Carlyle Wayne Mullen (4/15/2006)
Carlyle Wayne Mullen died Wednesday, April 12, 2006, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 79.
Mr. Mullen was the son of Orbit and Alda Mullen, who were lifetime residents of the Durango area. Carlyle Mullen lived and worked in Durango until 1967, when he moved and worked as a truck driver in Denver until he retired in 1983, when he relocated to the Phoenix area.
He was a member of Southgate Masonic Lodge in Denver and a member of Southgate Eastern Star where he served as Worthy Patron in 1978. He was a dedicated father and grandfather.
Mr. Mullen was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Mullen.
He is survived by sons, Wesley Mullen of Buckeye, Ariz., and Dale Mullen of Aurora; stepsons James Higganbotham of Denver and Richard Higganbotham of Chandler, Ariz.
Freddie Alfonso Atencio (4/15/2006)
Freddie Alfonso Atencio, a former maintenance supervisor for the town of Ignacio, died on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. He was 70.
The cause of death was pneumonia, his daughter-in-law said.
"He was a guy that would take charge," said his son, Freddie Atencio Jr. "He would always get the job done from start to finish. He'd be the first one to jump in the ditch and the last one out."
Mr. Atencio was born Sept. 26, 1935, in La Garita to Alfonso and Maria Atencio. He married Maria Santistevan on Oct. 10, 1955, in Grand Junction.
In Moab, Utah, he started a plant nursery with a friend. When he moved to Ignacio in the early 1960s, he served on several community boards and was instrumental in helping to build the town's Shoshone Park, his son said. He was maintenance supervisor for 21 years.
He also coached the town's boxing club, of which his son was a member.
He enjoyed fishing, camping and bowling and was very devoted to his family, said his daughter-in-law.
Mr. Atencio has donated his body to science - a decision prompted by a 1994 kidney transplant that saved his life. After the transplant, his son said, Mr. Atencio sought a method of giving back to the medical community.
He was preceded in death by a son, Albert Atencio.
He is survived by his wife; four sons, Freddie Atencio Jr. of Ignacio, Raymond Atencio of Farmington, Harold Atencio of Aztec, Billy Atencio of Bloomfield; one daughter, Darlene Atencio of Bloomfield; four brothers, Alex Atencio of Flora Vista, N.M., Victor Atencio of Ignacio, Fermin Atencio of Salt Lake City, and Louis Atencio of Fruita; one sister, Beatrice Pacheco of Waipahu, Hawaii; 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A rosary will be said and a memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, April 17, at San Ignatius Church in Ignacio.
C.E. 'Pick' Pickering (4/14/2006)
C.E. "Pick" Pickering died Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. The cause of death was not given. He was 88.
Mr. Pickering, known as "Pick," was born June 22, 1917, in WaKeeney, Kan., to Roy Ivanhoe and Bernice Earl Pickering. He graduated from Pasadena Junior College in Pasadena, Calif., before enlisting in the Army in 1941 at Fort MacArthur, Calif. He served in Alaska's Aleutian Islands in field artillery and as a drill instructor.
Mr. Pickering married Lillian Barnes in Denver on Jan. 15, 1946. The couple moved to Craig and then to Grand Junction, where he ran Pickering Plumbing and Heating for many years.
Mr. Pickering was a member of Moose Lodge 270 and the All American C.B. Club and was a founder of the Orchard Mesa Little League in 1963. He liked to hike, camp and ski. He last skied Powderhorn at age 83.
Surviving Mr. Pickering are his wife of 60 years, sons Doug Pickering of Durango and Don Pickering of Grand Junction, brother Roy Pickering of Chicago and sister Dora Marie Baldwin of Poteau, Okla. He also is survived by two grandsons and a great-grandson.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 15, at Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction. Memorial tributes may be made online at www.mem.com.
Fred Borne Jr. (4/13/2006)
Ignacio resident Fred Borne Jr. died of a severe asthma attack on Sunday, April 8, 2006. He was 55.
Mr. Borne had lived in and around Ignacio since 1978. During his time in the area, he worked at Ignacio Autobody from 1979 to 1985. He later worked for the Tamarron Golf Course in maintenance from 1989 to 1992 and as a field technician for Hermosa Cablevision from 1992 to 2004.
Mr. Borne was a member of First Assembly of God, Hope Christian Fellowship and the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Borne was born to Fred and Rose Borne on Sept. 22, 1950, in East Orange, N.J. He graduated from New Brunswick High School in New Jersey in 1969.
Mr. Borne served in the U.S. Navy as an air-traffic-control technician. He served in Jacksonville, Fla., achieving the rank of seaman. He enlisted on July 2, 1971 and was honorably discharged on March 14, 1973.
