Charles Edward Blair
World War II Veteran
Oct. 30, 1917 - April 15, 2001
MONTROSE - Charles Edward Blair, age 83, of Montrose, died of a sudden illness Easter Sunday morning, April 15, 2001, in the Montrose Memorial Hospital at Montrose.
Charles Edward Blair, a twin, was born in Red Cloud, Neb., on Oct. 30, 1917, the son of Loren Blair and Hope (Smith) Blair. He spent his childhood in Red Cloud until he moved with his family to Bird City, Kan., where he received his education and grew to adulthood. He later moved to St. Francis, Kan.
Charles joined the United States Army during World War II where he proudly served his country as a driver and an assistant gunner from Feb. 5, 1941, until he was discharged at Ft. Hood, Texas, in August of 1943.
On April 7, 1944, Charles was joined in marriage, for a lifetime partnership, with Ethel Mae Voeller at Goodland, Kan. Charles and Ethel were privileged to share their 57th wedding anniversary eight days before Charles' death.
The Blair family moved to Montrose for the first time in 1960. They came to join Charles' brothers who were already in Montrose working for the Plateau Oil Company. His brothers Talton and Darrell came to Western Colorado earlier and urged their brothers to join them. Charles later worked for his brother Darrell when Darrell started his own oil company.
Prior to his retirement, Charles specialized in heavy construction carpentry such as dams, bridges, and other large projects.
He was a member of the Montrose Christian Church.
Charles found happiness and joy in traveling and riding in the Colorado mountains. He especially looked forward to spending time with his family and enjoyed country music.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Charles' life include his wife, Ethel Mae Blair, of the family home in Montrose; one daughter, Norma Jean Blair-Failing, also of Montrose; three precious grandchildren: Darrell Failing Jr., of Olathe; Hayley Failing and Danielle Failing, both of Montrose; and eight great-grandchildren: Zachary, Amanda, Lacy, Tyler, Shane, Timberly, Chaney, and Brice.
Charles was preceded in death by both of his parents; his twin brother, Jim Blair; his three other brothers: Talton, Donald and Darrell Blair; and one great-granddaughter, Jessica.
Visitation for family and friends is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Montrose Valley Funeral Home.
Graveside Funeral Services in loving remembrance and to honor Charles' life will be officiated by Pastor Ronnie Hanna on Thursday, April 19, at 11 a.m. in the Valley Lawns Cemetery
south of Montrose.
Arrangements are being handled under the direction of Montrose Valley Funeral Home; (970) 249-4400.
Azella Lee Miller
Former Paonia, Uravan, Nucla Resident
Aug. 16, 1919 - April 12, 2001
RANGELY - Former Paonia, Uravan, and Nucla resident, Azella Lee Miller, age 81, a resident of Rangely for eight years, died of cardiac arrest Thursday, April 12, 2001, in the Rangely District Hospital at Rangely.
Azella Lee Frady was born in Delta, Colo., on Aug. 16, 1919, the daughter of James and Roberta (Davids) Frady.
On Sept. 25, 1937, Azella was joined in marriage with the love of her life, Earl M. Miller, in Delta, Colo. Earl preceded Azella in death on March 31, 1985, in Grand Junction.
Azella was employed as a lunchroom cook.
She lived in Paonia, Uravan, Nucla, and Coloado Springs prior to moving to Rangely eight years ago where she made her home until the time of her death.
Azella was a member of the Rebekah Lodge and Women of the Moose.
Above all, Azella loved and treasured her family and enjoyed bowling and fishing. At her job as a lunchroom cook, she loved the children coming over to get their milk for snacks and eventually all calling her "grandma" because of her grandchildren being in school.
Surviving family members who were grateful to share Azella's life include three sons: James S. Miller and wife Ruthie, of Dover, N.H.; Larry L. Miller and wife Rita, of Washington; Earl M. Miller, of Colorado Springs; and two daughters: Sharon L. and husband Spencer Martin, of Montrose; and Melva L. and husband Bob Woodley, of Rangely.
