Robert G. 'Bob' Orr
A casual memorial gathering will be held at 4:30 p.m. today at Schneider Park for Robert G. "Bob" Orr, who died at his home on Dec.13, 2003.
Mr. Orr was born March 8, 1944, in Oakland, Calif., to Robert and Algae Orr. He married Ginny Orr on July 18, 1987, in Pleasanton, Calif.
Mr. Orr graduated from California State University at Hayward, Calif. He served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years.
He is survived by his wife Ginny Orr of Durango; sons Rob Robinson of Vallejo, Calif., and Chris Orr of Livermore, Calif.; and sister Julie Orr of Dolores.
Gina Martha Libo
After a long battle against metastasized breast cancer, Gina Martha Libo, 52, died on Aug. 11, 2004, in Las Cruces, N.M.
She was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., on June 20, 1952, to Dr. Lester Libo and Betty Laws Libo. After graduating from Sandia Prep in Albuquerque, she received her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing at the University of New Mexico. She went on to receive her doctoral degree in business administration at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., in 1996.
Ms. Libo was on the faculty at the NMSU College of Nursing. She served as the president of Temple Beth El and its Sisterhood in Las Cruces, volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and soccer mom. She was also a cat enthusiast.
"She probably had the most generous heart and spirit I've ever known," said her sister Felicia Libo. "She was so kind and had a brilliant mind, too."
The family is grateful for the care Ms. Libo received from Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M.
Ms. Libo is survived by her father Dr. Lester Libo and his wife Dr. Marry Ann Conley of Albuquerque; daughters Maggie Feil and Hannah Feil, both of Las Cruces, N.M.; son Sam Feil of Las Cruces, N.M.; her former husband Dr. Paul Feil, of Las Cruces, N.M.; sisters Felica Libo of Durango and Lesley Libo of Albuquerque; brother Victor of Albuquerque; nieces Emily Wilbert of Durango and Jessica Pool of California; and nephews Thomas Wilbert of Durango and Justin Pool of Albuquerque.
A celebration of Ms. Libo's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday at Grahams Mortuary in Las Cruces, N.M., followed by interment at Masonic Cemetery. She loved bright colors, so in her honor, colorful garb at the service is requested.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sandia Prep School, 532 Osuna Road, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87113; the UNM College of Nursing, 700 Lomas Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131; or any appropriate fund.
Warren Clinton Harris
A lifelong resident of Ignacio, Warren Clinton Harris, 39, died in Pagosa Springs on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2004. The cause of death was undisclosed.
Mr. Harris was born on June 28, 1965, to Norma Bojorquez and Wilfred Harris II. He attended Ignacio schools until the ninth grade, and finished his schooling in Santa Fe, N.M., where he became the youngest in his class to graduate at the age of 15.
He worked for the Southern Ute Tribe for several years in a variety of jobs. His mother called him a jack of all trades. Mr. Harris was a firefighter for 12 years, working on wildfires in Montana, California, Florida and the Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002.
His sister, Davette Martinez, said, "He helped a lot of people. Helped them move, cut firewood or whatever they needed."
Mr. Harris was an avid outdoorsman, with a passion for fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping. He traveled all over the United States with his family and loved going to pow-wows or anything else outdoors. He was also very athletic and played football, basketball, softball and volleyball. He also boxed Golden Gloves and had a belt in Wing-Chun Gung Fu. But most of all, he loved spending time with his family and friends.
He is survived by his daughter, Ivory Harris of Dobbs, N.C.; son Warren Harris II of Dobbs, N.C.; mother Norma Bojorquez of Ignacio; sisters Jacqueline Johnston, Davette Martinez and Ciana Bojorquez, all of Ignacio, and Manuelita Martinez and Norma Lee of Durango; ten nieces, six nephews, eleven great-nieces; two great-nephews; and many other relatives.
Because he loved the mountains, his memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today at the end of Monument Park Road, near the trailhead. A dinner will be held in his memory at 4 p.m. today at 119 Sunset Circle/County Road 314 in Ignacio.
Marjorie Lee Mullen
Marjorie Lee Mullen, 73, who grew up in Durango, died Sunday, Aug. 8, 2004, at the Four Corners Health Care Center. The cause of death was respiratory failure because of chronic emphysema.
She was born in Central City on Aug. 30, 1930, to Bertrand T. and Mary Lee Silvers Newman. She grew up in Durango, and lived here on several occasions during her adult life.
