Felix Robles Martinez (10/21/2005)
Felix Robles Martinez, 60, died at his home in Ignacio on Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. The cause of death was liver cancer.
He was born to Felix and Vera Martinez on Oct. 18, 1944, in Corona, Calif. After growing up in Riverside, Calif., he enlisted in the Army at 17. He was stationed in Germany for three years.
After his discharge, Mr. Martinez lived in many places before moving to Alaska in 1975. There he worked in construction for 10 years and as a hazardous-materials delivery driver for 14 years.
He married JoEllen Flowers in California. The marriage was later dissolved.
He met Carol Martin in 1984, and the couple married in 1988. They moved from Alaska to the Durango area in November 1999. Mr. Martinez worked as a truck driver for the city of Durango and the La Plata County Road Maintenance Division.
An active man, Mr. Martinez enjoyed sports and was an avid baseball and softball fan. He had played on two softball teams every summer for the last 30 years. He even continued to play softball after his illness was diagnosed. In 1999, he won the title of Alaska State Horseshoe Doubles champion.
He also enjoyed traveling, cooking and visiting his family and friends. His family said that he had a generous heart and was a jokester and adventurer. He also was a member of Trujillo-Sheets American Legion Post No. 28.
"We didn't know anyone who didn't gravitate toward him," said his sister, Alice Contreras. "Children loved him, and he was a lot of fun."
Mr. Martinez is survived by his wife, Carol Lynn Martinez of Ignacio; mother Vera Martinez of Riverside; son John Martinez of Central Point, Ore.; daughter Andrea Bannan of Long Beach, Wash.; brothers Art Martinez of Riverside and Frank Martinez of Colton, Calif.; sister Alice Contreras of Riverside; four grandsons; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Celebrations of his life will be held later at the family home in Ignacio and in Anchorage, Alaska. A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside.
Alice D. Spickelmier Barr (10/20/2005)
A woman with a large extended family, Alice D. Spickelmier Barr, 92, died in Farmington on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005.
The fifth of eight children, she was born to John Wesley Keeton and Lindsia Gertrude King Keeton on Feb. 3, 1913, in Longdale, Okla.
On July 5, 1932, she married Walter Spickelmier in Fairview, Okla.
In 1935, the couple moved to Marvel, where they farmed until moving to California in 1942. They returned to Southwest Colorado in 1947, where Mr. Spickelmier worked as a miner in Silverton until 1956. The family then moved to Tuba City, Ariz., finally ending up in Farmington in 1972, where Mrs. Barr lived until the her death.
After Mr. Spickelmier's death in 1989, she married Russell Barr on Feb. 25, 1995, in Bullhead City, Ariz. That marriage brought three more children and their offspring into her family.
Mr. Barr died in May, and the day after his funeral, Mrs. Barr broke her hip. Complications from that injury led to a septic infection, which was the final cause of her death.
One of her favorite things in her younger years was attending socials at the Marvel Community Church.
"I'll always remember her cooking for us," said her granddaughter FaNon Spickelmier. "She was one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known."
She is survived by her sons Gary A. Spickelmier of Aztec, Wendell Curtis Spickelmier of Newberry Park, Calif., Kenneth Barr of Riverside, Calif., and Donald Barr of Paradise, Calif.; daughter Mary Elizabeth Stidham of Tranquility, Calif.; 14 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. today at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Aztec. A funeral will follow at 10 a.m. at the church, with the Rev. Stephen Elsbury officiating. Interment will take place at the Marvel Community Cemetery.
Krystin Jean Shank (10/20/2005)
A former resident of Durango, Krystin Jean Shank, 18, died in an automobile accident in California on Monday, Oct. 17, 2005.
She was born to Don and Gayle Shank on June 4, 1987. Miss Shank lived in Durango from 1995 to 1999, attending Riverview Elementary and Miller Middle schools.
After graduating from Agoura Hills High School in May, she was attending Moorpark College in Moorpark, Calif., as a freshman. She was active in ACT and Job's Daughters in high school.
Miss Shank is survived by her mother, Gayle Shank, of Agoura Hills, Calif.; father Don Shank of Monte Vista; brother Daniel Shank of California; grandparents Bob and Dorothy Shank of Durango, and Jerry Uttal of Palm Desert, Calif.; aunt Margien Gram of Durango; great-grandmothers; aunts; uncles and cousins.
Rose Ann Stiles (10/20/2005)
A resident of Durango for 20 years, Rose Ann Stiles, 79, died at Mercy Medical Center on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. The cause of death was ovarian cancer.
She was born to Jack and Jenny DiSalvo in New York City on July 19, 1926. After graduating from Loyola Girls High School in Los Angeles, she studied at the University of California at Los Angeles. She met Carl Stiles there, and the couple married in 1946.
While in Los Angeles, Mrs. Stiles was in charge of the claims desk at Walter Federman & Associates, an insurance company that handled much of the insurance needs for movie studios.
She moved to Durango in 1985, where she lived with her son Kenneth Stiles. She worked for Western Sizzlin' as a hostess for about seven years.
Her family said she was a devoted caretaker of her family and made many friends.
"She was more of a friend than a mother," her son Kenneth Stiles said. "She was a health nut who could still see without glasses and had all her teeth. She was tough as nails and full of vim and vigor."
She is survived by her sons William Stiles of Moosup, Conn., and Kenneth Stiles and Dennis Stiles, both of Durango; daughter Carol Ann Chalfant of Provo, Utah; brother Salvadore William DiSalvo of Los Angeles; and four grandchildren.
Mrs. Stiles was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Stiles.
