Riley Edward Byars
Riley Edward Byars, 84, a former resident of Durango, died Saturday, July 26, 2003, at Pekin Hospital in Pekin, Ill. The cause of death was an extended illness, according to family members.
Mr. Byars was born Sept. 1, 1918, in Mt. Vernon, Ill., and was the son of George F. and Lulu D. Cope Byars. He married Alice A. Busch on Oct. 24, 1941, in Sycamore, Ill.
During World War II, Mr. Byars served in the U.S. Navy in the Asiatic Pacific Theater and attained the rank of chief petty officer. He worked for the Central Illinois Light Co. from 1965 until retiring as a journeyman lineman in 1983.
He was preceded in death by his wife in 1999 in Peoria, Ill.; one infant son, Ronald E. Byars; four brothers; and two sisters.
Mr. Byars is survived by two sons, Richard E. and Steven E. Byars, both of Pekin, Ill.; one daughter, Donna Jean Bacus of Hesperus, Colo.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one sister, Virginia Troutman of Sterling, Colo.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 30, at Preston-Hanley Funeral Home, Pekin chapel, in Pekin, Ill. Pastor Paul Myers will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 29, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Central Illinois Dream Factory, P.O. Box 1431, Pekin, IL 61554.
Brett Rush Mortimer
Brett Rush Mortimer died at his Durango home on Friday, July 25, 2003. He was 21. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Mortimer was born in Durango on March 31, 1982, and spent his life here. He is remembered by his family for his personality and vibrancy.
Mr. Mortimer married Alexis Nichole Mortimer on June 25, 2002. He enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family, particularly his daughter, Madison.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Mortimer is survived by his father, Neal Mortimer and his mother, Bert Clements, both of Durango. He also is survived by two brothers, Lynn Mortimer of Yuba City, Calif., and Bryant Mortimer of Durango; and his grandparents, Harry and Ruth Mortimer and Bob and Jean Miller, all of Durango. Mr. Mortimers stepfather, David Clements of Durango, also survives him.
A memorial service is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Church of Christ in Bayfield, with Gene Chapin officiating. Cremation will take place at Hood Mortuary in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Mortimers name to the Madison Mortimer Memorial Fund, First National Bank, P.O. Box 2910, Durango 81302.
Adelaido Eugenio Gene Ramirez Sr.
Adelaido Eugenio "Gene" Ramirez Sr., 63, died Thursday, July 24, 2003, in Durango. He died from natural causes, his family said.
Mr. Ramirez was born in Monero, N.M., to Jose and Maria Ram-irez.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, silversmithing and spending time with his family and friends. Mr. Ramirez worked for Fort Lewis College for many years. He recently worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation and Durango Thread Works.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Lobdell Ramirez of Durango; his sons, Dale Ramirez and Gene Ramirez Jr., both of Durango, and Floyd Ramirez of Farmington; his daughter, Cassie Trejo of Vernon, Texas; his stepdaughter, Vicki Chavez of Thornton; his grandchildren, Maria, Amanda and Oscar Trejo of Vernon, Texas, and Jobe, Adam and Candi Ramirez of Farmington; and many nieces and nephews.
"We love and will miss our husband, dad, grandpa and friend," the Ramirez family said. "Our memories are forever cherished and we will all see you again, Pops."
A memorial gathering will be held at noon Monday in Santa Rita Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a memorial fund set up at Southwest Colorado Federal Credit Union, 15 Bodo Drive, Durango, under the name of Susan Lobdell.
Margaret Walters, 62, died in her family home in Aztec on Sunday, July 20, 2003. She died of kidney failure due to a stroke.
Mrs. Walters was born in Wichita, Kan., on May 28, 1941. She was a longtime resident of Aztec and Durango.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Walters, who said of his wife "She would like to apologize to anyone she may have wronged and ask them to forgive her. She will be sorely missed by those who loved her."
As an artist, Mrs. Walters loved creating beauty and her work was widely appreciated, her familys obituary said.
Cremation has taken place. There will be no formal service, but a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Carolyn Mae Mowery-Teeson
Carolyn Mae Mowery-Teeson, 75, of Thousand Palms, Calif., and Durango, died of lymphoma on Monday, May 19, 2003, in Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Pa.
