Star Valley resident Calnis Dowlearn, who for a number of years in the mid-1990s wrote the Roundup feature “Eye on the Sky,” died last week of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Until we actually get the autopsy back, I can only say that the probabilities are very high that it was carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Gila County Sheriff’s Office Detective George Ratliff.
According to friends of the 62-year-old, Dowlearn had summoned paramedics to her home in the Houston Creek RV Park Wednesday evening of last week, complaining that she was having difficulty breathing. Paramedics left the home around 2 a.m. Thursday.
She was not seen alive again. Friday morning, a friend found Dowlearn in her home, dead.
“She was just a terrific lady,” said Payson hair stylist Dee Kelly, who had worked on Dowlearn’s coiffure Wednesday morning. “She was so much fun, she was so alive, she always had a smile and a joke. She had a vivacious personality.”
During their last visit, Kelly said, Dowlearn mentioned that the heater in her home wasn’t working properly, and that she was in the process of trying to fix it herself.
Malfunctioning heaters can be a cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A self-described “amateur astronomer,” Dowlearn’s semi-weekly contribution to the Roundup directed local stargazers to the celestial events of the Payson-area skies.
But the feature was not without some philosophy, too. “When we say ‘The days are getting longer,’ they slowly are,” Dowlearn wrote in the Oct. 6, 1996 Roundup. “Yet we still don’t seem to have enough time each day to get everything done. I wonder if we ever will, or if our self-made time is to do things the way we want, or for the good of mankind and this earth as it was intended.
“Take time to look at all creation,” Dowlearn advised before closing the feature as she always did: “And thanks for looking up!”