Evangeline M. Catchpole

Evangeline M. Catchpole, of Pagosa Springs, returned home to her heavenly Father on Feb. 27 after living a long, blessed and productive life. Vange died peacefully in her Bloomfield, N.M., home in the presence of loving family and caregivers.
She was born on Dec. 17, 1913, in Ardmore, Okla., to Esther and Jim Moorehead and lived there until the age of 12, when she moved to Pagosa Springs with her parents. They realized Pagosa was a beautiful place to live, offering a lot of potential opportunities and together started the Moorehead Garage, a long-standing Chrysler/Plymouth dealership.
Soon after she arrived, she met a 12-year-old neighbor boy who would become the love and mate of her life, Harvey Catchpole. He first caught her attention by serenading her while during his chores. They graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1931.
When fall came, Vange returned to Oklahoma, where she attended Oklahoma College for Women, and, after four years, graduated in piano performance in 1935. She told many humorous stories about traveling back and forth on the little D&RGW train that came to Pagosa and went through Chama, Alamosa to Walsenburg, where she transferred to the broad gage to her college in Chickasha, Okla.
Vange returned to Pagosa and married Harvey on July 21, 1935. Economic times were tough as our country was still experiencing the dire conditions of the Great Depression. During that time, they began a musical duo which lasted over 50 years of providing music through Harvey singing and Vange’s accompaniment at special events in the community. They performed regularly for Sunday church services, weddings, funerals and community Christmas and Easter musicals.
Also, in 1935, Vange accepted a teaching position at Bayles, nearby rural school. For the next four years, Ms. Evangeline became a beloved teacher for the children of pioneer ranch families of the area and they in turn became a lifelong inspiration to her.
Vange and Harvey partnered in several successful business interests in Pagosa Springs over the next 55 years. There was a Conoco wholesale gasoline distributorship, a 25-unit Harvey’s Motel and a 600-acre cattle ranch on the San Juan River below the hot springs — to name of few and not to forget piano lessons for many.
Vange demonstrated a zest for life and knew the rewards of hard work. She loved to play, too. Some of her interests besides music were: a good game of bridge; art-painting oils and watercolors; square dancing; snowmobiling the San Juans; boating the Navajo and Lake Powell; and, in later life, a loyal football fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and the Denver Broncos.
Vange was preceded in death by her father, Jim, in 1949; half-sister Nell Pruitt in 1972; grandson Jeffrey in 1980; mother Esther in 1988; and husband Harvey Sr. in 1990.
She is survived by her son and wife, Harvey Jr. and Marka, of the Bloomfield highway; granddaughters Cary, of Topeka, Kan., and Michelle of Asheville, N.C.; cousin Maryella Moorehead, of Tulsa, Okla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at the Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs, Colo., on Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m. All are welcome.

This story was posted on May 2, 2019.