Mercedes C. Schiltz Mayer (10/30/2005)
Longtime Durango resident Mercedes C. Schiltz Mayer, 88, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005.
Mr. and Mrs. Mayer moved their family to Durango in June 1954. They started Honeyville (El Rancho del Santo Niño) in the Animas Valley, where Mrs. Mayer spent just about every day waiting on customers until the early 1980s. Her family said she enjoyed visiting with people from all corners of the world and did a great job of keeping the family business running.
Mrs. Mayer was active in many organizations like the Rosary and Altar Guild and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas at St. Columba Catholic Church when she was younger. She was very devoted to Mary, the Blessed Mother. In 1969, she was able to travel to Fatima, Portugal, which was a high point of her life.
She was active in politics for years and was outspoken about the issues of the day.
Her family said Mrs. Mayer's favorite social activity was going to the Bar-D Chuckwagon suppers. She enjoyed gardening, and her favorite thing was taking care of children. In her earlier years, she was also a member of the Animas Valley Garden Club and the Animas Valley Grange.
Her husband said that she was extremely frugal having grown up in the Depression and that she saved everything.
During the last few years at Four Corners Health Care Center, she kept everyone on their toes, telling them to answer the phones and saying "Hi, Cutie," to all the good-looking guys who walked by. She loved all the music programs held there and always insisted they play or sing longer.
Mrs. Mayer was born to William J. and Jenny Krier Schiltz in Emery, S.D., on May 2, 1917. When she was 4, her family moved to Sierra Madre, Calif.
On Dec. 28, 1936, she married Albert Joseph Mayer at San Juan Capistrano, Calif. They lived in Duarte, Calif., where they owned and operated a business named Honeyville until moving to Durango.
Mrs. Mayer was preceded in death by her oldest son, Paul A. Mayer, who was killed in a derailment of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1958, and her grandson Alex Crawford.
She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Albert Joseph Mayer of Durango; sons William J. Mayer of Durango, James Mayer of Evergreen and Thomas Mayer of Albuquerque; daughters Catherine Crawford of Wheat Ridge and Theresa Erwin and Jeanne Scarborough, both of Durango; 17 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will take place at Hood Mortuary from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005. A celebration of Mrs. Mayer's life will be held at the Bar-D Chapel at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005, with the Rev. Dan Jones officiating. A graveside service will follow at the Hermosa Cemetery, next to Honeyville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81303.
Archie G. Phelps Jr. (10/30/2005)
A man who grew up in Bayfield, Archie G. Phelps Jr., 72, died Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005, at his home in Soldotna, Alaska. The cause of his death was cancer.
Mr. Phelps was born Jan. 8, 1933, in Gallup, N.M. After graduating from high school and attending a year of vocational training in diesel engineering, he joined the U.S. Army on Feb. 13, 1953. He received numerous awards during his service and was honorably discharged on Nov. 2, 1965.
Mr. Phelps moved to Alaska in September 1981, residing in Soldotna. He worked as a maintenance engineer for Central Peninsula General Hospital until retiring in 1993. He also drove for Alaska Cab.
Mr. Phelps enjoyed music, hunting, fishing, metal detecting, woodworking and poetry.
"He loved his children and grandchildren and loved helping out at the Soldotna Senior Center," his family said in a statement.
Mr. Phelps was preceded in death by his brothers, Bill and Arvin Phelps. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margaret Phelps of Soldotna; sons Thomas and Michael Phelps of Soldotna; daughters Diana Overturf of Wyola, Mont., Donna Swaby of Kenai, Alaska, Mary Grenier of Soldotna, Sandra Minkel of Bird Island, Minn., and Betty Phelps of Soldotna; his mother, Elsie Phelps of Bayfield; brother David Phelps of Bayfield; 18 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many close friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, at the Soldotna Senior Center in Soldotna. His ashes will be scattered in the Kenai River at a later date.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Soldotna Senior Center, 197 W. Park Ave., Soldotna, AK 99669.
Debra Rizer (10/30/2005)
Debra Rizer, 52, died Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005, in Hesperus. A cause of death has not been determined.
