Lenell L. Vaughan
Lenell L. Vaughan, 89, died Sunday, April 18, 2004, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango, after a lengthy illness.
Mrs. Vaughan was born July 22, 1914, in Austin, Texas, the daughter of Rhoda Dorsatt Loney and Alexander Loney.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Vaughan.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. today at Greenmount Cemetery.
The Rev. Jeff Dobish, with the First Baptist Church, Durango, will officiate.
Laurence E. 'Larry' Day
Laurence E. "Larry" Day, 76, died Thursday, March 25, 2004, in Tucson, Ariz., with his family at his side. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Day was born Feb. 22, 1928, in Flint, Mich., one of seven children of Olive and Harley E. Day. As a young man, he served in the Army Air Force.
He and his family moved to Phoenix in 1960, where he worked as an elevator mechanic for several years before joining the city of Phoenix as an elevator inspector in 1967. He was proud that his signature was on the safety certificate in every elevator in Phoenix for many years. He retired in 1992.
Mr. Day married Beverly Jean Kraus in 1983. They traveled extensively in the United States and abroad. They enjoyed time with their friends and families, and they worked together in their home and garden. Mr. Day enjoyed telling stories and playing games with his grandchildren.
"He parted too soon, leaving a legacy of kindness, laughter and generosity. We will miss him for all our days," said his son, Tom Day.
Mr. Day is survived by his wife, Beverly; his sister, Joyce Groat of Florida; his brother, Floyd Day of Michigan; his children: Denis Day, Laurie Muller and Dianne Ferch, all of Phoenix, and Tom Day of Durango; 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association of Arizona or to the Odyssey Hospice, 1730 East River Road, Suite 107, Tucson, AZ 85718.
Freda S. Axtell
Freda S. Axtell, 91, who taught 3,000 Durango middle-school pupils over 20 years, died Saturday, April 17, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center. She died of respiratory failure, said her daughter, Lana Gay Phillips.
Mrs. Axtell was born in Canyon, Texas, on Oct. 25, 1912. She was raised on a farm and attended West Texas University, graduating with a degree in music and history. Her teaching career began near Canyon where she taught choral music and directed competition choirs. She also sang and directed church choirs.
She married Harry Axtell on July 19, 1934, in Canyon, then continued to farm and teach in the Texas Panhandle.
In 1956, the Axtells moved to Durango with their three daughters. Mrs. Axtell taught, primarily geography, at Smiley and Miller junior high schools. She was the creator of the Christmas Around the World Project, which was remembered by many of her pupils.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 2002. They had been married 67 years.
Mrs. Axtell is survived by her daughters: Cheryl Adams of Plano, Texas, Lana Gay Phillips of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and E'Twila Axtell, of a mobile residence; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Jeff Huber will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders, 333 Seventh Ave., Second Floor, New York, NY 10001 or to the Fort Lewis Foundation Music Scholarship, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Angeline M. Wagner
Angeline M. Wagner, who had farmed in Aztec since 1950, died Sunday, April 18, 2004, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. She died of natural causes at the age of 71, her family said.
Mrs. Wagner was born March 12, 1933, in Nashwauk, Minn., the daughter of Elizabeth and Joseph Wirtz.
She moved to the Ignacio area in 1949, then married Earl Marvin Wagner on Oct. 6, 1950, in Aztec, N.M., and started farming.
Mrs. Wagner loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and acting as a second mother to her nieces and nephews. She was known to her family and friends as hard working, helping and caring. Mrs. Wagner was admired for her gardening, cooking and self-motivation.
"She had the strongest personality of any woman I've ever seen," said her daughter, Louella Shelton. "She could outwork any man in the county. She was a farm wife, and she could outwork Dad. She was a terrific lady."
Mrs. Wagner is survived by her children: Marvin Wagner of Ignacio and Louella Shelton of Durango; her sister, Katherine Foresberg of Hibbing, Minn.; and her brothers: Herman Wirtz and Robert Wirtz, both of Nashwauk.
She was preceded in death by her husband.
Visitation will take place from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hood Mortuary. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Jo Ann Armstrong, chaplain at Mercy Medical Center, will officiate. Burial will take place at Crestview Cemetery in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Mercy, 3801 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301 or to the San Juan Basin Health Department, Home Health, care of Rita Fowler, PO Box 140, Durango CO 81302.
Karen S. Wylie
Karen S. Wylie, 57, a leading figure in Durango music and theater, died Wednesday, April 14, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center. She died of cardiac arrest, said her husband, David Wylie.
Mrs. Wylie was born April 16, 1946, in Pratt, Kan., the daughter of Nina (Faulkner) Adams and Carl Adams. She grew up in Greensburg, Kan., later attending Wichita State University. She married David Wylie on Dec. 5, 1970, at Shawnee, Kan.
The Wylies moved to Durango in 1982.
Mrs. Wylie worked at the Colorado State Department of Transportation in the accounting department.
She served the First Presbyterian Church of Durango for almost 20 years as its organist. She also performed organ concerts and played the piano and celeste for local theater productions.
Mrs. Wylie was active in the Community Theater and Children’s Theater of Durango and in Silverton. She directed the Durango Lively Arts Company’s children’s production of "The Pirates of Penzance" in 2003 and the ACT Too troupe’s "Moon over Buffalo" in 2002. She acted as music director of many productions.
Mr. Wylie said that his wife took a special interest in theater and concerts for children. She was especially talented in helping young people find their talents.
