John Christopher Duran (12/23/2005)
Hesperus native John Christopher Duran, 64, died at the Hospice of St. John in Lakewood on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005. The cause of death was metastatic kidney cancer.
He was born in Hesperus to Joseph G. and Emma C. (Archuleta) Duran on Aug. 9, 1941. Mr. Duran earned his GED and enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 17. He was discharged honorably three years later.
After his discharge, Mr. Duran worked in Denver as a dispatcher for Engineers Union No. 9 for 13 years before becoming a heavy-equipment operator working with excavation machinery. He retired at age 62.
In 1969, he married Rafelita Martinez in Denver and adopted her three sons. The marriage later ended in divorce.
He had lived in Westminster for the last 20 years. During the last eight years, Mr. Duran had been building a vacation home on the property where he had grown up in Hesperus. He finished it just when his cancer was diagnosed.
Mr. Duran is survived by his companion of many years, Connie Taylor, of Westminster; sons Eric Joe Duran of Lakewood and the twins Kelly Paul Duran of Las Vegas, Nev., and Kerry John Duran of Durango; brother Bobby Duran of Durango; and nine grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. A rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, also at Sacred Heart. Burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery. A reception will follow at the American Legion Post at 878 East Second Ave.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Rosa Lee Hutton (12/23/2005)
A woman known to many as "Granny," Rosa Lee Hutton, 77, died at Medical Mercy Center on Tuesday, Dec. 20. The cause of death was a stroke.
Mrs. Hutton had moved to Marvel recently to be near family.
She was born to George and Rosie Spencer on June 17, 1928, in Carlsbad, N.M. Mrs. Hutton finished the eighth grade and worked for a short time delivering newspapers for her father, who ran the Carlsbad newspaper.
In 1945, she married Charlie Stanley Andrews in Carlsbad. The marriage later ended in divorce. In 1951, she married Ollie Eugene Hutton, also in Carlsbad.
Mrs. Hutton had lived in the Pie Town, N.M., area until she moved to Southwest Colorado. She enjoyed hunting for antiques and collecting rocks and arrowheads. She liked to play different board games and travel throughout the Southwest. She also liked to garden and grow flowers.
Mrs. Hutton was preceded in death by her husband of 35 years, Ollie Hutton.
She is survived by her daughters Charliene Fitch of Marvel and Pat Hutton and Freida Hutton, both of Pie Town, N.M.; sons Darrell Andrews of Carlsbad, N.M., Dale Andrews of Farmington and Eddie Hutton of Albuquerque; sister Elsie Marrero of Temecula, Calif.; 28 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Hood Mortuary from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005. The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, at the First Baptist Church in Pie Town, N.M.
William F. and Hilda E. 'Gert' McCarthy (12/21/2005)
The parents of Durango resident Patti Zink have died at the home of their daughter Sharon Schmitz in Carroll, Ohio. William F. McCarthy died of congestive heart failure on Friday, Oct. 21, 2005. Hilda E. "Gert" McCarthy, 77, died from complications of Alzheimer's disease and heart disease Monday, Dec. 12, 2005.
The couple visited Durango often. They loved the West and watching Western movies.
"We took them to see places like Monument Valley," Mrs. Zink said. "They were amazed to see it in person."
Mr. McCarthy was born to Alice and John McCarthy in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 7, 1929.
After graduating from Purcell High School there, he went on to work as the warehouse manager for Colonial Stores before working for Hytek in materials handling.
Mrs. McCarthy was born to Robert and Patricia Kershaw in Cincinnati on March 21, 1928.
She graduated from Woodruff High School and worked as the night-shift waitress at Emil's Restaurant for many years.
The couple married in Cincinnati on July 14, 1951.
Mr. McCarthy was active in Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Columbus, serving on the church board, volunteering with the Happy Spirits retirement group and enjoying his membership in the Knights of Columbus.
He also liked to garden and was, his daughter said, "a bit of a putzer."
Mrs. McCarthy loved to knit and work "seek-and-find" puzzles.
