John Joseph Brockish
John Joseph Brockish, who spent his childhood in Durango, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2005, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Junction. He was 86.
Mr. Brockish was born March 6, 1918, in Salina, Kan., to Anton and Theresia (Gotze) Brockish. He lived in Durango until he was in eighth grade, serving as an altar boy at St. Columba Church. He spent the next three years at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, but returned to Durango to graduate with the class of 1936.
Mr. Brockish served in the U.S. Army Air Corps for six years during World War II. He served as the commander of the reserves in Durango and was a member of the American Legion for 53 years. He left the military with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Mr. Brockish also worked for 30 years for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Mr. Brockish is survived by his wife of 62 years, Alice P. Brockish of Grand Junction; sons John Brockish of Phoenix and Donald Brockish of Grand Junction; grandchildren Andrew Brockish of Gilbert, Ariz., Deborah Brockish of Orlando, Fla.; and great-grandchildren Scott and Joshua Brockish of Gilbert, Ariz.
A son, Dennis Brockish, preceded him in death in 1999.
Visitation is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary in Grand Junction. A rosary will be said at the mortuary at 7 p.m. that day. A funeral is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Columba Church in Durango.
Interment will be in Greenmount Cemetery with an honor guard from American Legion Post 28 in Durango.
Milburn (Mel) F. Colley
Milburn (Mel) F. Colley, a longtime resident of the Animas Valley, died on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, at his home. He was 83.
Mr. Colley was born April 7, 1921, to Hugh and Rachel Colley in Hazel Valley, Ark.
He served as a machinist in the Navy's Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean during World War II.
In civilian life, Colley worked as an automotive and heavy equipment machinist for many years around Durango.
He retired from the Fort Lewis College transportation department in 1983.
He was commander of VFW Post 4031 in 1970 and was district commander in 1971.
Mr. Colley is survived by daughter Kathleen Robinson, son Steve Callaghan, sister Dorothy Gustafson, brother Clarence Colley, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline, on June 13, 2002, three brothers and a sister.
Graveside services for Mr. Colley will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Greenmount Cemetery. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 will officiate.
Robert D. 'Bobby' Ritter
Robert D. 'Bobby' Ritter died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. He was 75.
Mr. Ritter was born April 2, 1929, in Idaho Springs to Albert and Marjorie (Cason) Ritter.
Albert Ritter was chief of police in Steamboat Springs in the 1960s.
Robert Ritter was a resident of Four Corners Health Care Center for 25 years, where he endeared himself to residents and staff members.
He worked at the Sheltered Workshop during its operation.
Mr. Ritter is survived by cousins Ellavern Adcock of Dolores, James Prentice of Springfield, Mo., Dennis Cason of Delta, Utah, and Richard Cason of Durango.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service and celebration of life honoring Robert "Bobby" Ritter will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Four Corners Health Care Center.
The community is invited to bring stories or memories to share.
Mr. Ritter died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005, at the Four Corners Health Care Center.
Corina Lucinda Martinez Salazar
Corina Lucinda Martinez Salazar died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005, at her home in Kingman, Ariz. She was 91.
Mrs. Salazar was born Oct. 2, 1913, to Rafael Martin (Martinez) and Franchesca Baldes (Valdez) of Antonito.
After graduating from Antonito Colorado High School, Mrs. Salazar joined the Sisters of the Franciscan Order. She spent her postulate years at Yankton, S.D., and her novitiate years at the Mother House in Rochester, Minn. After four or five years in the convent, she returned home to care for her ill mother and met her husband, Jose Bernardo Salazar, at this time.
The couple married in 1934 and spent 58 years together until Mr. Salazar's death in 1991.
For 58 years, Mrs. Salazar ran the household, and while in Antonito, she and her husband managed the Ritz Café. After they moved to Silverton in 1946, she worked at the Blue Cross Drug store fountain, at which time she befriended Barbara Stanwick, James Cagney, John Derek, James Stewart, Hugh O'Brian, Ruth Gordon, Raymond Burr, Primo Carnera and many others.
In 1971, Mr. and Mrs. Salazar moved from Silverton to Kingman, Ariz.
Mr. and Mrs. Salazar were world travelers, and they belonged to a "caravan group" that traveled each winter to Villa Corona near Guadalajara, Mexico. After their 50th anniversary, they traveled to the Holy Land, and while in Canaan, they made their 50th wedding vows.
Mrs. Salazar was a member, director and soloist of the choir at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Antonito and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Conejos.
While her children were in band, she was a band mother for the Silverton High School band. She was a member of the Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, choir director and soloist for St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Silverton. While in Kingman, she was a member of the Hualapai Toastmistress club.
She loved being a grandmother, and always listened to her grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's stories and played games with them. One great-grandson recalls that she and he broke the front windows on several occasions playing sports.
Survivors include daughter Gloria Marie Salazar Richhart; son Joseph Rudolph Salazar; eight grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Kingman, and a second mass will be offered at a latter date at the St. Theresa, Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church in Manassa, with interment at Los Cerritos Cemetery.
Miriam M. McMahel
A 40-year resident of Durango, Miriam M. McMahel, 79, died Monday, Jan. 24, 2005, at her home.
