Raymond Allen McMillan
Raymond Allen McMillan, a resident of Durango since 1999 and a former resident of Dolores, died at his home Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004. He was 71.
Mr. McMillan was born March 6, 1933, to John and Mary McMillan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He was an avid runner, completing many marathons and participating in the Olympic Torch relay connected to the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles in 1984. After an injury, he was unable to run, but walked as much as he could.
Mr. McMillan is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children, Chris McMillan of Lancaster, Calif., Cheryl McMillan of Durango, Mark McMillan of Kula, Maui, Hawaii, and Su McMillan of Durango. He also is survived by his sisters Judy McMillan and Pat Adams; brother, Robert McMillan; grandchildren, Marshall, Brad, Garrett, Rachael, Theodore, Haille, and Nathaniel McMillan and Sarah Reid; great-grandchildren Trinity Schiess and Nadia Auker; and many nieces and nephews.
Family members remember Mr. McMillan as a gentle, loving man, according to his sister Su. They remember his sense of humor, which he shared with everyone, she said.
A service of remembrance is planned later. Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel is in charge of services.
Jason Thomas Clark
A well-liked Durango High School junior, Jason Thomas Clark, 17, died on Monday, Sept. 6, 2004, in Durango.
He was born on July 9, 1987, in Albuquerque to Frank and Cathy Mangus Clark. During his schooling in Durango, he broke three track (short-distance) records at Miller Middle School. "He was a gorgeous runner," said his mother.
Mr. Clark enjoyed music, cartoons, Warhammer strategic games, video games and paintball.
At Durango High School, he played French horn in the Red Pride Band, and was planning on joining the track team this year. He kept a watchful eye on his grade-point average, always knowing how many points he needed to maintain an A average.
Mr. Clark aspired to be in the Special Forces in the U.S. Army, but if his asthma kept him out, he had two backup plans. The first was to attend Fort Lewis College to study music education. The second plan was to emulate his cousin, Andy Wright, and earn a degree and join the U.S. Air Force to be a test pilot.
"Jason's true attributes were being a dependable, responsible and reliable son," said his family. "Jason was also a strength and inspiration to his classmates and gave everyone a chance to be his friend no matter who they were."
He is survived by his parents Frank T. and Cathy Clark of Durango; half-sister Vanessa Hotchkiss of Castro Valley, Calif.; half-brother Christopher Lukens of Columbia, Mo.; grandmother Elizabeth Mangus of Durango; grandfather Frank R. Clark of Grand Junction; aunt JoEllen Wright of Washington, N.H.; uncle Dan Mangus of Truckee, Calif.; and girlfriend Heather Williams of Durango.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, at the First United Methodist Church of Durango. The Rev. Ernest Finklea of Calvary Chapel will officiate. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Durango High School Red Pride Marching and Concert Band or to the Jason Clark Memorial Fund at the First National Bank of Durango.
Willie Lee Flewellen Sr.
A man who enjoyed working on his land and restoring his farmhouse, Willie Lee Flewellen Sr., 61, died on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2004, at his home in Bayfield.
The cause of death was an ischemic colon complicated by arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Mr. Flewellen was born on June 1, 1943, in Russell County, Ala., to Leroy and Emma Flewellen.
After he completed a technical trade degree at Long Beach Community College, he went to work for the city of Long Beach Gas Department. Mr. Flewellen worked first as a welder then as a crew supervisor and finally as general manager.
On April 30, 1966, he married Karen Ann Kubat.
He retired from the city of Long Beach after 30 years. He and his wife moved to Bayfield in 1995, where they spent the last few years restoring their farmhouse.
Mr. Flewellen worked part-time at the township of Bayfield's maintenance yard, and recently left that position. He was also a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Ignacio.
He liked to hunt. "What he really enjoyed was interacting with people," said his son, Willie Flewellen Jr. "He talked to everyone from the bank teller to the grocery cashier and someone on the street with a flat tire."
One of the things his wife will remember is the example he set for the family. "Perhaps his greatest contributions to be eternally remembered by us were his life-long struggle to evolve and change, to be the best example for his children and those with whom he worked and congregated," she said.
Mr. Flewellen is survived by his wife Karen Flewellen; son Willie Lee Flewellen Jr., of Ann Arbor, Mich.; daughters Tracie Ann Patterson of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Wendy Marie Flewellen of Los Angeles; brothers Leroy Flewellen Jr., of San Bernardino, Calif., and Homer Flewellen Sr. and Johnny Flewellen Sr., both of Los Angeles; sisters Maggie Lokey of Phoenix City, Ala., Katie Robinson of Riverside, Calif., and Catherine Hickman and Linda Yorker, both of Long Beach, Calif.; sister-in-law Marge Head of Durango; six grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass was celebrated at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Bayfield on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004, and a memorial service was held Friday in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Ignacio.
