Jaqueline Anderson Boyce (8/2/2005)
A longtime resident of Vallecito Lake, Jaqueline Anderson Boyce, 72, died Friday, July 29, 2005, at her son's home north of Durango. The cause of death was complications due to colon cancer.
She was born to John Q. and Opal Baer on Aug. 5, 1932, in San Jon, N.M. After attending El Paso High School in El Paso, Texas, she graduated from State High School in Shreveport, La.
On Jan. 28, 1950, she married Leland C. Boyce in El Paso. Mrs. Boyce was a bookkeeper as well as owning and operating several small businesses with her husband. Those businesses included Mesa Liquor Store in Farmington and The Ponderosa Store at Vallecito Lake.
She enjoyed fishing. Mrs. Boyce was also an artist who both painted and did ceramics. She was a member of several art clubs. From 1982 to 1983, she was president of the Women's Service Organization at Vallecito Lake. While living in Texas, she was a member of the Red Hat Society.
She was preceded in death by her husband.
Mrs. Boyce is survived by her sons Daniel Boyce of Las Vegas, Johnny Boyce of Dallas, and Tom Boyce of Durango; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Elk's Lodge picnic grounds, located east of Durango on Florida Road (County Road 240), at the south end of the road.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be sent to Hospice of Mercy, 3801 N. Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Marybeth Marjorie Smith (9/30/2005)
A woman who traveled the world, Marybeth Marjorie Smith, 82, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005, at the Bridgeview Care Center in Twin Falls, Idaho.
She was born to Ralph William and Marjorie Marie Orr Smith on Aug. 28, 1923, in Sacramento, Calif. While she grew up in Los Angeles, her family had settled in La Plata County in the late 1880s, and the family often summered here.
Miss Smith graduated from Stanford University with a degree in international relations in 1947. For the next 30 years, she lived in California, particularly San Francisco and Los Angeles. She was a beatnik in the 1950s, making numerous trips around the United States visiting friends, reading and writing. Her travels also took her to India, South America, Europe and Mexico.
In the early 1980s, Miss Smith returned to southern Colorado, where she ranched in the Ignacio and Bayfield areas. She was honored as the Colorado Tree Farmer of the Year in 1993 by the Colorado State Forest Service and the Colorado Tree Farmers Association for her contributions in improving forest land.
Miss Smith enjoyed reading, writing, gardening and caring for her numerous cats. She also enjoyed studying the various religions of the world.
“She was an intellectual,” said her niece, Kathy Bartsche. “She had fascinating and creative friends like authors when she lived in San Francisco.” Her nephew, Ralph Wolter, agreed. “It was always a pleasure to sit down to dinner with her,” he said. “She led such an interesting life and was friends with people like the 1950s Zen master Alan Watts.” She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and a cousin.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at her Ignacio ranch in the spring of 2006.
Fredric Paul Thomas (9/29/2005)
A longtime Cortez resident and business owner, Frederic Paul Thomas died at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005. He was 68.
Mr. Thomas was born on April 10, 1937, in Denver to Victoria Worden and Francis J. Thomas.
He attended the University of Colorado, where he earned a degree in civil engineering. Mr. Thomas owned and operated Thomas Engineering in Cortez for 33 years.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Nancy Thomas of Cortez; son Steven Thomas of Salisbury, Md.; daughter Terri Forth of Cortez; and sisters Francis Hayes of Fruita and Donna Rowe of Durango.
Cremation has occurred, and a private memorial service is planned.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Good Samaritan Center, P.O. Box 662, Cortez, CO 81321, or to the Christian Emergency Shelter, 432 N. Broadway, Cortez, CO 81321, or to Vista Grande Nursing Home Activities Department, 1311 N. Mildred, Cortez, CO 81321.
Rhoda Alice Walker (9/29/2005)
A former resident of Durango, Rhoda Alice Walker, 80, died on Monday, Sept. 5, 2005, at her home in Green Valley, Ariz. The cause of death was lung cancer.
