George Leonard Garcia
Lifelong resident, George Leonard "Lennie" Garcia died of liver disease at Mercy Medical Center Hospital on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005. He was 54 years old.
Mr. Garcia was born on Nov. 12, 1950, to George G. and Victoria L. Garcia.
In 1969, he graduated from Durango High School, and later worked as a forklift operator and warehouse foreman for Neill Aircraft in Long Beach, Calif.
He also attended Victorious Life Fellowship.
His family remembers Mr. Garcia as having a big heart and as being a kind and patient man. He had a wonderful personality and got along well with people he met, they said.
Mr. Garcia was an artist who enjoyed drawing.
Survivors include his sisters Lisa Whetten and Rita Garcia, both of Durango, brother Michael Garcia of Auburn, Calif., three nephews and three nieces as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Victorious Life Fellowship. Pastor Stan Formby will officiate. Interment will follow at Crestview Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to Mercy Medical Center Hospice.
Joe Velasquez died Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005, at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington. He was 51. He died of natural causes.
Mr. Velasquez was born on April 23, 1953, in Durango to Augustine Velasquez and Felicita Trujillo.
He grew up and graduated from high school in Ignacio before serving in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Germany.
When he returned, he lived in Aztec and worked for the Arizona public service department, Four Corners Power Plant and San Juan Power Plant as a carpenter. He also was a member of the Farmington carpenter's union.
He met his wife, Brenda Greany, through his older brother, Abel, and they were married on March 23, 1975, in Oklahoma.
After being married, Mr. Velasquez worked eight years for Gas Productions of Aztec, and then five years as an independent job coach with the state of New Mexico. He then coached track and Little League football for the Aztec school system.
In addition, he worked with individuals with developmental disabilities.
"They meant everything to him," said his family about his work with Aztec students and his work with the disabled. "He had a smile for everyone and had a golden heart."
He enjoyed fishing, watching sports, driving in the mountains and supporting the Colorado Buffalos.
Mr. Velasquez is survived by his wife, Brenda Velasquez of Aztec; children Brandon Velasquez, Luciana Velasquez, Jeremy Ferguson and Austin Greany, all of Aztec; brothers Phil Velasquez, Sam Velasquez, Alex Velasquez, Abel Velasquez; sisters Pricilla Holman, Virginia Velasquez, Martha Monte, Georgeann Alcon and Marlene Velasquez; two uncles, three aunts and many other relatives.
A Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. today at Saint Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. Monsignor Daniel Huber with Saint Ignatius Catholic Church will officiate. Burial will occur at Ignacio West Cemetery in Ignacio.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the San Juan Center of Independence, 3535 E. 30th St., Farmington, N.M. 87401, (505) 566-5827.
John O'Brien Thomas
John O'Brien Thomas, 49, died Friday, Jan. 7, 2005, in Denver.
Mr. Thomas was born Nov. 7, 1955, in Salt Lake City, the son of Rex and Nova Thomas, and was raised in Huntsville, Ark.
In 1992, he married Micah Denise Thomas in Cortez.
Throughout his life, he worked in video production.
Mr. Thomas enjoyed football, watching NASCAR and camping, but he particularly enjoyed spending time with his family.
"He was a loving grandfather and father, and a great friend to all who knew him and his dog, Bud. He could always make people laugh," said his daughter, Tessa Peterson.
He is survived by his wife, Denise of Cortez; daughter Tessa Peterson of Bayfield; son John Thomas of Fayetteville, Ark.; four grandchildren; step-daughter Cathy Wewer of Ozark, Ark.; two stepsons, Greg Johnson of Fort Smith, Ark., and Gary Johnson of Savannah, Ga.; two brothers, Clayton Thomas of Kendall, Fla., and Rex Thomas of Phoenix; and a half-sister.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marlene Thomas.
Services will be held in Arkansas at a later time.
Lucille F. Wynia
Lucille F. Wynia, a two-year resident of Durango, died Jan. 6, 2005, from injuries suffered in a car accident Dec. 30. She was 85.
Mrs. Wynia was born Sept. 6, 1919, in Cairo, Neb., to Mary and Henry Putscher. She married Eugene Wynia on Nov. 22, 1946, in Hot Springs, S.D., and the couple lived in that state until 1953 when they moved to Olympia, Wash.
Mrs. Wynia worked as a secretary in an insurance company. In retirement they traveled in their RV until Mr. Wynia died in 2002. They were married 55 years.
After moving to Durango, Mrs.Wynia was a volunteer at the Humane Society Thrift Store.
Mrs. Wynia is survived by daughters Donna Tramontana of Durango and Maylene Wynia Cougar of Olympia, Wash.; her son, Merlyn Wynia of Olympia, Wash.; and four brothers, Gene Putscher of Olympia, Wash., Bob Waugh of Ocean Shores, Wash., Don Putscher of Cairo, Neb., and Harold Putscher of Redwood Valley, Calif. Eleven grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren also survive her.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary and a memorial service will be held at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D., in late spring or early summer.
Memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County Humane Society, P.O. Box 2164, Durango, CO 81302.
