Longtime resident of Routt County, Cynthia Ann (Biffle) May was released from this life and was received into the arms of her Lord and her many loved ones on January 11, 2020.
Cynthia was born on December 26, 1934 in Clayton, New Mexico. She was the first of four children born to Enoch T. Biffle and Gladys C. (Stonebrink) Biffle. She was raised in Sofia, New Mexico on the family ranch along with her brother, Nathan and sisters, Betty and Grace. Her father was a World War I veteran and Cynthia adored him and spoke of what a patient cattleman he was. Cynthia missed her father greatly after he passed away on February 19, 1967 Her mother, Gladys, was a wonderful homemaker and seamstress; a wise, strong, and patient woman. Gladys remained a widow until her death on September 8, 2005 at the age of 96.
When Cynthia was a young girl, one of her favorite things to do, when she could, was slip away and read. Cynthia was active in 4-H as a young person. She enjoyed sewing, cooking and, of course, she had a cow/calf project when she was in high school. During her high school years she lived in town with Mrs. Wilcox and while there she participated in Rainbow Girls and took piano lessons.
After graduating high school in Clayton, she attended New Mexico A&M in Lac Cruces and was proud to be an Aggie. Her major was Home Economics, but she also enjoyed her art classes, as well as becoming a sharp shooter while lettering in Riflery.
Cynthia met William Bowie May while visiting in Routt County with her Uncle Clyde Stonebrink, who had married Bill’s sister, Helen May. Bill was smitten and wasted no time asking her on their first date, a barn dance at the old Stetson barn. After returning to New Mexico, Cynthia invited him to a school dance and he traveled 1,000 miles round trip for a dance and they never stopped dancing.
Bill went on to serve in the Army during the Korean Conflict in the European Occupation, but before he shipped out he came home to ask for Cynthia’s hand and they carried on their long distance love by letter. While in Germany, he saved his pennies and bought a 1946 MG Sportster Convertible and had it shipped home. On his next leave he headed to see Cynthia and left it in her care while she attended college.
Bill and Cynthia were married on June 26, 1954 in Sofia, New Mexico and they enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon traveling through the western states and into Canada in that little MG. Bill then whisked his bride to Routt County to make their home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and it was there that they remained to raise their children on the well known S-S Ranch. They and their feed team were featured on the cover of Country Woman Magazine. Bill and Cynthia worked side by side for 50 years until they moved to Fruita, Colorado in 2003.
They were blessed with four children, Stuart “Scott” Sevier in October 1955, J. Nathan in October 1956, David Bowie in December 1957, and Grace Ann in March 1960. She not only loved raising her family on the ranch but she thoroughly enjoyed working the land and caring for the cattle. Often you would find her irrigating, swathing or out checking the spring calves.
Soon, 12 grandchildren followed, Kody J., Brandi Ann, Jedidiah Forrest, Hollie Renae, Daniel Bowie, Candice Leah, Jacob M., KaDee C., Heather Ann, Quayle M., Ben Allison, and Maxim Xavier.
And then 15 great grandchildren, Jaque Leon, Jo-el Monique, Kally Denise, Jaycee Layne, Jessel Faith, Greta Rainbow, Brooke Reata, Anna May, Jasper Bowie, Emma Louise, Titus Anusom, Tyler Ward, Inga Willow, Eliot Mae, Waylon B., and two on the way.
And one great great grandchild, Liam Alexander.
Over the years Bill and Cynthia took on many hands of all ages to work on the ranch. Some were hired, some were nieces, nephews, or school friends that stayed for the summer or some just showed up to be a part of whatever needed done. Cynthia, especially had a way of making each one feel welcome. Through the years she was a mother and grandmother to many, offering listening ears and a safe place. They were always welcome at the table for meals and sometimes she housed them until they were ready to move on.
Although Cynthia was busy with the ranch chores and her family, she was never too busy to participate in her community.
She topped out with a 30 year pin as a leader in Routt County 4-H. She told her son J. that her idea of a vacation was being at the Routt County Fair. At fair time she was busy, not only supporting her own clan but anyone else that needed assistance. Any time she could help a young person to learn about agriculture, she was willing. In 2001, Bill and Cynthia were the Routt County Fair Parade Marshalls.
She was also active in Farm Bureau. She served as women’s chairman, membership chairman and she enjoyed working with the Bred Heifer Program and the Sheep Flock.
Cynthia was very active with the Routt County Cattlewomen and served as president and historian along with several other roles. In 1997 she was nominated by the Routt County Cattlewomen and was named the district winner of the Colorado Master Farm Homemaker Award.
She was an artist, who sold her watercolors of wildflowers at Art in the Park and continued to give her paintings as gifts to family and friends until her passing.
Bill and Cynthia were long time members of the First Baptist Church and took many of their grandchildren to Sunday School and church over the years.
Her beloved Bill went before her in April 2007, and in December 2018 she left Fruita and moved to Vernal with her daughter, Grace.
Like her parents, she was wise, strong, and patient; a kind, gentle, and hardworking cattlewoman and was faithful to pass it on to the next generations. She and her beautiful smile will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her children:
Stuart and his family, Candice Martin, Greta and Inga; Heather (Siam) Dedduang, Anna and Titus; and Max May
J. and his family, Kody (Renee) May, Kally , Jaycee, and Brooke; Jed (Suely) May and Jessel; Hollie Wood (Steve Guzman) and Eliot, and Ben (Nellie) Allison.
David (Barbara), and their family, Brandi (Tyler) Mashburn, Jaque, Jo-el, Jasper, Emma, Tyler Jr.; and Daniel May.
Grace May Chew and her family, Jacob (Melissa) Chew and Waylon; KaDee (Larry) Heaton; and Quayle Chew (Jake Hunting).
Her sister, Betty Levesque; sister-in- law, Zerelda Biffle, brother-in-law, David Foster and many nieces and nephews.
It was her desire that all of her loved ones, friends and family, know that she loved them very much!
Please join us to celebrate her and a life well lived on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church, 3200 Divine Way, Steamboat Springs, CO. Lunch will be served following the service. In lieu of flowers, she and her family would like you to generously donate to one of the following:
4-H -FFA Grant Program Routt County 4-H Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jo Stanko c/o Routt County Extension Office
PO Box 772797 136 6th Street Suite 101
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
Online condolences may be shared at www.AshleyValleyFuneralHome.com