Robert Richard Dowty
A railroader, Robert Richard Dowty, 81, died at his home in Durango on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004, after a year-long battle with cancer.
He was born on Aug. 26, 1923, in San Francisco to Eugene Aloise and Ruth Peltzold Dowty. His family moved around Northern California in his youth, living in Redwood City, Belden and Salinas. He graduated from Santa Maria High School in 1941.
Mr. Dowty served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and spent most of his tour of duty in the engineering corps on Guadal Canal.
After his discharge, he attended the Pasadena Playhouse, famous for training a legion of actors and directors, including William Holden, Gene Hackman and Gloria Stuart. He went on to pursue a career as an actor and became a member of Musical Arts Theater in Pasadena, Calif. It was in this group where he met his wife, Carmen. The couple eventually settled in Pasadena.
During the 1960s, Mr. Dowty owned an antique business in East Pasadena, and later had an antique clock and barometer repair shop for a number of years.
He loved trains, and spent many summer vacations with his family volunteering on the White Mountain Scenic Railroad in McNary, Ariz. In 1977, he was offered a position at OConnor Engineering in Costa Mesa, Calif., where he was a shop foreman responsible for building two full-size replicas of the Jupiter and 119 locomotives for the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Utah.
After the engines were built, he applied to and was hired by the U.S. National Park Service at Golden Spike. He and his family accompanied the locomotives to Utah in 1979, where he was known for presenting an interpretive program at the site called "Trails of the Rails."
In 1997, Mr. Dowty was the recipient of the Freeman Tilden Interpretive Award for the Rocky Mountain Region. He also wrote a book for the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association calledRebirth of the Jupiter and 119: Building the Replica Locomotives at Golden Spike.
He and his wife enjoyed a different kind of railroading on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad after he retired in 1999, and they moved to Durango. When he died, he was still employed part-time by the D&SNG.
In 1950, Mr. Dowty was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and served faithfully in the ministry for the rest of his life, attending the Ignacio Congregation locally. His family said that the most important things in his life were his service to God, his family and his "dream job" at Golden Spike.
Mr. Dowty was preceded in death by his wife, Carmen Dowty.
He is survived by his son Eric Dowty of Durango; daughter Erin Marshall of Harrah, Okla.; brother Eugene Dowty of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; sister Ruth Brown of Altadena, Calif.; and two grandsons.
"He was a loving husband and father, a great showman and a man of tremendous integrity," said his son, Eric Dowty. "He will be greatly missed."
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Ignacio.
Jessie 'Jay' Lida Swanson
An advocate for birds and wildlife, Jessie "Jay" Lida Swanson died after a brief illness on Monday, Sept. 6, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 83.
Mrs. Swanson was born on Sept. 7, 1920, in Wallingford, Conn.
Her parents were Arnon Taylor Henry and Jessie Stephens Henry.
She attended Northfield Seminary in East Northfield, Mass., and was the valedictorian of her graduating class in 1938.
She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her classmate Frank A. Swanson. The couple married on Feb. 7, 1940.
They lived in Inglewood, Calif., during World War II and worked for the war effort at Northrop Aircraft.
In 1947, the Swansons moved to Framingham, Mass. While her husband worked for Raytheon Manufacturing Co., Mrs. Swanson stayed home with the couple's two sons and two daughters and held a variety of part-time jobs.
After retiring in 1984, Mr. and Mrs. Swanson moved to Durango. Their life in the Southwest was defined by skiing, camping, fishing, four-wheeling and sharing fun with family and friends.
Mrs. Swanson was active in the Four Corners Gem and Mineral Club and the Sundance Hills Homeowners Association. She was an avid reader.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank A. Swanson.
Mrs. Swanson is survived by her four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She will be remembered by her family as a woman of amazing grace and eternal optimism, as well as a devoted wife, loving mother and steadfast friend.
A private service is planned at 2 p.m. Friday at the Masonic Cemetery in Walsenburg. There will be no local services.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the La Plata County Humane Society, P.O. Box 2164, Durango, CO 81302.
Marianna Swift Haynie
Lovingly known as "Mim" to her family, Marianna Swift Haynie, 71, died on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004, at her home in Durango. The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mrs. Haynie was born on June 1, 1933, in Mosca, to Forris and Hazel Ruth Ball Swift. She graduated from Alamosa High School in 1951, marrying Delph Haynie on Christmas Day in 1950, halfway through her senior year.
The family moved to Durango in the summer of 1953. Following her husband's employment with Parsons Drug, the couple founded Service Drug, and then purchased Plaza Pharmacy, both in Durango. Mrs. Haynie was a cosmetician and cosmetics buyer with Plaza Pharmacy until the Haynies sold it to Rite-Aid in 1997 when they retired.
She enjoyed square dancing and attending every activity her children and grandchildren were involved in, including rodeo, soccer and school plays. Mrs. Haynie was also a 44-year charter member of the Crazy Eight Bridge Club.
