Richard P. Tisdel
Retired Ouray Attorney
April 17, 1943 - April 7, 1999
OURAY - Richard Philip "Rich" Tisdel, age 55, of Ouray, died on Wednesday, April 7, 1999, 10 days before he would have celebrated his 56th birthday. He suffered a massive heart attack that took his life while sailing on the Gulf of Mexico near Sarasota, Fla., with his wife, Francie; and good friends, Dee and Glynn Williams.
To those he left behind, Rich was a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend ..... an attorney, a colleague, a citizen of Ouray ..... a dreamer, an adventurer, and in all things, a prankster extraordinaire.
Humor fizzes through the stories of his life. It is impossible for those who knew him to dwell too long upon his death, for the memories of all his antics cannot be repressed. And the memories bring laughter perhaps the best of all the gifts he left behind.
Rich was the senior attorney at Tisdel, Hockersmith and Burns, P.C., the major law firm in Ouray County. He practiced law in Ouray from 1974 until he retired in 1996.
Rich served as Ouray County attorney for 20 years, and was very involved in the many development issues as Ouray went from a mining and agriculture area into growth and tourism.
Richard Philip Tisdel was born in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 17, 1943, the son of Peres "Bill" and Helen Tisdel. His early childhood was spent in Hurley, N.M. and Georgetown, Colo. When Rich was 8 and his sister, Pat, was 12, their father died suddenly of a heart attack. The family then moved to Greeley, where Rich graduated from College High in 1961.
He continued to pursue his education and attended college and law school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. Throughout his schooling Rich earned a long list of honors.
In the summer of 1965, between college and law school, Rich vagabonded all around Europe. He met Francie in the village of Zermatt, Switzerland and began the love story of his life. Ten days later Rich proposed to Francie on a moonlit evening in Rome and they were married the following summer in Salisbury, Conn.
Rich and Francie spent their honeymoon summer in Ouray, where Rich worked as a legal clerk for attorney Phil Icke, who offered Rich a job when he graduated.
But the Vietnam War was raging, and Rich joined the Navy's Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant J.G. He was stationed first in Newport, R.I. then in San Francisco, Calif. before relocating with his family to Canberra, Australia in 1971.
Rich spent the next three years looking after the legal needs of American soldiers in Australia on R&R from Vietnam, as well as working occasionally at the Navy's "Operation Deep Freeze" New Zealand base, which until recently provided logistical support to the United States Antarctic Program.
The Tisdels decided to return to the United States and establish their home in Ouray. In 1974 they set out on an overland trek back to the U.S. They lived out of backpacks for the next six months, following a route through Southeast Asia, across the then Soviet Union, and through much of Europe before crossing the Atlantic and settling into their new home in Ouray.
Altogether, Rich spent over 22 years practicing law in Ouray. He started out at Icke's law firm. When Icke retired, Rich bought the practice, nurturing it into what is now one of the most respected and well established law firms in the region. Partners Mike Hockersmith and Robert Burns joined him in the 1980s. Partner Andy Mueller and Associate Susan McIntosh came on board more recently.
Rich's areas of legal expertise encompassed mining law, water law, and eventually real estate law. At different points in his career, he also served as attorney for the City of Ouray, the Town of Ridgway, and Ouray County, and played an integral role on the Ouray County Planning Commission.
Rich was appointed to the Colorado River Conservation District's Board of Governors, he testified at the State Capitol for mining law reform, and in 1997 his peers in the 7th Judicial District Bar Association honored him with the Award for Professionalism.
The touchstones of his career were honesty, integrity, an absolute intolerance of bigotry especially in his own community and an ability to recognzie and nurture that in people which is good.
Rich sang in the Ouray Presbyterian Church choir, and performed in the Totally Talentless Trio (TTT), as well as Musical Saw sing-a-longs. He played leading roles as "Daddy Warbucks" and "Scrooge" in local theatrical productions. He was an Ouray School Board member from 1989 to 1995 and was president of the board for three of those years. He was a founding member of the Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation, president of the Culinary Arts Show, which put Ouray on the cultural map in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and Big Boss of the now-defunct Royal Ouray Yacht Club (ROYC), which once sponsored toy-boat races down the Uncompahgre River.
