Theresa Agnes Stokes
Theresa Agnes Stokes, 53, died Monday, May 30, 2005, at her home in Ignacio.
Mrs. Stokes was born Nov. 11, 1951, in Laguna Pueblo, N.M., the daughter of Richard and Josephine Stokes.
She enjoyed playing bingo and spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include her daughter Sophia Wilson of Mescalero, N.M.; daughter Delilah Wilson of Ignacio; daughter Beatrice Wilson of Albuquerque; daughter Kerianna Balatche of Mescalero, N.M.; daughter Amber Box of Albuquerque, N.M.; daughter Mary Lacurio of Acoma, N.M.; and seven grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her granddaughter Eva Wilson-Irizarry.
A rosary will be said at the Wallace Sarracino home at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Acoma, N.M. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church.
The Rev. Ulric Pax will officiate. Burial will occur at Paguate Cemetery in Paguate, N.M.
Mozelle H. Hiner
Former Durango resident Mozelle Hiner, 92, died on Tuesday, July 12, 2005, in Clearlake, Calif. The cause of death was a stroke.
She was born to Ernest and Nina Hodge on Oct. 1, 1912, in Shannon, Texas. Mrs. Hiner married Clark Skinner in Texas, and the marriage lasted until his death 25 years later. After living in Texas and California, the couple moved to Durango in the late 1940s. They owned a furniture store in Farmington and the Lads and Lassies children's shop in Durango.
After Mr. Skinner's death, she married Eldon Hiner in Durango in 1978.
While in Durango, she was a member of the Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church and Eastern Star.
Mrs. Hiner traveled extensively and loved life. She moved to Clearlake, Calif., in the late 1990s.
"She was very nice and warm," said her friend Tim Maher. "She was very social and a very friendly lady."
Mrs. Hiner was preceded in death by her first husband Clark Skinner and her second husband Eldon Hiner.
She is survived by her sisters Dorothy McKinney and Patricia Raby, both of Clearlake, Calif.; and stepdaughter Esther "Lucky" Messenger of Fort Morgan.
Cremation has occurred.
Catherine Virginia Mitchell Berry
A woman who loved people, particularly children, Catherine Virginia Mitchell Berry died of natural causes on Monday, July 18, 2005, at her son's home in Elk Grove, Calif. She was 89.
She was born to Henry S. and Margaret Vincent Mitchell in Maquoketa, Iowa, on Feb. 15, 1916. The seventh of eight children, she spent her early childhood in the Maquoketa area and attended high school in Des Moines, Iowa.
She married Russell M. Berry Jr. on Aug. 28, 1940. Her husband was in the theater business, and the family moved frequently in Wyoming and Colorado while raising their two sons. The Berrys spent the bulk of their time in Boulder and Cheyenne, Wyo.
When Mr. Berry retired in 1979, the couple moved to Durango, where he was born. They lived in the house that had belonged to his family since 1916. Mrs. Berry was a member of the altar guild at St. Mark's Episcopal Church during her time here.
At the age of 21, she became a member of P.E.O., a philanthropic sisterhood that provides scholarship and educational opportunities to young women. P.E.O. was an integral part of Mrs. Berry's life for 68 years. She was a member of Chapter BR while living in Durango.
During the summer of 2001, she went to live with her son Russell Berry and his family in Elk Grove, Calif., outside of Sacramento.
Mrs. Berry liked cats, and fed 15 to 20 of them in her neighborhood. Her husband was a big Denver Broncos fan, and she picked that passion up from him.
"She was quite a person," said her son John Berry. "She was very loving, very gracious and very intelligent."
She was preceded in death by her husband Russell Berry.
Mrs. Berry is survived by her sons John Berry of Longmont and Russell Berry of Elk Grove, Calif.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
Scott Van Flymen
A man who gave to the community even when he couldn't afford to, Scott Van Flymen, 53, died Sunday, July 24, 2005, at his home in Durango. The cause of death was heart disease.
He was born to Bernard and Phyllis Stanely Flymen on Sept. 13, 1951, in San Fernando, Calif.
His father was a member of the "I Love Lucy" orchestra, so he was brought up around music. He wrote his first song as a 3-year-old.
Mr.Flymen became an accomplished musician, playing the saxophone, clarinet, flute and guitar. He was a member of several bands, in both Los Angeles and Durango, including Well-Known Prude. He particularly loved playing rock 'n' roll.
