Bessie Irene Morris
Bessie Irene Morris, 100, died Monday, May 10, 2004, in Durango.
Mrs. Morris was born Aug. 24, 1903, in Wiley, the daughter of Archibald and Nancy Young. In 1912 Mrs. Morris' family moved to the Rosa area, south of Allison. When Navajo Reservoir was created, the land her family ranched was flooded and they moved to a ranch north of Allison. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Morris' mother died of the flu and her sister died of diphtheria.
Her family owned and operated the AD Young General Store, named after her father, the proprietor. In October, 1922, Mrs. Morris married Louie Irving Morris in Allison and they moved to Ignacio. Together they operated The Economy Store, a family store in Ignacio.
Mrs. Morris enjoyed sewing, cooking, crocheting, and playing bridge. At one time, Mrs. Morris was a member of a Bridge Club in Ignacio.
"She was a wonderful mother and homemaker," said her son, Kenneth Morris and her daughter, Jean Patrick. "She was particularly fond of her grandchildren."
Mrs. Morris is survived by her son and daughter both of Ignacio; a granddaughter, Sharon Edgin of Albuquerque; a grandson, Gary Patrick of Ignacio; two great-grandsons, Scott Allen of Albuquerque and Ryan Patrick of Ignacio, and a nephew, Don Young, of Ignacio.
She was preceded in death by her husband and great-grandson Kelly Patrick.
A graveside service will be Friday, May 14, 2004, at 2:30 p.m. at the Ignacio East Cemetery. The Rev. Curt Alderton of Ignacio Community Church will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County Humane Society, PO Box 2164, Durango CO 81302.
Joseph Eugene Kolz
Joseph Eugene Kolz, lifelong area resident, died at his home on Saturday, May 8, 2004. He was 73. Mr. Kolz was born Aug. 20, 1930, in Allison, son of Henry and Velma Dolan Kolz. He graduated from Ignacio High School in 1948 and married Mamie Mackey the following year. He was later married to Norma Kolz, Sherrell Hayes and Jackie Gallero.
Mr. Kolz worked many jobs throughout his life. Most recently, he was a parts carrier for Dawn Trucking. He was an avid horseman and teamster. He also worked as an oil-field hand, a guide and outfitter and served as the Ignacio marshal in the mid-1950s.
Mr. Kolz was a member of the Four Corners Cutting and Reining Association and the Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule Association. He had a special interest in horses and raised every kind of horse during the last 50 years. He enjoyed antiques and horse-drawn equipment.
Mr. Kolz is preceded in death by his wife Jackie Gallero, his daughter Debbie Kolz, and his son Bill Kolz.
Mr. Kolz is survived by four sons, Ronnie Kolz of Bayfield, Fred Kolz of Bayfield, Jim Kolz of San Saba, Texas, and Louis Kolz of Nevada, Mo.; two daughters, Vicky Behrens of Ignacio and Wanda Kolz of Phoenix; a sister, Berneeda Kolz of Montrose; two brothers, Harold and Merle Kolz; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating Mr. Kolz's life will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2004, at 2 p.m. at 3111 County Road 527 in Bayfield.
Kenneth R. Hermes
Kenneth R. Hermes died of natural causes Saturday, May 8, 2004, at his home in Durango. He was 84.
Mr. Hermes was born Nov. 3, 1919, in Ellenwood, Kan., the son of C.W. and Anna Hermes.
He graduated from high school in Springfield, Colo., in 1937. Mr. Hermes served in the Army and the Army Air Corps in World War II.
In June 1951, Mr. Hermes married Thelma Irene Davis, who died in 1968.
His second wife, Merzelle, died in 1983.
He and his third wife, Martha Smouse, of Fruitland, N.M., divorced but remained good friends.
Mr. Hermes was a long time member of the American Legion and Elks Lodge. He loved hunting, fishing and joking with his friends.
During about the past 10 years, Mr. Hermes showed up at Oscar's Cafe at 6 a.m. seven days a week for breakfast, said his daughter, Debra I. Caldwell.
Mr. Hermes is survived by two daughters, Debra I. Galloway-Caldwell of Greenleaf, Idaho, and Carolyn R. McCune of Durango; grandsons Lance Galloway of Windsor and Chris Hermes; granddaughters Gigi Jagger of Grand Junction, Renee Jenkins and Lisa C. McCune, both of Goodyear, Ariz., Mandy L. McCune of Durango, Tracy Hermes and Dena Hermes. He also is survived by five great-grandchildren and Martha Smouse of Fruitland, N.M.
He was preceded in death by four sisters and four brothers.
A funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Durango Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. 507. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery, with services by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031 and American Legion Trujillo-Sheets Post 28.
Visitation will be at Hood Mortuary today from 3 to 8 p.m.