The McCarthys were preceded in death by their son William McCarthy Jr. and grandson Michael McCarthy Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy are survived by their children Patti Zink of Durango, Michael McCarthy of Columbus, and Sharon Schmitz of Carroll, Ohio; sisters Ida Persons, Catherine Schmuelling, Rose Mary Webber, Kathleen Hanrahan and Eileen Bartels, all of Cincinnati; brother Cliff Kershaw of Port Allen, La.; four grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services have been held in Columbus.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Carmel Hospice, 1144 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215.
Geraldine L. McMullin (12/21/2005)
A woman who was known as the butterfly lady, Geraldine L. McMullin, 88, died at Sunshine Gardens Country Home on Friday, Dec. 16, 2005.
The cause of death was complications from Parkinson's disease and metastatic bone cancer.
She was born to Mattie Frederickson and Alfred Loughlin on July 28, 1917, in Oakland, Calif.
Mrs. McMullin worked briefly as a secretary before becoming a homemaker.
In 1936, she married Richard C. Yeakel, and the couple had a daughter, Diane, before the marriage ended in divorce.
She married James McMullin in 1945 in Oakland. He was career Navy, so Mrs. McMullin was a Navy wife for many of her adult years. The family was stationed at Hawaii, Midway Island and Pawtuxet River, Md.
Mr. and Mrs. McMullin had a son, Jim McMullin Jr., who was killed in a helicopter accident in 1972.
He had been a photographer and left all of his camera equipment to his mother. Mrs. McMullin went to school to learn photography and became a talented amateur photographer.
One of her favorite subjects was butterflies.
She had a backyard butterfly sanctuary in her Palm Harbor, Fla., that included milkweed. Schoolchildren in the Tampa, Fla., area benefited from her hobbies, as she gave numerous slide programs about the metamorphic process that caterpillars go through to become butterflies.
In addition to her membership in the Photography Club, Mrs. McMullin was also a member of the Garden Club. She particularly enjoyed ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.
In addition to her son, Mrs. McMullin was preceded in death by her husband, James McMullin.
She is survived by her daughter, Diane McMullin, of Durango; and one grandson.
Cremation will occur and her ashes will be taken to Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband's burial plot.
No services are planned. Her family asks that people say a prayer for peace when they see a butterfly.
Robert James Ketchum (12/20/2005)
A memorial account has been established to help with the medical and educational expenses of the three children of Robert James Ketchum, who died of an aortic aneurysm at age 41 on Nov. 11. The account, No. 78073962, is at the First National Bank of Durango, P.O. Box 2910, Durango, CO 81302-2910.
June Hughes Lynch (12/20/2005)
A woman who touched countless lives in Pagosa Springs, June Hughes Lynch, 89, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005.
She was born to Frank and Emma Hughes in Colorado Springs on Aug. 6, 1916. Mrs. Lynch was a descendant of the Maddox family, who arrived in Aztec via covered wagon in the 1880s in a party that included her 88-year-old Irish great-great-grandmother Jane Emmet Maddox. A street in Aztec bears the Maddox name.
On May 6, 1935, she married Ben K. Lynch at St. Columba Catholic Church. Mr. Lynch was a pharmacist at Wall Drug, where Olde Tymer's Restaurant is now located. Mrs. Lynch's mother, who ran a restaurant in downtown Durango, introduced the couple and that was the end of Mrs. Lynch's business-school studies in Texas.
Mr. Lynch purchased Jackisch Drug in Pagosa Springs and ran it until his death in 1975.
Her family said her true spirit was her energetic, generous and compassionate heart. Mr. and Mrs. Lynch would take the last of the toys from the drugstore shelves on Christmas Eve and distribute them to the front porches of Pagosa Springs' less fortunate families.
Mrs. Lynch led the polio-vaccination program in Pagosa. She would drive ballplayers all over the San Juan Basin before school buses were provided. Mrs. Lynch, along with Barbara Corrigan, taught hundreds of children to swim and many to become lifeguards in the existing outdoor pool at the Pagosa Springs Spa.
An avid skier, she would climb the slopes at Wolf Creek and ski down even before there were rope tows on top of the pass. After tows were installed, Mrs. Lynch would take a carload of young skiing enthusiasts there most weekends. On cold winter nights, she was also known to organize sledding down the highway on Wolf Creek Pass.
