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Colorado Obituary and Death Notice Archive

Colorado Obituary and Death Notice Archive - Page 710

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Date: Monday, 3 August 2015, at 8:54 a.m.

Jean J. Dyar (11/4/2005)

People referred to Jean Johnston Dyar, 80, as the woman with the engaging smile. She died Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

She and her husband moved to Durango after they retired in 1988. Mrs. Dyar, who enjoyed attending musical events, was a volunteer for Music in the Mountains until she became ill. For many years, she was a member of the board of directors of the La Plata County Council on Aging and the La Plata Eye and Ear Program. She belonged to the Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Dyar enjoyed playing golf, bridge, and traveling.

She was christened Dorothy Jean Johnston when she was born in Fort Morgan to Fred B. and Dorothy Carruth Johnston on April 27, 1925. She graduated from Fort Morgan High School in 1943.

Interested in a career in journalism and political science, she attended the University of Colorado and earned a bachelor's degree in 1947. While in her senior year, she was elected to Theta Sigma Phi, the honorary journalism sorority.

On Aug. 18, 1946, she married fellow CU student Joe B. Dyar in Fort Morgan. In 1947, the couple returned to Fort Morgan. For the next seven years, Mrs. Dyar was a staff member of the Fort Morgan Times . "She may have been the only woman sports writer in Colorado at one point" said her husband. "She loved sports and quit only because they wouldn't let her in the locker room."

The Dyar family moved to Denver in 1955, where Mrs. Dyar founded Jean Dyar Associates, a public-relations consulting firm. She wrote scripts for radio and television programs, organized state and national conventions, and served as executive director of a state professional organization in 1963.

The Dyars moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1965, where Mrs. Dyar became an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and served as secretary of the Iowa chapter. In 1970, she was designated an outstanding woman in public relations in the United States by this organization, as well as with biographical listings in Who's Who in Public Relations , Foremost Women in Communications and the World Who's Who of Women .

Also while in Iowa, Mrs. Dyar was on the staff of the American Chiropractic Association, where she edited a monthly magazine called Healthways and continued working with Jean Dyar Associates. Before returning to Colorado in 1975 and locating in Brighton, she changed her focus to consulting for several national commercial corporations, including the Springwall Mattress Co.

Mrs. Dyar is survived by her husband, Joe Dyar of Durango; sons, Barry Dyar of Durango and Jeff Dyar of Bayfield; sister, Marilyn Linker of Albuquerque; brother, George Johnston of Lancaster, Pa.; and two grandsons.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005, at the First Presbyterian Church of Durango, 1159 East Third Ave. A family service will be held in Fort Morgan at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church building fund, P.O. Box 3655, Durango, CO 81302.

Benjamin Eric Novinger (11/4/2005)

Benjamin Eric Novinger, 23, died at his home in Durango on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005.

He was born in Montrose to Steve and Ronda Novinger on Sept. 19, 1982. He grew up and attended school there before moving to Durango with his family in 1998.

While in Durango, Mr. Novinger had worked briefly for numerous construction companies, and for the last three years had worked for Four Corners Construction Company.

His family said he was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hiking, hunting, fishing and camping. Mr. Novinger was also a Broncos fan.

His family said he was "a hard-working, wonderful, fun-loving, good kid - loved by everyone. No one can believe that this death has happened."

Mr. Novinger is survived by his father Steve Novinger of Montrose; mother and stepfather, Ronda and Gene Brunken of Bayfield; brother Colby Novinger of Durango; his maternal and paternal grandfathers and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary. A gathering will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, at the family home, 8901 County Road 502 in Bayfield.

The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mary Esther Tompkins Wilson (11/1/2005)

Longtime Cortez resident Mary Esther Tompkins Wilson, 88, died at Southwest Memorial Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

She was born to Samuel Coles and Sarah Irene Booth Tompkins on Aug. 11, 1917, in Brawley, Calif. During her high school years, she worked as a commercial artist at a newspaper and was a candidate for Miss Southern California. She graduated from Fontana High School in 1934, a year early, so she could marry the young college boy who'd been delivering feed to her family's chicken farm. On Aug. 17, 1934, she married Glenn Edwin Wilson in Riverside, Calif. He was born in McElmo Canyon and needed to come home to help at the family ranch.

