July 24, 1957 – June 12, 2019
Audrey Katherine Spaulding, 61 of Carbondale, passed away peacefully on June 12 in Rifle after a long battle with medical issues stemming from cobalt radiation that she received in the late ‘70s for a tumor on her spine.
Audrey was born in Baltimore, MD on July 24, 1957 to parents Anna Elken Leighton and Charles Russell Leighton, both who preceded her in death. Her parents divorced in the early ‘60s and Audrey moved to Moorhead, MN with her Mom and sisters; Jennifer Susan Leighton Phillips, twin Andrea Carol Sharer deRuyter (husband Jerry deRuyter; daughter, Amy; son, Aaron), and Pamela Kirsten Leighton Ray.
The family moved to Sacramento, CA in 1968. After spending a year in a foster home in 1971-72, Audrey went to live with her uncle Bob Elken and family in Steamboat Springs, CO where she graduated from high school and then headed to Glenwood Springs to attend CMC Spring Valley where she earned her Associates Degree in Secretarial Science. This is when she met Hank (Henry) E. Spaulding of Carbondale, and married in 1979 and had two sons; Luke (wife, Mollie; son, Liam) and Jake.
Audrey lived in the Valley for 44 years and always considered Carbondale her home. She started her work career with Drs. Knaus and Herrington and then moved over to Valley View Hospital in 1991 where she enjoyed working and telling her at times inappropriate jokes to keep things on a lighter note. Valley View is where she began lifelong friendships with some amazing individuals. Audrey also worked for a time at the Cyber Salon and then back to Valley View for volunteer work.
The family can’t imagine going through the loss of Audrey without all the wonderful, caring and supportive friends she has; she was definitely blessed with all the friend’s she acquired during her life. She showed her love by baking goodies for her friends and all the guys at the Fire Houses in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. In 1984 to 1989 she won ribbons at the Mountain Fair for her pear pie and other treats.
Audrey loved spending time with friends and family. She also enjoyed hunting and camping with her boys and got her first elk license in 1975. Her favorite time of year was fall when all the colors are so bright and cheery, and she always had a special place in her heart for Mt Sopris.
Like her mother, she had a love for cars and long road trips. Her favorite place to travel to was to the house on Pelican Lake, MN where she gained her love for loons and listening to their eerie calls. It was also a place that her family gathered and shared many stories and memories.
Although she lived in an amount of pain that most of us could never imagine, she had a way of smiling through the pain and pushing forward. We will remember her strong will and stubbornness she had to the end. She will be missed dearly but the memories of her impact on so many lives will never fade.
The family wants to thank the caring staff of E. Dene Moore Nursing home and Hospice of the Valley for working to get and keep her comfortable. The celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22 at The Orchard in Carbondale. The family asks that in lieu of flowers you can bring a dessert to share.