Mr. Flymen graduated from Polytechnic High School in Van Nuys, Calif., and went on to attend UCLA for two years.
When his son Russel was born, he wanted him to be different, his wife said, so he spelled his name with only one 'l' and put a nose print on the birth certificate instead of footprints.
On Oct. 5, 1990, he married Jean Sturgeon in Durango.
In his younger years, Mr. Flymen raced motorcycles and worked as the sales manager for a motorcycle apparel business for 25 years. In 1986, he moved to Durango and started the Tropical Fish Store with his wife. They operated the business until 2001. He was a train buff.
"He was extremely generous with a heart the size of Gibraltar," said his wife, Jean Flymen. "He loved animals. They were his life. He was the best friend I ever had."
Mr. Flymen is survived by his wife, Jean Flymen of Durango; his son, Russel Flymen of Gallup, N.M.; his stepson, Matt McKown of Durango; his parents, Bernard and Phyllis Flymen of Granada Hills, Calif.; and his aunt, Harriet Silver of Beverly Hills, Calif.
No services are planned, but the family asks for Mr. Flymen to be remembered in prayers.
Oscar Dell 'O.D.' 'Smitty' Smith
A man who loved to talk about the gospel of Christ, Oscar Dell "O.D." "Smitty" Smith, 72, died Monday, July 25, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center.
The cause of death was sepsis and multiple organ failure.
Mr. Smith was born to Joseph V. and Edna (Matthews) Smith on March 31, 1933, in Bixby, Okla. His mother died giving birth to his sister, and his father died a year later. He was sent to live with other relatives.
When Mr. Smith turned 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He learned to be a barber while stationed at Pearl Harbor.
After the service, he lived in San Diego and later in Phoenix, where he ran his own barbershop. He also worked intermittently as a landscaper and as a photographer.
Mr. Smith decided to travel, becoming a cook in Sonoita, Ariz., and then a truck driver, hauling goods to every state in the continental United States except Florida.
He married Norma Nelson in 1954 in Honolulu. The marriage was later dissolved.
On Oct. 4, 1986, Mr. Smith married Diane Tittle in Gallup, N.M., and the Smiths moved to Bayfield in 1989.
Mr. Smith enjoyed the outdoors, animals, tools and building. He was a member of the Durango Church of Christ.
"He loved people and he loved to garden," said his wife. "He could make sticks grow."
Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Diane Smith of Bayfield; sons Dennis Smith, of Surprise, Ariz., and Dwayne Smith, of Bixby, Okla.; daughters Cheri Harvey, of Madison, Miss., and Theresa Naugle, of Bixby, Okla.; stepdaughter Barbara Garrett of Bayfield; brothers Jack Smith of Phoenix and Marion Smith of Natchez, Miss.; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Hood Mortuary. A funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of Christ in Bayfield. The Rev. Gene Chapin will officiate. Burial will be at Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield.
Mary Helen Darr
Mary Helen Darr died Friday, July 22, 2005, at Laurel Skies Health Care in Albuquerque. She was 95.
She is survived by daughter Evelyn Batson of Albuquerque; sons Dale Darr of Los Lunas, N.M., and Loren Darr of Mesa; sister-in-law Geraldine Spohr of Salt Lake City; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
Mrs. Darr was preceded in death by her husband, Elroy.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hood Mortuary Chapel in Durango. Burial will follow at Crestview Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pine River Valley Baptist Church, 11942 Highway 172, Ignacio, CO 81137.
Emma Lou Wright
Emma Lou Wright, 79, died Wednesday, July 20, 2005, at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M. The resident of Ignacio and Pagosa Springs loved cooking and writing.
Mrs. Wright was born on Oct. 5, 1925, in Oilton, Okla., but soon moved to Southern Colorado. She was a cook at El Dorado Café in Ignacio for more than 20 years and was famous for her cinnamon rolls. She was married to her husband, Harold Wright, for more than 54 years.
"Throughout her life she possessed a natural gift to bring out and see the best in her fellow man," Barbara Murphy, her daughter, wrote in an obituary. "To all who knew her she was simply irreplaceable and we will hold her gently in our hearts forever."
Ms. Wright wrote a book for her family,The Old Farmer's Wife, and poetry.
