Gene H. Jordan (4/21/2006)
Gene H. Jordan, poet, songwriter and a Bayfield cowboy, died Tuesday, April 18, 2006, from complications of a heart condition. He was 74.
Mr. Jordan was born March 20, 1932, in Ouray to Hazel and Adolph Jordan. As a youngster, Mr. Jordan qualified for the state spelling bee in Denver. In his teen years, Mr. Jordan rode race horses back East and later participated in rodeo as a bronc and bull rider. When he was older, he judged rodeos, including the junior championships in El Paso, Texas, two years in a row.
Mr. Jordan served in the military in Vietnam, attended Western State College, and built saddles and carved leather for Colorado Saddlery in Denver. In 1955, he married Juanita Shupe, a resident of Vallecito.
When natural-gas lines were being installed in Cortez, Mr. Jordan ran a welding crew. He also welded overseas. Mr. Jordan and his wife moved to Bayfield where he operated his own welding business. Additionally, Mr. Jordan bought, subdivided and sold property. Mr. Jordan also bought a stallion, which he trained to show. In 1962, the stallion won a world championship.
After divorcing, Mr. Jordan put more time into poetry and cowboy songs. He appeared at many poetry gatherings across the country. Elko, Nev., was his favorite venue for poetry recitations.
Mr. Jordan is survived by his ex-wife of Bayfield, mother Hazel Moon of Grand Junction, his brother Jesse Jordan of Grand Junction, and his sister Betty McElroy of Yokem, Texas.
A memorial service is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, 2006,at Hood Mortuary.
James Francis Heintze (4/21/2006)
James Francis Heintze died Sunday, April 9, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. The cause of death was not disclosed. He was 46.
He was born Nov. 4, 1959, in Bad Constandt, Germany, to Caroleigh and Robert Heintze.
He was an accomplished artist who worked in several media, including tattooing. He also painted murals in Ignacio and Salida.
Mr. Heintze is survived by his son, Hans Heintze of Durango; mother, Caroleigh Regan, of Aztec; father Robert Heintze; brothers Carl Heintze and Robert Heintze; sisters Janet Kern, Kim Ten Eyck, Sandy Filino and Mary Morton; stepfather John Ten Eyck; and stepmother Judy Butler.
Cremation occurred at Hood Mortuary. A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2006, in Schneider Park. In lieu of flowers, please take a non-perishable food item for donation to the Manna Soup Kitchen.
Kevin Ray Abbott (4/21/2006)
Kevin Ray Abbott died Monday, April 10, 2006, after a gun accident. He was 11.
Kevin was born Sept. 24, 1994, in Phoenix. His mother Patty Abbott affectionately called him "Lovie."
A fifth-grader at Animas Valley Elementary School, Kevin enjoyed the outdoors and also loved playing Gameboy with friends Conner, Enver and Ryan.
His family remembered him as "his mother's best friend" and called him "energetic, happy and always kind." He idolized his brothers, Cory and Michael Patrick Abbott. He was said to never hold a grudge and unconditionally forgive anyone who hurt him.
Remembered for his "handsome smile" and "fresh outlook on every day," Kevin's life ended abruptly in the arms of his best friend and mother.
Kevin is survived by mother Patty Abbott of Durango, brothers Cory Abbott and Michael Patrick Abbott of Durango, and sister Christine Sheree Abbott, of Phoenix.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, 2006, at Animas Valley Elementary School. The service will be under the direction of the Rev. Glen Walker of the Heart of the Rockies Fellowship.
To help with the high cost of medical bills, lost work and travel expenses, the Bank of the San Juans has established a Kevin Abbott Memorial Fund. Donations can be sent to: Kevin Abbott Memorial Fund, Bank of the San Juans, 144 E. Eighth St., Durango, CO 81301.
Hazel Eileen Canode (4/20/2006)
Longtime Durango resident Hazel Eileen Canode died of natural causes Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 87. Mrs. Canode, known as Eileen, was born to Homer and Treva Whiteside on June 28, 1918, in Longcreek, Ill. An only child, Mrs. Canode grew up with her parents in and around Decatur, Ill., helping to farm and run various restaurants.
She graduated from Decatur High School in 1936 and later earned an associate of arts degree. She had a strong work ethic and was a tireless and loving companion to her husband of 65 years, Bill, her family said.