"One of the things that separate humans from all other living things is the ability to give charity anonymously," said her son-in-law Chuck Hensley. "Mim was one of those special people who would do that on a regular basis, without needing or wanting anyone to know about her selfless acts. She affected more people's lives than we can imagine. Sometimes, when those we love pass, we can say they did the best they could. With Marianna, the best she could was great and special indeed."
She is survived by her husband Delph Haynie of Durango; daughters Rochelle Williams of Durango; Colette Hensley and Charmae Sombers, both of Colorado Springs; brothers Clyde Swift and Marlyn Swift, both of Alamosa, and Quentin Smith of Arroyo Grande, Calif.; eight grandchildren including Tawnie Lucero of Bayfield, Kammie Williams and Tiffany Williams, both of Durango, and Kisha Williams of Las Vegas, Nev.; and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hood Mortuary. A funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Myron T. Darmour will officiate. Burial will occur immediately following the service at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude's Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Randell L. 'Randy' Gage
Avid outdoorsman, entrepreneur and patriarch Randell L.Gage, 52, died at his home in Durango on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004. He died of natural causes after struggling with heart disease.
Mr. Gage was born Nov. 11, 1951, to Ken and Donna Gage in Albuquerque. He attended elementary school and junior high in Gallup, N.M. before moving in 1967 to Durango, where his family settled in the Animas Valley. He attended Durango High School and was active in extracurricular activities including playing the tenor sax in the DHS band and playing center on the Demons' football team. He was an outstanding athlete and received recognition when he broke the school record for the longest hike.
Following high school, Mr. Gage joined the Marine Corps and moved to Santa Ana, Calif., where he was an air-traffic controller from 1970 to 1974.
He married his high-school sweetheart, Mary Jo Watters, on March 24, 1973, in a ceremony on the rock cliffs overlooking the Animas River in the rugged northern section of the valley. The couple lived briefly in California before returning home to settle in Hesperus where they lived for 30 years.
Mr. Gage was an entrepreneur and started several successful businesses including The Tropical Fish Store, The Donut Stop, R&M Transport and A-1 Septic. He also tried his hand at mining when he owned and worked a placer mine near Naturita. Most recently he worked as a merchandiser at Wal-Mart for electronics and books.
Mr. Gage was a skilled outdoorsman who relished sharing the Colorado scenery with his family. He spent most weekends on extended camping trips into the depths of the Colorado and Utah wilderness, where he enjoyed fishing for trout. He enjoyed horses, and they became faithful companions on his many trips into the Weminuche Wilderness. He cared for foals from birth, and they would often follow him around the corral.
Mr. Gage had a special talent for chasing away the seasonal chill of a fall afternoon with his green chile stew, his family said.
Mr. Gage's devotion to his family was the defining characteristic of his life, his family said. He was a tender and compassionate father to his three daughters and later, when his grandchildren were born, he would spend hours delighting to their smiles. "His lap was strong enough and his arms were wide enough to gather them all up for a big bear hug," his family said.
He was also a fatherly figure for many other members of the extended family and for some of his daughters' friends, always making room at his table or at his campsite for one more child regardless of who they were. "He was everybody's daddy," his family said.
Mr. Gage is survived by his wife, Mary Jo Gage of Hesperus; his mother, Donna Gage of Grants, N.M., his father and step-mother, Ken and Iola Gage of Hilltop Lakes, Texas; one sister, Richelle "Ricki" McCoy of Hesperus; three daughters, Melinda Goodson of Hesperus, Lara Gage of Durango and Christine Gage of Hesperus; eight grandchildren, Grace Johnson of Hesperus, Jonah and Riley Shaw of Durango, Elanah Kalinowska of Hesperus, Zander and Ardyn Goodson of Hesperus, and Anthony and Gabriella Mortalo of Durango and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hesperus Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Randy Gage Memorial Fund at Southwest Credit Union.
José Fidel Olguin
After a lifetime that revolved around his farm and his family, José Fidel Olguin, 91, died of natural causes on Friday, Sept. 3, 2004, at his home in Ignacio.
Mr. Olguin was born on April 15, 1913, to Manuel and Gertrude Olguin in Sanford. After finishing the third grade, he began working on his father's farm and ranch, which eventually became his.
He married Sadie Candelaria on Nov. 11, 1945, in Stolstimer Church.
"He liked to spend time four-wheeling and working on the farm," said his granddaughter Alexa Mondragón. "He just enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren." Mr. Olguin was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
He is survived by his wife Sadie Olguin of Ignacio; son Lloyd and daughter-in-law Emma Olguin of Aztec; sister Mary Chavez of Farmington; brother Ray Olguin of Durango; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Durango. Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to San Juan Basin Home Health, 281 Sawyer Drive, Durango, CO 81303.