Ms. Rizer was born Aug. 5, 1953, in Lake City, Fla. She grew up in Clear Water and Lake City, Fla. She was self-employed.
Ms. Rizer enjoyed fishing and riding. "She was free-spirited," said her daughter Christy.
She is survived by daughters Christy Warner and Barbie Warner.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, at 34 Folsom Place. Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary.
Phyllis Ruth Buehling (10/28/2005)
Former Durango resident Phyllis Ruth Buehling, 81, died Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005, in Wenatchee, Wash. The cause of death was lung cancer.
The Buehling family moved to Southwest Colorado in the early 1950s, when Mr. Buehling was the district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, first in Pagosa Springs and then, in 1957, in Durango.
While the family lived here, Mrs. Buehling was primarily a homemaker, but worked for a time in the practice of Drs. Stanley Haukeness and Leo Lloyd.
She was a member of the Knitting Guild and also enjoyed gardening. Mr. and Mrs. Buehling left the Durango area in 1991.
She was born in 1924 to a farming family in Spokane, Wash. After graduating from high school in Spokane, she became a stenographer at the Army base in Pascal, Wash. While there, she met and married Capt. Stuart Buehling in 1943.
"She was pretty kindhearted and soft-spoken," said her son, Bruce Buehling. "It was very easy to get along with her."
Mrs. Buehling was preceded in death by her husband, Stuart Buehling.
She is survived by her son, Bruce Buehling of Durango; daughter, Dianne Beeson of Wenatchee,Wash.; brother, Ernest Miller of Spokane, Wash., and sister, Arlene Langlois of Spokane.
Henry Clyde Latham (10/28/2005)
Henry Latham, 67, died in Durango on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Latham moved to Durango in 1996 to be close to his son Michael and his family. While in Durango, Mr. Latham worked as a mortgage broker and at the Millworks at Animas Air Park.
He was born to Clyde and Brooksey Latham on March 13, 1938, in Farmersville, Texas. He grew up there and moved to California with friends in the 1950s.
Mr. Latham met and married Sue Hoover in California in the early 1960s. The marriage was later dissolved.
In 1964, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving his country for four years. Upon his return, he lived, worked and raised his family in Orange County, Calif.
Mr. Latham was a Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoyed golf and baseball.
"He spoiled his boys and did a great job raising us," remembers his son Michael Latham.
Mr. Latham is survived by his sons, Michael Latham of Durango and Barry Latham of Corona, Calif.; and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005, at 1360 Steeple Chase Circle in Corona, Calif.
Nancy Ann Bilyeu (10/23/2005)
A former Durango resident, Nancy Ann Bilyeu, 74, died of cancer Monday, Oct. 17, 2005, in Fort Collins.
Mrs. Bilyeu was born on Sept. 3, 1931, in Ardmore, Okla., to R.V. and Ruth Ann Frye. She grew up in Stillwater, Okla., where she met her future husband, Clifford "Cliff" Bilyeu.
They married in Stillwater on Jan. 23, 1955. The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Delta.
Mrs. Bilyeu worked in Stillwater for the court clerk's office and then for an attorney.
She later worked for Bill Jenkins in the oil and gas industry and moved to Durango in 1976 with Jenkins' business.
After Jenkins retired, Mrs. Bilyeu ran a secretarial business until her retirement in 1994.
Mrs. Bilyeu lived in Durango for 18 years, where she enjoyed fishing, parties and gatherings with friends and family. She was an artist and needleworker.
Mr. and Mrs. Bilyeu retired in Jones, Okla., Cedaredge and Delta. They recently moved to Fort Collins.
Mrs. Bilyeu is survived by her husband, Cliff Bilyeu of Fort Collins; brother Robert L. Frye of Overton, Nev.; sons Jim Bilyeu of Fort Collins and Andy Bilyeu of Jones, Okla.; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by sons Timothy and John Bilyeu of Stillwater.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of Larimer County Memorial Donations, 7604 Colland Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525.
James Lynn Slade (10/22/2005)
James Lynn Slade, 82, died at his home in Richfield, Utah, on Oct. 18, 2005. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Slade was born Oct. 22, 1922, in Redmesa to James Clarence and Catherine Arabelle Willden Slade. He attended school in Redmesa, Marvel, Farmington and graduated from Durango High School in 1942. He married Mary Alice (Wielang) McGuigan on Aug. 9, 1942.
