Ronald Duane Klatt Sr. (3/7/2006)
Durango resident Ronald Duane Klatt Sr., 87, died at Mercy Medical Center on Thursday, March 2, 2006. The cause of death was complications from surgery after a fall.
Born in Sterling to Fred William and Mary Elizabeth Lytle Klatt Sr., on April 12, 1918, Mr. Klatt was the oldest of three boys.
The family moved to Montrose before settling in Durango in 1930. Mr. Klatt graduated from Durango High School in 1936. While in high school, he was an excellent athlete who played football and basketball and ran track. In his later years, he enjoyed watching various sports on television.
After attending the University of Colorado for one year, he returned to Durango and attended Fort Lewis College at the old Hesperus campus for two years.
Mr. Klatt's National Guard unit was activated for World War II. He achieved the rank of captain in an artillery unit and was involved in the invasion of Germany to end the war.
In 1944, Mr. Klatt married Margie Lou Husted in Aztec. The family moved to Cortez in 1952. While living in Cortez, Mr. Klatt continued to play in the Goldenaires Drum and Bugle Corps in Durango, traveling to practices and performances for many years.
Mr. Klatt worked in the auto-parts business most of his life. The Klatt family moved to Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1965, and then to Phoenix in 1969. Mr. and Mrs. Klatt eventually retired there. He had lived in Durango since 2003.
"He had a good sense of humor," his son Ron Klatt Jr. said. "He always had a joke for you."
Mr. Klatt was preceded in death by his wife, Margie Lou Klatt.
He is survived by his children Ron Klatt Jr. of Durango and Barbara Peterson of Bayfield; brother Fred W. Klatt Jr. of Durango; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
William Louis Cook (3/3/2006)
Bayfield resident William Louis Cook, 83, died at his home on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006. The cause of death was not disclosed.
He was born to Loren E. and Maude Chandler Cook in Sweetwater, Texas, on March 30, 1922. He graduated from Midland High School in Midland, Texas. Mr. Cook married Syble Alice O'Neal on Jan. 17, 1948, in San Angelo, Texas. The family moved to Southwest Colorado from Midland 17 years ago.
Mr. Cook worked as a truck driver, rancher, cowboy and leather craftsman. He was a devoted member of the Church of Christ of Bayfield.
He loved trail riding on his favorite horse, Buck, and also liked to ride in parades. His family said one of his favorite hobbies was woodworking, and he made a lot of memories with his carvings. Every morning he enjoyed a cup of coffee with friends at Brenda's Café.
Mr. Cook was preceded in death by his wife, Syble Alice Cook, on May 5, 2005, and his son Turney Mack Cook.
He is survived by his son Billy Cook of Ignacio; brother Mack Cook of Garland, Texas; and three grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006, at the Church of Christ, 2011 U.S. Highway 160-B in Bayfield. The Rev. Gene Chapin will officiate. A dinner will follow the service.
Norma 'Mimi' Sichler Sager (3/3/2006)
Durango resident Norma "Mimi" Sichler Sager, 80, died at Mercy Medical Center in Durango on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006. The cause of death was not disclosed. She had resided in Durango with her daughter Barbara Sager since 2003.
Mrs. Sager was born to Ernest F. and Edna Sichler on Sept. 14, 1925, in Princeton, Texas. She grew up in Los Lunas, N.M., where the Sichler family farmed and continues to be known for its green chiles. She graduated from high school there.
She married U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. William F. Sager Jr. in Albuquerque on May 14, 1949. The Sager family lived all over the United States and in the Philippines during Lt. Col. Sager's military career.
During the 1960s, Mrs. Sager volunteered with the Red Cross in Hawaii, spending many hours aboard military aircraft comforting wounded Vietnam War troops as they prepared for the last leg of their journey to the mainland. Mrs. Sager had a successful career as a banker at the United Virginia Bank in Mount Vernon, Va. After traveling the world with her husband, she returned to Los Lunas to retire in 1986.