Azella was the proud and loving grandmother of 18 precious grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation for family and friends was scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, from 9 until 11 a.m., at the Moose Lodge in Nucla, with Funeral Services in loving remembrance and to honor Azella's life to begin at 11 a.m. at the lodge.
Interment will follow the service in the Nucla Cemetery.
Memorial contributions, in memory of Azella L. Miller, may be made to: Rangely District Hospital or Diabetes Foundation.
Arrangements were handled under the direction of Martin's Mortuary of Grand Junction; (970) 243-1538.
Rev. Monsignor Joseph Patrick McGuinness
Area Catholic Priest
May 5, 1927 - April 16, 2001
CORTEZ - Joseph Patrick McGuinness was born in Dublin, Ireland, on May 5, 1927, the eighth child of Patrick Joseph and Helena (Cahill) McGuinness. He died on Monday, April 16, 2001, in the Southwest Memorial Hospital at Cortez at the age of 73.
Father Joe, as he was lovingly called, was priest to the Catholic parishes of this area from 1967 to 1975 and then again from 1992 to the present. He was actively involved in the activities of the Catholic Church including Marriage Encounter, and acted as Chaplain for the Catholic Daughters and the Knights of Columbus. In 2000, Father Joe was named as Papal Chaplain which gave him the title of Monsignor.
Father Joe loved and enjoyed golfing, photography, fishing, and was a great fan of all sports.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Father Joe's life include two brothers: Michael McGuinness and wife Phyllis, of Dublin, Ireland; Noel McGuinness, of South Hampton, England; and five sisters: Philomena Chidley, of Swindon, England; Marie and husband Brendan Sealy, of Dublin, Ireland; Kathleen Lang, of New York, N.Y.; Carmel and husband Martin Holmes, of Dallas, Texas; and Bernadette and husband Gabriel Peelo, of Dublin, Ireland.
Father Joe was preceded in death by both of his parents; and one brother, Patrick McGuinness, who died in 1989.
Visitation for family and friends is scheduled for Friday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez.
A Christian Wake Service in loving remembrance and to honor Father Joe's life will be officiated on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez.
A Vespers Service will be held on Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Pueblo in Pueblo, Colo.
Mass of the Resurrection will be officiated on Monday, April 23, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Pueblo.
Interment will follow the Mass in Pueblo.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Father Joseph P. McGuinness with St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez to benefit the Diocese of Pueblo Clergy Benefit Society.
Local services are being handled under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home, 42 N. Market St., Cortez, CO 81321. For further service information, please contact the funeral home at (970) 565-3468.
World War II Veteran
July 17, 1922 - April 9, 2001
DELTA - Daniel Leon, age 78, a longtime Delta resident, died Monday, April 9, 2001, at his home in Delta.
Daniel Leon, the son of Francisco and Mauricia (Caustrita) Leon, was born on July 17, 1922, in El Paso, Texas.
He proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II on the aircraft carrier USS Tulagi as a carpenters mate.
On March 6, 1946, Daniel was joined in marriage with the love of his life, for a lifetime partnership, with Martha Maestas in Delta, Colo. They were the parents of three children and had the joy of celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary last month.
Daniel was a farmer and truck gardener prior to being employed as a meat cutter with Callaway's Packing in Delta for many years.
He enjoyed gardening, fishing, and helping his neighbors. The love and joy of Daniel's life was his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and sharing his knowledge of the Bible with others.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Daniel's life include his wife, Martha Leon, of the family home in Delta; one son, Dan Leon, of Delta; and two daughters: Sylvia Lintz, of Delta; and Vicki Goss, of Gunnison.
Daniel was the proud, loving, and doting grandfather of 10 precious grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Other family survivors include five brothers: Ralph Leon, of El Cerrito, Calif.; Alex Leon, of Richmond, Calif.; Moses Leon, of New Mexico; Elias Leon, of Cory; Amos Leon, of Delta; and three sisters: Esther Maestes, of Delta; Naomi Munoz, of Cory; and Lydia McBride, of Bakersfield, Calif.
