Vivian Amanda Hanks (1/31/2006)
Former Durango resident Vivian Amanda Hanks, 92, died at Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006. The cause of death was heart failure.
She was born to James and Mary Cravens in Louviers on Oct. 6, 1913. She met Malcolm Eckhart in Denver and the couple married in 1932. He died in 1945.
Mrs. Hanks moved to Durango shortly after his death, where she met and married Fred C. Hildebrand. Mrs. Hanks opened a florist shop called Vivian's Flowers. She ran the flower shop for about 15 years before retiring and moving to Farmington.
Mrs. Hanks was a bookkeeper for Tanners Trading Post before moving back to the Durango area.
After Mr. Hildebrand's death, she married Francis Hanks. The marriage ended in divorce.
Mrs. Hanks continued her love of flowers through her gardening wherever she lived. She loved spending time with her grandchildren outdoors. She also enjoyed writing poetry.
Mrs. Hanks was preceded in death by her husbands Malcolm Eckhart and Fred C. Hildebrand; granddaughter Vickie Tanner; and grandsons Rodney Tanner and Larry Tanner.
She is survived by her daughter, Roberta Tanner, of Farmington; sister, Shirley Van Site, of Denver; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006, at Greenmount Cemetery. Family and friends will officiate.
Martin Douglas Gillies (1/31/2006)
Former Durango resident Martin Douglas Gillies, 73, died on Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, at his home in Axtell, Utah. The cause of death was not disclosed.
He was born to Martin Jesse and Beth (Snow) Gillies on Dec. 19, 1932, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Mr. Gillies served four years in the U.S. Navy and then lived in New York and Arizona before meeting Joan Marie McCausland. The couple married in Durango on Jan. 5, 1962. The marriage was solemnized in the Manti Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 5, 2004.
For 20 years, Mr. Gillies worked at Ah! Wilderness Guest Ranch during the summer and managed a riding stable for the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz., in the winter. In 1982, the Gillies family moved to Utah, where he began working as a brand inspector and supervisor for the Utah Department of Agriculture. Mr. Gillies retired in 1998.
He was an avid horseman and cowboy who loved the outdoors. Mr. Gillies enjoyed leading guests on pack trips and was a skilled fisherman. He also enjoyed team roping at rodeos while living in California, Colorado and Arizona.
Mr. Gillies had fond memories of filming movies with John Wayne, Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
His family said Mr. Gillies was a genuinely hard-working man of high integrity who was always helping others. He had a great sense of humor and always had a new joke to tell.
Some of his hobbies were leather and woodworking. His family said he put his heart and soul into building the post office in Axtell, Utah.
Mr. Gillies was preceded in death by his daughter Tracy Patchek.
He is survived by his wife, Joan Gillies, of Axtell; daughter Shannon McWilliams of Taylorsville, Utah; sisters Inez Joy Gillies of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Bonnie Padilla of Roseville, Calif.; and five grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. today, Jan. 31, 2006, at the Axtell LDS Ward Chapel. Burial will be in the Axtell Cemetery with military rites by the Oliver-Russell American Legion Post No. 105.
Marvin R. Carter (1/31/2006)
The father of Durango resident Nancy Carr, Marvin R. Carter, died Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006, in Louisville, Ken. He was 97.
Mr. Carter was born in Newberg, Ore., on Sept. 24, 1908. He grew up in Tacoma, Wash., and graduated from the University of Puget Sound. He was teaching in Honolulu when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
During his military service, Mr. Carter participated in both D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.
He married Mary Kathryn Owen in Louisville on June 22, 1946.
In Louisville, Mr. Carter taught history, sang in the Louisville Choral Union and was active at the Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, where he was the tenor soloist for many years. He enjoyed spending time with his friends and family as well as golf, fishing, traveling, gardening and music.
Mr. Carter is survived by his wife, Mary Kay Carter, of Louisville; daughter Nancy Carr; two granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, at Highlands Funeral Home in Louisville.
Memorial gifts may be made to your favorite charity.
David Edward Wilson (1/30/2006)
David Edward Wilson, a former Durango treasurer, died Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, in Nampa, Idaho. He was 84.
Mr. Wilson was born Aug. 22, 1921, in Lancaster, Kan., to Frank and Beulah Wilson.
In May 1944, about halfway through a four-year stint in the Army Air Corps, Mr. Wilson married Betty Orr in Denver. After an honorable discharge, Mr. Wilson received a degree in accounting from the College of Emporia in Emporia, Kan.