Loyd Fay Lunsford and Alice Lunsford
A memorial service will be held for Loyd Fay Lunsford and Alice Lunsford, who lived in La Plata County for many years, at 1 p.m. Saturday, in the Calvary Presbyterian Church, 89 Mill Street, Bayfield. The Rev. Art Bell will officiate.
Mr. Lunsford died on Jan. 26, 2003, at the age of 95 and Mrs. Lunsford died on Jan. 7, 2004, at the age of 96. The Lunsfords were married 73 years.
Frank Joseph Schoser
Frank Joseph Schoser, of Durango, died of natural causes on Wednesday, May 5, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center. He was 89.
Mr. Schoser was born Nov. 15, 1914, in Durango, the youngest child of Ludwig and Dora Schoser. He married Howeta Roacher on Sept. 5, 1938, and in 1942 the couple moved to California where Mr. Schoser worked in the shipyards during World War II. They returned to Durango when his father became ill.
The Schosers had five children, Frankie, Sandi, Sharon, Carol and Tom. Mrs. Schoser died in March 1957.
Mr. Schoser bought an auto repair shop in Durango in 1944 and ran it with his brother John until 1947. He met Gordon and Priscilla Burnett in 1948 when he supplied logs for their house, and the following year went to work for Mr. Burnett's construction company as a heavy equipment operator and crusher foreman. He worked for the firm until it was sold in 1968.
Mr. Schoser went to work immediately for Hamer Construction where he worked for 12 years. Throughout the years he worked in construction, Mr. Schoser cut and hauled firewood.
Mr. Schoser married Ella Virginia Ashridge on April 12, 1960. The couple had one son, Sam.
Mr. Schoser is remembered by his family for his love of fishing, hunting and baseball. He also built many clocks, which have become treasured by family members.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Schoser is survived by sons, Frankie and Tom Schoser both of Durango and Sam Schoser of Bloomfield, N.M. He also is survived by daughters, Sharon Hamer of Durango, and Carol O'Donnal of Mesa, Ariz. Stepchildren Michael Cordary of Grand Junction, Roger Cordary of Hesperus, Kathy Gardner of Salt Lake City and Sylvia Reynolds of Kearn, Utah, also survive Mr. Schoser.
Mr. Schoser is survived by grandchildren Scott and Butch Hamer, Jeff O'Donnal, Sean Waddell, Chance and Chase Schoser, Tracie DeBoer, Darell Cordary, Alicia Cordary, Laurie Hartley, Joustin Cordary, Terry Schoser, Tyke Schoser, Samantha Schoser and Frank Frank" Schoser. He also is survived by nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by brothers, John, Barney and Leo Schoser; sisters, Mary Schumacher and Emma Redman; and a daughter, Sandi Waddell.
A memorial service is scheduled at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Iron Horse Inn in Durango. Memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County Humane Society, P.O. Box 2164, Durango 81302 or the Four Corners Rehabilitation Center, 2911 Junction St., Durango 81301.
Joyal Clinton Wood
Joyal Clinton Wood, who owned the pinto bean elevator in Hesperus in the 1960s, died Thursday, May 6, 2004, in Chetopa, Kan. He died of cancer at the age of 69, said his daughter Londa Grover.
Mr. Wood was born Nov. 3, 1934, the son of Ethel D. (Campbell) Wood and Clinton Alfred Wood, of Pleasant View.
He had a varied career. He owned a uranium mine in the 1950s, drove semis and worked as a ranch hand. He was employed by Farmland Industries and the Marble Construction Company in Wichita, Kan.
He married Myrna Meador on Oct. 4, 1952, and they later divorced.
Londa Grover described her father as "a jack of all trades" who loved making things. His hobbies included leather tooling, clay sculpting and making marble signs.
"Dad was easy-going, always on an even keel," Grover said. "He was one of the most intelligent people I ever knew. He overcame his alcoholism, and we had a lot of good years after that."
He lived in Chetopa for the last eight years of his life.
Mr. Wood is survived by his children: Lonnie Wood of Elk City, Kan., Ron Wood of Chetopa, Rusty Wood of Denison, Texas, and Londa Grover of Chetopa; his cousin, Bud Meador; his friend, Dee Huffman; his sister, Vera Trader of Horizon City, Texas; his eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Friends may call at Ron Wood or Londa Grover's houses in Chetopa from 1 to 5 p.m. today. A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Oakhill Cemetery of Elk City. The Rev. Larry Parker will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be given to the bird sanctuary at Chetopa Manor. They may be left at the sanctuary or mailed to Bath Funeral Home of Chetopa, P.O. Box 346, Chetopa, KS 67336.
Kevin Patrick O'Neill
Kevin Patrick O'Neill - who designed, built and ran the Assay Office restaurant and bar in Durango in the early 1970s - died Thursday, May 6, 2004. He died at the age of 57 in Phoenix after battling cancer, said his brother Joseph O'Neill.
