Elsie Louise Townsend
A woman who found joy in her family and serving others, Elsie Louise Townsend, 73, died Wednesday, June 29, 2005 in Flora Vista, N.M. The cause of death was lung cancer.
She was born to F.B. and Tina Eva Raybon in Littlefield, Texas, on Nov. 11, 1931. Mrs. Townsend graduated from Brownsville High School in Brownsville, Texas, in 1948.
She married Kenneth Townsend in 1955 in Hobbs, N.M. While the marriage was dissolved after 25 years, the couple remained friends and lived together as loving companions for the last five years.
After working for the U.S. Wildlife Service for 19 years, she retired in 2000.
Mrs. Townsend organized the first Pink Ladies organization in Hobbs, N.M., and served as the group's leader for five years.
She also was a den mother for the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America.
"No matter what she was or where she was," said her son, Tom Townsend, "she was always a mother."
A proud Republican, Mrs. Townsend was the first woman to serve as a campaign secretary when Manuel Lujan Jr. ran and won his seat in New Mexico for the U.S. Congress. She enjoyed any type of work revolving around politics.
She is survived by her companion, Kenneth Townsend of Flora Vista, N.M.; son Tom of Durango; daughter Glenice Joy Townsend of Phoenix; brother Ronnie Raybon of Brownfield, Texas; sister Carolyn Sue Hook of Lubbock, Texas; half-sisters Viola Stillman and Wilma Stillman of Dripping Springs, Texas; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Cope Memorial Chapel in Aztec. Burial will take place following the service at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Farmington. Brad Perry will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Northwest New Mexico Hospice, 608 Reilly Ave., Farmington, N.M., 87401.
Lillian P. Valencia (8/31/2005)
The youngest of nine children, Lillian P. Valencia died suddenly at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington on Friday, Aug. 26, 2005. She was 69.
She was born in Ignacio to Antonio and Josephita Sanchez on April 28, 1936.
After attending Ignacio schools, she married Manuel Valencia at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango on Nov. 5, 1952. She was a homemaker, raising seven children. Mrs. Valencia attended St. Ignatius Catholic Church for much of her life.
The Valencias settled in Bloomfield, N.M., in 1989, where Mrs. Valencia was active in the community.
She enjoyed outdoor activities like gardening, rock collecting and relaxing under her peach tree while reading her Bible. Her family said church was important to Mrs. Valencia. She was involved with Women in Faith, the Crusillo movement, and a jail ministry. She was also active with Birthright Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Her family said she was known for her feistiness and her joyful manner. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and dancing with her husband.
Mrs. Valencia is survived by her husband, Manuel Valencia of Bloomfield, N.M.; sons Robert Valencia of Cortez, Duane Valencia of Ignacio, Lonnie Valencia of Midwest City, Okla., and Bryant Valencia of Blanco, N.M.; daughters Gloria Valencia of Durango, and Debbie Valencia and Trish Jacket, both of Ignacio; sisters Virginia Cox and Isabel Valdez, both of Ignacio; 17 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
The rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 2100 20th St. E., Farmington. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Burial will follow at 6 p.m. Saturday at Ignacio West Cemetery.
At Mrs. Valencia's request, those who attend the funeral are asked to wear bright colors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Birthright Crisis Pregnancy Center, 609 N. Butler, Farmington, NM 87401.
Rosalie Ann Lynch (8/30/2005)
A recent resident of Durango, Rosalie Ann Lynch, 67, died Friday, Aug. 26, 2005, at Four Corners Health Care Center. The cause of death was congestive heart failure and diabetes.
She was born to Albert and Tillie (Baron) Hanson on May 23, 1938, in Joliet, Ill. She graduated from St. Francis Academy in Joliet, and later earned her real-estate broker's license. Mrs. Lynch worked at Carlton Real Estate there.
She married Michael Lynch in 1960, first in Mexico and later with a family ceremony in California, where he was stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Her daughter said Mrs. Lynch enjoyed crocheting and was a devout Christian. Earlier in her life, she had belonged to St. Mary's Assumption Catholic Church in Joliet.
