Alson Charles Perdue
Alson Charles Perdue died Monday, March 7, 2005, at Newman Memorial Hospital in Shattuck, Okla. He was 94.
Mr. Perdue was born Jan. 27, 1911, in Vancouver, Wash., to William and Ollie (Ogden) Perdue. His father died when he was 18 months old, and he was raised by his stepfather, David Rogers. He grew up in Washington and as a young man was engaged in carpentry and farming. On April 12, 1933, he married Merna Lucille Conner.
Mr. Perdue worked for the SP&S Railroad for 14 years. In 1948, they moved to Aztec, N.M., and then in 1958 to Bayfield. There, Mr. Perdue engaged in farming and ranching.
His wife died in 1981, and he continued to live on the ranch until, because of failing sight, he made his home with his daughter Doris in Gage, Okla.
Mr. Perdue was baptized in the Baptist Church in Bayfield in 1959. He was an ardent reader and enjoyed Bible study. He was always able to repeat rhymes and stories he had learned in school. He had a beautiful singing voice. He loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed his annual trip to Washington state to see his family. He made his last trip in September 2004.
He is survived by his children, Doris Zellner of Gage, Okla., Delbert Perdue of Vancouver, Wash., LoVeda Miller of Farmington, N.M., David Perdue of Vancouver, Wash., and Linda Burns of Snyder, Texas; two sisters, Vida Jones of Vancouver, Wash., and Phoebe Schwilke of Newberg, Ore.; 12 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives.
Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield. The Rev. Ian Fair will officiate.
Thomas Charles Confar
Thomas Charles Confar died of cancer at his home on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005, with his daughter, Carole, by his side. He was 90.
Mr. Confar was born on Aug. 6, 1914, on the family homestead (now the Ernest Schutz Ranch) in Chromo, to Ellen Josephine Virden Confar and Thomas Fredrick Confar.
Members of his family were some of the earliest settlers in Archuleta County, and were hunters and ranchers. However, the Confars left Archuleta County in the late 1920s to move to San Diego, where they started a fur shop. Mr. Confar worked as a furrier in the shop.
While in his teens, he traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he met Ethel Florence Murray. They were married on Sept. 5, 1936.
They moved to California to start their life together.
Mr. Confar had learned to trap while in Chromo and trained as a furrier at a Beverly Hills establishment when furs were in high style. He was known for his ability to design and make fur pieces for the Hollywood stars.
When furs began to go out of style, he found a position at the Hughes Aircraft in Culver City and worked on the Spruce Goose. He met Howard Hughes on several occasions, and he had many fascinating stories to tell.
Later he transferred to the Hughes Aircraft plant in Tucson, Ariz., where he worked for 17 years. In l967, he transferred to Santa Barbara, Calif., and remained there until his death.
Survivors include two children, Thomas (Tommy) and Carole; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two brothers, the Rev. Leonard Sims Confar and Earl Confar; and sister Jackie Schlueler.
Evalena 'Evie' Ritthaler
Evalena Ritthaler died Friday, March 4, 2005, at Southwest Memorial Hospital. She was 67.
Mrs. Ritthaler was born Oct. 18, 1937, in Crandon, Wis., the daughter of Charles and Susie (Kidd) McPherson.
From 1971 until 2002, she served two terms as Montezuma county clerk.
She was involved with the Montezuma County Democratic Party and Montezuma County Democratic Women.
Surviving Mrs. Ritthaler are her husband, Rodney Ray Ritthaler of Cortez; her children, Cindi Robb of Cortez, Raymond Ritthaler Spindle of Durango and Rodney Ritthaler of Cortez; nine grandchildren; four brothers; three sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today at the Ertel Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Ertel Memorial Chapel with Pastor Jimmy Burton officiating. Interment will follow at the Cortez Cemetery.
Richard S. Luhman
Richard S. Luhman, 62, died Friday, March 4, 2005, in Cortez.