Mrs. McMahel was born March 24, 1925, in Catano, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Ferdinand Rodriguez and Monserrate Cabrera.
She married David S. McKay on March 18, 1998, in Aztec.
Mrs. McMahel is survived by her husband, David McKay of Parachute.
Cremation occurred at Hood Mortuary and a private interment of ashes took place at Greenmount Cemetery.
Lorraine T. Herrera
Lorraine T. Herrera, 70, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, at her home in Marvel.
Mrs. Herrera was born Sept. 16, 1934, in Crested Butte, the sixth of seven children born to Jasper and Stella Bustos.
She was raised on a farm near Monticello in Eastland, Utah. Her family moved to Durango in the late 1930s, where she graduated from Durango High School.
On Aug. 10, 1955, Mrs. Herrera married Marshall F. Herrera in Aztec, and her family moved to Marvel in 1966.
Besides being extremely active in 4-H and as a leader in the Junior Grange while her children were growing up, Mrs. Herrera was an active member of the Marvel United Methodist Church. She also enjoyed quilting, sewing, cooking and square-dancing, and her love of dancing carried over to her children as she taught them and others to dance.
Mrs. Herrera worked hard for and enjoyed the community that she lived in, said her family.
Survivors include her husband, Marshall Herrera of Marvel; a son, Jeff Herrera of Marvel; three daughters, Myra Britton-Byrd of Marvel, Elizabeth "Annie" Herrera of Atwater, Calif., and Annett Hitchell of Durango; four grandchildren, Erin Herrera, Tana Hitchell and Ashley Hitchell, all of Durango, and Cody Britton of Marvel; her mother, Stella Bustos of Newman, Calif.; and two sisters, Inez Mu`F1oz of Newman, Calif., and Winifred "Rita" Menaldino of Tucson, Ariz.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, and a funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, both at Hood Mortuary. The Rev. Bud Rousset of the Marvel United Methodist Church will officiate. Burial will occur at Marvel Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Marvel United Methodist Church.
Marjorie L. Barker Blomstrom
Marjorie Lorraine Barker Blomstrom died Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, in Vancouver, Wash., surrounded by her three children. She was 79.
Mrs. Blomstrom was born July 24, 1925, in Durango, to Elsie and Earl Barker.
She graduated from Durango High School in 1943 and attended Fort Lewis College for one year until she met the love of her life, Bob Blomstrom. She then transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder where Mr. Blomstrom attended school, and received a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
In September 1945, she and Mr. Blomstrom were married.
After graduating from college, Mr. and Mrs. Blomstrom joined forces with her brother, Earl Barker Jr., to co-manage the family owned Strater Hotel. While Mr. Blomstrom was busy with the hotel, Mrs. Blomstrom dedicated her time to raising their children.
Later, Mr. Blomstrom obtained his doctorate degree and pursued a career in education. This provided an interesting life filled with travel all over the world and a two-year stay in Ankara, Turkey. Even though they traveled extensively and lived in places other than Durango, Mrs. Blomstrom always considered Durango to be home.
In 1983, Mr. Blomstrom retired from Michigan State University and they moved back to Arizona. They lived for nine months of the year in Sun City, Ariz., and the other three months in Durango. They had a wonderful retirement, and the past 21 years were filled with friends, golf, dance, music, art, family and adventure.
Mrs. Blomstrom loved music and art and became accomplished in painting as well as playing the piano and clarinet. During high school, she played in many musicals and sang with several musical groups.
She loved growing up in Durango and had many lifelong friends. She remembered her high school years as some of the best years of her life.
Survivors include her sons Rick Blomstrom of Austin, Texas, and Jim Blomstrom of San Antonio, Texas; a daughter, Christine Montgomery of Vancouver, Wash.; a brother, Earl Barker Jr. of Durango; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held in Sun City, Ariz.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to "The Robert and Marjorie Blomstrom Scholarship Fund" at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Make checks payable to Fort Lewis College Foundation and denote "Robert and Marjorie Blomstrom Scholarship" in the memo section. Mail it to the attention of Rod Barker, 699 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Wesley Steven Parks
Wesley Steven Parks died of complications from a brain tumor on Friday, Jan. 28, 2005, in Durango. He was 18.
Mr. Parks was born in Denver on Oct. 21, 1986, to Walter and Linda Lou Parks.
In 1988, he moved to Durango with his family and graduated from Durango High School in October 2004.
He brought people together through his engaging conversation about trivia and amazing facts.
He was proud of competing in the Special Olympics and loved to work with his personal trainer.
Mr. Parks also enjoyed comedy, collecting baseball cards, cookbooks, sea shells, rocks and coins. He loved sharing things with others and never complained throughout 17 years of tests, surgeries and treatments for his brain tumor.
"We will miss our gentle giant," said his family.
Mr. Parks is survived by his parents, Walter and Linda Lou Parks; brothers Justin Parks of New York City, N.Y., and Clayton Parks of Durango; grandparents Dr. and Mrs. Walter Parks of Austin, Texas, and Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Suckow of Paris, Mich.; and several great aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Durango. A reception will be held immediately after the service.
Memorial donations may be made to The Children's Hospital Children's Cancer Fund Program #R6250F, 1245 East Colfax Ave., Ste 400, Denver, CO 80218.