Edna Tindall Coward (1/4/2006)
The mother of Durango resident Gail Suzanne Lebs, Edna Tindall Coward, 90, died in Durango on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005. She was visiting her daughters and sons-in-law for the holidays.
The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mrs. Coward was born in West Windsor Township, N.J., on Sept. 28, 1915. She spent her childhood growing up on the family potato farm in Dutch Neck, N.J. In 1932, she graduated from Princeton High School and was awarded the title of "Best All-Around Girl"during her senior year. She was known as one of the best tennis players in the area.
After high school, Mrs. Coward attended secretarial school and worked at a law firm in Princeton, N.J.
During World War II, she worked at an aircraft factory in Trenton, N.J. In 1943, she married Arthur Major Coward. During his Air Force career, they were stationed in Denver, Fort Worth, Texas; Rapid City, S.D., and, in 1956, Castle Air Force Base outside of Atwater, Calif. Mrs. Coward had lived in Atwater since that time.
Mrs. Coward was active in the Atwater Methodist Church, the Republican Women's Club and the Retired Officers Wives Club. An avid reader, she enjoyed working in her garden and looked forward to visiting family and friends.
"Edna was a most devoted and loving mother and friend," her two daughters said. "She was extremely friendly and thoughtful and had a very positive attitude toward life. She lived her life by the Golden Rule."
Mrs. Coward is survived by her daughters Gail Suzanne Lebs of Durango and Liza Coward of Santa Fe, N.M.; brother Gordon Tindall of Princeton, N.J.; and several nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006, at the United Methodist Church in Atwater, Calif. A potluck luncheon will follow.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Disabled Veterans of America, 3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY 41076; or to the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, 2070 Peachtree Industrial Court, Atlanta, GA 30341.
Alyce Elizabeth McCoy (1/3/2006)
Alyce Elizabeth McCoy died from congestive heart failure Friday, Dec. 30, 2005, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. She was 88.
Mrs. McCoy was born Oct. 17, 1917, in Telluride, the daughter of Teppo and Mary Salmine. The McCoys moved to Durango when she was in third grade, and she graduated from Durango High School in 1936.
Mrs. McCoy moved to California with her sister, Erma, working as a riveter in the shipyards to contribute to the war effort. She moved back to the Durango area in late 1944. She met Rex B. McCoy, and they were married Jan. 5, 1946, in Aztec.
Most of Mrs. McCoy's life was spent as a full-time mom, housewife, and ranch hand on the family cattle ranch. In her spare time, she enjoyed knitting, crocheting, crafts and was an active member for years in the Florida Aspen Club. Her happiness was service to others, according to her son, Charles McCoy. Many times "drop-ins" would turn into sitting at a table filled with a feast. Charles McCoy described his mom as a quiet lady.
"She was a pretty simple lady," he said. "She just kept us yahoos in line."
She was preceded in death by her husband and her son Stanley.
Mrs. McCoy is survived by her son Charles McCoy of Durango; her daughter Mary Meredith of Ulysses, Kan.; her sister Linda Baird of Yakima, Wash.; two granddaughters; and three grandsons.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006, at Hood Mortuary. A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan 5, 2006, at Florida Cemetery with the Rev. Myron Darmour officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Hospice of Mercy, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
George Frederick Noisom II (1/3/2006)
A man who spent more than a decade as a movie stuntman, George Frederick Noisom II, 90, died at home in Hesperus on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005.
Cause of death was complications of age.
He was born in Detroit to George Frederick and Helen June Noisom on Feb. 14, 1915.
Of a size and stature similar to Mickey Rooney, he worked for years as the actor's double.
Mr. Noisom appeared as one of the two monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz" who, on the command of the Wicked Witch, carried off Dorothy. He was the only stuntman named in the book marking the 50th anniversary of the making of the poplar movie.
A love of movie-making was the focus of Mr. Noisom's life though he later worked at Rocketdyne in Burbank, Calif., and with his brother invented the first photoelectric cell for the company.
Mr. Noisom met his wife Ella Evelyn dancing at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California, and they married in Littleton on Dec. 28 1959.
He is survived by his wife, Ella Evelyn Noisom, of Hesperus; a son, Brian F. Noisom, of Hesperus; and a brother, Derry Noisom of Saipan. Other survivors include two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006, at the Red Mesa Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bishop Trent Taylor will officiate.
