Mary Eleanor Velasquez Elenes (8/17/2005)
A native of Ignacio, Mary Eleanor Velasquez Elenes, 77, died Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005, in Mesa, Ariz. The cause of death was renal failure.
She was born to Timoteo and Celsa Velasquez on Aug. 19, 1927, in Ignacio. She attended Ignacio schools through the eighth grade and later lived in Henderson, Nev.
In 1960, Mrs. Elenes moved to Mesa, where she had lived since then. She worked for Motorola and rose through the ranks to become a supervisor.
She had a 40-year common-law marriage to Joe Elenes.
She will be remembered for her care as a mother and homemaker, and her cooking is legendary within her family, particularly her Mexican dishes.
"She was a very loving and very giving woman - a true lady," said her granddaughter, Jenny Van Slyke.
She is survived by her daughter Frances Schulz of Mesa; brothers Fidel Velasquez of Ignacio and John Velasquez of Las Vegas; sisters Annie DeNardo of Chicago and Trini Corillo of Henderson, Nev.; eight grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and her former husband, Joe Elenes of Mesa.
Mrs. Elenes was preceded in death by her son, Timoteo Velasquez.
A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. Burial will occur at Ignacio West Cemetery.
Robert Cummings (8/16/2005)
A man who had a large group of friends, Robert Cummings, 57, died Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005, at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Albuquerque. He died after a short illness.
He was born to John and Francis Cummings on March 25, 1948, in Long Beach, Calif., where he also attended high school.
Mr. Cummings served in Vietnam from 1972 to 1974, and was honorably discharged from the Army on April 1, 1974. Afterward, he lived in California.
He spent the last 15 years of his life in the Four Corners area. He helped his brother John Cummings run the snack bar at the Durango-La Plata County Airport in the late 1980s. Later, he decided to go back to school. He attended San Juan Vo-Tech and also studied nursing at Pueblo Community College.
His family said he made good use of his natural talent to fix just about anything. He also loved dogs, and spent a great deal of his time outside with his dog, Sheeba, who died last year.
Mr. Cummings loved to have barbecues in the summer and was known for his barbecued ribs and potato salad.
Nicki Watkins, of Durango, said, "Anyone that knew Bob could rest easy knowing that at anytime, he would drop everything just to be there for them if they needed him. I was so lucky to have him in my life, and I will miss him like crazy."
Mr. Cummings is survived by son Robert Cummings Jr., of California; daughter Roben Cummings of California; brothers Mike Cummings and John Cummings, both of Marvel, and Pat Cummings of California; sister Kathy Cummings of California; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was buried at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.
A potluck gathering is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Elks Lodge, 901 East Second Ave.
Kathryn M. Klabunde (8/16/2005)
The mother of a former Durango teacher, Kathryn M. Klabunde, 96, died at her home in Oshkosh, Wis., on Monday, Aug. 15, 2005.
She was born to Amon and Rose (Kubesheske) Rushesky on Dec. 11, 1908, in Oshkosh, Wis. Until she married, she was employed at Wagner's Grocery Store. On July 4, 1935, she married Alfred H. Klabunde at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Oshkosh, Wis.
Mrs. Klabunde was a lifelong member of St. Josaphat's Catholic Church and a member of the Ladies Rosary Society.
She enjoyed her many trips to Durango to visit her daughter, Sandra A. Klabunde, who was a teacher here. Mrs. Klabunde was involved in many activities at St. Columba Catholic Church and St. Columba School during her visits here.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Klabunde. Her sister Isabelle Freeman died two weeks earlier on Friday, July 29, 2005.
Mrs. Klabunde is survived by her children Thomas A. Klabunde and Sandra A Klabunde, both of Oshkosh, Wis.; brother Ralph Rushesky of Oshkosh, Wis.; sister Pauline Commo of Fond du Lac, Wis.; one grandson; and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Josaphat's Catholic Church in Oshkosh, Wis. The Rev. Robert Stegmann will be the celebrant. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Josaphat's Catholic Church, 1333 Walnut St., Oshkosh, WI 54901.
Robert Joseph Novak Sr. (8/14/2005)
An avid hunter, Robert Joseph "Bob" Novak Sr. died Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005, at his home in Lake Vallecito. He was 70.
Mr. Novak was born July 13, 1935, in Pittsburgh to Joseph and Willa Novak.
He grew up in Pittsburgh. He worked in steel mills for much of his life and served as a Marine reservist.