Mrs. Mullen also lived and worked in Kansas, Alaska, California and elsewhere in Colorado. She spent several years working for the McDonald-Douglas Corp. in the Los Angeles area, returning to Durango in July 2002.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Edgar L. Stockham and Walter J. Newman; and a great-grandson, Austin Evan Jamison.
Mrs. Mullen is survived by her daughters, Pamelia Adams of Conroe, Texas, and Marlene LaVarta of Cottonwood, Ariz.; her brothers, Wesley G.Newman of Rosenburg, Ore., and James W. Newman of Durango; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary. A graveside service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, 2004, at Greenmount Cemetery with the Rev. Myron T. Darmour officiating.
Maria Juanita Wong
Former Durango resident Maria Juanita Wong, 73, died on Tuesday, July 27, 2004, at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, Nev. The cause of death was leukemia.
She was born in Aztec, N.M., on Aug. 17, 1930, to Antonio and Aurora (Owens) Maestas. Mrs. Wong lived in Durango until 1976. When she was just 25, she suffered a major stroke and never fully recovered.
She married Ross Valdez in 1946, and the couple later divorced.
Mrs. Wong worked at the Mandarin Café, which was located where the downtown Subway Sandwiches and Salads is now. While there, she met and married Ming Wong in the mid-1950s.
She and her husband moved to Reno, Nev., in 1976, and spent the next three decades welcoming a constant stream of friends and family as guests. After she was widowed in 2002, her caregiver, Ida Jacobs, helped her to stay in her home.
Mrs. Wong was a devout member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Her daughter, Katherine Martinez: said, "She was very giving with whatever she had. She loved to do things for Jehovah's Witnesses, and had me making cookies and pies, since she wasn't able to." She said her mother loved to play games, including Chinese Checkers and Wahoo!
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ming Wong.
She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Martinez of Durango; sons Andrew Valdez of Durango and Alan Wong of Issaquah, Wash.; sisters Delia Casias of Salt Lake City, Ella Maestas of Durango and Bernie Smith of Denver; brother Gilbert Maestas of Salt Lake City; granddaughters JeNay Martinez and Paulette Arizmendi of Durango; and grandson Ron Martinez of California.
Cremation has occurred and a service was held in Nevada on July 30.
Justin Russell Shupe
Durango native Justin Russell Shupe, 32, died Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004, at his home in Los Alamos, N.M. The cause of death was undisclosed.
Mr. Shupe was born on June 5, 1972, in Durango to Gary and Roberta Shupe. He grew up in Wickenburg, Ariz., and graduated from Wickenburg High School. He was involved in several sports in high school, including football.
After school, he began working construction alongside his father. Mr. Shupe and his family returned to Durango in 1997. In addition to working with his father, Mr. Shupe liked to guide pack trips into the Vallecito Lake area with his uncle, Dan Shupe.
Justin Shupe moved to the Los Alamos-White Rock, N.M., area in March of this year to pursue his career in welding and construction.
Mr. Shupe was passionate about fishing, as well as caring for and riding horses. He took part in driving teams (horse and carriage) and loved to play golf. For several years, he volunteered for the Skijoring competition during Snowdown.
His family said of him, "He was and always will be remembered as a beloved brother, excellent uncle and a caring person who took care of anyone in need."
He is survived by his mother, Roberta Shupe of Durango; sisters Ravonna Johanneck and Nachole Shupe, both of Durango; brother Anthony Shupe, of Durango; nephews David Shupe and Damian Howell, both of Durango; nieces Ashley Johanneck and Alexa Von Howell, both of Durango; and grandfather Lawrence Huntington of Hesperus.
He was preceded in death by his father, Gary Shupe.
A funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday, at Vallecito Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Justin Shupe Memorial Fund, Bank of Colorado, 1199 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Robert Lowell Blomstrom
After 57 years of marriage and a distinguished teaching career, Robert Lowell Blomstrom, 84, died on Tuesday, July 27, 2004, in Vancouver, Wash. The cause of death was lung cancer.
Mr. Blomstrom was born on Feb. 23, 1920, in Holdredge, Neb., to Herald E. Blomstrom and Grace Darling Harvey Blomstrom. After graduating from high school, he attended Colorado State University for two years.