Burial will follow at the Kline Cemetery.
Antonia Rosa Martinez (1/2/2006)
Antonia Rosa Martinez died of natural causes Friday, Dec. 30, 2005, at her home in Durango. She was 80.
Martinez was born Oct. 12, 1925, in Antonito to Alfonso and Trinidad Mercedes Montano. She grew up in Pagosa Springs and graduated from high school there. In the 1940s, Martinez worked for Hersch's Dry Goods and recalled the store's rationing of food and supplies to contribute to the war effort. Soon after, she met Antonio "Tony" Jose Martinez, and the couple was married on Aug. 25, 1947, in Lone Tree. They later moved to Wyoming where he worked for a road-construction firm.
In the early 1950s, the Martinezes moved back to Durango, and she remained at home, raising their children. Martinez enjoyed helping her husband on construction jobs, picking pinon nuts, watching boxing on television and embroidery. She also made and collected earrings.
Martinez is survived by sons Teofilo of Ignacio, Eugene of Durango, and Bernard of Bayfield; daughters Mercedes Jones of San Diego, Pauline Martinez of Durango, Maria Martinez of Durango, and Marcella Martinez of Gallup, N.M; brother Victor Montano of Pagosa Springs; six half brothers and sisters, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Antonio in 1995 and a grandchild.
Recitation of the rosary and visitation will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan 4, 2006, at St. Peter - St. Rosa Catholic Church in Arboles. The Monsignor Daniel Huber of St. Ignatius Catholic Church will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosa Cemetery in Arboles.
Rex Monroe Helmick (2/26/2006)
A longtime Durango resident, Rex Monroe Helmick, died Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, at The Valley Inn in Mancos after a short illness. He was 82.
Mr. Helmick was born on Dec. 18, 1923, in Delta to Harry and Flossie Helmick. He was raised in Delta and served overseas in World War II before moving to Durango.
Mr. Helmick was plant supervisor at The Durango Herald for 33 years, retiring in 1983. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve in Durango for many years.
Mr. Helmick and his wife, Martha, were charter members of Cavalry Baptist Church in Durango, now High Country Baptist Church.
He is survived by a son, Lonnie Helmick of Rathdrum, Idaho; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and sister Wanda Lippman of Arvada.
Mr. Helmick was preceded in death by his wife, Martha, and his daughter, Darla.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Sterling Schaaf of High Country Baptist Church will officiate. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Jeannine Harris Noisom (2/25/2006)
Jeannine Harris Noisom, a lifetime resident of Hesperus, died Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center of injuries suffered earlier that day in an automobile accident on Colorado Highway 140. She was 61.
Mrs. Noisom was born Jan. 11, 1945, in Durango, to Lloyd and Evelyn (Thomas) Harris. She married Brian F. Noisom in Houston on May 10, 1997. She was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was a primary teacher in the church.
Mrs. Noisom is survived by her husband Brian Noisom and mother Evelyn Harris, both of Hesperus. She is survived also by children Jeannine Glasby, of Hesperus; Troy Hardee, of Mesa, Ariz.; James Hardee of Lynwood, Calif.; and Rikki Cheryn of California; and stepsons Greg Noisom, of Hesperus, and Eric Noisom, of Houston.
Brothers and sisters surviving Mrs. Noisom are Lloyda Mae Wilkins of Ridgecrest, Calif.; Shirley King, of Aztec, N.M.; Muriel Sluyter, of Dolores; Berne Harris, of California; Girard Harris, of Oregon; Dale Harris, of California; Ken Harris, of California; and Lynn Crawford, of Seattle. She also is survived by 19 grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at the Red Mesa Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Funeral services will follow at 10 a.m. at the church. Bishop Trent Taylor will officiate. Interment will follow at the Kline Cemetery.
Contributions in Mrs. Noisom's name can be made to aid pastoral care at Mercy Medical Center, 375 East Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Raybon 'Ray' Lam (2/25/2006)
Raybon "Ray" Lam, a long-time Durango auto dealer, died Friday, Feb. 10, 2006, of natural causes at the Doak Walker Care Center in Steamboat Springs. He was 86.
Mr. Lam owned Lam Motors, a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership, in Durango from 1953 to 1975. He sold the business after a stroke paralyzed the right side of his body.