Mrs. Lynch was preceded in death by her husband Michael Lynch and her son D.J. Lynch.
She is survived by her daughter Kim Roon of Tinley Park, Ill.; sons Jim Lynch of Durango and Shawn Lynch of Phoenix; brothers Robert Hanson and Michael Hanson, both of Joliet, Ill.; four grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road in Joliet, Ill.
A private burial service will take place on Friday.
Memorial contributions to help with medical and funeral expenses may be sent to Kim Roon, 8914 Catalpa Court, Tinley, IL 60477.
Lola Gregoria Wilmer (8/27/2005)
Lola Gregoria Wilmer, 81, died Thursday, August 25, 2005, at her home in Ignacio.
Mrs. Wilmer was born May 9, 1924, in Ignacio, the daughter of Ostanislado and Maria Manzanares.
She worked for the Ignacio School District for 25 years.
She enjoyed gardening.
Survivors include her husband Jerry; sons Wilfred Wilmer of Denver, Eddie Wilmer of Denver, Jerry Wilmer, Jr. of Ignacio, and Mike Wilmer of Denver; sister Emma Pinkhert of Ignacio; brothers Manuel Manzanares of Carbon Junction, Utah, Joe Manzanares of Grand Junction, and John Manzanares of Seattle, Wash.; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. The Monsignor Daniel Huber of St. Ignatius Catholic Church will officiate.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango.
A rosary will be said at St. Ignatius Catholic Church at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Phillip Steven Casaus (8/25/2005)
A man who married into a Durango family, Phillip Steven Casaus, 63, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., after a two-year battle with cancer.
He was born to Lt. Col. Phillip Jose and Elizabeth Louise (Hurd) Casaus on Dec. 5, 1941, in Puyallup, Wash.
He began his primary education in Alaska, attended private school in London and graduated from Balboa High School in Panama. After graduation, he earned an associate degree from Chipola Junior College in the Panama Canal Zone.
He served in Vietnam and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 26, 1969.
He married Mary Ann Martinez Clark on Oct. 30, 1996, in Durango.
For many years, Mr. Casaus worked in sales in the radio and automotive industries. In 1998, he bought a Mail Boxes, Etc. franchise, which he managed until his illness diminished his ability to do so.
He enjoyed music and had collected an array of music. Mr. Casaus also collected videos and DVDs of favorite movies. It was particularly important to expose his grandchildren to culture.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Casaus, of Broken Arrow, Okla.; daughters Donna Andryshak of Bethel, Ohio, and Darla Holt of Broken Arrow, Okla.; son Douglas Clark of Grand Junction; brother Michael Casaus of Edmonds, Wash.; mother-in-law Lucy Martinez of Durango; sister-in-law Lou Stephens of Durango; and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Romero Funeral Chapel, 1407 State Ave., Alamosa. Burial will follow at Alamosa Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research, 1132 Ventura Blvd., Suite 401, Studio City, CA 91604.
Thelma Faye Shive (8/25/2005)
Former Durango resident Thelma Faye Shive died Monday, Aug. 22, 2005, at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. She was 90.
She was born to George R. and Hazel N. (Becktold) Bailey in Waco, Texas, on Nov. 18, 1914. After growing up in Texas and Oklahoma, she graduated from high school in Altus, Okla.
On June 10, 1934, she married John F. Shive in Altus, Okla. The couple lived in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, where Mr. Shive worked for the Bureau of Reclamation. From 1948-51, they lived in Monte Vista.
In 1968, they returned to Colorado. They built and owned the Elk Meadows Campground in Pagosa Springs. They retired in 1978 and moved to Durango, where Mrs. Shive lived until August 1999, when she moved to Grand Junction.
Mrs. Shive was one of the founding members of the First Southern Baptist Church of Shiprock, N.M. She was also a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Durango for many years, where she taught Sunday school.
She had many pastimes, including gardening, crocheting, quilting and reading.