During the early years of the marriage, Mr. Slade was a beekeeper. His efforts were useful during World War II. Beeswax was an important product in the shipping and handling of war implements, and the honey was important because of the shortage of sugar. During those same years, Mr. Slade drove a school bus from Fort Lewis Mesa to Durango and worked for Wallace Gould and Farmer’s Supply.
In 1954, the Slade family moved to Nevada where Mr. Slade worked with his brother, Virgil, in the Slade Masonry for 20 years. Later, they were co-franchisees in Kentucky Fried Chicken, owning and operating seven stores in Reno, Carson City, Sparks and Fallon, Nev.
Later, living in Monroe, Utah, Mr. Slade was active in community affairs, serving on the City Council, in scouting and as ombudsman on behalf of the senior-citizen program.
Mr. Slade was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife enjoyed their later years serving a Latter-day Saints mission to the Cebu East Philip pines Mission and a Family History Mission in Salt Lake City.
He is survived by his wife, of Richfield; three children, James L. Slade of South Jordan, Utah, Michael Dean Slade of Las Vegas, Nev., and Diane Tavares of Fallon, Nev.; brothers and sister, Virgil Slade of Las Vegas, Nev. Everett C. Slade, of Salt Lake City, Harry G. Slade, of Salt Lake City, Jeannine Adair of Mesa, Ariz., and Audrey Henry of St. George, Utah.; 13 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held Friday in the Magleby Mortuary Chapel in Richfield. Burial will be at noon today in Greenmount Cemetery. An online guest book can be viewed at www.magle bymortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ladder-day Saints Church Humanitarian Aid or the Perpetual Education Fund.
Betty Illeene Northern (10/22/2005)
Betty Illeene Northern, a longtime Cortez resident, entered eternal life Oct. 20, 2005, at her residence. She was 73.
Cremation will take place with a private family memorial service planned for a later date.
Betty was born to Harvey Coleman and Elsie Marie Estes on Aug. 11, 1932, in Dolores. She studied to be a nurse and completed nurse’s aid certification.
She was a devoted farmer and rancher, a compassionate caretaker, a factory worker in Corsicana, Texas, and the “Hostess with the Mostest” at the Anasazi Restaurant in Cortez.
Betty was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was an avid landscaper with her rose bushes being her pride and joy. Betty loved to look at her flowers and listen to her many wind chimes. She spent many hours playing her Super Nintendo with “Mahjong” being her favorite game. As a disciplinarian, she would state to her children, “go to the lower forty.” She was happiest spending time with her family. She adored her grandchildren, loved the house she lived in and was full of laughter.
Betty Illeene Northern will be missed by those who survived her, daughter Linda Greenwood of Cortez, son Sparky Wedell of Cortez, daughter Lana Coleman of Corsicana, Texas; her grandchildren, Roy and Katie Norsix of Houston, Texas, Tiffany and Ryan Neely of Cortez, Stephen and Valena Greenwood of Cahone, Rusty, Jason, Kyra, Gina, and Holly, Ronald Bruce and Christopher; great-grandchildren Shawn, Shayla, Molly and Alex and sister Charlotte Howell of Victorville, Calif.
Betty Illeene Northern was preceded in death by her parents, Harvey Coleman and Elsie Marie Estes, and brother Sammy Estes.
The family is being served by Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel, Hale & Gerken.
Sarah Virginia Lazzerino (10/22/2005)
Sarah Virginia Lazzerino, 72, died in Seattle, Wash., on May 12, 2005. She died from heart complications.
Mrs. Lazzerino was born May 20, 1928, in Rockham, S.D. She moved to Durango in 1955 with her husband, Henry “Hank” Samuel, and lived here for 42 years.
“She will be remembered as a faithful servant to her lord and savior Jesus Christ,” said her son, Gino Lazzerino. He described her as “eccentric.” She is survived by her son; a sister, Jean Aarons, of Cortez; and a brother, John Aarons, of Arkansas.
She is preceded in death by her husband.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Lewis College Chapel.