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1932 Betty 2024

Betty Joan Donely (Sanburg)

December 18, 1932 — February 29, 2024

Betty Joan (Sanburg) Donley – 12/18/1932 – 2/29/2024

Betty was born to Clifford & Alice (Elicker) Sanburg on the dining room table of her grandmother’s house at the homestead in Olathe, CO.  She passed at her home surrounded by her large family on February 29th (Leap Day) 2024.  Betty graduated from Montrose High School with the class of 1950.  After graduation she worked at the phone company, Mountain Bell, where she was an operator.  On February 5, 1953 she married the love of her life Fritz Donley.  With him she gained two sons, Fred Donley III and Melvin Donley.  Over the next sixteen years they added four daughters to make the family complete.  Betty worked alongside Fritz on the sheep ranch in Shavano Valley and the Uncompahgre Plateau until Fritz’s death in January 2008.  She continued working on the ranch with the help of her family until she was no longer able.  At that point her large family kept her busy enjoying grandchildren, great grandchildren and other family members.  As long as she was able, she could be counted on to help with anything her family needed.  She was always the one who brought deserts to any family function.  She was famous for her Pound Cake and homemade cookies.  She is survived by her stepson Melvin (Donna) Donley, daughters Jan (Joe) Crane, Beth (Ray) David, Joy Donley, Laura (Wade) Hogan, 18 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren with one on the way, several great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband Fritz Donley, her parents, an infant son, stepson Fred Donley III and wife Donna Donley, grandson Ryan Anders and three siblings.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope West Hospice ( or the Western Slope Wool Growers (13621 5875 Road, Montrose, CO 81403).  A celebration of her life will be held at the Montrose Christian Church on Monday, March 18, 2024 at 1:00pm.  A reception will follow at the church.




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