TORRINGTON – Charlotte Mary McKee was born Aug. 4, 1928, in Pottersville, Mo., to Clyde A. and Lottie V. McKee. Her family moved to Colorado soon after, where she graduated from Grover High School in 1946. She was very proud of lettering in basketball as a Grover Rabbette. She attended Northern Colorado Teachers’ College.
In 1947, the McKees moved to Elk Mountain, where she married John Orton Oct. 24, 1948. John and Charlotte began their marriage living at the 2J Ranch and later moved into the town of Elk Mountain. They had three children Buzz, Cis and Kris.
Charlotte was an accomplished seamstress who shared her skills with countless young ladies in Carbon County as a 4-H leader for many years. Charlotte’s door was always open with a fresh pot of coffee, and she certainly would not let anyone leave hungry. Her cinnamon rolls were legendary. She was a self-taught artist who left many beautiful landscape paintings for her family to enjoy.
John and Charlotte moved to Torrington in 1976 until 1981. They then moved to Cheyenne when John was appointed the state Commissioner of Agriculture. While living in Cheyenne, Charlotte volunteered her talents with the Old West Museum by restoring and reproducing period clothing. She also sewed outfits for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Queen and Court.
Charlotte was blessed with an exceptional memory and could recall details of family connections and old-time stories of family and friends. She was a very sentimental woman who adored her family. In February 2019, Charlotte moved to Torrington and resided in the Goshen Care Center. She passed away peacefully on March 1 in the presence of her family.
She is survived by her children, Buzz (Kaye) Orton of Torrington, Cis (Pete) Johnson of Prineville, Ore., and Kris (Mike) Clark of San Antonio, Texas; grandchildren Tina (Allan) Johnson of Dundee, Ore., Tandi (Eric) Moore of Flagler, Colo., Amy (John) Wilbourne of Oak Park, Ill., Ty (Michelle) of Dickinson, N.D., Matthew (Jane) Clark of Lubbock, Texas, JJ (Samantha) Clark of Marion, Ind., and Alicia (Chris) Kragthorpe of Montgomery, Texas; eight great-grandchildren; brother Bill McKee of Dixon, Blanche Gunderson of Torrington, and Dixie Johnson of Elk Mountain, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband John, sister Helen Addison, brother Eldon “Pete” McKee, brother Bob McKee, sister Hazel Larson and brother C.A. “Al” McKee.
Charlotte’s celebration of life will be held July 17 in Torrington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Goshen County 4-H Foundation.