She is survived by her husband, of Durango.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church, Durango. The Rev. Bill Postler will officiate. Cremation will take place at Hood Mortuary Crematory.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Music Fund of the First Presbyterian Church, 1161 East Third Ave., Durango 81301, or to the Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence, 201 East 12th Street, Durango 81301.
Donald Meredith Gosney
Donald Meredith Gosney, 93, who farmed and ran agricultural businesses in Ignacio and Durango for nearly 30 years, died April 12, 2004, in Tucson, Ariz. He died after suffering with Alzheimer's disease, said Mr. Gosney's niece, Sandra Olbert.
Mr. Gosney was born May 1, 1910, in Garden Plain, Kan., the son of Susie Gosney and Wade H. Gosney. He was raised on a farm near Goddard, Kan. And, near the end of his life, when he spoke of home, he meant that farm.
On August 16, 1940, Mr. Gosney married Hilda Cassie Price. They moved to Wichita, Kan., where Mr. Gosney worked for Boeing Aircraft Company. He also helped his father with the farm and enjoyed flying his own airplane.
In 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Gosney moved to Ignacio. They built their house and began the dairy farm that was the launch pad for a parallel business as a dealer for John Deere Farm Implements and DeLaval Dairy Equipment. Mr. Gosney's first store was in Ignacio. He later moved the business to Durango, where he owned and operated the West Slope Implement Co.
Mr. Gosney was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Scottish rite. He was a member of the Ignacio United Presbyterian Church. He served as an elder, until he and Mrs. Gosney moved to Albuquerque to retire around 1975.
Not content to sit and stagnate, he went back to work as co-owner and sales manager of Hilda's Cake Decorating School and Supply. Mrs. Gosney, the eponymous Hilda, was a self-taught cake decorator and candy maker.
"My uncle had no children, but he took me in when I was 13 and raised me. He was the best father I could have had," said Sandra Olbert. "He helped his nephews when their father died, too. He was a sweet guy who everyone liked. I never heard anyone say anything bad about him."
Mr. Gosney was preceded in death by his wife.
He is survived by his sister, Genevieve Nossaman of Hillsboro, Ore., and several nephews and nieces.
Mr. Gosney will be buried next to his wife in the Wichita Park Cemetery in Wichita. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
William Woodrow Humphrey Jr.
William Woodrow Humphrey Jr. died Wednesday, April 14, 2004, after a short and intense battle with cancer. He was 63.
Mr. Humphrey was born in the small oilfield town of Midwest, Wyo., on April 11, 1941.
He graduated from Worland High School in 1959, where he was an all-state football player. After high school, he attended the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1967. During the summers he was a rough-neck in the Wyoming oil patch.
After college, Mr. Humphrey moved to Durango to teach sixth grade at Mason Elementary School, where he also coached flag football.
In the summers he worked for the Forest Service building trails, fighting fires and conducting stream surveys. He enjoyed the job so much he called it a "paid vacation."
In 1972, he met his wife, Wanda, downtown at Francisco's. They were married on Dec. 24, 1973.
In 1976, after the birth of their second child, Mr. Humphrey went to work for Tarpley Truck and Trailer.
Ten years later, he switched careers and sold insurance at Western Slope Insurance. Mr. Humphrey then decided to leave the insurance business and went back to a job he enjoyed very much, selling cars, this time at Pat Murphy Motors.
Mr. Humphrey was an athlete and outdoorsman. He played city league basketball until he was 43. He also played with a softball team for 20 years, finally hanging up his spikes at the age of 53. Besides sports, Mr. Humphrey loved to hunt elk and fish; he was also an expert horseman.
Mr. Humphrey, his family said, was first and foremost a husband and father who had an undying love for his wife and children.
Mr. Humphrey is survived by his wife, Wanda, of Durango; his mother Josephine Jones and stepfather Huey Jones of Byhalia, Miss.; a daughter, Sara Arias; a son, Adam Humphrey of Tucson, Ariz.; a brother, Bob Humphrey of Harbor Springs, Mich.; a sister, Ann Van Lydegraf of Salem, Ore., and granddaughters Nina and Bree Humphrey of Tucson.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to the TLC program at Mercy Medical Center.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary.
Lena E. Alexander
Lena E. Alexander died Monday, April 12, 2004, at her home in Bloomfield, of a heart attack. She was 64.
Mrs. Alexander was born Jan. 12, 1940, in Durango. She was a housewife for most of her life.
She loved to crochet and knit and she was an avid player of gin rummy and solitaire. She enjoyed being around her family and friends.
"She always had a smile on her face, always was laughing. She will be severely missed," said her daughter Cheryl Vollert.
Mrs. Alexander is survived by her husband of 43 years, Ed Alexander; three sons, Jimmy and Marty Alexander, both of San Diego, and Eddie Alexander of Farmington; a daughter, Cheryl Vollert of Durango; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a brother, Jack Contoleon of San Antonio.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at LaQuey Funeral Home Chapel, 804 N. Dustin in Farmington. A funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Arthur Wheeler 'Bits' Holt
A memorial service for Arthur Wheeler "Bits" Holt will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hood Mortuary. The Rev. Dan Straw will officiate.
A private burial will take place later at Greenmount Cemetery.
Mr. Holt, who owned Durango motels and served as the first vice chairman of the Durango Planning Commission, died Saturday, March 27, 2004. He was 90.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Muleshoe Masonic Lodge No.1237, P.O. Box 521, Muleshoe, TX 79347, or to The Valley Inn, 211 Third Ave., Mancos, CO 81328.