She was a member of the Pagosa Springs School Board, Town Board, Booster Club, bridge club and Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
Mrs. Lynch played the organ in the choir loft at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs most Sundays. During the holidays, she played at midnight Mass and again the next morning for Christmas Mass. Then she would serve Christmas dinner for 15 friends and family - all after handwriting 50 Christmas letters.
Her family said that her philosophy was, "It's not how long you live, but how much you give."
Mrs. Lynch is survived by her children, Ben L. Lynch of Pagosa Springs, Jack Lynch of Aurora, and Maureen Lynch and Casey Lynch, both of Durango; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and her brother-in-law and sisters-in-law.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m today, Dec. 20, 2005, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pagosa Springs. Burial will take place at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lupus Foundation of Colorado, 6795 E. Tennessee Ave., Suite 100, Denver, CO 80224; or the American Cancer Society, 2255 S. Oneida, Denver, CO 80224.
Dorothy Florence Leonardelli (12/18/2005)
Durango resident Dorothy Florence Leonardelli died of natural causes Monday, Dec. 12, 2005, at Four Corners Health Center in Durango. She was 92.
Mrs. Leonardelli was born June 30, 1913, in Milwaukee to Albert and Meta Olson. She grew up in Wisconsin as the sixth of 15 children. She lived there much of her life, but also lived in Florida for about 40 years.
Mrs. Leonardelli, who never obtained a driver's license, enjoyed gardening and walking down East Third Avenue, which reminded her of Wisconsin.
She lived in Durango during her last six years.
She is survived by daughter Chris Bridges of Durango, son David Leonardelli of Wisconsin, sister Ruth Lee of Wisconsin, 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest; three children; and 13 siblings.
Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary. Services will be held in Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 E. Park Avenue, Durango, CO 81301.
Josephine Martinez (12/14/2005)
The funeral for Josephine Martinez will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Gerald Duane Rapp Sr. (12/14/2005)
Durango was a favorite place for Gerald Duane Rapp Sr., 72, who died in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005.
He had been visiting the area since the mid-1970s and owned Weber Canyon Ranch in Mancos and property in north La Plata County. He would stay for months at his Tamarron condominium, visiting all of his grandchildren in Durango.
Mr. Rapp was born to Mildred A. and Kenneth P. Rapp on July 19, 1933, in Berwyn, Neb. He graduated from high school in Tekamah, Neb., and earned a business degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1955 and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1958.
Mr. Rapp served as an officer in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Office at Ft. Bliss, Texas, from 1958 to 1960.
He had a distinguished legal career in Dayton, spending 20 years with the Mead Corp., including positions as chief legal officer and chairman of Mead Data Central, Inc. (Lexis Nexis). He retired in 1990 as a senior vice president.
Mr. Rapp also served on the boards of Big Brothers of Greater Dayton, Urbana College's Center for Leadership Studies and the President's Visitors Committee for the University of Michigan Law School. He co-chaired the National Committee for Fair Compensation for the Federal Judiciary Branch.
Mr. Rapp loved all sports. He not only supported his children's and grandchildren's sporting activities, but also took care of Vitaly Potapenko when he arrived in America from Kiev, Ukraine in the 1990s. He helped guide him in his quest to become an NBA player.
His daughter, Amy Wanzek of Durango, said, "I believe one of Dad's missions in life was to make sure that every single person he had contact with received a smile."
For many years, Mrs. Wanzek said, her father dressed as Santa Claus for the Wanzek family's annual Christmas Eve party. He listened to the children of northern La Plata County and gave each one a gift. His humorous approach delighted family and friends.
Days before his death, granddaughter Jamie Wanzek received his response to questions she sent him while working on a Girl Scout badge. She asked him about words that influenced his conduct in life.
He offered: "hard worker, friendly, kindness, happy, loyalty, never give up and it was fun to be 'happy go lucky.'"
Mr. Rapp is survived by his companion, Marilyn Seibert Allen of Dayton, Ohio; children Jerry Rapp Jr. of Costa Rica, Gregg Rapp of Palm Springs, Calif., and Amy Frances Wanzek of Durango; sisters Elizabeth Ann Smith of South Dakota and Jean Speck of Tekamah, Neb.; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
A funeral was held Dec. 3 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dayton.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Columbine Children's Fund, c/o Molly Macloud, 114 Lakewood Drive, Durango, CO 81301.