Roy Leonard Creamer, Jr.
Roy Leonard Creamer, Jr. was born to Roy Leonard Creamer, Sr. and Sybil Evelyn Atkinson Creamer on May 4th, 1933. He was welcomed to the family by an older sister, Carolyn. The story of Roy’s birth is testament to a time gone by. When Evelyn knew that it was time for her baby to arrive, she told Roy Sr. that he needed to go and get the Dr. They lived in the country south of Holly Colorado at that time. Roy headed out in the rain to summon the Dr and got their car stuck in the mud. He then tried to leave in their grain truck and got it stuck also. Roy saddled up the horse and rode to the highway and the nearest telephone. He called the Dr who said he would come out. The Dr drove to the end of the pavement and then started walking to the Creamer home when he remembered they had a mean dog, so he went back and got the crank from his car so he could protect himself while he got into the house. When he arrived at the Creamer home, there was a wait for Roy to arrive. The Dr ended up staying two days and one night before baby Roy arrived. Roy, or R. L. as he was known to some, spent his childhood on his parents’ farm with his older sister Carolyn. When he was eight years old, a younger brother Jim joined their family. Roy attended school at Granada and Holly. He played football as running back, played an instrument in the band, and also had a musical talent of singing in school productions. Roy graduated from Holly High School with the class of 1952.
On September 3, 1953 Roy and Shirley Modena of Wichita Kansas were married in Raton, New Mexico. They lived in the Holly area for a short time and then they moved to Cheyenne Wyoming and Roy worked on a seismograph crew. It was while they were in Wyoming that Roy received his letter that the Army needed his services. In 1954 Roy trained at Fort Ord in California. He was transferred to Louisville Kentucky and on New Year’s Eve was hurt in a practice maneuver. After Roy recovered from the injury he was transferred to Fort Hood Texas and was a driver for a General in the Army until the time he was discharged. In the spring of 1956 Roy came back to Southeastern Colorado where Roy and Shirley joined his parents in a farming and ranching operation south of Lamar. Roy and Shirley had three daughters, Vicky Lynn in October 1956, Cynthia Sue in November 1958 and Tammy Lou in March 1961. Roy’s three daughters, Vicky, Cindy and Tammy always knew this ranch as home. Roy expected his daughters to know how to be “young ladies”, but taught them to love the country way of life as well. They were his best cowgirls and tractor drivers. He instilled a work ethic in them that the girls are thankful for to this day. Roy seldom wanted to take a vacation as his work was so enjoyable to him he couldn’t understand needing to get away. Roy never shied away from a challenge. The girls remember helping take cattle to the mountains near Fairplay, Colorado or Hartsel, Colorado for summer grass when the herd expanded beyond what the ranch would handle, renting a ranch at Walsenburg, Colorado or hauling cattle to Wyoming in a time of drought, pasturing corn stalks and wheat pasture at Sublette, Kansas and cattle on wheat pasture near Dumas, Texas.
In the spring of 1961, two ministers came to the ranch to visit Roy Sr, Evelyn, Roy Jr and his brother Jim. Over time, they grew interested in the minister’s lives and their message. In the month of July, there were four gospel meetings held in Roy and Shirley’s tiny living room on Sunday evenings. Roy Jr, Shirley and Jim all chose to give their lives to God on that night in July right in the middle of wheat harvest. Roy encouraged his daughters, and anyone else that would listen, to find God for themselves.
During the 1970’s Roy served on the Board of Production Credit Association and also on the Board of the Lamar Community College Horse Program. He was a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association. Roy Sr and Evelyn retired from ranching and farming in 1971 and moved to Lamar leaving Roy and his family with the operation.
On October 30th, 1989 Roy married Shirley Harmon of Lamar, Colorado in Maui, Hawaii. With this marriage Roy gained five more children, Greg, Chris, Valerie, Kip, Jana and their families. The adventurous spirit was still present and Roy and Shirl leased a ranch near Gardner, Colorado and lived on the Green Horn Mountain in a fifth wheel camper to take care of their cattle for the summer. In the late 1990’s Roy and Shirl purchased a ranch near Milnesand, New Mexico and move there to live and operate the ranch. At this time Roy became involved with the prairie chickens that were on the ranch and implemented a rotational grazing system for the cattle. Because of this, there was an abundance of prairie chickens on the ranch. Roy and Shirl often hosted people to watch the fascinating birds. Roy was chosen to be Chairman of the New Mexico delegation of a Congressional Committee that went to Washington DC to cast a vote on the death tax in March of 2004. After selling the Milnesand ranch, Roy and Shirl moved again to ranch near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
One of Roy’s fondest memories through the last days of his life was his “guys only” pack trips to the mountains. This was an annual event that started when his grandsons became teenagers. Roy would gather up his grandsons and son-in-law and everything that was needed to survive for a week on top of a mountain. Horses, and a donkey, horse trailers, tents, pots and pans, food, sleeping bags, guns and survival gear would head up the mountain for a much anticipated week. One year his granddaughter tried to persuade him that she was a tomboy and could make the trip, but her charms did not move him. The answer was no…she was a girl! This grew to include more family and friends with one exception; you had to be a male to attend. Because women are writing this, we can’t say for sure what happened on top of the mountain. What we do know is that happy, smiling, sometimes injured males came home. Memories abound and are often talked about concerning the guys’ only mountain trip. At one of the last Christmas celebrations that Roy enjoyed visiting with the family, he pointed to the large picture with several scenes of one of the trips that hung on the wall in his room and said, “Now that was quite a deal!”
Roy loved the western way of life and it was very hard to come to understand that time had marched on and he needed to slow down. After a difficult decision was made, Roy and Shirl moved to Amarillo, Texas to spend some of the last years of his life. There was one last move to Hugoton, Kansas so that Shirl could get closer to her family. On May 15, 2020 Roy departed this life at the age of 87 years old at the Pioneer Manor Nursing Home in Hugoton, Kansas.
Roy was preceded in death by his Father, Roy Creamer, Sr., his Mother Sybil Evelyn Creamer, his Sister Carolyn Craven, his brother Jim Creamer, brother-in-law Arnet Craven, a niece Janelle and a nephew Scott.
He leaves his wife Shirl Creamer of Hugoton Kansas, his daughter Vicky Smith and husband Randy of Springfield, Colorado, daughter Cindy Peterson of Lubbock, TX and Daughter Tammy Smith and husband Bob of Morse, Texas. He also is survived by his step children Greg and Tonda Duncan of Goodland, Kansas, Chris and Peg Duncan of Hooker, Oklahoma, Valerie and Mike Hershey of Hugoton, Kansas, Kip Duncan of Clifton, Arizona, and Jana and Dan Chattos of Edmond, Oklahoma. Roy leaves 17 Grandchildren and over 30 Great Grandchildren, as well as three nieces and one nephew.
Roy’s positive attitude and can do spirit will be missed.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pioneer Manor in Hugoton, Kansas either direct or in care of the funeral home office.
Services are under the direction of the Peacock Family.
For current information and online condolences please visit our website at www.peacockfuneralhome.com. Services for Roy will be live-streamed on the Peacock Funeral Home Facebook Page at 1:00PM on Monday, May 18, 2020. Services can also be viewed at www.peacockfuneralhome.com by going to Roy Creamer’s obituary and selecting the Tribute Wall. Once the funeral is live you will then be able to select the link to watch the video.