Mr. Lam used his retirement to become an accomplished silversmith despite having lost the use of his right hand. With self-improvised clamps and vises, he used his left hand to produce dozens of necklaces, pendants, belt buckles, bolos, earrings and other jewelry from silver and turquoise for family members and friends.
Warren Raybon Lam was born Feb. 16, 1919, in Tahoka, Texas, to Inez and Elie Lam. He graduated with a degree in petroleum geology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock in 1940. While attending Texas Tech, he met Geraldine Conner, who would become his wife for 57 years. She died in 1998.
Mr. Lam served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he operated a Chrysler dealership in Kermit, Texas. The Lams moved to Durango in 1953.
Mr. Lam's five children remember his work ethic and his love of fishing and camping in the San Juan Mountains. He also loved to hunt, ski and garden. Mr. Lam was active in the First United Methodist Church in Durango for more than 50 years.
After his wife's death, Mr. Lam lived for six years at an assisted-living center. He continued to visit his home on Riverview Drive to work on his jewelry and grow tomatoes. He spent his last year at the Doak Walker Care Center where his daughter, Elizabeth Brannan, is a registered nurse.
Mr. Lam is survived by his children Conner Lam, of Southlake, Texas; Warren Lam, of Denver; Roger Lam, of Fort Collins; David Lam, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Elizabeth Brannan, of Craig. Sisters Gwen Lam and Norma Jean Emler, both of Denton, Texas, and brother Marvin Lam, of Hoquiam, Wash., also survive him. He left seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Plans are pending for a memorial service in Haskell, Texas. Contributions may be made in Mr. Lam's name to the First United Methodist Church, 2917 Aspen Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Ralph Walter Pasquale (2/24/2006)
A Colorado native and Durango resident for more than 10 years, Ralph Walter Pasquale died Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006, at his Durango home. He was 73. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Mr. Pasquale was born to Ralph and Mary Pasquale on June 30, 1932, in Salida. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
In 1953, Mr. Pasquale married LoEdith Byrd in Jacksonville, Fla. Later, he worked for General Electric Co. in Philadelphia and was an engineer for Duci Construction Co. in New York City.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. Pasquale returned to Jacksonville for about 10 years and worked for the Army Corps. of Engineers. He left Jacksonville for Durango, where he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation.
Mr. Pasquale was active in his local homeowner's association, the gem and mineral club and the outdoor club for seniors.
He was preceded in death by his wife, LoEdith Byrd Pasquale, and his son, Ralph E. Pasquale.
He is survived by his daughters Raye D. Colbert of Salida and Dorothy Lee Byrd of Hotchkiss; five grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
A local, private memorial service will be held today, Feb. 24, 2006. Mr. Pasquale's ashes will be laid to rest in the family graveyard in Lake Butler, Fla.
Lydia E. Semler (2/22/2006)
Lydia Edith Semler died of natural causes Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She was 79.
Mrs. Semler was born Feb. 1, 1927, to James Herbert Kennedy and Edna Lois Swift in Durango. She married William Edward (Bill) Semler on May 31, 1960, in Durango.
Mrs. Semler was raised in the Bear Creek area and attended the Low School. Her family moved to Florida Mesa, where she attended the Ore school and, later, the Durango school system. The family then moved to the Oxford area. She graduated from Ignacio High School.
Mrs. Semler was a cook at the Oxford school and also worked in the Bayfield school lunch program. Later in life, she cleaned the Bayfield post office for many years.
A founding member of Oxford Grange No. 482, Mrs. Semler served as treasurer until her death. She also was a member of La Plata Pomona Grange, the Colorado State Grange and the National Grange. She was active in the Pine River Senior Citizen program.
Mrs. Semler was well known for her yeast rolls and doughnuts. She enjoyed crocheting, as evidenced by her prize-winning afghans, which she always gave as gifts. Mrs. Semler loved her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them.
She was preceded in death by her husband.
She is survived by her sons Wayne E. Semler and Jack E. Semler, both of Bayfield; brother Delbert Kennedy of Oxford; sister Pauline Ford of Ignacio; three grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. today at Hood Mortuary Chapel. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Pine River Valley Baptist Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pine River Senior Citizen Building Fund, c/o Kaye Luebchow, P.O. Box 563, Bayfield, CO 81122.