Daniel was preceded in death by both of his parents; and two brothers: Gus and Isaac Leon.
Funeral Services in loving remembrance of Daniel's life will be officiated on Friday, April 13, at 2 p.m. at the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Delta.
Cremation will precede the service, with arrangements being handled under the direction of Mesa View Mortuary-Cemetery of Delta; (970) 874-8633.
Jake Vigil Jr.
Korean Conflict Veteran
June 30, 1930 - March 29, 2001
GRAND JUNCTION - Former longtime Olathe resident, Jake Vigil Jr., age 70, a resident of Grand Junction for the last couple years, died Thursday, March 29, 2001, at his home in Grand Junction.
Jake Vigil, the son of Jacob Valentine Vigil and Maria Estrella (Paiz) Vigil, was born on June 30, 1930, in Olathe, Colo., where he spent his childhood years, received his education, grew to adulthood, and lived most of his lifetime.
During the Korean Conflict, Jake proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps.
He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps League, Det. No. 624 and American Legion Post No. 37 in Grand Junction.
Jake was a Centenarian. All sides of his family have been here more than 150 years as Colorado Territory Pioneers.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Jake's life include one son, Nick Vigil and wife Catherine, of Brighton; one granddaughter, Tracy and husband Ray Lubang; two grandsons: Jason Vigil and wife Tera and their children: Craig, Cory, Kaitlyn, and Savana; Jeramie Vigil and wife Danielle and their children: Carissa, Devon, Amber Nicole, and Nathan Vigil; and one great-granddaughter, Vanessa Sanchez.
Other family members include two brothers: Felipe A. Vigil and Sam Vigil; one sister, Susanna Reigles; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law, from all sides of this extended family. Jake also leaves to cherish his memory his many numerous friends.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents; and one brother, Valentine Anthony Vigil.
Cremation has taken place, with Military Graveside Inurnment Services in loving remembrance and to honor Jake's life to be officiated, with Military Graveside Rites, on Saturday, April 14, at 2:30 p.m. in the Cedar Cemetery
Memorial contributions may be made to: Marine Corps League, No. 624, In Memory of Jake Vigil Jr., 2000 Desert Rd., Whitewater, CO 81527.
Arrangements are being handled under the direction of the Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose; (970) 249-2121.
Mary R. Weeks
Loved the Outdoors
Dec. 28, 1917 - April 4, 2001
MONTROSE - Mary R. Weeks, age 83, a homemaker and a resident of Montrose since 1948, died Wednesday morning, April 4, 2001, in the Montrose Memorial Hospital at Montrose.
Mary R. McGregor, the daughter of Clyde and Estella (Hill) McGregor, was born on Dec. 28, 1917, in Olathe, Colo., where she spent her childhood years, received her education, and grew to adulthood.
On March 1, 1938, Mary was joined in marriage with the love of her life, Amos E. Weeks, in Olathe, Colo. They were the parents of three children and had the joy of celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary last month on March 1.
In 1948, Mary and Amos moved from Olathe to Montrose there they made their home until the time of Mary's death.
Mary was a homemaker as well as a custodian for the Methodist Church for 30 years, doing janitorial work and keeping things done both inside and outside.
Among the many loves in Mary's life that brought her joy and happiness included the outdoors, the snow-capped mountains, fall colors, animals, and flowers.
Surviving family members very grateful to share Mary's life include her beloved husband, Amos E. Weeks, of Montrose; one son, Gary Weeks and wife Yoko, and their daughter - Mary's granddaughter - Crystal Weeks, of Salinas, Calif.; and one daughter, Donna Weeks, of Montrose.
Other family survivors include one sister, Eleanor Graham, of Cedaredge.
Mary was preceded in death by both of her parents; one brother; and one son, Everett Weeks.
Private family Graveside Services in loving remembrance and to honor Mary's life were officiated by Pastor Mike Lundberg on Thursday, April 5, at 3 p.m. in the Grand View Cemetery
west of Montrose.
