Valentine Counts Worley (5/21/2006)
Durango resident Valentine Counts Worley died at her home Sunday, May 14, 2006. She was 81. The cause of death was undetermined.
She was born on Feb. 14, 1925, in Waxahachie, Texas. In 1944, she married Henry Worley in Chandler, Ariz., before he deployed with the U.S. Marines to the South Pacific.
After World War II, the couple lived in Los Angeles, where Mrs. Worley worked as a fashion model and as an executive secretary to film producer Leo McCarey. After several years, the Worleys returned to Texas and made their home in Dallas.
In 1954, the Worley family moved to Durango, where Mr. Worley pursued his dream of prospecting for minerals in the San Juan Mountains. They spent the next 25 years dividing their time between Dallas and Durango.
After Mr. Worley died in 1988, Mrs. Worley remained in Dallas, where she lived near her daughter and son-in-law, Lynn and Darryl Kuntz, and their four children. When the Kuntzes moved to Durango, she joined them. Her family said she thought of Darryl more as a son than a son-in-law.
"She was delighted to return to Durango and thoroughly enjoyed renewing old friendships and forming new ones," said her daughter, Lynn Kuntz.
Mrs. Worley was an avid card player, reader and traveler. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Durango.
"She was wise, genuine, thoughtful, articulate, interested in everything, a terrific sport, super smart and enormously fun," her daughter said, "with an ample and ever-present sense of humor."
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Worley was preceded in death by her son, Clay Worley.
She is survived by her daughter, Lynn Kuntz of Durango; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
At her request, no service is planned. The family would welcome any written memories, observations, stories or anecdotes to place in a memory book. Please send them to the Kuntz family, 274 Cutler Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Memorial gifts may be made to Young Life (designate Four Corners), P.O. Box 520, Colorado Springs, CO 80901.
Edward M. 'John' LaLonde (5/21/2006)
A lifelong La Plata County resident, Edward Merle LaLonde died Thursday, May 18, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. He was 86.
Mr. LaLonde was born June 17, 1919, in Ignacio. He married Marlette Lechner on Dec. 25, 1937, at the Waterfall Ranch.
During World War II, he served with the Navy. Mr. LaLonde farmed and worked for the smelter. In 1995, after 27 years of service, he retired from the La Plata County Road and Bridge Department as director.
He enjoyed horses, fishing, hunting and music.
Mr. LaLonde was preceded in death by his wife and a daughter, Jean Newton.
He is survived by daughter Janet Masters and son Edward LaLonde, both of Durango; sister Ethel Pringle of Big Springs, Texas; nine grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2006, at the Victorious Life Fellowship Church. The Rev. Myron Darmour will officiate. Burial will occur at Crestview Cemetery in Durango.
Charles B. Flores Jr. (5/20/2006)
Charles B. Flores Jr., 64, died at his home at Vallecito Lake on Sunday, May 14, 2006. He died after an extended illness.
Mr. Flores and his wife, Sharon, moved to the area in 1993 from California. Mr. Flores had operated St. John's Trucking Co. here since 1999.
He was born to Charles and Lelia Flores on March 11, 1942, in Santa Monica, Calif. After graduating from high school, Mr. Flores enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving from 1960 to 1962 in Alameda, Calif.
He married Sharon Shrode in Las Vegas on June 4, 1967. While in California, he was a building contractor.
Mr. Flores volunteered with the Upper Pine Fire Department, and he was active with the Vallecito Youth Group. After the Flores' son, John Raymond Flores, was murdered in 1989, the Floreses became advocates for the Parents of Murdered Children.
Mr. Flores wrote a children's book, The Miller Farm. He named the two child characters in the book John-John and Raymond, after his son.
His family said Mr. Flores enjoyed being with youngsters, friends and most of all, his wife.
"He was very close to his nieces and nephews and even his great-nieces and great-nephews," said his sister Paulette "Polli" Butzner. "They called him 'Uncle Chuck' and 'Uncle Grandpa Chuck.'"
Mr. Flores is survived by his wife, Sharon Flores, of Vallecito Lake; his sisters Barbara Gates of Redding, Calif., and Paulette Butzner of Albany, Ore.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 21, 2006, at Vallecito Church, 17576 County Road 501 at Vallecito Lake. The Rev. James Newman will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Parents of Murdered Children, 100 East Eighth St., Suite B-41, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Sarah Velasquez Martinez (5/20/2006)
Durango resident Sarah Velasquez Martinez died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Thursday, May 18, 2006. She was 90.
Mrs. Martinez was born to Francisco and Maria Velasquez in Carracas on Dec. 12, 1915. She was the oldest of 12 children. Mrs. Martinez attended schools in Carracas and Silverton. In 1950, she graduated from nursing school in Provo, Utah, as a licensed practical nurse.
On Dec. 14, 1954, she married Max Martinez at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango.
Mrs. Martinez worked at Utah State Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Durango in the maternity department and newborn nursing. Her family said she willingly worked other departments when needed. She retired from Mercy Hospital in 1983 after more than 30 years of service.
Mrs. Martinez was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and enjoyed reading, needlework, gardening and family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Max Martinez, in 1996; and daughter, Sarah Louise, and grandson Mykel in 1998.
Mrs. Martinez is survived by her sons Charles Martinez of Olney Springs and James Martinez of El Cajon, Calif.; sisters Vivian Archuleta of Durango and Lucy Quintana of Pueblo; brothers Fred Velasquez of Durango and Jose E. Velasquez of Leadville; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 21, 2006, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, May 22, 2006, also at Sacred Heart. The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos will officiate. Burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery.