Mr. Luhman was born Sept. 6, 1942, in Chicago, Ill., to Marion Lorna Quirk Luhman and Werner Scott Luhman.
A practicing lawyer in Cortez, he earned his bachelor's degree at Northwestern University and his law degree from the University of Illinois Law School in 1967.
After beginning to practice law in Chicago, Mr. Luhman moved to Telluride in 1975. He moved to Cortez in 1988 to join the law firm of Dyer & Dilts before he started his own practice in 1993.
Mr. Luhman was a member of the Montezuma County Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association, Rotary International and the Elks Club. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Piñon Project and of the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center.
Survivors include his wife, Joan Sorenson Luhman of Cortez; his parents, Werner and Marion Luhman of Tucson, Ariz.; a brother, Donald Luhman of Maple Grove, Minn.; a sister, Marcia Luhman of Tucson; one niece and three nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church of Cortez, 515 N. Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Southwest Memorial Hospital Foundation, P.O. Drawer L, Cortez, CO 81321, or the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center, 140 N. Linden, Cortez, CO 81321.
Michael Lee Nemecek
Michael Lee Nemecek died after a long battle with cancer on Wednesday, March 2, 2005, in Durango. He was 49.
Mr. Nemecek was born Aug. 31, 1955, in Elmhurst, Ill., the son of Darrell E. and Donna Jean Kolkay Nemecek. He moved to Durango with his family in 1974.
He recently worked as a truck driver at English Enterprises. He worked as a carpenter when he first came to Durango. A lifelong love of trains began at an early age with his grandfather.
Mr. Nemecek married Kim Rombeck on July 9, 1988, at Purgatory.
In their home in Durango, Mr. Nemecek had a large model railroad he developed through the years, and he shared it with everyone. He was working with the Durango Railroad Historical Society to restore engine No. 315 located at Santa Rita Park.
He enjoyed time with horses, trail riding and ski joring. He learned an appreciation of cats after he married his wife. The Nemeceks had many animals over the years, including his favorite dog, Emma, adopted from Annie's Orphans.
Mr. Nemecek learned to water ski and enjoyed fishing. He and Mrs. Nemecek spent many summer days at the lake with friends until he was diagnosed with cancer in 1998.
He survived three bone-marrow transplants in Denver. Then he returned to home and work. His love of truck driving brought him years of pleasure and many friends.
He enjoyed music, which was his constant companion while driving, working in the train room or garage. He still enjoyed dancing on occasion. He was always up for a game of Mexican Train, a dominos game shared with friends and family. He was a wonderful woodworker, and he was often found in the garage working on projects.
"He was a true friend and beloved husband," said his wife, Kim Nemecek. "He was truly loved and will be greatly missed."
He is survived by his wife, Kim Nemecek; his father and mother, Darrell E. "Smokey" Nemecek and Donna Nemecek; his sisters, Kim Nemecek and Sandy Crites; and his mother-in-law, Lorraine Rombeck, all of Durango.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hood Mortuary.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Nemecek's name may be made to the Durango Railroad Historical Society, P.O. Box 543, Bayfield, CO 81122.
Connie K. Craw
Connie K. Craw, a lifetime resident of La Plata County, died Wednesday, March 2, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 59. No cause of death was given.
Mrs. Craw was born Dec. 14, 1945, in Longmont, to Orville and Muriel Miller. She graduated from Durango High School and was the owner of The Mustard Seed Collectible Store in Bayfield. She had a passion for family, friends and floral design.
Mrs. Craw is survived by her husband, Bruce Hiner of Durango; sons Sean Hiner of Bayfield and Kenny Hiner of Albuquerque; daughter Heidi Craw of Durango; brother Roger Miller of Ignacio; sisters Shirley Wooden of Loveland, LaVerne Turnbull of Durango and Diane Forsythe of Bayfield; and 13 nieces and nephews.
A memorial service is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Park along U.S. Highway 160 in Bayfield. In case of bad weather, the service will be held at the Bayfield Lions Club.