She was born on Oct. 22, 1924, in Pueblo to Austin and Jessie (Scroggin) Schaffenacker. Shortly after her birth, her family moved back to their hometown of Mount Pulaski, Ill.
After graduating from high school, Mrs. Walker attended the Evanston School of Nursing. She liked to tell the story of leaving on the train for nursing school with less than $10 to see her through the first term. She earned her degree in 1946 and began a 40-year career as a registered nurse.
While visiting an aunt in Portland, Ore., she met her future husband, Robert J. Walker. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple married on Dec. 22, 1947.
Her husband was a physicist who specialized in the affects of nuclear radiation. Because of his career, the couple moved several times before settling in Walnut Creek, Calif., in the late 1950s, where Mr. Walker worked for the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1972, the Walkers moved to Durango. Mrs. Walker worked at Community Hospital until her retirement in 1987.
Her family said she especially loved working in the delivery room and taking care of the newborns.
She also helped her husband, who was the manager of the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 1975-1980.
After the couple retired to Arizona in 1995, Mrs. Walker was an active member of a Newcomer’s group, swimnastics and two bridge clubs. She also enjoyed traveling and taking her children on cruises.
Her family said that Mrs. Walker was a woman of boundless energy and spunk. She raised four children while working full time as a nurse and still found time for gardening, cooking, playing bridge, golfing and fishing with her husband.
They also said that she will be fondly remembered by those who knew her for her brilliant blue eyes, quick wit, strong opinions, “no-nonsense” attitude toward life and the loyal love she gave to her family.
She is survived by her sister Jane L. Hemphill of Durango and Green Valley Ariz.; sons Kurt Walker of Los Osos, Calif., and Matthew Walker of Marshall, Minn.; daughters Joanna Nichols of Durango and Nancy Kuhlman of Loomis, Calif.; six grandchildren; and a niece and a nephew.
Mrs. Walker was preceded in death by her husband, Robert J. Walker.
A memorial service has been held in Green Valley, Ariz.
Mary Ann Valentine (9/25/2005)
A native of Durango, Mary Ann Valentine, 70, died at University Hospital in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia.
She was born to Otto and Concetta (diUbaldo) Serroni on Feb. 25, 1935.
Mrs. Valentine grew up in Durango. She attended Durango High School, where she was a majorette in the marching band as well as a bassoon player in the band and orchestra. Mrs. Valentine was crowned “Miss Toltec” during her graduation year.
In 1956, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Mrs. Valentine worked as director of medical records at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver from 1959-1974.
One of her most treasured honors from that time came in 1973, when she received the Employer Merit Award from the President’s Commission on Employment of the Handicapped in Washington, D.C. The award was presented to her by Colorado First Lady Mary Lynn Vanderhoof. Mrs. Valentine also was selected to appear in the 17th edition of top
Alice Lorean McGraw (9/24/2005)
Alice Lorean McGraw died Saturday, Sept. 17. The celebration of her life will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Greenmount Cemetery.
Bobby Lee White (9/24/2005)
Bobby Lee White, 23, died of gunshot wounds in Durango on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005.
Mr. White was born to Johnny and Mary White on June 7, 1982, in Florence, Ariz. He grew up in Globe, Ariz., and attended Copper Rim School. He lost both of his parents at an early age, his mother when he was 13 and his father when he was 20. His sister Misty White said those losses colored the remainder of his life
His hobbies included drawing and music, and he especially enjoyed the outdoors, his family and friends.
"He was very much a socializer," said his sister Crystal Ruiz. "He was a mama's boy and missed her greatly. It's comforting now that he is back with her."
Mr. White spent his final days with his son, who was the most important person to him, said his family.