Rich had a true knack with friendship, and could put people immediately at ease with his easy warmth and humor. The Tisdels opened their home to many foreign exchange students over the years.
In 1988, the Tisdels took a year off to return to Down Under. They then returned to their jobs in Ouray. They started composing a "to-do" list of things they would like to do with the rest of their lives. In 1996, Rich and Francie quit their jobs and started on the list. They learned to sail and served an apprenticeship as crew members on the Voyager. With their appetite for sailing merely whetted, they returned to Ouray just in time for the birth of their grandson, Morgan Tisdel Wright.
In the months before Rich's death, he and Francie were living in Nokomis, Fla. fixing up their little sailboard, enjoying a parade of guests, and planning their next adventure hiking the Colorado Trail.
Rich died while living out his dreams, surrounded by friendship and love. He is survived by his wife, Francie; his mother, Helen; his two children: Ben and Samantha; and his grandson, Morgan Wright.
Other family survivors include a sister, Pat and husband Wes Sandle; a niece and a nephew, Alison and Troy, as well as their respective families.
A ceremony and celebration of Rich's life will be held on Thursday, April 22, at 11 a.m. in the Ouray Community Center, with a potluck lunch afterwards. Libations shall be provided, and shall flow freely.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial gifts, in memory of Rich, be made to the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation or the Ouray Performing Arts Guild.
Mechanic, Loved Music
June 18, 1963 - April 15, 1999
MONTROSE - Wayne Wheeler, age 35, a resident of Montrose for five years, died of multiple sclerosis early Thursday morning, April 15, 1999, in the Grand Junction Care Center.
Born on June 18, 1963, in Brockton, Mass., Wayne Wheeler was the son of Kenneth Elwin and Lorraine (Lewis) Wheeler. Wayne spent his childhood in California.
He worked as a mechanic and made his home in Montrose the last five years of his life.
Wayne loved music and especially enjoyed his motorcycle.
Survivors include one brother, Steve Wheeler, of California; four sisters: Cheryl Fraijo and Debra Wippler, both of Colorado Springs; Melanie Wheeler, of Montrose; Barbara Kline, of California; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Wayne was preceded in death by his father in 1995.
Memorial Services to honor and celebrate Wayne's life will be officiated by Pastor Michael Lundberg, of the Valley Baptist Church of Montrose, on Monday, April 19, at 11 a.m. from the Crippin Funeral Home Chapel. The service will conclude at the chapel.
Cremation has taken place, with arrangements being handled under the direction of the Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose.
David Bryan Alves
March 6, 1968 - April 15, 1999
CRAWFORD - David Bryan Alves, the son of Arthur Joseph and Elsie Darlene (Carroll) Alves was born on March 6, 1968, in Fresno, Calif. He died on Thursday, April 15, 1999, at the age of 31 in a one-vehicle roll-over accident.
David spent his childhood in Madera, Calif., and graduated from high school in Manteca, Calif.
On Feb. 24, 1999, he married Angela Annette Lawson in Reno, Nev.
David was employed as a transmissions mechanic and lived in Redding, Calif., before moving to Crawford in February of 1999, where he resided until the time of his death.
David especially enjoyed fishing and hunting.
Survivors include his wife, Angie Alves, of Crawford; one son, Devon Dowdin, of Sacramento, Calif.; two daughters: Ashley Nichole Alves, of Manteca, Calif.; Nicole Gamaza, of Mesa, Ariz.; one stepson, Michael Harmon; and one stepdaughter, Jimi Jo Lawson, both of Crawford.
Other family survivors include his parents, Art and Darlene Alves, of Manteca, Calif.; three sisters: Connie and husband Greg Parmer, of Rocklin, Calif.; Tracey and husband George Tisnado, of San Diego, Calif.; Karen and husband Ron Poole, of Fresno, Calif.; and one grandmother, Christine Alves, of Tracy, Calif.