"She worked alongside Dad to do whatever needed to be done," said her daughter Ann Brown.

In her life story, Mrs. Wilson wrote about moving from a home in lush California with running water and indoor plumbing, to an isolated ranch with an outhouse where she had to lug water from an irrigation ditch 25 feet away and treat it with lye before she could use it to wash clothes and clean house. In another story, her daughter Sue was born prematurely, so Mrs. Wilson wrapped her in warm clothes in a tin pan she put behind the stove, thus creating her own incubator.

One thing she particularly loved was the sight of snow on the La Plata Mountains when driving east of Cortez.

Her family said Mrs. Wilson was devoted to her home and community. She was named the Colorado Homemaker of the Year in 1983.

She was a 40-year member of the Lake Vista Grange, and a member of the Montezuma County Fair Board and Home Demonstration Club. Mrs. Wilson was a leader of the Lakeview 4-H Club for 25 years, and was active in the Montezuma County Democratic Party.

"She really wanted to help young people learn homemaking skills," said her daughter Ann Brown. "Since her death, I've gotten a lot of phone calls from former 4-H students whom she taught cooking and sewing. And any recipe I ever sent her, she had to change."

Mrs. Wilson was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn Edwin Wilson, and her son, John Allen Wilson. She is survived by her children, Sue Hassell of Arvada and Glenn "Kelly" Wilson and Ann Brown, both of Cortez; 18 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Visitation will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005, at the Ertel Memorial Chapel. A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. The Rev. Erika Meyer will officiate. Burial will follow at Cortez Cemetery. Contributions may be made in memory of Mrs. Wilson to the Good Samaritan Center, 25½ S. Elm St., Cortez, CO 81321.

Ruby E. Dougherty (11/1/2005)

A woman who touched many lives, Ruby E. Dougherty, 80, died in Durango on Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. The cause of death was emphysema.

She was born in Farmington to James and Winnie Stillion on March 7, 1925. She was raised in the Durango area and graduated from Bayfield High School.

She married Everett Partridge, and they ran Partridge Photo Studio in Durango. After their divorce, she earned a bachelor's degree at Fort Lewis College. Upon graduation, she worked at the La Plata County Office of Social Services until her retirement, where she specialized in elder care. On May 24, 1974, she married James Dougherty in Durango.

"She loved her husband dearly, and thought he was a wonderful man," said her sister Marguerite Squires. "She always said they broke the mold after they made him."

Mrs. Dougherty had many talents and shared them with her nieces and nephews by writing children's stories. Her family said she was a mother to her nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. She had a hand in raising them in one way or another. She also had a special relationship with her sister Marguerite Squires, as they lived near each other all of their lives.

Mrs. Dougherty had a talent for flower gardening. In addition to growing them, she made arrangements of dried flowers and always provided her church with fresh altar arrangements. Her family said it was especially hard for Mrs. Dougherty to work in the yard because of a limp that developed after she had polio when she was a 2-year-old. She didn't let that stop her as she gardened and helped in the yard.

Mrs. Dougherty was preceded in death by her husband, James Dougherty.

She is survived by her sisters Marguerite Squires of Ignacio and Helen Still of Smithville, Mo.; brother Glenn Stillion of Powder Springs, Fla.; ten nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005, at the Allison Community Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 E. Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Beverly Rae Kolz (12/31/2005)

Bayfield resident Beverly Rae Kolz, 50, died at her home on Monday, Dec. 26, 2005.

The cause of death was cancer.

Mrs. Kolz was born Oct. 10, 1955.

She is survived by her husband, Ron Kolz, of Bayfield; son, Clint Kolz, of Cat Spring, Texas; sister, Kay Pearson, of Albuquerque; brothers Roger Sharp and Jerry Sharp, both of Penrose; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005, at the Church of Christ, 2011 U.S. Highway 160B, Bayfield.

Flowers and donations may be sent to the church.

Douglas V. Myers (12/30/2005)

Former Durango resident Douglas V. Myers, 59, died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005, in Eureka, Calif. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Mr. Myers lived in Durango from 1970 to 1994, when he moved to Eureka to care for his father. From the late-1970s to the mid-1980s, he owned and operated the lunch counter at the West Building. He was known as the "Big Guy" with a smile always on his face. He also worked for Coca-Cola of Durango, Vickers and at Tamarron.

