Norman Ellis Bonds (10/16/2005)
A highly decorated World War II veteran, Norman Ellis Bonds, 83, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005, at Sears Wesley Court in Abilene, Texas.
Mr. Bonds was born on Nov. 21, 1921, in Jefferson County, Ala., to A.J. and Ethyl (Rennow) Bonds. He graduated from Ensley High School and attended Birmingham South ern College before he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941.
He served with the 308th Bomb Group of the 14th Air Corps under Gen. Claire Chennault during World War II. Mr. Bonds flew 75 missions in the China/Burma/India theatre. For his service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, the Air Medal with one oak-leaf and the Purple Heart.
Near the end of his service, Mr. Bonds traveled with the late Texas state Sen. Harley Sadler and his Tent Show selling war bonds.
Mr. Bonds married Maxene Cross at Courtland Army Base in Courtland, Ala., on March 2, 1945. They moved to Abilene, Texas, in 1948 under the recommendation and loving care of Sadler and his wife, Billie.
Mr. Bonds worked as an auditor for the state of Texas, was self-employed for several years, was president of Texas Independent Life Insurance Company and retired in 1987 as business manager for Radiology Associates of Abilene.
He served as district and na tional president of the Radiology Business Managers Association.
Mr. Bonds also was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, was a 32nd degree Mason and was a member and volunteer for many civic and private organizations in Abilene.
During his many trips to Durango, he visited family and friends and attended arts functions.
He is survived by his sisters Freida Rivers and Sara Jo Sims; his daughters Mickey Barker of Palm City, Fla., Harley Sinclair of Lexington, Ky., Susie Bonds of Durango; eight grandchildren; four great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews. He also will be missed by his dear friend Gerry Griffin.
He was preceded in death by Maxene, his wife of 39 years, five brothers, infant son Albert Matthew Bonds and grandson Mark Millwee.
The family wishes to express its appreciation for the care given by Wesley Court, Hendrick Hospice and Sears Home Health Services.
Services were held in Abilene.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1682 Hickory St., Abilene, TX 79601, or the American Heart Association.
Jerry Dan Graham Sr. (10/16/2005)
A longtime pastor, Jerry Dan Graham Sr., 68, died Friday at Mercy Medical Center of natural causes.
He was senior pastor at First Southern Baptist Church in Durango, preaching for the last five years.
Mr. Graham was born July 27, 1937, in Glenrose, Texas, the son of Willie D. and Rachel Jewel Denton Graham. He married Betty Jack in Wolfforth, Texas, in 1969.
Mr. Graham spent more than four decades serving in the ministry, including mission work in Wales, England and Brazil.
He was an active member of the Durango Lion’s Club and frequently volunteered at Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center.
Mr. Graham enjoyed fishing and spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Graham of Durango; his daughter, Julie Griffith of Patalooma, Calif.; sons Jerry D. Graham Jr. of Fredrickstown, Miss., and David Graham of Burley, Idaho; his sister, Carol McCullar of Levelland, Texas; and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at First Southern Baptist Church. A funeral will follow at 2 p.m.
His son Senior Pastor David Graham of Praise Chapel Open Bible Fellowship, based in Rupert, Idaho, and Charlie Ellisor, Southern Baptist Convention director of missions, will co-officiate.
Additional services will be held in Lubbock, Texas, with burial in Resthaven Cemetery in Lubbock.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Southern Baptist Church, 1715 West Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Michael James Kaufman (10/16/2005)
An animal lover, Michael James Kaufman, 46, died Friday, Oct. 7, 2005, at his home in Durango.
Mr. Kaufman was born July 14, 1959, in Fond du Lac, Wis., the son of Wayne and Georgine Kaufman. He grew up in Fond du Lac.
Mr. Kaufman joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after graduating from high school. He served for 20 years as a security police officer in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Kaufman met and married his wife, Anna M. Davis, while both were stationed in Colorado Springs. They married April 21, 1994.