David was preceded in death by three grandparents.
Funeral Services to honor and celebrate David's life were officiated by R. Wayne Eklund on Monday, April 19, at 11 a.m. from the Taylor Funeral Service Chapel in Hotchkiss.
Interment followed the service in the Garden of Memories at Crawford, with arrangements handled under the direction of Taylor Funeral Service, Inc. of Hotchkiss.
Joseph "Lee" Atchley
Jan. 15, 1916 - April 17, 1999
DELTA - Joseph "Lee" Atchley was born on Jan. 15, 1916, in Delta, Colo., the son of William Thomas and Mary S. (Renfrow) Atchley. He died on Saturday, April 17, 1999, at the age of 83 in his Delta home.
Lee spent his childhood, received his education, and lived his entire lifetime at Delta until the time of his death.
He married his wife, Martha, on June 1, 1937, in Delta, Colo. Their union was blessed with three children and they were privileged to share 61 years of marriage.
Prior to his retirement, Lee worked as a farmer.
He was a member of the Delta Christian Church and greatly enjoyed softball, baseball, hunting, fishing, and bowling.
Survivors grateful to have shared Lee's life include his wife, Martha Atchley, of Delta; one son, Robert "Lloyd" Atchley, of Fort Collins; one daughter, Joan and husband Larry Jones, of Delta; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Other family survivors include one brother, Ben Atchley, of Delta.
Lee was preceded in death by one daughter, his parents, four brothers, and one sister.
Graveside Services in remembrance and to honor Lee's life will be officiated by Pastor Don Bavor on Monday, April 19, at 2:30 p.m. in the Delta City Cemetery.
Arrangements are being handled under the direction of Taylor Funeral Service, Inc. of Delta.
Memorial gifts may be made to: Delta Christian Church, In Memory of Joseph "Lee" Atchley, 658 Howard St., Delta, Colo. 81416.
Bertha Modean Hill
Former Montrose Resident
March 28, 1917 - April 17, 1999
BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Former Montrose resident, Bertha Modean Hill, age 82, died of a heart attack on Saturday, April 17, 1999, at her home near Booneville, Miss.
Bertha Modean Smith was born in Bowie, Texas on March 28, 1917, the daughter of Dock Calvin and Myrtle Della (Vaught) Smith. For several of her early years, she lived in Oklahoma.
Bertha married George Ray Hill on Jan. 11, 1937, and they moved to Montrose, Colo., where Bertha and her family lived for 48 years. When her health began to fail in 1985, she and her husband moved to Booneville, Miss. to be near their daughter.
Bertha was a homemaker and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A genealogy devotee, Bertha traced parts of her own family history as far back as the year 900. She was instrumental in the publishing of several books on the subject of genealogy, and also influenced many people to research their own family history.
Survivors include one daughter, Ramona Floyd, of Booneville, Miss.; one son, Clinton Hill, of Chesapeake, Va.; nine grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Bertha was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Ray Hill, in 1997; one son, Tillman Hill; and one brother, Virgil Smith.
Funeral Services in remembrance and to honor Bertha's life will be officiated by Bishop Jimmy Burcham, Bishop Jimmy Lee Floyd, President John Larsen with Bro. Arthur Byrd and Bro. Elmer James assisting on Monday, April 19, at 4 p.m. from the Booneville Funeral Home Chapel in Booneville, Miss.
Interment will be in the Mormon Cemetery, with arrangements being handled under the direction of Booneville Funeral Home, 506 North Third St., Booneville, Miss. 38829.
Martin John Pavlisick
Retired Coal Miner
Oct. 14, 1906 - April 15, 1999
PAONIA - Martin John Pavlisick, age 92, a retired coal miner and resident of Paonia since 1944, died on Thursday, April 15, 1999, in the Paonia Care & Rehabilitation Center.
