William ‘Bill’ E. Bennett
William "Bill" E. Bennett, a 10-year resident of Durango, died in Chula Vista, Calif., on Friday, May 16. He was 75.
The cause of death was heart disease and pneumonia.
Mr. Bennett was born on May 27, 1927, in Berwick, Pa., He was raised in Berwick and was a graduate of Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Bennett lived for many years in Phoenix, where he worked as an insurance adjuster and claims manager. He later moved to Prescott, Ariz., where he owned Preferred Construction Co. Mr. Bennett moved to Durango 10 years ago.
"He loved nature," said longtime friend Martha Lefebvre. "He enjoyed flowers, sunsets and rainbows."
Mr. Bennett also loved animals, especially dogs, Lefebvre said.
"He knew every dog in the neighborhood and would give them biscuits," Lefebvre said.
Mr. Bennett is survived by two sons, William Bennett III of Clear Lake, Calif., and Thomas Bennett of Alamo, Calif.; a daughter, Mari Beth Bennett of Dublin, Calif.; a sister, Evelyn Henss of Altamonte Springs, Fla.; and three grandchildren. He also is survived by a stepdaughter, Gayle Kangas of Hercules, Calif., and longtime friend Martha Lefebvre of Durango.
A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday at 496 Valle Escondido Drive, Durango.
Catherine Sutton died Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. She was 90.
The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mrs. Sutton was born in Pueblo to Wallace Drake Heizer and Mary Catherine Flarety-Heizer. At the age of 5, she and her family moved to a farm in Cedar Hill, N.M.
She met and married Delbert Sutton in 1931 and moved to Bondad. They moved many times after that, all near Durango.
Some of the things Mrs. Sutton enjoyed most were riding horses and driving her brother’s old model car. She also played the piano and could play anything by ear. She loved honky-tonk music. She was a homemaker for many years while her daughter, Margarite, was growing up, and she later became a seamstress.
The family spent a short time in Long Beach, Calif., while Mr. Sutton worked in the shipyard during the war. When they came back from California, they settled on a farm in Bondad where they lived for the rest of Mr. Sutton’s life. After Mr. Sutton’s death in 1976, Mrs. Sutton ran the ranch. She traveled to see her granddaughter graduate and get married.
She also traveled to Missouri, Wisconsin and Alaska. The time came when she could not manage the ranch and she sold part of her ranch and moved to Durango where she lived for another 10 years. During the 10th year, she fell and broke her hip. The surgery was a success but she really never walked again. She went to Michigan to live with her daughter and after that lived in an assisted-living facility. She enjoyed music and dancing during her later years.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1976.
She is survived by a daughter, Margarite Craddock of Vicksburg, Mich.; two grandchildren, Susan Craddock Frisbie of Vicksburg, Mich., and Doug Craddock of Vicksburg, Mich.; three great-grandchildren; and a brother, Wallace Heizer of Durango.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Hood Mortuary. Jeff Dobesh will officiate. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery.
Augustina M. Rael
Augustina M. Rael, 86, a lifelong resident of the Durango area, died Thursday, May 29, 2003, of natural causes in Durango.
Mrs. Rael was born Aug. 28, 1916, in Gallina, N.M., the daughter of Frank and Lupe Martinez. She married Jose Adonias Rael on Dec. 10, 1942, in Aztec, N.M. Mrs. Rael grew up in La Posta, Colo., and attended the school for the deaf in Colorado Springs.
Mrs. Rael was a devoted member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
She was a mother and homemaker.
A spokesperson for the family said, "Our special thanks go to Louise Gonzales, for the years of special care for her mother, and to Mary Ann Martinez and Orlando Miera."
Lisa Valdez added, "She was loved by everyone around her. Although she was unable to hear or speak, she always found a special way to communicate."
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jose A. Rael, in 1997.