Mrs. Shive is survived by her son John C. Shive of Moab, Utah; daughter Barbara J. Shive of Anchorage, Alaska; sister Frances Lethgo of Fayetteville, N.C.; one grandson; and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John F. Shive, her son James L. Shive, and their daughters Karen Shive and Suzanne Shive.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hood Mortuary. A graveside service will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Greenmount Cemetery.
Mary G. Herrera (8/24/2005)
A former schoolteacher in Southwest Colorado, Mary (Constancia) G. Herrera, 82, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005, at her home in Albuquerque. The cause of death was not disclosed.
She was born to Abelino and Amalia Gallegos on Aug. 17, 1923, in Lumberton, N.M. She married Ernest Herrera in Shreveport, La. Mr. Herrera died Dec. 27, 1973.
Mrs. Herrera taught elementary school in Pagosa Springs, Edith, Ouray and Juanita. Wherever she lived, she was an active member of the community. She was a member of the Rebekahs.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Herrera, and sons Lloyd Herrera and Joseph Herrera.
Mrs. Herrera is survived by her daughters Marie Mestas of Dugway, Utah, Vangie Holcomb of Highland Village, Texas, and Ernestine C De Baca of Albuquerque; son Bob Herrera of Pagosa Springs; 15 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. today at La Quey Funeral Home in Pagosa Springs. A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. today at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, also at Immaculate Heart. The Rev. Carlos Alvarez will officiate. Burial will follow at Hill Top Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.
Edith Allyne Fisher (8/23/2005)
Edith Allyne Fisher, 88, who grew up on a ranch and spent much of her life in ranching, died in Clarkdale, Ariz., on Friday, Aug. 19, 2005. Her health had been failing for some time.
She was born to Robert and Mary Conner in Mancos on Sept. 9, 1916. She grew up on the family ranch near Breen, where she learned to care for animals. She often carried lambs from the farther-out herding areas to the main ranch on her dad's favorite horse, Silverheels. Mrs. Fisher was a good shot with her .22-caliber rifle.
She attended Squeak-Squawk Grade School, but was unable to go on to high school. She became a voracious reader to continue her education.
In 1932, she married Melvin Fisher, a widower with four children, who soon became "her children." Family and the Durango Church of the Nazarene were the center of her life. Over the years, the couple added 10 more children to their family. In addition to riding and reading, Mrs. Fisher developed interests in gardening, music and traveling.
She decided to pursue a nursing career, and worked for several years as a certified nurse's aide at Mercy Medical Center. Prior to her retirement in 1981, Mrs. Fisher had completed all the academic and practical requirements for licensing as a practical nurse.
In 1981, the Fishers moved to Clarkdale, Ariz. After her husband's death in 1986, Mrs. Fisher continued to find strength in her family and friends. She was a devoted member of the Verde Valley Church of the Nazarene and kept her Bible at the center of her personal library.
"She was a farmer's wife and had a big family," said her brother, Bryan Conner. "She had to have a good sense of humor with all those kids."
She was preceded in death by her husband Melvin Fisher; daughter Eula Butler; sons David Fisher, Edgar Fisher and John Fisher; grandchildren Leanne Rush and Michael Robbins; and great-grandson Danny Cordell.
Mrs. Fisher is survived by her aunt, Ethel Barger of Durango; sisters Dora Hunt of Hesperus and Roberta Hunt of Cortez; brother Bryan Conner of Hesperus; daughters Olela Jones of Hesperus, Patti Cordell of Flora Vista, N.M., Yvonne Utzat of Flagstaff, Ariz., Marna Jones of Phoenix, Sandy Randolph of Farmington, Shirley Sanchez of Walsenburg and Hazel Robbins of Cottonwood, Ariz.; sons Lawrence Fisher of McKenney, Va., and Marty Fisher of Cottonwood, Ariz.; 45 grandchildren; 75 great-grandchildren; and 41 great-great-grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service will held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Verde Valley Church of the Nazarene. A second will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Durango Church of the Nazarene. Burial will follow at Crestview Cemetery.