Peryl Lavon Kelley Schaaf passed away in her home on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at the age of 96. She was born on January 28, 1924 in a small house on her Grandfather Kelley's Florida Mesa homestead to Garnett D. Kelley and Mary Elizabeth Simon Kelley (from the adjacent Simon ranch). She spent her early years growing up on the Mesa attending school, first, at Thompson school where her mother taught, then at Cascade school by Purgatory, eventually she attended Park School when her family moved to their first home - her home at the time of her passing.
She attended Durango High School until she met Ernie Schaaf while working at a service station in Durango. After six weeks of courtship, Ernie borrowed his Dad's car to transport Peryl's cousin Frank Kelley and his girlfriend Mildred Olson to Aztec to be married by the Justice of the Peace. On the suggestion from Frank and a whim, they were married that same day at the Aztec Courthouse on August 20, 1939. After the birth of their first child, Peryl graduated from Durango High School in 1944; and the marriage lasted for 73 and a half years.
From 1944 until the birth of her second child Peryl worked for Durango Natural Gas, now Atmos Energy. After and until their youngest child was in school, Peryl worked at what she considered the most important job of her life - wife and mother. Her home was always well kept, the children well behaved, and the cookie jar always full of homemade cookies. She was also the bookkeeper, office manager, and silent partner of Ernie's Triangle Service - Peryl and Ernie's business on 11th and Main.
In 1969 Peryl went to work for Turner Industrial Bank where her skill at accurately processing loan documents lead the loan officers to be reluctant to finalize a loan unless Peryl had processed it. She was moved to the Bank of Durango where she ultimately became a vice-president - one of the first women in Durango to hold that position out of all of the banks in Durango. In September of 2019, Representative Scott Tipton presented her career achievements for her pioneering achievements to the Colorado House of Representatives for recognition and commendation. Her life story and the award recognition were documented in Jack Turner's Durango Natives. View her life and those who touched it at - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2KnTdGaw3I&feature=youtu.be
She and Ernie joined the Methodist Church in the 1940's, and upon her retirement she volunteered at the Methodist Thrift Store and was named employee of the year - an award she coveted as one of her finest achievements partly because of the wonderful friends with whom she worked.
Friends were almost as important as family to Peryl. Peryl and Ernie along with Fred and Mary Helen Watkins, Otis and Irma Snooks, Dave and Virginia Weller, and Joe and Lucille Shaw; comprised "The Potluckers." The group had potlucks, picnics and adventures over a span of 50 years. Peryl's house was always open to friends, grandchildren, friends of children, friends of grandchildren, and extended family. It was the venue for birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, babysitting, holidays and a haven for travelers.
Peryl is the touchstone by which her survivors will measure their qualities. Peryl is survived by her children, Wayne (Jo) Schaaf, Lavon Schaaf, Tammy (Kipp Schreiner), and Sherri Schaaf, Grandchildren Shad (Cheryl) Schaaf, Kelly (Chad) Hallenbeck, Bailey (Richie) Parker, Darby (Jeremy) Deas, Devin Schreiner, Ryne (Shannon) Waggoner, Nolan (Mikey) Waggoner and 8 Great-Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Ernest Schaaf, Brother Neal Kelley, Granddaughter Kelley (Kole) Aarvold, and Grandson Joshua Waggoner, and numerous friends.
Donations in Peryl's memory may made to the Methodist Thrift Shop, 986 E 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO 81301. Due to the restrictions on gatherings, a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.