After his discharge, Mr. Borne attended ITT Technical College for two years.
On Dec. 23, 1978, he married Paulette Catherine Varga in Ellicott, Md. The marriage later ended in divorce.
Mr. Borne enjoyed long rides through the mountains and loved his family, animals and nature.
"I remember the first Christmas tree Fred had bought after he was married," his brother William Borne said. "The floor in his apartment was uneven, so he nailed the stand to the floor and tied the branches to the wall to keep it from falling over."
His daughter, Josephine Hayner, said, "My Daddy was my best friend, and I will always remember him for his sense of humor."
Mr. Borne is survived by his parents, Fred and Rose Borne, of Toms River, N.J.; former wife, Catherine Varga, of New Mexico; daughter, Josephine Hayner, of Durango; sister, Dianne Brancasi, of Florida; brothers William Borne, of Aztec, and Robert Borne, of New Jersey; and two grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from noon to 7:30 p.m. today, April 13, 2006, at Hood Mortuary. The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, April 14, 2006, at the Fort Lewis College Chapel. Burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery. The services will be nondenominational, and the Rev. Curtis Alderton of the Ignacio Community Church will officiate.
John Francis Hanks (4/11/2006)
John Francis Hanks, a central figure in much of the post-war development in Durango and La Plata County, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Friday, April 7, 2006. He was 98.
He moved his family to Durango in 1945 after being discharged from the Army Corps of Engineers in Wyoming in 1945. He came to take a job with Cannonball Bus Lines. Mr. Hanks soon started a new Durango city-bus line, serving all of Durango with three new buses driven from Indiana at their top speed of 35 mph.
The bus line was a success, but after WWII, home construction was more lucrative. Mr. Hanks hauled a 20-ton concrete-block plant from Illinois to Durango, at an equally slow speed, and manufactured sturdy 42-pound blocks. Many of the homes built here in that era were constructed of those blocks.
Because Durango lacked adequate raw materials for block making, Mr. Hanks started his first of several heavy-construction and mining businesses. Those included Durango Sand and Gravel, Animas Valley Sand and Gravel and H and H Mining.
In between, he built many of the area's mining and logging roads, including the first one to the top of Missionary Ridge and the precarious ones around Rands Point up Junction Creek and to the Inca and the Muldoon mines at the top of the La Plata Mountains.
Mr. Hanks often assisted the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in clearing the more difficult snowslides in the spring and in roadbed repair.
He was born on Sept. 29, 1907, in Decatur, Ill. His father was Claude Hanks, a distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln. His mother was Maria McCormick Hanks, an Irish girl, whose father put her all alone on a boat when she was 13 to send her to America, telling her that he didn't know what awaited her in America, but he knew there was nothing for her in impoverished Ireland.
Mr. Hanks was the oldest of six children. One died in childhood, and Mr. Hanks and his four surviving brothers all served at the same time in WWII. Mr. Hanks was restricted to serving in the United States because his brothers were overseas. He trained engineers for combat.
His family said Mr. Hanks was a true jack-of-all-trades in the mechanical/industrial field. In his early years, he worked in Terre Haute, Ind., as the chief mechanic for the city's large bus line. He also worked as a machinist in Decatur, Ill., and eventually could say that he had made every part of a steam locomotive except the boiler.
His family said he thrived on making machinery, including making all kinds of heavy-construction equipment more productive than its designers anticipated or more versatile in operation. He was a prolific inventor, creating, among other things, a giant "under cutter' for the back of a large bulldozer that could take out 30-foot trees without hesitation. This "under cutter" was used to clear acres of land to the west and south of Durango for farming. Mr. Hanks could never be persuaded to apply for patents on any of his inventions.
He enjoyed recreational-vehicle travel, fishing, playing the accordion and fast two-step dancing. Mr. Hanks rarely missed dances at the Elks Lodge (he was a lifelong member), and the Veterans of Foreign War and American Legion posts.
During his final years, Mr. Hanks wintered in Truth or Consequences, N.M., and summered in Durango.
Mr. Hanks was preceded in death by his three wives, Bernice Deardorff, also from Decatur, Vivian Hildebrand of Durango and Helen Sowers of Truth or Consequences.
He is survived by his son, James Hanks, of Durango; one grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
As he requested, he will be cremated, and there will be no services.
Joe Marcus Martinez (4/9/2006)
Durango native Joe Marcus Martinez, 50, died at his Grand Junction home on Thursday, April 6, 2006. The cause of death was not disclosed.
He was born to Anselmo and Lenora (Corrales) Martinez in Durango on March 7, 1956. Mr. Martinez attended school here.