Born Aug. 16, 1927, in Newville, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Joseph Levi and Mary "Cleo" Mowery.
Mrs. Mowery-Teeson graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in literature and drama.
Her career was spent teaching emotionally-disturbed children, which she did for 25 years in Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.
She was a member of South Western Community Church in Palm Springs, and a frequent volunteer and contributor to many charitable organizations. She also enjoyed writing poetry and short stories. She was published many times.
Mrs. Mowery-Teeson performed in many theater productions, including roles opposite John Ritter and Jean Stapelton at the Totem Pole Playhouse in Caledonia, Pa.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Teeson.
She is survived by three sons, Donn Eric Enggren of Hendersonville, N.C., Stefan Lee Enggren of New Cumberland, Pa., and Lars Allan Enggren of Ridgway; her daughter, Lisa Britt Enggren of Los Angeles; her brothers, Don Mowery of Newville, Pa., and Robert Mowery of Carlisle, Pa.; and her three granddaughters, Danielle Enggren, Erika Enggren and Sofia Enggren.
Memorial services were held May 23 at the Laughlin Mill in Newville, Pa. She was buried, according to her wishes, at Fort Rosecrans Naval Cemetery in Point Loma, Calif.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Suite 100, 800 Corporate Circle, Harrisburg, Pa. 17110.
Louisa Louise Elizabeth Martin Robinson
Louisa "Louise" Elizabeth Martin Robinson, 98, who spent a good part of her life in the Durango area, died June 22, 2003, at Cranes Roost, in Aztec. She died after a fall.
Mrs. Robinson was born April 10, 1905, in Ignacio to Ralph and Elizabeth Toll Martin who were homesteading 160 acres. She had two brothers Paul B. Martin, born in 1899, and Ralph Milo Martin, born in 1903.
Being of frontier stock, she worked hard and was thrifty, but she hated mending and whenever possible substituted safety pins. She loved horse riding and was adept at gathering, cutting and branding cattle. She always had her own horse tack, chaps, boots and spurs.
Mrs. Robinson married Emmett Robinson in 1932 in Farmington, then moved to Ignacio because of Mr. Robinsons work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Within a short time, her familys pressure brought her back to the farm to care for her aged mother and help with the cattle.
Mrs. Robinson killed and processed pigs, cattle and turkeys. She cared for laying hens and raised the rest for meat. She supervised milking the cows, separating the cream for butter and feeding the skim milk to the bucket calves. She also raised a vegetable garden, canning and storing produce in the root cellar.
She helped care for seven nieces and nephews.
"Aunt was one of the finest people in the world, and she changed my life forever," her niece, Sara Kambouris, said.
After the family farm was sold, Mrs. Robinson moved to the Durango area and went to work as a short-order cook at the age of 49.
During her retirement, she spent 17 years at Colorado Trails Ranch cooking, training and encouraging the young people who worked at the ranch.
She enjoyed gardening and cooking. Family members said it was daily food preparation that kept Mrs. Robinson at the top of her game for more than 80 years.
Mrs. Robinson is survived by three nieces and four nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and many great-grandnieces and nephews.
A graveside memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.Top of Page
Harry D. Schmidt
Harry D. Schmidt, a 42-year resident of Durango, died Wednesday, July 23, 2003, from complications of heart disease, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. He was 83.
Mr. Schmidt was born Nov. 1, 1919, in Colorado Springs, to Henry and Myrtle Schmidt. He was raised on a ranch on Pass Creek, northwest of Walsenburg. He married Mary Alice Wright on Dec. 21, 1939 in Gardner. He worked for a soil conservation district for a number of years. The Schmidts moved to Alamosa, where Mr. Schmidt was a fireman with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and later a fireman for the Public Service Co. of Alamosa. The couple moved to Durango in 1961, and Mr. Schmidt was a diesel mechanic for the Colorado Department of Transportation and retired from that job in 1982 after 22 years. He then started and ran Schmidt Leather Works for 17 years, selling it in 1999. He enjoyed camping and gardening, said his wife, Alice.
"He was a good guy, always helping his neighbors. He used to blow snow for people on the block in winter, and was always looking after sick people in the neighborhood," Mrs. Schmidt said.