Carlos E. 'Charlie' Romero (5/19/2006)
Ignacio native Carlos E. "Charlie" Romero, 66, died at his home in Ignacio on Tuesday, May 16, 2006.
The cause of death was not disclosed.
He was born to Edumenio and Rosanna Romero in Ignacio on April 19, 1940. Mr. Romero attended school in Ignacio and graduated from Ignacio High School.
"I called him the wanderer," said his niece, Rose Scott. "He worked as a bartender, owned a bar in Houston and worked on a cruise ship in Florida."
His family said Mr. Romero loved to dance, cheered for the Houston Astros baseball team and "shot a mean game of pool."
Mr. Romero's family said he was given the name "The Pool God." He enjoyed being with his friends.
Mr. Romero is survived by his sisters Dolores Rivas of Denver, Sadie Alston of Aztec and Mary Helen Silva of Kirtland, N.M.; brother George Martinez of Farmington; and numerous aunts, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20, 2006, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. Monsignor Dan Huber will officiate. Cremation will occur.
Howard William Sproul Jr. (5/17/2006)
Durango resident Howard William Sproul Jr., 77, died at his home on Thursday, May 11, 2006. The cause of death was a heart attack.
The Sprouls had spent summers at their home in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine and the rest of the year at their home in Durango for the past 12 years.
He was born to Harriet (Hall) and Howard William Sproul Sr. in Damariscotta, Maine, on Sept. 18, 1928. After graduating from Lincoln Academy, he served in the National Guard.
On Jan. 29, 1950, Mr. Sproul married Maxine Christensen in Gardiner, Maine.
His son, Stephen Sproul, said, "He lived the American dream, entering the paper industry at an early age and working his way from the bottom to the top of the Hudson Pulp and Paper Co., which later became the Statler Paper Corp."
He retired after 48 years at the level of superintendent. He and his wife then were invited to serve in a consulting capacity to Asian nations on the Eastern Pacific Rim seeking to start their own paper industries.
Mr. Sproul was a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Durango, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 964 in Augusta, Maine, and Christ Church in Gardiner, Maine.
He accompanied the St. Mark's Youth Group to Alaska on two mission trips, where, his family said, he taught by example. They said the trips meant a great deal to him.
"He was a wonderful gentleman," said his wife, Maxine Sproul. "He wouldn't do anything that wasn't by the book."
Mr. Sproul is survived by his wife of 56 years, Maxine Sproul, of Durango and Maine; son Stephen Sproul of Durango; and one grandson.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 18, 2006 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, .
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Mark's Episcopal Church in his memory would be appreciated by the family.
Kaeon E. Zartner (5/17/2006)
Former La Plata County resident Kaeon E. Zartner, 70, died at the home of his daughter, Debra Fanning, in Phoenix on Friday, April 28, 2006. The cause of death was cancer.
Mr. Zartner was born to Edward and Florence Zartner in Milwaukee on May 30, 1935.
He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a degree in civil engineering. Mr. Zartner moved to Durango in 1987.
He was a Realtor and developer in the Durango and Ignacio areas for many years. His family said that Mr. Zartner believed in being involved in community service wherever he lived.
He served on school boards when he lived in Wisconsin and on the Ignacio Police Citizen Review Board and the Southeast District Planning Committee here.
He was a candidate for La Plata County Commissioner in 2000.
One of Mr. Zartner's favorite sayings was, "Make the most of every day."
Mr. Zartner is survived by his sister, Joy Meredith, of Boston; son, Brian Zartner, of Puyallup, Wash.; daughters Debra Fanning of Phoenix, Leigh Ann Randa of Belleview, Wash., and Kara Woods of San Antonio; and seven grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred.
Sheila Gallegos (5/16/2006)
The wife of Silverton native Carl M. Gallegos, Sheila Gallegos, died on Sunday, May 14, 2006, at her home in Chestertown, MD. She was 63.
She was born to Russell and Jean (Sharp) McLaughlin in Detroit on July 26, 1942. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Connecticut in 1964, her master's in operations research and computer systems from American University in 1969 and completed the coursework for her doctorate in computer science at the University of Maryland in 1971.
Mrs. Gallegos began her career as a programmer, systems analyst, operating systems specialist and systems engineer. Early in her career, she was one of the first users of the Internet on three Arpanet computers in the United States. She held numerous management positions in both the private and public sector and taught computer science on the college level.
She worked with the MITRE Corp., where she was responsible for coordinating activities to improve the performance of the United States airspace system, as well as consulting for international clients.
Her volunteer activities including working as a production assistant for "The Diane Rehm Show," a docent at the Smithsonian Museum of Science and History and an usher at Wolftrap Park for the Performing Arts. Her husband was a foreign-service officer, and she accompanied him to Madagascar, where she served for two years on the board of the American School of Antananarivo.
Mr. and Mrs. Gallegos were members of the Chester River Association and Schooner Sultana Shipmates. Her other interests included sailing, gardening, needlework and beading.
Mrs. Gallegos is survived by her husband, Carl M. Gallegos, of Chestertown, MD.; daughter, Jocelyn LeRoy of Washington, D.C.; stepdaughter, Kara Adrianne Walker Gallegos, of Baltimore; brother, Michael K. McLaughlin, Texas; and sister, Terry McLaughlin, of Austin, Texas.
Services will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2006, at the Friends Meeting House, 124 Philosophers Terrace, in Chestertown, MD.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Cancer Society, Kent/Queen Anne Chapter, 92 Read's Way, Suite 205, New Castle, DE 19720; or the Building Fund for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Chester River, 100 N. Cross St., Chestertown, MD 21620.