A Loving Tribute

Charlene Edna (Carville) Kocjancic

August 1, 1939 – May 13, 2024
Submitted by Dawn Rogers


With broken hearts, we announce that Charlene Kocjancic passed away May 13, 2024, at 7:30 pm at her home in Paonia, CO. She was 84 years old.

Charlene was born on August 1, 1939, in Paonia, CO, just a few houses down the same street from her home for many years. She was born Charlene Edna Carville to Frona VanEngen Carville and Charles Edmund Carville, the youngest daughter of five girls. She grew up in Paonia, attending Stewart Mesa School as a young girl and graduating from Paonia High School in 1957. She started nurse training at Presbyterian St. Luke in Denver, CO, when she was called home to care for her ailing parents.

While she never returned to finish nursing school, she was a caregiver her entire life. Taking care of her husband in his final years and being a lifelong “Mom” to her two daughters was her primary occupation. Charlene also worked in the kitchen for eight years at Bethesda Care Center (now the Paonia Care and Rehab Center) and eventually became the dietary supervisor. Always wanting new experiences and to interact with people, she also worked several years as a census taker for the United States Census Bureau, trained and worked as an EMT, and as a customer service representative at Stop ‘N Save in Paonia. In addition, she was a volunteer caregiver for many friends, family, and neighbors until she was no longer physically able. She was a dedicated Wilson-Head Post American Legion Auxiliary member for 54 years. She was very active in Memorial Day activities, the food pantry, and the Friday night suppers.

She was working as a waitress at the American Legion when she met Adolph “Cappy” Kocjancic, who was the bar manager. They were married in November 1963, and together, they raised two daughters, Toni, and Dawn, and made Paonia their lifelong home.

She loved sewing and crocheting, collecting elephants and salt/pepper shakers, and playing cribbage, but most of all loved cooking. She was an avid collector of cookbooks, but her magic in the kitchen came from the heart and rarely required a recipe. 

Charlene is survived by one sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn (Carville) and Brad Coulter, of California, her daughters, Toni Kocjancic, of Denver, Colorado, and Dawn (and Bryce) Rogers, of Alamosa, Colorado, plus many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and Paco, the spoiled rotten grand dog. She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, three sisters and their husbands, and several other beloved extended family members.

Her memorial service will be held on Friday, June 21, at 2:00 pm at Wilson-Head American Legion Post 97, 40772 Lamborn Mesa Road, Paonia, Colorado, followed by a gathering to share memories and stories. The interment and graveside service will follow at the Cedar Hill Cemetery at 4:00 pm. Instead of flowers, contributions to Hope West Hospice (hopewestco.org) would be appreciated.

Arrangements are being made through Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory. View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com


Honor Charlene with a donation to HopeWest

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3090 N. 12th Street
Grand Junction, CO 81506