by Bill Boyle
Nell Dalton, who wrote for the San Juan Record for more than 30 years, passed away at her home last week. She was 91 years old.
Funeral services were held on November 26.
Nell was a classic. She combined a sharp wit with keen observation and an ability to make poetry out of everyday life.
Nell was probably most famous for her poetry. Week after week, she filled her column with clever and simple poems discussing the weather, the news or most often, the arrival of a new baby.
A generation of Monticello babies were welcomed to the world with a handwritten poem by Nell Dalton.
She started with Nell’s Newsy Notes, which was the must-read column in the San Juan Record for years. Later, she wrote Senior News.
In 2004, the Utah Press Association presented Nell with a Distinguished Service Award for her years of dedication and service.
The passing of Nell
We mourn the passing of a great one named Nell,
she had ninety plus years of stories to tell.
And tell them she did, with passion and verve,
she made us all laugh and touched a nerve.
Through Senior News and Nells Newsy Notes,
she wrote many rhymes and had many quotes.
Unafraid to “tell it like it is”,
Nell was perfect for the newspaper biz.
In 1941, at the age of twenty,
Nell came to town and we all learned plenty.
Nell’s family and friends were in old Missouri,
but her flatland roots didn’t make Max worry.
She gladly left the old homestead
and soon her blood ran San Juan red.
Five little ones eventually filled the house,
keeping everyone busy, both Nell and her spouse.
Yancy, Georgia, Ginger, Carol, and Bo
Have a great legacy, as we all know.
With 23 grandkids, and 50 plus greats,
Nell’s family knows how to procreate.
After 70 plus years on the Wagon Rod Ranch,
Nell is ready for a new little patch.
She’ll be laid to rest just south of town
in beautiful Verdure, a place of renown.
But her spirit is off with Max on the run
On horseback, in canyons, enjoying the sun.
Nell found quickly that if life seemed hard,
just crack a few pinenuts and go find a shard.
Get on the ground and soon you’ll have found,
that life in San Juan is the best life around.