Mrs. Sager loved animals and pets. She enjoyed people and particularly liked spicy food, ice cream and chocolate. Her daughter Barbara Sager said that she "was always really concerned about the well-being of her children. Even with all her travels, her heart remained in New Mexico with its blue skies and spectacular mountains," her family said. "We remember a full life; a long life; an example of kindness and softness that inspires us and strengthens us. She was, and remains, our hero."
Mrs. Sager was preceded in death by her husband, William F. Sager Jr. She is survived by her sister Lillian Pilon of Holland, Mich.; brother Jack Sichler of Los Lunas, N.M.; daughters Barbara Sager of Durango, Sharon Taylor of Kansas City, Mo., and Terry Shuck of Seattle; son William Sager III of New York City; "adopted" son John Schumacher of San Antonio; three grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006, at Hood Mortuary Chapel, 1261 East Third Ave.
Lee Lane Cargile (3/3/2006)
Former Durango resident Lee Lane Cargile died on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at his home in Ruidoso, N.M. He was 82.
Mr. Cargile lived in Durango from 1969 to 1995, when he moved to Ruidoso to retire. He taught at Fort Lewis College during the early 1970s while he was with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While living here, he also worked as an independent geologist. Some of his clients were the United States Geological Survey, Bill Latch and a gold mine in Silverton.
Mr. Cargile was born to William C. and Alta Lee (Lane) Cargile in Sanderson, Texas, on Nov. 3, 1923. He attended Texas Western University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in geology and biology in 1941.
He enlisted that year in the U.S. Navy and served as an officer during World War II.
After the war, Mr. Cargile worked as a geologist for Texaco and in Canada.
In 1953, he married Ellen Y. Yeager in Austin, Texas. The marriage later ended in divorce.
In the mid-1960s, he returned to school at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a master's in vocational education and a doctorate in psychology and counselor education.
Mr. Cargile was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He belonged to the National Rifle Association and Ducks Unlimited. Durangoans may remember him as the author of numerous letters to the editor in The Durango Herald.
"He was very honorable and did what he said he would do," his daughter Leah Cargile said. "He was a passionate advocate for getting people to think. He also loved his animals and took quite good care of them."
She said that her father always fought for "the underdog and the downtrodden."
Mr. Cargile is survived by his daughters Alecia Cargile of Belen, N.M. and Leah Cargile of Los Alamos, N.M.; son Bret Cargile of Belen; former wife Ellen Y. Cargile of Belen; and three grandsons.
Cremation has occurred. Some of Mr. Cargile's ashes will be spread on a ranch in La Plata County and the rest will be buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. A private ceremony will be held in Durango at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice or to the local Humane Society.
Charles Guy 'Shep' Shepard (3/2/2006)
Durango native Charles Guy "Shep" Shepard, 78, died in Farmington on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006.
The cause of death was respiratory failure.
He was born in Durango to Charles G. Shepard, Sr. and Agnes Tunison Shepard on Nov. 11, 1927.
After graduating from Durango High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged in 1946. When Mr. Shepard returned to Southwest Colorado, he attended Fort Lewis College at the old Hesperus campus.
He later went to work with his father at San Juan Motor.
On Feb. 29, 1948, Mr. Shepard married Merlie Lou Martin at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Durango. The marriage later ended in divorce.
In the late 1950s, he married again in Aztec. Norma Shepard preceded him in death.
His family said Mr. Shepard as a man who thrived on work. He worked for many years in the San Juan Basin oilfield, where he was employed by Young Drilling and later Four Corners Drilling, retiring as an assistant superintendent.
They said he enjoyed "making his work easier and his surroundings better by tinkering and improving with a handy hook here and a gadget there."
His family said that in spite of growing up in landlocked Colorado, he had a love of all things nautical.
Mr. Shepard continued to enjoy boating through his membership in the civilian Coast Guard, where he formed many lasting friendships.
They said he felt "a day was well spent if he could end a day of fishing and boating under the stars with the water of Navajo Lake lapping at his boat."
