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Sophie Cecilia (LaVarta) Esch, passed away peaceably into her Lord’s arms early Oct. 27, 2013, at her home in Canon City, Colo. Sophie (age 90), was born in Pagosa Springs April 10, 1923, to Sophie (Trujillo) and Julian LaVarta. Both lineages were steeped in colorful western history involving land grants, mysteries, outlaws and a long, close friendship with Kit Carson.
Sophie was the youngest of the LaVarta dynasty of 10 brothers and sisters: Tillie, Pritz, Carlos, PeeWee, Dea, Corene, Julian, Ted and Joe, all whom passed on before her, including her husband of 59 years, Wm. (Bill) Esch. The family ancestry continues on with her two sons Darrell Oliver (Dorene) and Richard Esch (Lindia-deceased), and grandchildren Jay, Janna, Shawndell (Eric), Trentie, Cassandra (Lyle) and Darrell, as well as great-grandchildren Wyatt, Cayley and Elisiah, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Sophie and family left Colorado in 1950 and traveled and lived all around the U.S. until retiring permanently in Canon City in 1981. Throughout that time, Sophie consistently demonstrated her mission in life to do the Lord’s work through service to others, volunteering for Cub and Boy Scouts and teaching Sunday school and Bible classes. Sophie was also extremely compassionate about her work with Head Start programs for the underprivileged. And she continued her commitment to service in Canon City at the 1st United Methodist Church, where she worked behind the scenes without regard to any recognition — from washing dishes to conducting adult Bible studies for over 25 years for the church. She also meticulously supervised and ran the church library and visited with elderly shut-ins and the infirm.
Personally, Sophie absolutely loved working in her yard and flower gardens, and caring for her favorite cats Misty, Noel and Stray Gray cat. Her smile, twinkling eyes, determination, courage, sense of humor and deep compassion and love for the Lord were to be admired and will be sorely missed by all of her family and by anyone who knew her.
Memorial services for Sophie will be held Nov. 4, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at the 1st United Methodist Church at 801 Main St. Canon City.
In lieu of flowers, please make checks out to 1st United Methodist Church for Blue Gap Indian Reservation, in honor of Sophie Esch.