Arrangements were handled under the direction of the Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose; (970) 249-2121.
Concetta Marie Ricketts
March 31, 1938 - March 31, 2001
BATTLEGROUND, Wash. - Former Montrose resident, Concetta Ricketts, died on her 63rd birthday on Saturday, March 31, 2001, at her home in Battleground, Wash., where she and her husband made their home for the last six years.
Concetta DeVincentis was born March 31, 1938, on Dallas Divide, Colo., the daughter of Felix and Rose DeVincentis. She received her education in Ouray, Colo.
On Aug. 28, 1981, Concetta was joined in marriage to her loving husband, Jim Ricketts.
Surviving family members very grateful to share Concetta's life include her husband, Jim Ricketts, of Battleground, Wash.; one son, Murvin Colburn, living in Longmont, Colo.; one stepdaughter, Mandi Ricketts, and two stepgrandchildren, of Seattle, Wash.; her mother, Rose McKean, of Montrose; two sisters: Irene and husband Vern Charron; Roseann and husband Don Dukart; and two brothers: Gene DeVincentis and wife Judy; and Joe DeVincentis and wife Mary, all of Montrose.
Concetta was preceded in death by her father, Felix DeVincentis, in 1957; and her stepfather, Lew McKean, in 1981.
Family and friends are invited to a get-together to share in loving remembrance of Concetta's life at the D.M.E.A. building between 2 and 4 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001.
Retired Miner, Farmer
Aug. 25, 1923 - April 3, 2001
MONTROSE - Silviano Martinez, age 77, a resident of Montrose for 53 years, died Tuesday, April 3, 2001, in the Montrose Memorial Hospital at Montrose.
Silviano Martinez, the son of Evaristo and Elena (Layba) Martinez, was born on Aug. 25, 1923, in Canjilon, N.M., where he spent his childhood years, received his education, and grew to adulthood.
After completing his education, Silviano joined the Conservation Corps and worked on government projects in northern New Mexico. He later began working in agriculture as a shepherd. In 1947, he moved to Montrose to join his father who was already here.
On Sept. 22, 1951, Silviano was joined in marriage with Avelina Garcia at Rifle, Colo. Silviano and Avelina would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year in September.
In Montrose, Silviano began working for Emmet Elizondo in the sheep business. Shortly thereafter, he purchased his own farm east of Montrose. He continued to operate the farm until moving into the city in 1998 when he retired.
For a number of years, Silviano was a saw mill operator for Colorado Lumber in Montrose - 16 years. He later worked for 15 years at the Camp Bird, Idarado, and Revenue Mines, always continuing his interest in his farming operation.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Montrose.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Silviano's life include two brothers: Amadeo Martinez, of Denver; Joe A. Martinez, of Montrose; four sisters: Olivia Blea, Canon City; Criselda Chavez, of Rifle; Matilda Morales, of Montrose; Rafelita Valesquez, of Pecos, N.M.; as well as numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
Silviano was much older than his two brothers: Amadeo and Joe and his sister Olivia, so he was instrumental in their upbringing as children and young adults.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents; one sister, Leontina Romero; and one brother, Sam Martinez.
Visitation and a Vigil for the deceased are scheduled for Friday, April 6, at Montrose Valley Funeral Home.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by The Rev. Dan Huber on Saturday, April 7, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Montrose.
Rite of Committal will follow the service in the Valley Lawns Cemetery
south of Montrose, with arrangements being handled under the direction of Montrose Valley Funeral Home; (970) 249-4400.
Donald Charles Webb
World War II Veteran/POW
July 5, 1916 - April 3, 2001
OLATHE - Lifelong Montrose County resident, Donald Charles Webb, age 84, of Olathe, died Tuesday evening, April 3, 2001, at his home near Olathe.
Donald Charles Webb, the son of Ellis H. Webb and Ida Mae (Lyon) Webb, was born on July 5, 1916, in Camus, Utah. He spent his childhood years in the Maple Grove area near Montrose where he went to grade school and then to Montrose County High School.