In 2000, Mr. Novak retired from Herr-Voss Corporation as a service representative after working more than 30 years for the company.
He married Yvonne Sandy Novak on Oct. 19, 2001, in Durango.
Mr. Novak was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Amateur Trap Shooters Association and the Pennsylvania State Shoot Hall of Fame.
In retirement, he enjoyed horse wrangling and guiding personal hunts. He was a licensed gunsmith and crafted many beautiful guns for friends and family.
He is survived by his wife, Sandy Novak, of Lake Vallecito; his sister, Joanne Wiernik of Pittsburgh; his brother, William Novak of Pittsburgh; his sons, Robert J. Novak Jr. of Portersville, Pa., Kenneth C. Novak of Cranberry, Pa., Kurt W. Novak of Evans City, Pa., and Christopher J. Novak of West Sunbury, Pa.; his daughters, Ginette M. Novak of Mars, Pa., Doris J. Novak of Cranberry, Pa., and Elaine L. Wright of New Brighton, Pa.; his stepdaughters, Kimberly Pettner of Freedom, Pa., and Valerie Caminiti of Mosley, Va.; his stepson, Eric Eifler of Bristow, Va.; 25 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Sheryl Lewetag.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Cortez Trap Club, c/o Mike Threlkeld, 14021 County Road 207, Cortez, CO 81321.
Ray Olguin (8/14/2005)
A longtime Tiffany and Durango resident, Ray Olguin died of natural causes on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center. He was 88
Mr. Olguin was born to Manuel and Gertrude Olguin in Tiffany on July 22, 1917. His ranching parents homesteaded in Tiffany in 1911.
Mr. Olguin married Rafaelita (Sanchez) Olguin on March 29, 1941, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango. He was a rancher - a family tradition in New Mexico and Southwest Colorado dating back to the 1600s - until 1969, when he worked in construction and various other jobs, including working at Herb Williams Lumber.
Mr. Olguin enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing with his grandchildren, traveling, watching the Colorado Rockies, boxing and watching Animal Planet. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Rafaelita (Sanchez) Olguin, of Durango; a daughter, Ruby Olguin of Albuquerque; two sons, Leroy Olguin of Garland, Texas, and Manuel Olguin of Richardson, Texas; a sister, Mary Chavez of Farmington; two grandsons; a granddaughter; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday at Hood Mortuary. Recitation of the rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church. The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos, Cannons Regular, will officiate. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made to Durango Public Library, 1188 East Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Mackenzie Brianna Fredrickson (8/14/2005)
A premature baby, Mackenzie Brianna Fredrickson died at the University of New Mexico Hospital's Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Albuquerque on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005.
She was born in Durango to Frank D. Fredrickson and Shannon White-Fredrickson on July 10, 2005.
Mackenzie is survived by her parents, Frank D. Fredrickson and Shannon White-Fredrickson of Durango; grandparents Ed and Jerry White and Frank Fredrickson and Cherry Zielakowski.
A service to honor her short life will be held late in October on her original due date at Box Canyon Falls outside Ouray.
Donations in her memory to remodel the Newborn ICU Family Room may be sent to UNM Children's Hospital Development office, Attn. Hazel Tull-Leach, 2211 Lomas Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106.
Rick Lee Bottoms (8/14/2005)
Former Durango resident Rick Lee Bottoms died Thursday, Aug. 4, 2005, in Escondido, Calif., from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. He was 46.
Mr. Bottoms was born to Duane and Helen L. Bottoms in Greeley on Jan. 7, 1959. He lived in Durango for 19 years, attending school here and graduating from Durango High School in 1977.
After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for six years.
Mr. Bottoms was an active member of the North County Church of Christ in Escondido. He worked as a services technician for SBC Communications in Escondido, installing telephones.
He enjoyed skiing, fishing and riding motorcycles.
"He was a great husband," said his wife, Barbara Bottoms. "He had a wonderful relationship with God and with me."
Mr. Bottoms enjoyed serving others, she said.
Mr. Bottoms is survived by his wife, Barbara Bottoms of Escondido; his mother, Helen L. Bottoms of Santee, Calif.; brother Jay "John" Bottoms of Fairbanks, Alaska; and sister Jennie L. Bottoms of Santee.
His ashes will be scattered in the San Juan Mountains that he loved.