Mr. O'Neill was born on Nov. 7, 1946, in Los Angeles, the son of Catherine (Cummings) O'Neill and Joseph I. O'Neill Jr. and grew up in Midland, Texas. He attended the University of Notre Dame, and served in the United States Navy.
He came to Durango in 1972. The O'Neill family helped found the Purgatory Ski Resort with Ray Duncan. Mr. O'Neill was a partner in the business.
Later he moved to the Scottsdale, Ariz. area while working for his brother-in-law Charles Schwab and lived there for the last 11 years of his life.
After his wife and daughter, Mr. O'Neill's great love was automobiles. He worked with Chaparral Cars and Jim Hall, of Midland, culminating in Indy 500 victories in 1978 and 1980.
"Kevin had an outsized love of life. He leaves countless friends with memories of great times, fraternal love and warm lifetime friendships," said Joseph O'Neill.
He is survived by his wife, Simone O'Neill, and his daughter, Lilly-Marie O'Neill, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.; his brothers: Joseph O'Neill of Midland, Texas, and Michael O'Neill of Stuart, Fla., his sister, Helen O'Neill Schwab of San Francisco; his stepsister, Dana Porter Ivers of Bayfield, and many other family members.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today at Hansen Mortuary, 6500 East Bell Road, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Memorial gifts be may be made to Banner Hospice, 1325 North Fiesta Blvd., Scottsdale.
Vivian P. Mitchell
Vivian P. Mitchell died Tuesday, May 4, 2004, at the age of 98 in the Colonial Care Center, Granite City, Ill.
Mrs. Mitchell was born on Feb. 6, 1906, in Hartshorne, Okla., the daughter of Nellie (Cain) White and Frank White.
She married Harry Mitchell Sr. on July 6, 1928, and worked as a cafeteria manager for Dow Chemical.
Mrs. Mitchell was a Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church in Granite City. She also belonged to Second Baptist Church in Granite City.
She was preceded in death by her husband and her son, Harry Mitchell Jr.
Mrs. Mitchell is survived by her grandchildren: Toni Mitchell of Durango, Lynda Pyles of Grandin, Mo., Mary Adams of Troy, Ill., Mike Mitchell of Durango, Patti Mitchell of Granite City, and Lisa Gray of Edwardsville, Ill.; and her friend, Juliann Burns.
Visitation will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at 3960 Maryville Rd. in Granite City. A funeral service will follow at 6 p.m. at Irwin Chapel. The Rev. Brian Smith will officiate. Burial will be at St. John Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to a hospice.
Audrey C. Begay
Audrey C. Begay, who had turned her life around after a spinal-cord injury and was a published writer, died Sunday, June 20, 2004, in the Denver area as the result of an accident. She was one week away from her 32nd birthday.
Ms. Begay, of Lakewood, was born June 27, 1972, in Shiprock. She attended high school in both Farmington and Durango. She just received her General Educational Development, or GED, degree. She planned to attend college via the Internet beginning this fall.
She had rebuilt her life during the last six years after suffering a spinal-cord injury from a fall. The injury left her a quadriplegic.
After her accident, she wrote, "I needed to change in order to make a better life for myself. Now I am unafraid, even though not every day is happy and the future is uncertain. My life is precious. I'm now happy and at peace with myself."
Ms. Begay became a published writer, writing numerous articles for New Mobility, a publication for the wheelchair-bound. She was featured in a book calledFrom Here to There, which was released earlier this year. At the time of her death, she was writing her autobiography.
Ms. Begay was artistic. While she could no longer draw after her fall, she used numerous media to color geometric designs.
In 2000, she gave birth to Hannah Begay-Martinez, 4, and spent the last few years staying at home and raising her daughter. The young mother especially enjoyed taking Hannah to the park.
Her sister Desbah Allison said of Ms. Begay's death, "This world is not a conclusion. A sequel stands beyond invisible, as music. But positive as sound."
Because she loved Durango, her family chose to hold a memorial service here.
Ms. Begay is survived by her daughter and her husband, Adrian Martinez of Lakewood; her mother, Lois Begay of Bloomfield, N.M.; her father, Arthur C. Begay Sr. of Newcomb, N.M.; her brothers, Chee D. Benalli Jr. of Shiprock, Louis Ckray of Bloomfield, N.M., Arthur C. Begay Jr. of Denver and Arnold Begay of Newcomb, N.M.; and her sisters, Desbah Allison of Pagosa Springs and Daisy Begay of Gallup, N.M. She is also survived by two nephews and a niece.
A memorial service will be held for Ms. Begay at 2 p.m. Saturday in Rotary Park, which is located behind the VFW at East Second Avenue and 15th Street. Cremation has taken place.