From there he moved to Partridge, Kan., where he worked as an accountant in nearby Hutchinson, Kan.
In 1957, Mr. Wilson moved to Durango to join an accounting partnership. Soon after, he became city treasurer, a position he held for years.
Mr. Wilson enjoyed exploring the Four Corners in an old Jeep, skiing, and sailing on Vallecito Reservoir, where he owned a small cabin.
In 1975, Mr. Wilson moved to Boise, Idaho, to be closer to his son, Dan. He then followed Dan to Coos Bay, Ore., where father and son loved walking along the coastline.
Mr. Wilson moved back to Idaho in 1991, where he settled in Nampa. A religious man, Mr. Wilson was fond of traveling with his wife in a small motor home.
His son Dan recalled his fondness for old cowboy music, chocolate and listening to a police scanner.
Mr. Wilson is survived by wife, Betty; son, Dan; and sister, Dorothy Slentz of Overland Park, Kan.
Gerald Francis Gates (1/29/2006)
Gerald Francis Gates died of natural causes on Monday, Jan. 23, 2006, at Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in Denver. He was 83.
Mr. Gates was born on June 15, 1922, in Carthage, N.Y., to Harold and Grace (Terry) Gates. He graduated from high school in Carthage. He then attended Syracuse University, where he took a class from then-first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
He also studied at the University of Colorado. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in art education and became a professor, teaching in 37 countries. His tenures included Fort Lewis College, San Diego State, the University of Vermont and the University of Texas.
He had a one-hour art television show in San Diego and was employed by the San Diego Fine Arts Museum. His art concentrated on landscape watercolor paintings and the collection and appreciation of ethnic art, particularly American Indian art.
Mr. Gates was named an honorary Hopi Snake tribal member of Polacca, Ariz. He also knew poet Robert Frost and actor Vincent Price. In 1970, during a trip to Rome, he met the pope.
He also adored his faithful companion, a Scottish canine named Cutty Sark.
Mr. Gates is survived by daughters Kathy Menke and Suzanne Albertson, both of Pickerington, Ohio; son Marc Gates of Pickerington, ex-wife Mary Gates, four grandsons, a great-granddaughter and numerous other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Janice.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006, at Greenmount Cemetery. Father Myron Darmour of St. Mark's Episcopal Church will officiate.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 also will hold a committal service to honor Gates' military service.
Memorial contributions may be made toward a tree planting near his graveside in care of Bob and Charlotte Randles, 30 Hermosa Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Kathryn C. 'Casey' Kirkpatrick (1/28/2006)
Ignacio resident Kathryn C. "Casey" Kirkpatrick, 52, died at Mercy Medical Center on Monday, Jan. 23, 2006. The cause of death was breast cancer.
She was born to Robert A. and Patricia Smith in Riverside, Calif., on Oct. 18, 1953. Mrs. Kirkpatrick grew up in Aztec and graduated from Aztec High School and San Juan College.
She worked for Farmington Electric Utility for 12 years as an electrical drafting coordinator. In 1998, Mrs. Kirkpatrick joined La Plata Electric Association as manager of geospatial information technology. Her family said that the "family" at LPEA had been invaluable during Mrs. Kirkpatrick's final days.
She was a member of the Blue Star Moms, Southwest Republican Women, Creepers Jeepers Jeep Club and the Red Hat Society. Mrs. Kirkpatrick served on the education committee of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association and was a member of the 4DataLink Users Group, which is based in Boston and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mrs. Kirkpatrick is survived by her husband of 32 years, Randy Kirkpatrick, of Ignacio; sons Lee Kirkpatrick, currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, and Lyn Kirkpatrick of Durango; mother Patricia Smith of Aztec; brothers Robert A. Smith, Porter A. Smith and William Smith, all of Aztec; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 505 N. Oliver St., Aztec.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Women's Cancer Support Group, 172 Riverview Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Filbert Archuleta (1/28/2006)
Fort Lewis College graduate Filbert Archuleta, 68, died at the Dulce Clinic in Dulce, N.M., on Friday, Dec. 23, 2005. The cause of death was a heart attack.
He was born to Alberto and Sulema (Garcia) Archuleta in Pagosa Springs on Jan. 1, 1937. Mr. Archuleta graduated from Ignacio High School and then served in the U.S. Air Force.