Robert John Torok
Robert John Torok, a resident of Vallecito, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005, in Bayfield. He was 63. The cause of death was not given.
Mr. Torok was born May 21, 1941, in Youngstown, Ohio, to John Robert and Frances E. Tkach Torok. After high school, he entered the U.S. Navy and served six years during the Vietnam War. He received two honorable discharges from the military.
Mr. Torok married Dorothy K. Brodigan at St. Columbus Cathedral in Youngstown, Ohio, on Nov. 30, 1968. He worked as a cement finisher and also owned Dot Concrete Co. Metal detecting, hunting and fishing were favorite pastimes.
Mr. Torok is survived by his wife of 37 years; son Michael Torok of Spokane, Wash.; his mother of Cuyahoga, Ohio; sisters Patricia Lissi and Elizabeth Merolillo, both of Lowellville, Ohio, and Kathy Musatanio of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Franie Torba of China. He also is survived by two grandchildren.
A graveside service was held on Tuesday in the Bayfield Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or to the American Cancer Society.
Robert L. Skarg
Robert L. Skarg died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005. He was 83.
Mr. Skarg was born in Cleveland on May 10, 1921.
In 1943, he married Margaret, and they were married for 61 years. They lived in Detroit until 1957 when they moved to California.
Mr. Skarg was a World War II veteran and was retired from Transamerica Corp. in 1987.
He enjoyed his retired years by spending time at the Skargs' Palm Desert vacation home.
In April 2004, Bob moved to Bayfield to live with his daughter and son-in-law and enjoyed the change to rural living. In late September 2004, he moved into Sunshine Gardens Country Home.
Mr. Skarg is survived by his son, Ken Skarg of Rocklin, Calif.; his daughter, Judy Johnston of Bayfield; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 2 p.m. today at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Bayfield. Monsignor Daniel Huber will celebrate the mass.
Monte F. Bourjaily Jr.
Monte Ferris Bourjaily Jr., 83, who had been the publisher and editor of the Globe Syndicate since 1977, died on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005, at his home in Front Royal, Va., after a heart attack.
The syndicate, which distributes editorials and columns to client newspapers, was started by his father in 1937.
Mr. Bourjaily was born in Cleveland and raised across the country as he accompanied his journalist parents on their assignments.
He served in the Army Signal Corps in Europe during World War II and was a 1947 graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis.
Early in his career, he was a reporter for a newspaper in Floyd County, Va., and worked in the U.S. House of Representatives radio gallery.
From 1952 to 1966, he worked for theArmy Timesas an associate editor and author of the "Klibtzer's Corner" column.
He then was an executive assistant in Washington for the Oklahoma-based architectural, engineering and planning firm of Hudgins, Thomspon, Ball and Associates. He also helped lead bicentennial efforts at the Spirit of '76 Foundation.
Mr. Bourjaily is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marietta Dake Bourjaily of Front Royal; six children, Monte Bourjaily III of Alexandria, Brian Bourjaily of St. Petersburg, Fla., Neil Boujaily of Durango, Melanie Kelly of Gettysburg, Pa., Gavin Bourjaily of Front Royal and Gwen Lema of Medford, Ore.; two brothers; two half-sisters; a stepbrother; a stepsister; 17 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Norma Lorene Wilson
Norma Lorene Wilson, 59, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004, at her home in Durango. The cause of death was cancer.
Mrs. Wilson was born May 20, 1945, in Texas, the daughter of Norman Sr. and Olga Kelley.
She grew up in Texas and graduated from high school in Coleman, Texas. In 1999, she moved to Durango.
Mrs. Wilson worked as a security guard at Tamarron resort.
She was an artist and painted scenery on feathers, designs on eggs, and made jewelry boxes. She enjoyed reading, particularly Dean Koontz novels. She enjoyed being a grandmother.
"She was a very wonderful woman. A lot of people will miss her," said her daughter, Fawn Miller.
She is survived by her mother, Olga Kelley of Brownwood, Texas; her father, Norman Kelley Sr. of Fort Collins; her daughter, Fawn Miller of Durango; her grandson, Angelo Miller of Durango; and her brother, Norman Kelley Jr. of Texas.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango. No services are planned at this time.
Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Patrick W. Luter Cancer Center, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
James Howard Hahn
A lifelong resident of La Plata County, James Howard Hahn died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center. He was 74.
Mr. Hahn was born Jan. 15, 1931, in Oxford, the son of James and Elizabeth Anna (Farley) Hahn.
On April 15, 1960, he married Macel McDowell on April 15, 1960, in Durango, and they were married for 44 years.
Mr. Hahn operated heavy equipment for the county for 30 years, and after he retired, he worked for Brown Brothers Construction.
Mr. Hahn enjoyed mountain climbing, fishing and hunting, and he could fix just about anything.
"His dry wit and twinkling eyes always brought a smile," said his wife.
Survivors include his wife, Macel of Bayfield; sons Les Hahn and Rick Hahn, both of Bayfield; daughter Lori Huisman of Durango; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sister Anna Marie Albrecht of Platteville.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango. Interment of ashes will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005, at the Oxford Cemetery in Oxford.