He also lived in Provo, Utah, where he met and married Georgette Lobato in 1973. The couple divorced in 1990.
Mr. Martinez was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grand Junction. He was employed in construction.
His family members said he enjoyed spending time with them, drawing and working on cars.
Mr. Martinez is survived by his parents, Anselmo and Lenora Martinez, of Durango; sons, Michael Lobato, Jose Martinez and Benny Martinez, all of Grand Junction; daughter, Candida Medina of Grand Junction; brothers, Johnny Eddie Martinez, Joby Martinez, Cipriano Martinez and Chris Martinez, all of Ignacio; sisters, Orlinda Manzanares of Provo, Utah, and Mary Anne Martinez of Ignacio; and 14 grandchildren.
A rosary was recited Saturday at Martin Memorial Chapel in Grand Junction.
Alberta Lucille Beeler Davis Graham (4/7/2006)
Lifelong Durangoan Alberta Lucille Beeler Davis Graham, 91, died at Mercy Medical Center on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. The cause of death was respiratory failure.
She was born to Elvy and Cassandra (Wyatt Caughey) Beeler in Durango on March 5, 1915. The family's roots in Southwest Colorado go back to her grandfather, who returned from Ohio to settle here after serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis.
Mrs. Graham attended many of the early pioneer schools in the area, including Alfalfa, Whittier, Marvel and Cottonwood.
She graduated from Durango High School in 1935.
On May 23, 1937, she married Roger Davis. The marriage ended in divorce. He preceded her in death in 1969. On August 24, 1968, she married Karl Graham. He preceded her in death in 1992.
Mrs. Graham provided for her six children as a single mother. She cleaned houses, and did baby-sitting, ironing and sewing.
Her family said that Mrs. Graham was determined to extend help to anyone in need from her church or from the Manna Soup Kitchen.
Mrs. Graham worked at the Manna Soup Kitchen for 20 years and was one of its first volunteers when the soup kitchen opened in the early 1980s at First Assembly of God. Mrs. Graham also volunteered for 17 years for Meals on Wheels.
After marrying Mr. Graham, who founded the ambulance service at Mercy Hospital, she became a volunteer for the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. For 15 years, during the month of December, Mrs. Graham helped make red, handmade Christmas stockings that newborns were sent home in. She volunteered for more than 4,000 hours at the hospital.
She enjoyed gardening, painting, embroidery, sewing, crocheting, tin-can art, woodworking and other crafts. She made three chests of drawers and a rocking chair.
Her family said she never hesitated to repair things, from her home's foundation to tuning her car, repairing tires or getting snow off the roof.
In addition to her husbands, Mrs. Graham was preceded in death by her son Tom Davis.
She is survived by her daughters, Dorothy Grant of Vancouver, Wash., Lucinda Stride of San Jose, Calif., and Wanda Todd of Farmington; sons, Charles Davis of Eastport, Mich., and Stanley Davis of Ellwood City, Pa.; 17 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred at Hood Mortuary. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, 2006, at New Life Chapel. The Rev. Scott Kujath and the Rev. Robert Kujath will officiate. The ashes will be buried in the plot her grandfather purchased at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Manna Soup Kitchen, 1100 Avenida del Sol, Durango, CO 81301. The soup kitchen plans to set up a memory garden in her name.
Bette Riha (4/7/2006)
The mother of longtime Durango resident Donny Thulson, Bette Riha, died on Sunday, March 26, 2006, at Immanuel-St. Joseph's Hospital in Mankato, Minn. She was 65. The cause of death was multiple myeloma.
Mrs. Riha was born to Alex and Helen (Sololik) Schneberger on May 21, 1940, in Calmar, Iowa. She graduated from Calmar High School in 1958.
On June 1, 1959, she married her high school sweetheart, Stan Riha, in Calmar. They moved to Winnebago, Minn., in 1966.
Her family said Mrs. Riha was a housewife who enjoyed fast cars, snowmobiling, cats, dancing and playing a card game called 500. They said she loved life and died too young.
Mrs. Riha was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1987, but her family said she never gave up, even though she was told at the time that she had only 18 months to live. She fought the cancer for 19 years and was on kidney dialysis for the last three years.
Mrs. Riha was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Winnebago.
She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Kirsten Thulson, who died in 1991 at the age of 13 months.
Mrs. Riha is survived by her husband, Stan Riha, of Winnebago, Minn.; daughter, Donny Thulson of Durango; son, Monty Riha of Mankato, Minn.; brothers Norman Schneberger of Tennessee and Jim Schneberger of Michigan; and four grandchildren.
Mrs. Riha's funeral was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Friday, March 31, 2006. She will be buried at Greenmount Cemetery next to her granddaughter Kirsten Thulson.