Nicki Jean Elmore (Gardner) was called to her final resting place early in the morning October 21, 2017. After a long battle with COPD, Nicki passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home outside of Bayfield, CO. Mrs. Elmore was a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
She leaves behind her husband, Willie Elmore of Bayfield; daughter, Rae Jean Elmore-Zoltowski (Chris) of Bayfield; grandson, CJ Zoltowski of Bayfield; sister, Patricia Sauls; and brother, Ben Gardner.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Betty Gardner.
Born in Durango, CO December 22, 1949 where her father worked as roughneck on his own rig and her mother was an RN. Nicki lived in several towns in Colorado throughout her life, the majority of her time was in the Durango area.
During Nicki's youth, she was active in Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth service organization, and served as a Worthy Advisor in 1967. After high school, she spent a year studying in Denver, CO. She returned to Durango where she was a bookkeeper for several local businesses. Nicki married her husband, Willie Elmore, on September 19, 1976. Their daughter, Rae Jean Elmore-Zoltowski, was born September 5, 1979. Nicki was a loving and passionate woman who spent many years as a homemaker. The family spent time living in Dove Creek, CO then the Eastern Slope of Colorado before returning to the Durango area to open Hamburger Haven in Mancos, CO in August 1987. Nicki was known for her tasty sweets, green chili, and numerous other dishes at their restaurant. When not busy working, she could be found supporting her daughter's many interests including marching band, dance, and cheer. Nicki served as a trustee for the Mancos Town Board from 2002 to 2008. Nicki and Willie sold Hamburger Haven in 2001, and she became the caregiver for family members as they aged. They then moved outside of Bayfield in 2010. Nicki was a member of the Order of Eastern Star for most of her adult life and served as Worthy Matron at La Plata Chapter 83 Order of Eastern Star.
Services will be held at Greenmount Cemetery Friday, October 27 at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Blueprints of Hope in Durango, CO.