James 'Jim' Sterling Ostler Jr.
James "Jim" Sterling Ostler Jr. died Tuesday, March 1, 2005, at the age of 64.
Mr. Ostler was born Aug. 28, 1940, in Van Nuys, Calif., the son of James S. and Elda (Davis) Ostler Sr.
Mr. Ostler was an accomplished artist and author. He taught art at the Chicago Art Institute, as well as at Denver University.
He was a writer of American Indian literature and co-owner of Cow Canyon Trading Post. He loved art galleries, American Indian art and "good" bookstores.
On Nov. 21, 1987, Mr. Ostler married Susan Elizabeth "Liza" Doran in Cortez. They have lived in Bluff, Utah, for the past 18 years.
Mr. Ostler is survived by his wife, Liza Doran of Bluff, Utah; his children, Elliot Ostler of Bluff, Utah, James S. Ostler III of Leeds, England, and Tiffany Crowell of Hamilton, Mass.; a sister, Betsy Carter of Kula, Maui, Hawaii; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews in northern Utah.
There are no services scheduled at this time.
Margarete Elaine Swilling
Margarete Elaine Swilling, a longtime resident of Durango, died Friday, May 6, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 84. No cause of death was given.
Mrs. Swilling was born Feb. 28, 1921, in Peyton to Mathew and Mabel Bigham and was reared in Bayfield.
She attended old Fort Lewis College in Hesperus and received a nursing degree in Colorado Springs. She married George Milton "Jack" Swilling on Sept. 4, 1943, in Denver when he was discharged from the Navy.
In 1961, the Swillings moved to Durango. Mrs. Swilling worked as a registered nurse most of her life, most recently at Mercy Medical Center for 13 years.
Mrs. Swilling is survived by her husband, George Swilling Jr., of Durango; daughter Patricia Everett of Pagosa Springs and son Michael Swilling of Durango. She also is survived by grandchildren, Corey Everett of Glendo, Wyo., Shawna Everett Garcia of Chama, N.M., Shane Swilling of Cheyenne, Wyo., Felicia Ann Leineweber of Baltimore and Trent Swilling of Durango. She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren.
A funeral is scheduled at 10 a.m. Monday at Durango Christian Church, with the Revs. Larry Osborne and Jonathan Alsdorf officiating. Burial will be at Crestview Cemetery. Visitation is from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 2072, Durango 81302.
Syble A. Cook
Syble A. Cook, a resident of Bayfield, died Thursday, May 5, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She was 81.
Mrs. Cook was born Jan. 4, 1924, in San Augustine, Texas, to Riley Macagie and Jennett (Sanders) O'Neil. She graduated from the Friendship High School in Wolfworth, Texas.
On Jan. 17, 1948, she married William Louis Cook in San Angelo, Texas. The family moved to Bayfield 15 years ago.
Mrs. Cook ranched with her family most of her married life. She was an excellent cook, preparing large meals for the cowboys and guests.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Bill Cook of Bayfield; a son, Billy Cook of Ignacio; and two grandchildren.
Cremation will take place. No services are planned at this time.
David Michael Morris
David Michael Morris died Sunday, April 30, 2005, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Southern California. He was 23.
David was born on July 8, 1981, in Phoenix and relocated to Victorville, Calif., with his family in 1997 and had always considered Durango to be his second home. David was a student at the Victor Valley School of Nursing. He was an avid enthusiast of Ford Mustangs.
He is survived by his father and mother; Ken Morris and Theresa (Piccoli) Morris, of Victorville, Calif.; sisters, Tracy Morris of Phoenix and Gina Morris of Victorville, Calif.; and grandfather; Frank (Papa) Piccoli of Durango.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Columba Catholic Church in Durango.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the David Morris Scholarship Fund, c/o the WC Foundation, 188422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville CA 92395. The scholarship will be given yearly to a nursing student.