Visitation will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday at Hood Mortuary. A service of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at Hood. The Rev. Gary Newport with St. Columba will officiate. Burial will follow at Florida Cemetery in Durango.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Alfred Joseph DiFerdinando (10/19/2005)
A longtime Durango resident, Alfred Joseph DiFerdinando, 82, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005. The cause of death was complications from lung cancer.
He was born to Sabatino and Agata DiFerdinando in Monticelli, Teramo, Italy, on Dec. 6, 1922. The family moved to Durango when he was 1 year old.
Mr. DiFerdinando attended St. Columba Catholic School and graduated from Durango High School in 1941.
After graduation, he became a machinist at Regan Forge and Engineering Co., in Long Beach, Calif.
From 1944 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Army, helping to liberate the Philippines as a stevedore foreman and marksman.
Mr. DiFerdinando's honors included an Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with a bronze arrowhead, a Philippine Liberation ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.
He contracted a tropical disease in the Philippines that recurred throughout his life.
After his discharge, Mr. DiFerdinando returned to Durango and was a co-owner in City Taxi Co., with his brother Sammy DiFerdinando.
Mr. DiFerdinando returned to active military duty during the Korean War. He was deployed to Korea with the 30th Infantry. It was during this tour of service that he married Luita Dufur.
After his second discharge, Mr. DiFerdinando worked for the Colorado Employment Office and sold life insurance. In the mid-1960s, he bought the Durango Lumber Co., which was located at Ninth Street and Camino del Rio. He owned and operated it until the land was sold to Holiday Inn.
The lumberyard was relocated to the DiFerdinando farm, which is now the site of Durango High School. The business was renamed the Alert Supply and Lumber Co. Alert Supply was later sold to Red Barn Lumber.
Mr. DiFerdinando earned his real-estate license and was an agent for Town and Country Realty in the 1980s.
He was also a union driver for movie production companies filming in Colorado.
Mr. DiFerdinando was a past member of the Rotary Club of Durango, a life member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 507, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031, the Disabled American Veterans, the Durango Club and Christopher Columbus Lodge No. 172.
He was also a member of St. Columba Catholic Church.
Mr. DiFerdinando also farmed in western La Plata County on the Dryside.
He is survived by his sister Mary DiFerdinando Phillips of Albuquerque; one niece; three nephews; and several cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Luita DiFerdinando.
Visitation will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. today at St. Columba Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday also at St. Columba. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate.
Burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Columba Catholic School, 1801 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
LauraLee Neylan (10/19/2005)
Durango native LauraLee Neylan, 53, died at her home in Farmington on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005. The cause of death was not disclosed.
She was born to Chester and M.E. Taylor in Durango on May 1, 1952. She grew up here and graduated from Durango High School.
She married Seth M. Neylan in Durango in 1970.
During the early years of their marriage, the Neylans lived in many places, including three years in Leadville.
They moved to Farmington in 1977 and have lived there ever since.
While in Farmington, Mrs. Neylan worked for Safeway, Grand Central and, most recently, at Smith's.
Her family said they will remember her as the "ultimate mom."
She enjoyed music and traveling, particularly family trips to Las Vegas.
Mrs. Neylan is survived by her husband, Seth Neylan of Farmington; daughters Tiffany Neylan and Michelle Neylan-Henderson, both of Farmington; mother M.E. Taylor of Farmington; one grandson; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Hood Mortuary. The Rev. Myron T. Darmour will officiate.
Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Margaret Jean Frost Bartlett (10/18/2005)
A woman who touched many children's lives, Margaret Jean Frost Bartlett, 63, died at her home in Durango on Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. The cause of death was not disclosed.
She was born in Minneapolis to Jack and Jean Frost on April 24, 1942. She spent most of her childhood in Brookings, S.D., and began attending Springfield College when her family moved to Massachusetts in 1960. She later transferred to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she received a bachelor's degree in sociology.
While a student at Luther College, she met Ted Bartlett. The couple married in Black Hammer, Minn., on June 1, 1964. They moved to Palo Alto, Calif., where Mrs. Bartlett practiced social work and her husband studied for his doctorate in chemistry. After living in New York City and Minneapolis, the Bartlett family, which now included three daughters, moved to Durango in 1978 when Mr. Bartlett became a member of the Fort Lewis College faculty.
Mrs. Bartlett began teaching preschool at Children's World in 1980, later becoming director of the program. She subsequently taught preschool for 11 years at the Mercy Childcare Center, retiring in 2002.
When her daughters were enrolled in Durango schools, Mrs. Bartlett was involved in school activities. She also valued her network of community connections.
Her family said that her life centered on them and that her home was always open and welcoming to her extended family and friends. Mrs. Bartlett enjoyed spending time outdoors, whether it was in her yard or in the mountains around Durango. She also loved to read.
Mrs. Bartlett is survived by her husband, Ted Bartlett of Durango; daughters, Anne Bartlett of Bayfield, Elisabeth Howe of Durango and Christine Jaworsky of San Diego; mother, Jean Frost of Los Alamos, N.M.; siblings, Mary Steen of Northfield, Minn., Kathryn Willcutt of Los Alamos, N.M., Barbara Frost of San Francisco, Helen Frost Thompson of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Dorothy Teeter of Seattle, Nancy Simpson of Bryan, Texas, Richard Frost of Falmouth, Maine, Karen Cator of Redwood City, Calif., and Herbert Frost of Castle Rock; three grandchildren, 28 nieces and nephews; and many friends.
A memorial celebration will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at the home of Fred and Liz Whitehurst, 9907 East Animas Road (County Road 250). Friends and family are welcome to join in the celebration of Mrs. Bartlett's life.
Memorial contributions may be made to Namaste Health Center, 929 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301; or Mercy Childcare Center, 375 E. Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Donations to Namaste Health Center will help support people with financial need facing serious health challenges. Donations to Mercy Childcare Center will be used for a living memorial.