She married Willard A. Canode on Nov. 13, 1937, in a cabin on Ferry's Park Lake near Decatur, where they lived for the first year of their marriage. They moved to Durango in 1952 and lived in Durango and Yuma, Ariz., for their remaining years.
Mrs. Canode was a homemaker and a teacher. She taught kindergarten in the basement of her home on Riverview and later at First Presbyterian Church in Durango. She was also an award-winning real-estate agent in Yuma. She enjoyed volunteering at Mercy Medical Center, playing bridge with friends, golfing, dancing and staying involved with her church. She also traveled extensively with her husband in the United States, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Asia.
The Canodes purchased a family cabin in Needleton along the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks that has been a family gathering place for the last 50 years.
"Their love of nature and the great outdoors spread through the family and is a gift that won't be soon forgotten," her family said.
Mrs. Canode is survived by her daughters, Patti Dawn Thurmond of Regina, N.M., and Melanie Eileen Canode of Farmington. She also is survived by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her family said her sweet, loving nature is a legacy that will continue for many generations to come. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Canode, on Aug. 12, 2003, and her son, Gary Lynn Canode on Aug. 8, 2001.
Cremation has occurred at Hood Mortuary. A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at First United Methodist Church, 2917 Aspen Drive. Donations in her name may be made to the Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence, c/o Durango School District 9-R, 201 E. 12th St., Durango, CO 81301.
The Rev. Jeff Huber will officiate. Her ashes, along with her husband's, will be spread in a private family gathering at her home on "The Ponderosa" in Durango and at the cabin.
Wilhelmina Anna Marie 'Goomie' Clevenger (4/20/2006)
Wilhelmina Anna Marie "Goomie" Clevenger, who was reared in Durango, died Sunday, April 16, 2006, in Albuquerque at the home she shared with a couple of daughters. She was 73.
Mrs. Clevenger was born Aug. 8, 1932, in Ignacio to Simon Ben and Susie Garcia. The couple, who had five daughters and five sons, spent their early years in Durango. The five girls graduated from Pagosa Springs High School. Goomie was the sixth child.
Mrs. Clevenger is survived by her daughters Jennifer Gallegos of Las Vegas, Nev., Kindra Martinez of Albuquerque, Oma Jetuan "Tonnie" Taylor of Artesia, N.M., Zabrina Bowden of Ruidoso, N.M., and Felicia Clevenger of Albuquerque; her sisters Sue McIntosh of Atlanta, Ga., Rose Mary Farley of Durango and Elizabeth William of Bloomfield, N.M.; her brothers Lawrence "Cookie" Garcia of Anchorage, Alaska, and Alex Garcia of Cortez. She also is survived by 10 grandchildren and a great-grandson.
She was preceded in death by her husband Harold "Red" Clevenger and her daughter Desiree Clevenger.
A rosary is scheduled at 7 p.m. today at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. A Mass presided by the Rev. Carlos Alvarez is scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, at the same church. Interment will be at Hilltop Cemetery.
Gary Lee Newport (4/19/2006)
Gary Lee Newport, deacon of St. Columba church in Durango, died at home Sunday, April 16, 2006. He was 64.
His death followed a 4½ year battle with leukemia.
Mr. Newport, known as "Deacon Gary" at St. Columba, was a former valedictorian, licensed land surveyor and advocate for others with terminal illness.
Born Dec. 19, 1941, in Yuma, a small town in northeastern Colorado, Mr. Newport grew up in the rustic sand hill country south of Yuma. In high school, he earned all-conference honors in football and graduated as Yuma High's valedictorian. He studied engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder and later became an owner of Ernst Engineering in Durango.
In college, he met Jana Kroeger of Durango. They married Dec. 27, 1961, and later had two children. Additionally, the couple took in four children who joined the family through international adoption.
After moving to Durango from Boulder in 1973, Mr. Newport began an influential period of involvement with St. Columba - including hospice ministry and teaching marriage-preparation classes. He was ordained a deacon on Aug. 4, 2000.
His interests included world travel, gourmet cooking, genealogy research, wood-working and riding his motorcycle.
He is survived by wife Jana of Durango; father Lee Newport of Yuma; sister Diana Newport of San Diego; and children Cynthia Smith of Grand Junction, Matthew Newport of Aurora, Edgar Newport of Dallas, Keoun Lynch of Durango, Jim Newport of Norwood, John Newport of Douglas, Ariz.; and six grandchildren.