He is survived by his wife; daughter Harriett Dunn of Durango; three grandchildren, Amy Dunn of Littleton, Karen Weinsheimer of Gilpin County, and John W. Dunn of Durango.
Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Revs. Jeff Huber and Steven Easterday-McPadden of the First United Methodist Church of Durango will officiate. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association, La Plata County Heart Fund, PO Box 1777, Durango; or First United Methodist Church, 2917 Aspen Drive, Durango, CO 81301.Top of Page
Steven R. Poleski
Steven R. Poleski, a former disc jockey at KDUR-FM, died Sunday, July 20, 2003, at his friends home in La Plata County. He was 44. The cause of his death is unknown.
Mr. Poleski was born May 13, 1959, in Chicago to Ron and Dee Poleski.
He had volunteered as a DJ at KDUR for the last seven years, and he hosted the popular Grateful Dead music program called "Fire on the Mountain," said Bryant Liggett, program director at KDUR. His last show aired July 18.
"He was just a super generous and a super kind guy," Liggett said. "At KDUR, we are really going to miss the guy."
He is survived by three sisters, Sue D. Gregorio, Alayne Scott and Rondee Oberheu, and several nieces and nephews, all of Illinois.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Mr. Poleskis property at 1314 Oak Drive in Pagosa Springs.
Mr. Poleski was sentenced to 30 days in jail in March, after pleading guilty to money laundering and possessing and cultivating marijuana.
Iris Anita Rock
Iris Anita Rock, 17, of Ignacio, died Sunday, July 20, 2003, from injuries suffered in a single-car accident south of Durango.
Miss Rock was born Aug. 9, 1985, in Durango. She was a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and a senior at Ignacio Alternative School.
Her family recalls that she enjoyed spending time with her friends and relatives that she enjoyed life as a whole.
She is survived by her father, Earnest Baker of Ignacio; her mother, Irma M. Rock of Ignacio; three sisters, Windy Rock, Sky Dawn Baker and Shawnda Baker, all of Ignacio; two brothers, Kyle Rock and Brandon Baker, both of Ignacio; her grandparents, Donald and Priscilla Rock of Ignacio; her grandmother, Lula Baker of Ignacio; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. today at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 15449 Colorado Highway 172 in Ignacio. A funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Ignatius. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate. Burial will be at Ouray Memorial Cemetery in Ignacio.
Maria Connie Albo
Durango native Maria "Connie" Albo, 49, died Monday, July 21, 2003, at Mercy Medical Center.
She died after a 13-year struggle with multiple sclerosis.
Mrs. Albo was born June 30, 1954, in Durango to Victoriano and Eliza (Valdez) Trujillo. She married Tony Albo here on Aug. 24, 1974, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Mrs. Albo enjoyed gardening, babysitting and spending time with her family.
"She deeply appreciated all the support that she received from her daughter-in-law, Jessica Valdez, and her son-in-law, Brian Sanchez," said Tony Albo.
She is survived by her mother, Eliza Trujillo of Tiffany; her husband, Tony Albo of Durango; her daughter, Connie Marie Sanchez of Durango; her son, Anthony Albo of Durango; her grandson, Marcos Aurelio Sanchez of Durango; five brothers, Don Trujillo of Bloomfield, N.M., Robert Trujillo of Farmington, Victor Trujillo of Durango, Fernando Trujillo of Ignacio and Magarito Trujillo of Ignacio; nine sisters, Mary Christiansen of Arboles, Aurora Archuleta of Tiffany, Mary Lopez of Tiffany, Gloria White of Montrose, Andrea Casias and Lucy Stewart, both of Bayfield, N.M., Elaine Trujillo and Maria Eliza Trujillo, both of Ignacio, Ava Trujillo of Tiffany; and many nieces and nephews.
The rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 245 East Fifth Ave. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Sacred Heart. The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos will officiate. Cremation will take place at Hood Mortuary Crematory.
Memorial contributions may be made to National MS Society Colorado Chapter, 1777 S. Harrison Suite 200, Denver CO 80210.
Ruth Hendricks Greffenius
Family and friends of Ruth Hendricks Greffenius will hold a memorial service and celebration of her life at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, in Grand Junction at Unity Church, 3205 N. 12th St.
For more information, call 243-1761.