Mr. Kaufman loved all animals, especially dogs. He was known for adopting stray and hopeless canines that needed caring for.
He also loved the Green Bay Packers and enjoyed fishing in the mountains he called home.
He is survived by his wife, Anna Kaufman of Durango; brothers William Kaufman of Fond du Lac and Steve Kaufman of Tacoma, Wash.; sons Jason and Chase Kaufman, both of Phoenix; and his grandmother.
Services will be held in the spring in Fond du Lac. Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Blue Star Moms, Chapter 1, c/o the Durango Armory, 283 Girard St., Durango, CO 81303 (phone: 247-4167).
Paul James 'Jim' Thomas (10/14/2005)
A talented athlete, Paul James 'Jim' Thomas, 60, died at his home in Durango on Monday, Oct. 10, 2005. The cause of death was arteriosclerosis.
He was born to Paul and Sara Thomas in Los Angeles on Nov. 2, 1944. While growing up in Redding, Calif., he learned to hunt and fish with his father. After graduating from Enterprise High School, Mr. Thomas served for three years with the U.S. Army. He spent much of the time stationed in Thailand during the early years of the Vietnam War, achieving sharpshooter and M14-automatic-rifle expert levels.
During the mid-1960s, he married Loretta Thomas. The couple had been separated for several years.
He developed skills in sheet-metal fabrication as a welder and shop foreman. His family said Mr. Thomas rarely missed a day of work and was a top performer because he was a perfectionist.
Mr. Thomas was a competitive athlete, always seeking adventure. He was one of the top expert motocross/desert dirt-bike racers in Utah in the mid-1970s.When his sons began running cross country competitively when they were ages 11 and 12, Mr. Thomas focused on their sports activities. He hung up the dirt bikes and also became a runner, competing in 10-kilometer races with his sons in the Sacramento, Calif., area. Mr. Thomas was proud to have helped groom his sons to earn track scholarships to the University of Arkansas and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Mr. Thomas later added kayaking to the sports he pursued, eventually becoming nationally ranked in his age category. Mr. Thomas and his sons, Paul Thomas and Jim Thomas Jr., went on to win triathlons from 1981 to 1987, with Mr. Thomas paddling the kayak leg.
He was interested in history, with an emphasis on American Indians and the Civil War. He and his sons participated in re-enactments as Confederate soldiers. In 1996, he and his wife renewed their vows with a Confederate-style ceremony and dressed in Confederate clothes at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Mr. Thomas moved to Durango in 1999 and worked for Harvest Distributing. In Durango, he enjoyed riding his hybrid bicycle.
He is survived by his wife, Loretta Thomas of Blairsden, Calif.; father Paul Thomas of Bodega Bay, Calif; sons Paul Thomas of San Diego and Jim Thomas Jr. of Redondo Beach, Calif.; daughter Mary Thomas of Blairsden; sister Susan Greenshaw of Redding, Calif.; and companion Rosemary Guy of Durango.
A graveside service will take place at Greenmount Cemetery at 10 a.m. today. Terry Saxon, the chaplain at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031, will officiate.
Irene Janet DeVincentis (10/13/2005)
A loving wife and mother, Irene DeVincentis, 89, died at Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2005. The cause of death was pneumonia.
She was born in Cleveland to Lucy (Calo) and Vincent Broncaccio on July 16, 1916, and graduated from West Tech High School. She went on to business school.
On May 30, 1939, she married Harold DeVincentis in Cleveland. The couple moved to Long Island, NY.
Mrs. DeVincentis worked for a time at Orbachs in dress sales during that time. From there, the family moved to Danvers, Mass. They had spent the last 25 years in Florida.
For the last 30 years, Mrs. DeVincentis had battled degenerative spinal muscular atrophy.
She loved to sing, particularly the standards. Before she became ill, Mrs. DeVincentis also enjoyed sewing.
"She was a family-oriented woman," said her daughter, Judy Morgan.