After completing his education, Donald began working for the Pinkstaff Grocery Store in Montrose.
On Oct. 23, 1936, Donald was joined in marriage with the love of his life for a lifetime partnership, Della E. Patton, in the Baptist Church at Montrose. Their lives were enriched by two children born to their union. Donald and Della had the joy of celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary last year in October.
In 1938, Donald enlisted in the Armed Service of the United States with the Army Air Corps. During World War II, at the fall of the Philippines on April 8, 1942, Donald, who was serving as Sergeant of the 10th Quartermaster Corps, and his company were taken prisoners by the Japanese.
Donald was held as a Prisoner of War for 43 months until Sept. 2, 1945, when he was liberated by American Forces from the Japanese Slave Labor Camp in the Japanese Home Islands. He had been forced to labor in the mines. Upon investigation, the United States found that Donald had been "captured by the Japanese on Bataan and subjected to inhumane treatment, deprivation and illness indigenous to that part of the world." He survived the Bataan Death March only to be forced into slave labor and tortured on the Japanese Home Islands where he had been taken by ship from the Philippines.
In Japan, Donald suffered from malaria, dysentery, Beriberi and had gone from 185 pounds to 102 pounds when liberated by American Forces. At one point in his captivity, Donald lapsed into a coma and the guards drug him out and put him on a pile with many other dead prisoners. During the night Donald came out of the coma and managed to drag himself back to his tent. Upon discovering him alive and functioning the next morning, the Japanese called Donald the "Devil" and no longer beat him, thinking he possessed some unnatural power.
After his liberation, he was sent by ship to Los Angeles, Calif., and later to San Francisco to the Letterman General Hospital. He was later transferred to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver. Although he suffered from tropical illness and the torture and beatings for the remainder of his life, Donald was able to be discharged from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on June 8, 1946.
After his discharge from the Army he returned home. His daughter Nita was 9 and his son Robert was 7 when their grandfather called them to his basement workshop in the Johnson Elementary School and introduced them to a tall man in a uniform - their father. Both children were so young when their father left for the Army that this was their first meeting that they remember with their Dad.
Donald worked for Safeway Stores, Carrington Chevrolet, Miller Petroleum, and the Bureau of Land Management before joining the maintenance department of the National Park Service as a maintenance technician. He worked at the Black Canyon until he was transferred to Lake Mead in Nevada where he remained until his retirement in 1967.
After his retirement, the family moved back to Olathe where Donald worked at the Olathe Texaco, the AG Grocery and for his son at the Webb Dairy Farm.
Donald was an "outdoors person" and loved the outdoors and used every chance he could to go fishing, hunting, and camping in the Colorado High Country. He greatly enjoyed horses, boating, and loved to travel.
Surviving family members who were blessed to share Donald's life include his wife, Della Webb, of the family home near Olathe; one son, Robert Webb and wife Charlotte; and one daughter, Nita N. (Webb) Smith, both of Montrose.
Donald was the proud grandfather of six precious grandchildren: Randall L. Smith, of Delta; Richard "Rick" Smith, of Montrose; Rita E. Smith Maley, of Independence, Mo.; Sonja Hood, of Littleton; Caryn (Webb) Gibson, of Olathe; James "Jim Webb, of Delta; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Other family survivors include one brother, Lawrence Webb, of Montrose; and one sister, Norma Crawford, of Meeker.
Donald was preceded in death by both of his parents; five sisters: Thelma Finely, Neva Woods, Ruby Hoffman, Naomi Brooks, Dorris Marie Webb; two brothers: Clifford Webb and Merlyn Webb; one grandson, Robert Charles Smith; and one great-granddaughter, Brandie Lynn Smith.
Funeral Services in loving remembrance and to honor Donald's life will be officiated by Pastor Ron Howard on Saturday, April 7, at 2 p.m. at the Olathe Assemby of God Church.
Interment will follow the service in the Valley Lawns Cemetery
south of Montrose, with arrangements being handled under the direction of Montrose Valley Funeral Home; (970) 249-4400.