Colen H. Sweeten
January 11, 1919 - August 15, 2007
Colen H. Sweeten Jr., formerly of Malad, Idaho, passed away from cancer on August 15, 2007 in his home in Springville, Utah. Following services in Springville, Utah, and Malad, Idaho, Colen was laid to rest on August 21st in the Malad City Cemetery.
Colen was born January 11, 1919 in Lewisville, Idaho to Colen H. and Mary Ann Casper Sweeten of Holbrook, Idaho. He attended school in Holbrook and Malad and graduated from high school in 1938 in Malad, Idaho. From 1940 to 1942 he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Southern California. There he met his future wife, Ruth Gerber, who was also serving a mission at the time. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 29, 1944 while Colen was on furlough from the U.S. Army where he served as a radar operator in Southern California during WWII.
Colen spent his early years farming in the Holbrook Valley and was also the Oneida County Clerk, Auditor, and Recorder from November 1957 to January 1978. Colen and Ruth raised their family in Malad and then lived for nine years in Boise, Idaho where they both worked and retired. They moved to Springville, Utah in December of 2000.
Colen was a noted speaker and historian but the role closest to his heart was that of Cowboy Poet. He was a member of the Cowboy Poets of Idaho and Utah and has published five books of poetry. He received many awards for his work including the Idaho "Governor's Millennial Award for Excellence in the Arts," in the year 2000; the Idaho State Historical Society's 2005 "Esto Perpetua Award" for outstanding accomplishments in preserving Idaho's heritage; the American West Heritage Foundation's 2004 "Pioneer Skill Preservation Award;" the Cowboy Poets of Utah 2006 "Pioneer Heritage Award" and has been nominated for the National Commission on the Arts "Award for Excellence in Literature."
Colen was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Owen, Lloyd, and George; and three sisters: Mary, Nellie Christophersen, and Florence Hubbard; his daughter, Jan Isom, her husband, Charles, and their daughter, Jennifer. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Gerber Sweeten and their four children: Susan (Bill) Erickson, Pleasant Grove, Utah; Eileen Hess, Springville, Utah; Christine (Bryce) Goodwin, Orem, Utah; and Colen H. (Cindy) Sweeten III and one sister and three brothers: Fay (Steven) Cottle, Malad, Idaho; Elbert (Joyce) Sweeten, Malad, Idaho; Cecil (Gloria) Sweeten, Malad, Idaho; and Garth (Diane) Sweeten of Logan, Utah; 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Cowboypoetry.com has published a special memorial page for Colen: click here to see family photos and read more original poetry.