Mrs. Rael is survived by four daughters, Mary Lopez of Salt Lake City, Louise Gonzales of Durango, Alvina Valdez of Denver and Virginia Valdez of Riverside, Calif.; two sons, Victor Rael of Salt Lake City, and Michael Rael of Durango; four sisters, Ruby Medina of Salt Lake City, Lila Jaramillo of Salt Lake City, Josie Gearhardt of Turdock, Calif., and Rita Medina of Fruita; one brother, Joe Martinez of Montrose; 17 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hood Mortuary, and a rosary will be recited at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sacred Heart. The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos will celebrate. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery after the Mass.
Thomas Eugene Latta
Thomas Eugene Latta died Saturday, May 24, 2003, at his home in Vallecito. He was 73.
Mr. Latta was born Sept. 8, 1929, in Whitedeer, Texas. He grew up in Delta and graduated from Delta High School in 1946 as president of the student body. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned degrees in geology and nuclear physics from the University of New Mexico in 1965. He married Charlotte Ann Dent, of Grand Junction, in Montrose.
Mr. Latta began his career in Grand Junction with the Atomic Energy Commission where he was employed for many years. He retired from his job as a nuclear physicist for Sandia National Laboratories in 1993 after 32 years.
He was a 32nd degree member of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, of Santa Fe, and an active member of Mesa Lodge No. 68 A.F. and A.M., of Albuquerque, and the Ballut Abyad Shrine in Albuquerque.
Mr. Latta enjoyed traveling, gardening, fishing, mining and geology. He loved spending time with his family and friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Latta divided their time between homes in Vallecito and Scottsdale, Ariz.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; two daughters, Dana Buss of Castle Rock, and Pamela Medley of Albuquerque; one son, Mike Latta of Rock Springs, Wyo.; three brothers, Jim Latta of Eckert, Bill Latta of Delta and Larry Latta of Denver; eight grandchildren, Greg Medley, Eugene Medley, Kimberley Buss, Kyle Buss, Katherine Buss, Ann Dee TulVern, Ernestine Startup and Bea McGee; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Masonic service will be conducted in Albuquerque today at the Ballut Abyad Shrine Temple, 6600 Zuni S.E. at 2 p.m.
Services and burial will be 2 p.m., Saturday, at Martin Mortuary 550 North Ave., Grand Junction.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Shrine Crippled Children’s Fund, 6600 Zuni S.E. Albuquerque, NM 87107.
Mr. Latta died by suicide.
Edward Lloyd ‘Bordo’ Aguilar
Edward Lloyd "Bordo" Aguilar, of Durango, died Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. An exact cause of death was not provided. He was 50.
Mr. Aguilar was born Dec. 6, 1952, in Durango, the son of Lloyd and Delphia Aguilar.
Mr. Aguilar graduated from Durango High School in 1971 where he excelled in football and wrestling. He graduated from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., with a major in underground mining.
He enjoyed walking, country music, western movies and spending time with his friends and family.
He is survived by two sons, Chad Aguilar and Brad Aguilar; his mother, Delphia Aguilar of Durango; his father, Lloyd Aguilar of Ignacio; five sisters, Cindy Aguilar, Yolanda Aguilar and Brenda Aguilar, all of Durango, Loretta Pardo of Ignacio and Cathleen Mayer of Broken Arrow, Okla.; four brothers, Bernie Aguilar and Lewis Aguilar, both of Durango, Angelo Aguilar Sr. of Ignacio, and Jerry Ulibarri of Arboles; eight nieces; six nephews; and five great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be at Hood Mortuary from noon to 5:30 p.m. today, and the rosary will be said at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 7 p.m. today. A Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Father Joseph L. Gallegos will officiate. Burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Merta Peters died Monday, May 26, 2003, of natural causes at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. She was 78.
Miss Peters was born April 1, 1925, in Durango, the daughter of John and Ethel (Jennings) Peters. She graduated from Durango High School in 1942 and lived her entire life in Durango.
She worked at Production Credit, which was located on Ninth Street, for 30 years as a loan processor. She enjoyed fishing and was an avid Denver Broncos fan.
She is survived by her brothers, Dr. Vern Peters of Floresville, Texas, and Robert Peters of Durango.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 29, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. Burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Joseph G. Valencia Jr.
Joseph G. Valencia Jr. died May 23, 2003, at his home in Oxford after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.
