Warren (Chopper) McCue

Obituary of Warren (Chopper) R. McCue

OBITUARY FOR WARREN “CHOPPER” McCUE DOB: May 25, 1938, DOD: August 31, 2022 A husband, father, grandfather, farmer, and entrepreneur, Warren “Chopper” McCue left this earth on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, following a battle with cancer. He was 84. Chopper was born the son of Glenn and Rosina McCue on May 25, 1938, in Lakin, Kansas. He was the youngest of three children. Spending his initial years in western Kansas, he would eventually move with his family to Arriba, Colorado as a third-grader when his father expanded his investment in farmland in this region. It would be the town he would call home for the rest of his life. From early on, Chopper had a knack for creating a stir with those around him. He garnered his nickname “Chopper,” deemed so popular that people have forgotten his actual first name. “Chopper,” a name first used as a derivative for an incident in which he chopped up some harvesters’ boots and hats as a young boy, would eventually become a term of affection as coined by his father. During his years growing up, his loquacious nature earned him many friends. He was the class clown and was most comfortable on stage with large groups watching him. He could break the audience down in stitches with his hilarious antics. His unique sense of humor would be his brand throughout his life. He also was a gifted athlete, excelling in the three main sports of football, basketball, and baseball. He would help lead the Arriba Aces to the state basketball championship as a sophomore in 1955 and likely held the highest batting average in Arriba High School history as a baseball player. He also excelled at acting, topping a high school acting League contest as a senior. He graduated from AHS in 1957. During this time, he fell in love with his future wife, soulmate, and next-door neighbor Linda Wilmeth. He began attending Colorado State University in the fall of 1957 and welcomed his high school sweetheart to the same university a full year later. Chopper always looked back fondly on his college days and would speak about his classes and experiences in Fort Collins extensively throughout his life. He married Linda on September 11, 1960, at Immanuel Lutheran Church and returned to finish his college degree in Ft. Collins. Following a year in town, Chopper and Linda moved to a small cinderblock house 13 miles north of Arriba that became their home, was replaced with a new home in 1975, and they remain there until this day. Following their move, Chopper would then work hard building a sizable farming operation. With support of his father and a close working farming partnership with Phil Plumb of 45 years, the operation grew. For about 20 years, he would help accumulate and manage as much as 10,000 acres of land – from as far north as the Arickaree High School to south of Bovina. He owned a spray rig pesticide business, owned livestock, and ran semi-trucks to and from Denver moving grain. His early civic service revolved around joining the Arriba Lions Club and serving as tail-twister for many years. He also served as the local Democratic chairman and took the Dale Carnegie course, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Later service included diligently serving 19 years on the Lincoln Community Hospital Board of Directors. Eventually, with the passing of his father, Chopper took control of Arriba Grain and Feed, a family-owned elevator. He immediately expanded the operation, building a state-of-the-art grain facility in the mid-1980s – a building you can see today from Interstate 70. During these years he utilized many mentors, his favorite being Dean Evans in Salina, Kansas. He, with his son Troy, would eventually become the primary grain merchant for the community for nearly a decade. Arriba Grain broke new ground in eastern Colorado in how grain was handled and transported while offering other services such as certified seed cleaning. Chopper was always thinking ahead of the curve and would do crazy things like purchase a garbage truck in Florida and drive it home at speeds less than 45 mph so it could be part of the Arriba Grain operation. Unfortunately, a venture into the bird seed business turned south, and the family had to sell the business and Chopper and Linda’s ground. Chopper spent his remaining years being Chopper, fixing up a couple of Winnebagos, remodeling the entire exterior of the house including windows, and taking vacations. His two biggest adventures were to Alaska with Linda – both five-week extravaganzas. Chopper had an eager mind to always learn more. In retirement, he bought books and painstakingly taught himself how to re-side, install windows, and replace soffit and fascia on their home. Never one to let grass grow under his feet and always provide, Chopper also worked part-time as a truck driver and tractor operator for local operations of Ross Hansen, ARB Grain, and Chris Davis. His love of cattle came full circle when, late in his career, he invested in cow-calf pairs to run with his son and daughter-in-law. He remembered fondly, after purchasing cattle from southern New Mexico, his veterinary daughter-in-law saying, “I don’t know, Chopper ... those don’t sound like Angus Cows!” Through it all, Chopper’s greatest gift was being a great Dad. He raised three sons and a daughter as a very involved father. He always found time to support all his children’s activities, near and far. Whether it was music lessons in Colorado Springs, football games in Merino, or FFA conventions in Montrose, Chopper was there to support his children. He had an intense interest in education and led a controversial school initiative to consolidate Arriba and Flagler schools in the mid-70s. He dearly cherished his family and had many Sundays at church with afternoons enjoying a good meal and taking in new sights. Later in life, as Grandpa, he made as many grandchildren activities as he physically was able. He served as Sunday School Superintendent also for many years. Chopper was known for his honesty, hard work, and the gift of gab. There wasn’t a person he couldn’t talk to. He knew no strangers. In fact, talking to strangers was his specialty because the townsfolk had already heard his stories. During his trucking days, he would plan strategic stops to optimize his talent of conversing. True appreciation of his community was shown at the 2002 Lincoln County Fair when Chopper and Linda were honored as grand marshals. Chopper is preceded in death by his two parents, Glenn (1980) and Rosina (1993); and his older sister Rosalynn (2005). He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Linda; his sister Phyllis Underwood; his sons Tracy, Troy, and Tyler; and his daughter Trudy. He leaves behind 10 grandchildren: Devin, Allison, and Quinn McCue from Tracy and Tamara McCue; Mercedes and Austen from Troy and Leesa McCue; Cole, Reece, and Connor McCue from Tyler and Wendy McCue; and Coby and Kylie Vick from Ryan and Trudy Vick. A visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 9th at the Love’s Funeral Home in Limon. The Memorial Service scheduled at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Arriba on Saturday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m., will be officiated by Pastor Bill Viergutz and Pastor Dennis Lucero. Graveside interment at the Arriba Cemetery will follow. The family requests that memorials be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Arriba, P.O. Box 75, Flagler, CO, 80815. Loves Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. To leave condolences and sign our guest book, please visit our Website at Limon.lovefuneralhomes.com.
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Friday
9
September

Visitation

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday, September 9, 2022
Love Funeral Home Chapel
225 F Avenue
Limon, Colorado, United States
719-775-2333
Saturday
10
September

Funeral Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Immanuel Lutheran Church
204 Colorado Avenue
Arriba, Colorado, United States
Saturday
10
September

Interment

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Arriba Cemetery
Rd 42
Arriba, Colorado, United States
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Warren (Chopper)