He was a lifelong member of the Elks Club.
Mr. Shepard was also preceded in death by his son Steven Holland Shepard.
He is survived by his daughter Norma Cherise Emmanuel of Farmington; son Guy Shepard of Farmington; two grandsons; and two step-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 3, 2006, at Greenmount Cemetery.
Lonna Kay (Roberts) Vickers (3/1/2006)
Native Durangoan Lonna Kay (Roberts) Vickers, 65, died at the Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley on Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. The cause of death was complications from burn injuries.
She was born to Sneed and Wilma Roberts in Durango on Oct. 16, 1940. Her father worked at the Safeway Store at the time. The family moved to Raton, N.M., and Delta before settling in Hotchkiss in 1947. Her father owned and operated Roberts Foods there. Mrs. Vickers worked in the store throughout her teens while also being active in cheerleading and sports.
While working a summer waitress job in Lake City, she met Jon "Ted" Vickers. The couple married in Delta on Nov. 13, 1960. They moved from the north end of Colorado in Walden to the Southwest corner in Durango, with stops at Lake City, Gunnison, Montrose and Paonia along the way.
In the fall of 2005, Mrs. Vickers retired from the Hillcrest Golf Course Snack Bar after 20 years. Her family said she prided herself on her work ethic. Mrs. Vickers enjoyed the cooking but truly enjoyed the variety of golfers she met and got to know. She was a golfer herself.
She enjoyed keeping up with her three daughters, and she spoiled her grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Her family members said they're sure "her Mom, Wilma, had the coffee ready, with one spoonful of coffee and two spoonfuls of sugar, and her Dad, Sneed Roberts, was waiting with a smile and a hug."
Mrs. Vickers is survived by husband Jon "Ted" Vickers of Durango; daughters Vickie Wancura of Arboles, Jonna Mestas of Ignacio and Tammy Boone of Bayfield; sister Vicky Oliphant of Lincoln, Neb.; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11, 2006, at Hillcrest Golf Course. Attendees are asked to bring along a smile and to jot down their favorite remembrances. A few of them will be read aloud.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lonna K. Vickers Memorial Account at the First National Bank of Durango, 259 West Ninth St., Durango, CO 81301. The proceeds will be distributed to the Northern Colorado Medical Center Hospitality House and the Hillcrest Junior Golf Program.
Elizabeth C. Strakos (4/29/2006)
Elizabeth C. Strakos died at The Valley Inn in Mancos on Tuesday, April 25, 2006. She was 95.
Mrs. Strakos had lived in the area for the last nine years.
She was born to Peter and Lucy Danish Styra in Pana Marie, Texas, on Sept. 12, 1910.
She married Jerome Pilarczyk in Yorktown, Texas. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1937, she married Joseph Strakos in Lordsburg, N.M.
Her many careers included being a school teacher at a small country school, working as a retail-sales clerk and serving as an on-call interpreter for the Superior Court. She spoke several languages fluently, including German, Serbian, Bohemian, Polish and Spanish. Mrs. Strakos spent the bulk of her life in Bisbee, Ariz.
She enjoyed gardening, particularly flowers, crocheting and knitting. Her daughter Lucille "Boots" Holyoak said that her mother made beautiful knitted and crocheted pieces, such as bedspreads, tablecloths and sweaters. Mrs. Strakos enjoyed fishing and her grandchildren fondly remember her taking them with her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Strakos, and her daughter Helen Madden.
Mrs. Strakos is survived by daughter Lucille Holyoak of Durango; son James Pilarczyk, of Douglas, Wyo.; brother Pete Spyra of Yorktown, Texas; 11 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; several great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 9, 2006, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Bisbee, Ariz. The Rev. Larry Kasper will be the celebrant. Burial of the cremains will follow at the Memory Garden in Bisbee.
Memorial contributions may be made to ALS Research, University of New Mexico Health Science Center, 211 Lomas N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87106.