After he earned his bachelor's degree and teaching certificate from FLC, Mr. Archuleta taught at the Dulce Elementary School. In his later years, he managed the Waterhole Café in Dulce.
Mr. Archuleta had lived in Lumberton, N.M., for 40 years.
He is survived by his sisters Josie Rivas of Pagosa Springs and Maria Archuleta of Denver; numerous nieces and nephews; and his "adopted" nephew, Barry Alburg.
Cremation has occurred. Services were held at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Lumberton. His ashes were buried in the Lumberton Cemetery.
Barne T. Caranta (1/28/2006)
Former Durango resident Barne T. Caranta, 62, died at the Veterans Hospital in San Diego on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006. The cause of death was cancer.
Mr. Caranta was born to John and Matilde (Reyes) Caranta on Dec. 12, 1943, in Lumberton, N.M. His family lived in Durango when Mr. Caranta was in the early grades of elementary school and continued to buy cattle at the local sales barn for many years.
Mr. Caranta attended St. Michael's School in Santa Fe from 1955 to 1960 when it was still a boarding school. In 1961, he graduated from Southgate High School in Southgate, Calif.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968.
Mr. Caranta owned and operated the Caranta Shopping Center with his brother John Caranta for two years and then owned and operated the Waterhole Saloon. Both businesses are located in Dulce, N.M. During the last 10 years, Mr. Caranta had split his time between Lumberton and Las Vegas.
Mr. Caranta is survived by his wife, Danielle, of Las Vegas; son, John C. Caranta, of Las Vegas; daughters Catherine Palatore of Laurel, Md., Adell Fuller of Las Vegas and Shannon Jefferson of Crowley, Texas; brothers Paul Riviera of Los Angeles and John Caranta of Farmington; sisters Mollie Quintana of Cerritos, Calif., and Louise Peralta of Hampton, Va.; seven grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred and a private service will be held at a later date, when his ashes will be buried in the family plot in Monero, N.M.
Clem Wheat (1/27/2006)
The former owner of Wit's End Guest Ranch at Vallecito Reservoir, Clem Wheat, 88, died on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006, in Georgetown, Texas.
In 1961, Mr. Wheat purchased the guest ranch, which has become a world-class resort destination.
While he was renovating the ranch, he also subdivided and developed several large tracts of land in Colorado, doing much of the work with his own two hands.
Mr. Wheat was born on Aug. 2, 1917.
He was an orphan who passed through five foster homes before taking responsibility for himself at the age of 14. He had no formal education and attended school only sporadically through the third grade.
Mr. Wheat became a plumber's helper in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression, and in the late 1930s obtained a master plumber's license.
In 1939, Mr. Wheat married Kathleen M. McCormick. They were later divorced. He married Madeline Verue Stock in 1949. After her death in 1979, Mr. Wheat married Dona Schoppe. On Christmas Day 1983, Mr. Wheat remarried his first wife Kathleen. She preceded him in death in 2004.
Because of a medical condition, Mr. Wheat was rejected by the military during World War II and served as a lead master plumber and pipe fitter, both in the United States and overseas.
After the war, he founded a successful plumbing business in Austin, Texas.
Mr. Wheat became known for his ability to accomplish large tasks with precision and speed. The Holiday Inn Corporation had been contracted to build 610 units of military housing in the Panama Canal Zone.
Mr. Wheat became plumbing superintendent for the project and received a letter of commendation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when he completed the job ahead of schedule and under budget.
He returned to Texas and was preparing to develop land there when Holiday Inn asked him to take over the supervision of all aspects of building a large hotel in Bermuda, which had fallen behind schedule.
Mr. Wheat once again finished the job ahead of schedule and under budget.
Mr. Wheat returned to Texas, developing several subdivisions. The street his home was on is now Clem Lane.
His family said Mr. Wheat was "a remarkable man of great conviction who truly lived out the American dream He never forgot his roots and remained in contact throughout his life with the people who helped him when he was just a poor orphan boy. Although he was not active in church, he always kept his Bible near and was a man of deep faith."
Mr. Wheat is survived by his son, Don Ray Wheat of Bayfield; daughters Debra Jean Gaines of Montgomery, Texas, Margaret Angela Tivis of College Station, Texas, and Paticia Ann Lumpkin of Brenham, Texas; stepdaughter Vera Lynn Schoppe of Somerville, Texas; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, in Somerville, Texas. Burial took place at Oaklawn Cemetery, also in Somerville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Austin Hospice, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin, TX 78759.