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Alden Herschel Monnahan


alden monnahan

1941 - 2021

A family friend said that there’s cows to be milked and a horse to be saddled, so the good Lord called home our father, Alden Herschel Monnahan, a cowboy and rancher from Deer Trail, on November 15, 2021, after suffering two falls. Alden was born in a country farmhouse 12 miles northeast of Byers on June 18, 1941, to Paul Joseph and Elva Irene (Teeters) Monnahan. A few months later the family moved to their own homeplace 10 miles southeast of Deer Trail where Alden grew up working with his 2 brothers, a sister and parents - raising registered Herefords, cutting hay, riding horses, milking cows, and fixing fence. While attending school in Deer Trail where he graduated in 1959, Alden played basketball and baseball.

He was drafted for the Vietnam War in January 1964, serving 2 years in the Army. First, he was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for 6 months and then Fort Carson, Colorado, for one and a half years. Incredibly resourceful, he supplemented Army pay through barbering and sewing patches for other service personnel. He also hauled home lumber from barracks that were torn down; that lumber was put to use building some barns on his parents’ place. In 1965, Alden was given leave from the Army for his birthday. He would tell of pulling into Deer Trail the day after the 1965 flood and see the damage to the town of Deer Trail. The day he was released from military service, January 14, 1966, he started a job for John Shuman, a Byers rancher, fitting cattle for the show ring at the National Western Stock Show. Alden spoke of sleeping with the cattle at the National Western Stock Show to stay warm and then wearing short-sleeved shirts the next week at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

He married Nalla Hansen of Columbus, Nebraska, in 1968 and had 3 daughters: Shylee (1972), Marcy (1975), and Shanle (1980). Cattle and horses figured prominently in Alden’s life. He milked cows in Minnesota on a dairy farm, performed Roman riding at the Deer Trail Rodeo and raised beef cattle. Alden’s daughters have great memories of camping for four nights each year at the Elbert County Fair; their father put in countless hours preparing for fair week and helping them with their projects of market beef, dairy cattle, market sheep, horse, dairy goats, rabbits, and pigeons. Alden’s years of showing in 4-H helped him in this endeavor. Following his divorce, Alden found the sport of team penning and enjoyed the friendships and competition it provided. Alden approached team penning not only as recreation, but also a way to come home with a little money. He didn’t enter with just anyone; he would pick the best horsemen or hands available at the show, and would not enter full up.

He also studied the cattle to see how they were handling in order to give him the best chance to place in the money. Rodeo was a favorite of Alden’s. For many years he competed at the Deer Trail Rodeo. In his younger days his events were team roping, calf roping and bull riding. Later he just competed in the Wild Horse Race with his last ride in the early 90s. Alden and Nalla took their daughters to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo every year until they grew up. After his years of competition were over, he enjoyed watching rodeo on TV. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister-in-law James and Cheryl Monnahan, and grandson Rope Wheatley. He is survived by his brother John (Arlene) Monnahan, his sister Rose-Mary (Bob) King, daughters Shylee (Tim) Ackman, Marcy (Alan) Wheatley, Shanle (Phil) Donovan; grandchildren. Tatem (Taryn) Ackman, Bailey Monnahan, Audrey Wheatley, Kennedy Donovan, Alexandria Donovan, Megan Donovan, Dalton Donovan, and Dominic Donovan; nieces, nephews, and numerous extended family and friends.

Celebration of Life services will be held on November 19, 2021, at the Deer Trail School at 10 am. Following will be interment at Evergreen Cemetery where he will be laid near his parents. A light lunch will follow at the Deer Trail School. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Evergreen Cemetery, ℅ Gale Bell, PO Box 191, Deer Trail, CO 80105 or Deer Trail Pioneer Historical Society, 84625 E CO Rd 34, Deer Trail, CO 80105.