Mrs. DeVincentis is survived by her children, Judy Morgan of Durango, Jim DeVincentis of Farmington and Bob DeVincentis of Dana Point, Calif.; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Harold DeVincentis, who died in May.
The family will hold a private service.
Donations may be made in either Mr. or Mrs. DeVincentis' name to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60601-7633.
Helen J. ‘Cissy’ Hale (10/12/2005)
A former resident of Durango, Helen J. “Cissy” Hale, 76, died Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005, in Parker. The cause of death was cancer.
She was born to Cyril and Mary Conway in Durango on Dec. 18, 1928. After attending St. Columba Catholic School through the sixth grade, she attended Durango public schools.
On Dec. 22, 1946, she married Marvin Hale in Grass Valley, Calif. The Hales moved frequently across the Southwest, but often returned to live in Durango. Durango was their primary home from 1949 to the 1960s.
While in Durango, Mrs. Hale worked as a waitress at the Silver Spur and Candlelight. She was also a dispatcher for the DiFerdinandos at City Taxi Co.
In the 1970s, the Hales retired to Montrose.
“She was the best cook in the world,” said her daughter, Lolly Shepherd. “She was great at big family dinners, and she made a lot of them, because we always had family and friends living with us.” When Mrs. Hale’s brother Cyril Conway’s wife died, he and his five children moved in with the Hales for several years.
Her daughter described Mrs. Hale as “a readaholic” who also loved to travel. One of her last wishes was to travel to Ireland, the native land of her grandparents. She was scheduled to leave with her family earlier this week.
“She was a hoot,” said her daughter. “Our house was where all the school kids wanted to go because she was so much fun.” Mrs. Hale was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin Hale, and her son, Dennis Hale.
She is survived by her children Laurel “Lolly” Shepherd of Parker, David Hale of Mancos and Frank Hale of Montrose; brother, John Gardner of Grand Junction; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Mancos.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Cancer Society of Colorado in her name.
Charles “Charlie” Edward Reynolds (10/12/2005)
Charles “Charlie” Edward Reynolds, a resident of Dolores, died Oct. 4, 2005, at his residence. He was 76.
A graveside memorial service with full military rites is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005, in the Cortez Cemetery. The Ute Mountain American Legion Post 75 and the VFW will conduct the rites.
Memorial contributions can be made in Charles Edward Reynolds’ name to Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Drawer 740, Cortez, CO 81321.
Reynolds and his twin sister were born March 29, 1929, to William Coleman and Florence Rhodes Reynolds in Wright County, Mo.
Reynolds was honorably dis charged from the Army Airborne as a paratrooper after his service during the Korean War. He married his lifelong love, Virginia Wooten, in 1955 in Fort Stockton, Texas. In this union, the couple was blessed with a son, “Eddie.” The family moved to Cortez from Fort Stockton 49 years ago.
Reynolds was an honest man who worked hard all his life. He was a derrick hand for Mesa Drillers for a number of years and was an excellent farmer. He was a dedicated provider for his family. He raised hound dogs for a number of years, with his favorite being “Cooter.” He loved to hunt, was an expert marksman, avid card counter and enjoyed playing dominoes. He was committed to his farm and loved to see things grow. Reynolds watched every game the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies played and loved to watch the weather channel to make sure all of his family members were safe.
Charles “Charlie” Edward Reynolds is survived by his family, a son, Ed, and wife, Carol Reynolds of Dolores, grandson Brandon Reynolds of Cortez, great-grandson Elijah Reynolds of Cortez, brother Bill Reynolds of Banning, Calif., sister Juanita Dickey of Wichita Falls, Kan., and sister Bonnie Dykus of Los Angeles, Calif.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Virginia Wooten Reynolds, his parents, William C. and Florence Rhodes Reynolds, his twin sister, Merle Buchanan of Concordia, Kan., grandson Dean Peterman Reynolds, and Hazel Moore and Ruth Morrison, both of Kansas City, Kan.
The family is being served by Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel, Hale & Gerken. For more information, call 564-0667.