 he, like so many returning veterans, attended college on the GI Bill. He went to Oregon State University, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Farm Crops. He married Darlene Erwin of Nyssa, Oregon on December 21, 1950. They eventually adopted three children—Diane, Gary, and Keli. Upon gradation he went to work for Northrup King Seed Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah, was transferred to Denver, and then Longmont where he remained until 1978. His work as seedsman sustained him over a long, fruitful career. During those fertile years Harry Counsil kept very busy away from work as well as a member of his local church, a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the Lions and Kwanis Clubs, and various organizations related to the farm seeds business like The Colorado Seed Growers Association. In 1978 he left Northrup King Seed Co., and joined Arkansas Valley Seed Company located in Denver, where he became a partner. He enjoyed his work in the seed business to the extent that rather than retire at 65, he worked an additional 7 years.
In retirement he and Darlene travelled widely, enjoyed square dancing, volunteering at the National Western Stock Show, motor home camping, and spending time with their children and grand children. They were very active at Gate-N-Green, the retirement community in Broomfield where Harry and Darlene have lived for 2o years. Harry Counsil is survived by his wife Darlene to whom he was married for 68 years, his son Gary of Santiago, Chile his daughter Keli of Broomfield as well as six grand children including Tamara and Greg (Diane’s Children)Camilo and Almendra(Gary’s children)Jamie and Kayla (Keli’s children)and six great grand children. His eldest daughter, Diane, died in 2014.
Services were held Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at the Broomfield United Methodist Church. Harry was laid to rest at the Coal Creek Cemetery in Lafayette.