Mr. Valencia was born May 17, 1938, in Ignacio and lived there until he began high school. The family moved to Fruita, where Mr. Valencia graduated from high school in 1957.
Upon graduating, Mr. Valencia enlisted in the Army and served in Germany and Lebanon in Company B, 1st Battalion Group, 34th Infantry, 11th Airborne Division. He earned medals for his expertise with rifles and pistols and a Good Conduct Medal.
Mr. Valencia held a number of jobs in civilian life.
"My dad was so very talented," said his daughter, Kendra. "He enjoyed people and had so many friends. He will be missed more than ever."
Mr. Valencia married Virginia P. Martinez, of Oxford, in 1960. In the early 1960s, Mr. Valencia worked briefly for the Bureau of Reclamation and with Ted Baxter Honey Bee Farms.
Mr. Valencia’s next job was with Durango School District 9-R, where he spent 26 years in the maintenance department. He retired in 1993.
After leaving the school district, Mr. Valencia returned to Valencia Stucco, which he operated with his son, Rick. Mr. Valencia learned the stucco trade as a young man and his 35 years of experience can been seen throughout Durango and surrounding areas.
Mr. Valencia was a member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church. He liked to hunt, fish and he was an avid Denver Bronco fan.
Surviving Mr. Valencia are his wife, Virginia, of Oxford; a son, Rick, of Ignacio; a daughter, Kendra Valencia-Alexander, of Oxford; two sisters, Leora Valencia, of Crawford, and Alice Smith, of Grand Junction; six brothers, Manuel Valencia, Steve Valencia, Alex Valencia, Galen Valencia, all of Fruita, Cecil Valencia, of Kileen, Texas, and Sal Valencia, of Althea, Ore.; and two grandchildren, Kyla and Keegan Alexander, of Oxford.
Recitation of the rosary will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Ignatius Church in Ignacio. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church, with the Rev. Eddy Andary presiding. Burial will be in Oxford Cemetery. A military service will follow.
Marilyn J. Bader
Marilyn J. Bader died Monday, May 19, 2003, at Paonia Care Center in Paonia. She was 76.
The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mrs. Bader was born on May 2, 1927, to James and Virgie W. (Fields) Schaffer in Durango. She spent her childhood in Durango and Denver, graduating from West High School in Denver in 1945.
On April 23, 1955, she married Ernest Ames Bader in Denver.
She was a long-distance operator. She belonged to the Order of Eastern Star in Denver and the Christian Scientist Society.
She enjoyed homemaking and doing things for her family.
Survivors include her husband of Paonia; four sons, Doug Bader of Aurora, Tom Bader of Arvada, Todd Bader of Evanston, Wyo., and Dean Bader of Orem, Utah; one daughter, Aril Lowry of Englewood, N.J.; one brother, James M. Schaffer of Englewood, Colo.; and seven grandchildren.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Paonia United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Nadasi officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Paonia Care Center, 1625 Meadowbrook Blvd., Paonia, CO 81428.
Tommy D. Alires
Tommy D. Alires died Wednesday, May 14, 2003, at Temple Veterans Hospital in Temple, Texas. He was 68. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Alires was born Aug. 20, 1934, in Ignacio to Tomas and Magdelina (Martinez) Alires.
He served in the Army. After retiring from the service in 1982, he lived in Temple. He enjoyed fishing, hiking, riding horses and running marathons.
He also enjoyed being in the country and in the mountains, and being with his family.
He is survived by three sons, Chris Alires of Cortez, Tim Alires of Ignacio and Tom Alires of Ignacio; 10 grandchildren, Rachel, Sarah, Jeremy, Keifer, Kieston, Brianna, Sheniqua, Carlos, Khrissy and Xeviera; one brother, Ronnie Alires of Yakima, Wash.; two sisters, Bernadette Pedigo of Dixon, N.M., and Mary Mascarenas of Albuquerque; one great-grandchild; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral will be at 1 p.m. today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 245 East Fifth Ave.
The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos will officiate. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, 3801 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301 or any other chapter of the American Cancer Society.