She is survived by her children, John Wright of Campbellsville, Ky., Dennis Wright of Arboles, Terrance Wright of Conifer, Barbara Murphy of Farmington, Mike Wright of Ignacio, and Benita Wright of Maple Valley, Wash. She is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Wright was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Wright; her son Jerry; and her daughter Brenda.
A graveside service was held July 23 at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango. The Rev. Joe Sparks officiated.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Pine River Valley Baptist Church in Ignacio. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 2072, Durango, CO 81302 or to Pine River Valley Baptist Church, P.O. Box 282, Ignacio, CO 81137.
Peter G. Dolbee
A man who was involved in a variety of Durango social activities, Peter G. Dolbee, 83, died Tuesday, July 19, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center with his wife, Sandra Dolbee, and friend Jim Manley by his side. The cause of death was complications from colon cancer.
Mr. Dolbee was born to George Henry and Eva Anderson Dolbee in Perry, Ark., on Jan. 7, 1922. His family moved to Southern California in 1925.
After graduating from University High School in West Los Angeles at the age of 16, Mr. Dolbee spent four years at UCLA studying English and journalism. While he earned his bachelor's degree, he was too intent on going to work to pick up his diploma.
Mr. Dolbee married Roberta Kemerer in 1945 in Southern California. After college, he joined North American Aviation, the company that built the World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter and the B-25 Mitchell bomber. Mr. Dolbee spent 37 years working in personnel and labor relations with North American, which later became the aerospace division of Rockwell International. His career included posts in Neosho, Mo.; Waco, Texas; Tulsa, Okla.; Rocky Flats; and several facilities in Southern California.
He married Sandra Britt Rothwell on July 25, 1989, in Irvine, Calif. After his retirement, they moved to Durango that same year.
Mr. Dolbee enjoyed many outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, tennis, gardening and golf. He loved all kinds of sports, especially college basketball and golf. He was an avid bridge player, a voracious reader and an American history buff.
Mr. and Mrs. Dolbee were members of St. Columba Catholic Church.
Mr. Dolbee is survived by his wife, Sandra Dolbee, of Durango; son Peter Dolbee of Coto de Casa, Calif.; daughter Patricia Latham of Pagosa Springs; and four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Roberta Dolbee.
A celebration of Mr. Dolbee's life will be held at 5 p.m. today at the Durango/La Plata Senior Center.
Edward Charles Thompson
A man with deep roots in the community, Edward Charles Thompson, 86, died on July 16, 2005, at his home in Durango surrounded by friends and family. The cause of death was cancer.
Mr. Thompson was born in Durango on May 3, 1919. He was the son of George W. and Annie G. Thompson. His was from a pioneer family, as his great-grandparents, grandparents and parents homesteaded in the area. Mr. Thompson, his sisters, his children, and some grand-and great-grandchildren were also born here.
After attending Cottonwood School on Florida Mesa, as well as Park and Mason elementary schools, Mr. Thompson graduated from Durango High School in 1937.
He was drafted into the Army in January 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Mr. Thompson served with the 121st Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron that landed in Normandy, France, on July 3, 1944, less than a month after D-Day. He fought in Normandy, France and Germany. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 11, 1945.
Mr. Thompson married Pauline I. Stuckman in Aztec on May 21, 1941. He worked for his father in Thompson's Saddle and Western Store until 1957, when he bought the business. He sold it in 1973, retaining ownership of the building, which was destroyed in the 1974 Main Avenue fire.
He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1946. Mr. Thompson became a member of the Durango Masonic Lodge No. 46 in 1953, becoming a master in 1962 and joining the Shrine (aka the Shriners) in 1978. His many years of community service were recognized with the Western Heritage Service Award in 1994.
After the death of Pauline Thompson, he married Armintha "Johnny" Becker in Aztec in 1983.
He was a golfer who loved to travel. After he retired as a saddlemaker, Mr. Thompson enjoyed sewing as hobby, working in leather, canvas and fabric.
"He was the finest human being that ever lived," said his son, George W. Thompson. "It's hard to describe the quality of individual he was."
Mr. Thompson was preceded in death by his wives Pauline Stuckman Thompson and Armintha "Johnny" Becker Thompson; and companion Barbara Gustafson of Littleton.
He is survived by his son George W. Thompson of Durango; daughter Darlene Eldridge of Cheyenne, Wyo.; stepdaughters Carol Salazer of San Diego and Kelly Becker of Durango; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Myron T. Darmour and the Rev. Earl Caudill will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 E. Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.