Dustin K. Dudley (8/13/2005)
A memorial fund has been set up for the family of Dustin K. Dudley. Contributions can be made at Southwest Colorado Federal Credit Union to the Dustin K. Dudley Memorial Fund in the name of his father Kirk Dudley. The credit union is at 15 Bodo Drive.
Mr. Dudley died Sunday, Aug. 7, in the Rafter J subdivision when a heavy-maintenance vehicle rolled over and crushed him during a road-maintenance project.
Kimberly Renee Rice (8/13/2005)
The daughter of Durango residents Michael Charles Rice and Kandyce Keene-Rice, Kimberly Renee Rice, 25, died on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2005, in Jefferson County. The cause of death was injuries from a car accident that occurred in Gilpin County.
Ms. Rice was born to Michael Charles and Margie Faye (Goodman) Rice on June 24, 1980, in Jourdanton, Texas.
At the time of her death, she was working as the manager of the Bull Durham Casino in Central City.
Ms. Rice is survived by her father and stepmother Michael Charles Rice and Kandyce Keene-Rice of Durango; stepfather Larry Dean Hurst of Ingram, Texas; daughters Tayla Parlee and Kaedin Marie Parlee of Idaho Springs; former husband and friend Wade Parlee of Idaho Springs; sisters Shannon Leanne Rice of Pleasanton, Texas, and Kristan Marie Hurst of Ingram, Texas; brother Bradley Scott Hurst of Ingram, Texas; grandmothers Ruthie Faye Goodman of Ingram, Texas, and Jo Anne Rice of Pleasanton, Texas; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Daniel G. Officer (8/12/2005)
A man who believed in service to his country and his community, Daniel G. Officer, 72, died on Saturday, July 30, 2005, at Spring Valley Memorial Hospital in Las Vegas. The cause of death was cancer.
Mr. Officer was born to Frank E. Officer Jr. and Nellie Toohey Officer on Jan. 14, 1933, in Slater, Mo. He graduated from Slater High School in 1950.
In 1951, Mr. Officer enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged in 1957. He continued his military career in the Naval Reserves in the early 1970s, serving in Italy, Korea and Japan. He was honorably discharged from the reserves in 1992, having attained the rank of chief petty officer.
While serving at the Broadhead Naval Armory in Detroit, Mr. Officer met Nancy Lehmer. The couple married on Nov. 9, 1957, in Champaign, Ill.
Mr. Officer began attending night school at Walsh Institute in 1958, while working full time for a land-contracting firm. He received his degree in accounting and financial planning in 1961. In 1962, he was hired by General Motors in Flint, Mich., and the family moved to Fenton, Mich., two years later.
In 1968, Mr. Officer took a position with the McDonald Douglas Corp. in St. Louis, where he returned to night school at St. Louis University to pursue a degree in business administration. After he was transferred to McDonald Douglas' Electronics Division in Grand Rapids, Mich., he enrolled at Aquinas College, where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1975. While in Grand Rapids, he also served as an adviser with Junior Achievement.
The lure of the mountains brought the family to Southwest Colorado in 1979, where the Officers purchased The Earthen Vessel, which they ran until they sold it in 2003.
Mr. Officer was a member and former council member of Christ the King Lutheran Church and was president of the former Optimist Club in Durango. While in Optimists, he served as lieutenant governor for his district in Colorado as well as being a lifetime member of Optimist International. He served as an adviser for the D.C. Dribblers.
His other services to the Durango community included United Way of Southwest Colorado, the Design Review Board for the city of Durango, Main Mall Merchants Association and Snowdown. At the time of his death, he was the vice president of the board of directors of The Jockey Club Timeshares in Las Vegas.
Mr. Officer loved his family and enjoyed traveling with them. He enjoyed hiking, skiing, golfing and softball, as well as being an avid spectator of hockey, baseball and football. His proudest personal accomplishment was climbing to the summit of Mt. Fuji in Japan in 1992.
Mr. Officer is survived by his wife, Nancy Officer of Durango; children Jill Officer and Douglas Officer, both of Durango; granddaughter Christina Officer of Durango; brothers Drew Officer of Texas, and Don Officer and Bill Officer in Missouri; sisters DuAyne Officer, JoByna Shewmake and Janice Officer in Missouri and Judy Officer in Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Durango.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Christ the King Lutheran Church, 495 Florida Road, Durango, CO 81301; the American Cancer Society, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301; or the charity of your choice.