Purvis Cluff 'Perk' Vickers
Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:00am News Staff
Lake City native and well known civic booster Purvis C. “Perk” Vicker s died at Gunnison Valley Health Care Center in Gunnison last Friday morning, July 18, just months shy of his 100th birthday which would have occurred in October this year. Vickers’ health had rapidly declined in recent weeks and his death at approximately 10:10 a.m. Friday was not wholly unexpected, according to family members. He had been a resident of the Gunnison health care facility since January, 2012. An outdoor memorial service, followed by reception, for the 99-year old county patriarch will be held at Vickers Ranch starting 3 p.m. Saturday, Sep. 13. Born in what is now the Knecht house in Lake City, next door to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Oct. 5, 1914, Purvis Cluff Vickers was the last survivor of 10 children who were born to Hinsdale County pioneers John W. Vickers , a native of Nova Scotia, Canada, and his wife, Vera A. (Madison) Vickers. As a youngster — and prior to graduating from Lake City High School in 1932 — Vickers divided his time between the family home in Lake City and Vickers Ranch in Horse Park on the opposite side of Station 11 Mountain. As an adult, Vickers worked with his family to develop the well-known Vickers Dude Ranch on the Lake Fork above Lake City. He was also well known for his interest in mining, particularly the celebrated Golden Wonder Mine located on Dead Man’s Gulch, and was a prior owner of such well-known mines as the Ute-Ulay, Independence, Gnome and Empire Chief. Vickers worked for decades on behalf of Hinsdale County on a number of local and state boards, including over a halfcentury as chairman of the Hinsdale Republic Party. He was also a founding director of the Hinsdale County Chamber of Commerce in 1951. He was the last living founder of the Western Colorado organization Club 20 and, over 50 years after its founding, remained Hinsdale County’s honorary representative. He was also an original director of Upper Gunnison River Water Conservation District from the late 1950s, serving as director a total of 36 years and was Hinsdale County’s first representative to the Colorado River Water Conservancy District from 1961 until retirement in 1997. Vickers’ survivors are his son, Larry E. Vickers, and twin daughters, Patsi Cotten and Peggy Bales, all of Lake City, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Emma Jean (Hale) Vickers, in May 2011.