He spent the next five years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, during which time he met Marjorie Barker of Durango. The couple married in Durango on Sept. 1, 1946.
After his discharge, Mr. Blomstrom returned to school, earning a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. He and his young family then moved to Durango to join forces with his brother-in-law, Earl Barker Jr., in co-managing the family-owned Strater Hotel.
Then it was back to his first love, teaching. He taught at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., for five years, and then moved on to Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Mich. While at MSU, Mr. Blomstrom was the director of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. He was also appointed by the school and the U.S. government to lead a team of professors to Ankara, Turkey, for two years, with the goal of strengthening teaching methods in Turkish universities.
He wrote several textbooks, served as vice president of the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Motel Association and was the president and chairman of the board of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.
In 1983, Mr. Blomstrom retired, and he and his wife spent warm winters in Sun City, Ariz., and cooler summers in Durango. During the next 21 years, they enjoyed friends, golf, family and adventure.
"He was passionate about 'doing the right thing' and instilled the highest values and morals in every life he touched," said his son Jim Blomstrom.
Mr. Blomstrom was also a talented craftsman, creating beautiful woodcarvings, paintings and wooden bowls. He loved to golf, read and fish at Electra Lake.
Mr. Blomstrom is survived by his wife, Marjorie; sons Rick Blomstrom of Austin, Texas, and Jim Blomstrom of San Antonio, Texas; daughter Christine Montgomery of Vancouver, Wash.; six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A private memorial service will be held in Vancouver, Wash. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in his name.
Herman C. 'Chuck' Hartong
After five decades of ranching in Southwest Colorado, Herman C. "Chuck" Hartong, 84, died Monday, Aug. 2, 2004, at his home in Chromo. The cause of death was a heart attack.
He was born July 30, 1920, to Charles and Rose Hartong in Berkeley, Calif.
Mr. Hartong served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was stationed on the St. Louis when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and talked about his ship limping out to sea after being hit. His entire military tour was spent in the Pacific Theater, where he fought in many of the war's major battles.
After the war, he worked for United Airlines, where he met his wife, Drue Gardner, who was also working for the company. They married on April 12, 1947, in San Carlos, Calif., and recently celebrated their 57th anniversary.
He was an accomplished auto mechanic while the family lived in California.
In 1954, the couple moved to a ranch in Chromo, where they raised Hereford, Limousin and Angus cross-bred cattle. Mr. Hartong was involved with the cattle operation until his death.
He enjoyed making model railroads, building toy models, golfing, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting and riding his four-wheeler. He also liked to watch baseball on a big-screen television.
"He was just a wonderful person," his wife said. "He made toys for the kids. We were looking at a toy jeep he made for our children, and it just had every detail."
Mr. Hartong is survived by his wife, Drue Hartong; his sons, Charles B. Hartong of Irving, Texas, and Ronald W. Hartong of Chromo; his daughter, Karen Jean Hartong of Ignacio; a sister Shirley Corliss of Mill Valley, Calif.; one granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren.
Mr. Hartong will be cremated, and a family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Donna Jean Pearce Smith
After summering for many years at Vallecito Lake, Donna Jean Pearce Smith, 72, died Friday, July 30, 2004, in Sun City, Ariz. The cause of death was failing health caused by complications from scleroderma, lupus and heart disease.
Mrs. Smith was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Canton, Ohio, to Edward and Rosa Pearce. She was raised in Tallmadge, Ohio, graduating from Tallmadge High School in 1950. She married her childhood sweetheart, Jack Philip Smith, in 1953. They moved to Arizona in 1958. Mrs. Smith worked as an account clerk for U-Haul Trailers for 10 years before retiring from Revlon.
She was a member of the Ruth Circle at the First Christian Church in Sun City, and also played cards every week.
After she and her husband retired, they spent summers at Vallecito Lake and winters in Sun City. Her husband said she loved to camp and particularly loved their place in Vallecito. "She liked to do all sorts of crafts like sewing and knitting," he said.
She is survived by her husband, Jack Philip Smith; her son, Mark Smith of Avondale; her daughter, Susan Tosh of Glendale, Ariz.; a brother, Ed Pearce of Phoenix; a sister, June Davis of Phoenix; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church, 14001 N. Thunderbird Blvd., in Sun City. A private burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Scleroderma Foundation, 12 Kent Way, Suite 101, Byfield, MA 01922; or Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.