He is survived by sisters Misty White of Bayfield and Crystal Ruiz of Globe; brothers Timothy White of Durango and Rick Hubertus of Globe; son Elijah Castillo of Payson, Ariz.; and stepfather Bob Hannan of Globe.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Lamont Mortuary in Globe, Ariz.
Robert Hugh McAllister (9/24/2005)
A man who retired to Southwest Colorado, Robert Hugh McAllister, 85, died at his home in Durango on Monday, Sept. 19, 2005. The cause of death was cancer.
He was born in the small east Texas town of Quitman to Hugh and Ruby McAllister on April 24, 1920. He attended school through the 11th grade, because Quitman High School didn't have a 12th grade. Mr. McAllister played the clarinet in the Quitman High School Band at the Texas Centennial Celebration in 1936.
During World War II, Mr. McAllister joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served with the 376th Heavy Bomb Group, "The Liberandos," which was highly decorated. He was an airplane mechanic on B-24 and B-29 bombers, also serving as a flight engineer on the B-24s. His unit fought in the Balkans, north and south France, Rome, the Arno Valley, Rhineland, Central Europe, the northern Appenines and the Po Valley. He held the rank of master sergeant when he was honorably discharged.
In 1944, Mr. McAllister married Pueblo native Juanita Clara Schneider, and they enjoyed 61 years together.
His two grandsons have followed in his tradition of military service to his country. Staff Sergeant Graham Hunter Faris is stationed with the Army Ranger Reconnaissance Unit and EM5 Galen Morgan Faris is assigned to the nuclear boat USS Springfield.
Throughout his working life, Mr. McAllister was an accounting supervisor for the Dallas Accounting Center of Magnolia Petroleum Co., now known as Exxon/Mobil. He retired after 35 years to be close to his daughter and grandchildren.
Mr. McAllister was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and joined the now-disbanded Bayfield post when he moved to Colorado.
"He was painfully honest," said his daughter, Beverly Moore. "He was an incredibly good father and husband who took care of everything. While he was very responsible and meticulous, he also had a dry sense of humor."
Mr. McAllister is survived by his wife, Juanita McAllister, of Durango; daughter, Beverly Moore of Durango; two grandsons and one granddaughter.
An informal gathering will be held Sunday, Oct 2, at Mr. McAllister's home at 13249 U.S. Highway 550, south of Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made to Blue Star Moms, Chapter 1, c/o the Durango Armory, 283 Girard St., Durango, CO 81303 (telephone 247-4167); The Colorado National Guard Family Support Program, c/o The Durango Armory, 283 Girard St., Durango, CO 81303; or the Hospice of Mercy, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Ronald Dwayne Clark (9/23/2005)
A man who always made time to spend with his family, Ronald Dwayne Clark, 65, died in Pueblo on Monday, Sept. 19, 2005.
The cause of death was complications from a spinal injury he received at work eight years ago.
Mr. Clark was born to Dee and Elizabeth Clark in Lawton, Okla., on April 14, 1940. He was a member of the Caddo Nation.
When he was a young child, his family moved to Loma Linda, Calif., where he grew up. Mr. Clark attended Redlands High School but was unable graduate after a bout with rheumatic fever.
In 1959, he married Mari Freeman. The marriage was later dissolved.
Mr. Clark had a career in drywall for 37 years, retiring from the union as a respected journeyman. While in Durango, where he moved in 1993, Mr. Clark worked for San Juan Installation and Drywall.
Whether it was going to a baseball or basketball game or just watching a movie at home, his family said he always made it a priority to be with them. For fun, he loved to raise and race homing pigeons.
His sons said he was a second-generation die-hard Dodger and Lakers fan.
Mr. Clark is survived by his brother Darwin Clark of Cabot, Ark.; sons Anthony Dwayne Clark of Mancos and Jerry Ray Clark and John Fitzgerald Clark, both of Durango; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ in Mancos. Bishop Lyman Bayles will preside. There will be signs placed to give directions to the church and a dinner will follow the service.