Born on Oct. 14, 1906, in Floresta, Colo., Martin John Pavlisick was the son of Martin and Josephine (Fabian) Pavlisick. He spent his childhood, received his education, and grew to adulthood in Bowie, Colo.
Martin married Jennie DeLost on Aug. 26, 1933, in Paonia, Colo. To their union two sons and one daughter were born. The Pavlisicks would have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this year in August.
In 1944, the Pavlisicks moved to Paonia, where Martin made his home until the time of his death.
During his lifetime, Martin worked as a coal miner for 48 years until his retirement.
He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Paonia, Elks Lodge No. 1897, and United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) Local No. 6417.
Martin loved and greatly enjoyed his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, horseshoeing, and gardening.
Survivors include his wife, Jennie Pavlisick; two sons: Kenneth Pavlisick and wife Rena; Marvin Pavlisick and wife Carol Ann, all of Paonia; and one daughter, Carolyn and husband Tom McKee, of Palisade.
Martin was the proud grandfather of seven grandchildren and the great-grandfather of nine great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by one brother, Adolph Pavlisick and wife Mary, of Grand Junction.
Martin was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Joe and Bill Pavlisick; and two sisters: Ruby Kuretich and Josephine "Josie" Sims.
Visitation for family and friends is scheduled for Monday, April 19, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Paonia, with the Rosary to follow visitation at 7 p.m. at the church.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by The Rev. Mike Smith on Tuesday, April 20, at 10 a.m. from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Paonia.
Rite of Committal will follow the Mass in the Cedar Hill Cemetery
at Paonia, with arrangements being handled under the direction of Taylor Funeral Service, Inc.
Memorial gifts may be made to: North Fork Ambulance Association, In Memory of Martin John Pavlisick, P.O. Box 127, Hotchkiss, Colo. 81419.
Miguel A. "Mike" Ulibarri
City of Montrose Employee
July 20, 1931 - April 15, 1999
MONTROSE - Miguel A. "Mike" Ulibarri was born on July 20, 1931, on La Puente, N.M. He died Thursday morning, April 15, 1999, at the age of 67 at his home in Montrose.
Mike spent his childhood, received his education, and grew to adulthood in Chauma, N.M.
While living in New Mexico, he worked in the logging industry and also worked in the saw mills of northern New Mexico.
He married Elizabeth Russell and their union was blessed with six daughters and three sons.
In 1969, Mike and his family moved to Montrose to be near his mother, Cecilia Ulibarri and his sisters. Mike worked for Silver Tip Lumber for a time before joining the City of Montrose and working in the sanitation department until his retirement in April of 1988.
Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth, on Aug. 12, 1988, in Montrose.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Montrose.
Mike especially enjoyed being outdoors, and loved fishing and camping in the mountains. He maintained an active interest in the lives of his children and grandchildren, spending as much time as possible with them.
Survivors include six daughters: Kathy Robles, Donna Russom, Patricia Lemus, Louella Golden, all of Montrose; Edna Ulibarri, of Las Cruses, N.M.; Norma Garcia, of Twin Falls, Idaho; and three sons: Richard Russom, of Chauma, N.M.; Donnie Russom and Roger Russom, both of Montrose.
Mike was the proud grandfather of 28 grandchildren including a grandson, Joey Russom of Montrose, who he raised; and the great-grandfather of 21 great-grandchildren.
Other family survivors include two brothers: Isadaro Ulibarri, of Montrose; Richard Ulibarri, of Monroe, La.; and two sisters: Bernie Gonzales and Teofila Bercillio, both of Montrose.
Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Cecilia Ulibarri; one brother, Ray Ulibarri; and one sister, Rosie Jaramillo.
Rosary was recited on Sunday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at the Montrose Valley Funeral Home Chapel.
Funeral Mass in remembrance and to honor Mike's life was officiated by The Rev. Dan Huber on Monday, April 19, at 10 a.m. from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Montrose.
Rite of Committal followed the Mass in the Valley Lawns Cemetery
south of Montrose, with arrangements handled under the direction of Montrose Valley Funeral Home.