While he was living in Durango, Mr. Myers was affiliated with Tri-County Head Start and helped to organize the World Peace Day celebrations.

Mr. Myers was born to Kenneth and Rhoderoi Myers in Emigrates Gap, Calif., on July 10, 1946. In 1951, the family moved to Phoenix, where he attended and graduated from Cortez High School in 1964. In 1968, Mr. Myers earned an associate's degree from Glendale (Ariz.) Community College.

Mr. Myers is survived by his wife, Nancy Myers, of Eureka, Calif.; sister, Bobbi Luzar, of Durango; and two nephews, also of Durango.

Carl R. Simpson (12/30/2005)

A former coach for the Montezuma-Cortez High School golf team, Carl R. Simpson, 86, died at the Valley Inn Nursing Home in Mancos on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2005. The cause of death was heart failure.

Mr. Simpson was born in Mogollon, N.M., on Aug. 17, 1919. In 1937, he graduated from Hatch High School in Hatch, N.M.

Mr. Simpson joined the U.S. Navy and served for six years, much of it during World War II.

He retired from the Qwest/Bell Telephone Co. after a 25-year career there.

Mr. Simpson married Joyce Simpson and the marriage later ended in divorce.

He married Fern Hughes on May 3, 1988, in two ceremonies - one in New Mexico and the second in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. For the last 17 years, the couple enjoyed winters in Phoenix and summers in Cortez.

Mr. Simpson was an avid golfer and loved to play the courses in both areas. He shared his patience and talent by coaching in Cortez. Mr. Simpson also taught his stepgrandson, Brady Wilson, to play golf. Mr. Wilson is now the golf professional at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.

Mr. Simpson also enjoyed skiing and nature. He was member of the Elk's Lodge in Cortez.

"He died as he lived," said his stepdaughter, Judy Simmons, "calmly and peacefully."

He is survived by his wife, Fern J. Hughes, of Cortez; son Carl R. Simpson Jr. of Albuquerque; daughter Carolyn Righetti of Del Rio, Texas; stepson K.B. Simmons of Albuquerque; stepdaughter Judy Simmons of Durango; three grandchildren; four stepgrandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial will be arranged at a later date.

Tobi Beverly Kolz (12/30/2005)

Bayfield resident Tobi Beverly Kolz, 50, died at her home on Monday, Dec. 26, 2005. The cause of death was cancer.

Mrs. Kolz was born Oct. 10, 1955.

She is survived by her husband, Ron Kolz, of Bayfield; son, Clint Kolz, of Cat Spring, Texas; sister, Kay Pearson, of Albuquerque; brothers Roger Sharp and Jerry Sharp, both of Penrose; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005, at the Church of Christ, 2011 U.S. Highway 160B in Bayfield. Flowers and donations may be sent to the church.

Floyd W. Gearhardt (12/29/2005)

Former Durango resident Floyd W. Gearhardt, 86, died at the Kansas Veterans Home in Winfield, Kan., on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005. The cause of death was an upper respiratory illness.

After World War II, Mr. Gearhardt moved to Durango with his family because his father worked for the railroad. A resident here until 1951, Mr. Gearhardt worked at a lumberyard and foundry while in Southwest Colorado.

Mr. Gearhardt was born to William Franklin and Era Bell Fults Gearhardt on Nov. 15, 1919, in Shawnee, Okla. He married Bertie Lee Neal on March 15, 1943, also in Shawnee.

Mr. Gearhardt served in the U.S. Army from October 1941 until October 1945. He was stationed in Alaska, France, Germany, Belgium and Czechoslovakia.

The Gearhardts moved from Durango to Arkansas City, Kan., where Mr. Gearhardt worked at the Beard Foundry and New Era Mill. He retired as the waste treatment officer for the city of Arkansas City after 20 years.

Mr. Gearhardt was a member of the Spencer Ralston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1254 and Shelton Beaty American Legion Post No. 18.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Bertie Lee Gearhardt.

Mr. Gearhardt is survived by his son John A. Gearhardt of Arkansas City, Kan.; daughters Reginna Strobel and Rebecca Neal, both of Arkansas City; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Graveside services and burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30, 2005, at Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Arkansas City, Kan.

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