Vesper services will be at 6 p.m. today at St. Columba Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 20. Bishop Arthur N. Tafoya of the Pueblo Diocese and the Rev. James Koenigsfeld will con-celebrate the Mass. Internment will follow at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Hospice of Mercy, 3801 N. Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Joseph Paz Valdez (4/19/2006)
Joseph Paz Valdez died on Oct. 29, 2005, after a long illness. He was 82.
Mr. Valdez had a love for the outdoors - especially the Animas River, where he would fish near his childhood home in the Mexican Flats. He was committed to his children and enjoyed visits with his seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was born in Durango on May 10, 1923. He married Simona "Simmie" Trujillo in 1949.
His working career began with service at Durango's Vanadium Corporation of America. In 1965, he moved to Leadville to work for the Climax Molybdenum Co. In 1976, he and Simona moved back to Durango. His daughter Lucy Lopez of Albuquerque helped Simona care for Mr. Valdez until his death.
Mr. Valdez's family will remember him for his kindness, gentle smile and wonderful laugh, his family said.
He is survived by his wife, Simona; three children, Ron Valdez, Lucy Lopez and Laura Lee Padilla; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. May 10 at the Sacred Heart Church. Burial will follow the service at the Greenmount Cemetery. After the burial, friends and relatives are invited to join family at a luncheon at the Sacred Heart Hall to celebrate Mr. Valdez's life.
Eddie J. Martinez Jr. (4/19/2006)
Eddie J. Martinez Jr., a former member of the Utah National Guard, died Sunday, April 16, 2006. He was 39. He died at home. The cause of death was unknown, his wife said.
Mr. Martinez was remembered Monday for his passion for spending time with his family and two best friends. He took great pleasure in watching his girls play softball and would often take them to the movies. He also was known for his sense of humor and would frequently play jokes on the various members of his family.
He was born the youngest of four children on June 16, 1966, in Durango. He graduated from South High School of Salt Lake City in 1984.
On Aug. 25, 1990, he married Michelle T. Vigil. They had three daughters. Mr. Martinez was employed by the Utah National Guard for six years. At the time of his death, he was working for the Salt Lake County Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning department.
He is survived by his wife; three sisters, Charlene Martinez of Salt Lake City, Marie Martinez of West Valley City, Utah, and Margaret Martinez of Salt Lake City; mother, Frances Martinez of Salt Lake City; daughters, Krystal, Marissa and Jacquelyn, all of Salt Lake City.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. today, followed by a rosary to be said at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple in Salt Lake City. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 20, 2006, at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 3580 West 3650 South, West Valley City, Utah. Burial will be at Larkin Sunset Lawn in Salt Lake City.
Laura Onita Percell (4/17/2006)
Laura Onita Percell, a lifelong Four Corners resident, died Sunday, April 16, 2006, at the Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. She was 93.
Mrs. Percell was born March 23, 1913, to Albert and Elsie Knight in La Plata, N.M. She grew up on the family ranch helping with chores, such as cattle drives between Lemon Dam and New Mexico every spring and fall.
On Nov. 25, 1930, she married the Rev. Dan Irvin in Bayfield. As a minister's wife, she traveled the U.S. and Canada involved deeply in her church ministry.
She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Dan Percell, and daughter Onita M. Johnson.
Mrs. Percell is survived by her son the Rev. Emery Percell of Chicago, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2006, at Hood Mortuary. Mrs. Percell's son, the Rev. Emery Percell, will officiate. Burial will follow at Crestview Cemetery in Durango.
Visitation will precede the service at 1 p.m. at Hood Mortuary.
Rebecca G. Hollander (4/16/2006)
Rebecca Goren Hollander died on Friday, April 14, 2006, of natural causes. She was 92.
Her philosophy of life was to "live your life with dignity," which she did, her family said.
Mrs. Hollander was born to Max and Fanny Goren on Nov. 16, 1913, and grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, with five siblings. She moved to California in the mid-1930s, where she met her future husband of 47 years, David Hollander.
Mrs. Hollander enjoyed knitting, walking, listening to classical music and playing cards. Her family said the "light of her life" was being a grandparent and great-grandparent.
She is survived by her two daughters, Susan Mastos and Bette Ralph, both of Durango; sister Goldie Skidmore of San Clemente, Calif.; brother Norman Goren of Winnipeg, Canada; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will hold a private gathering in remembrance. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.