May 19, 1929 - September 26, 2020 George Robert "Bob" Wielang, 91 of Aurora, CO formerly of Durango passed away from natural causes on September 26, 2020.
Funeral services will take place on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:00 am at Hood Mortuary, 1261 East 3rd Avenue, Durango, Colorado 81301. Burial will immediately follow at Greenmount Cemetery.
The youngest of three children, Bob was born at home and raised on the family ranch on Reservoir Hill where Hillcrest Golf Course and Fort Lewis College now stand. There he lived a life shaped by the beauty and splendor of the mountains and the work that came along with farming and ranching. It was in these mountains where for the rest of his life he always felt the most at home. He treasured his animals (especially his horses) and loved his summers tending to his dad's cattle on Missionary Ridge, where he would go with his older brother Joe (and without the supervision of an adult) on horseback for weeks at a time. Through his Air Force career he, Ruth, Cheryl and Robbie traveled the world taking full advantage of that opportunity, but it was always to Durango and the surrounding mountains the family would return. Bob graduated from Durango High School in 1947. Having lost his father to cancer at age 16, Bob worked hard to help support his mother and to keep the family place and home working. To that end after high school graduation, he worked at Jackson Hardware, at a mill in Silverton, drove semi-trucks for Rio Grande Motorway and one winter plowed snow on Wolf Creek Pass. In 1952 Bob was drafted into the Army, but as was not uncommon for the time, he and several Durango friends who were also drafted, walked into the Air Force Recruiting Office and signed up for the US Air Force instead. He was discharged honorably from the Air Force in 1972. Bob was proud of his Colorado pioneer heritage and loved to talk of his grandparents' immigration from Erstein, (Alsace Lorraine), France to Durango, Colorado in 1893 where they homesteaded on the Florida Mesa east of Durango. A highlight of the travels throughout Europe that his Air Force career provided was being able to take his wife and children to the family's home in Erstein, France visiting with his Wielang Family relatives there. He would tell anyone who was interested that his family came to this country for the freedom it offered, and freedom was a dictating value of Bob's throughout his entire life. Meticulous and mechanical, in the true ranching tradition he reused, recycled, fixed and repaired everything. His basement workshop, where he continued to work even with failing eyesight is a picture of organization. He loved to hunt. After marrying Ruth Williams in Durango in 1950, he would often hunt with her dad George H. Williams, Jr and her brothers, Eldon, Ed and Neil. Bob continued this tradition throughout his entire life hunting with his son and grandchildren.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Eda Wilhelmina Matilda (Schumacher) and Joseph Francis Wielang, sister Mary Alice (McGuigan Wielang) Slade (Lynn) and brother Joseph Anthony Wielang (Gerry).
He is survived by his wife of 70 years Ruth Loraine (Williams) Wielang, his two children Cheryl (Wielang) Shaw (Dick) and George Robert "Rob" Wielang, Jr (Maureen), six grandchildren Walker Robert Shaw, Maxwell Routon Shaw (Chelsea), Erin Elizabeth (Wielang) Myers (Brad), Breanne Kolleen (Wielang) Stein, Searra Sienn (Wielang) Lee (Josh) , Katie Allyse Wielang and five great-grandchildren Lizette Tamara Wielang, Layla Marie Stein, Aiden Stein, Damian Marcus Wielang and Robert Wayne Lee.
Memorial donations in memory of George Robert Wielang may be made to The American Cancer Society, The Durango Botanic Gardens or The La Plata County Historical Society/Animas Musuem.
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