Jack Gilleland (5/6/2006)
Businessman Jack Gilleland died on his ranch in Ignacio on Thursday, May 4, 2006, after a long battle with skin cancer. He was 79.
He was born to John and Margot Gilleland in Glendale, Ariz., on June 25, 1926.
For the past 30 years, Mr. Gilleland was the owner of C&J Gravel Products Inc. in Durango. His family said he was known to be "honest and hard working."
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mr. Gilleland is survived by his wife of 45 years, Kristine Gilleland, of Ignacio; sister Geri Kelly of Phoenix; daughters Jan Sweetin of Green Valley, Ariz., Donna Ralston of Camp Verde, Ariz., and Jackie Goodenberger of Pagosa Springs; sons John Gilleland of Durango and Kip Gilleland of Gilbert, Ariz.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 8, 2006, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bayfield. Bishop Mark Weber will officiate. Burial will follow at Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield.
Leslie Lee Patrick (5/4/2006)
Ignacio native Leslie Lee Patrick, 82, died Tuesday, May 2, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. The cause of death was pneumonia.
He was born to Leslie and Mary Patrick in Ignacio on May 17, 1923. He grew up there, graduating from Ignacio High School in 1941. During his youth, he broke horses to make money.
Mr. Patrick married Norma Jean Morris in Vallejo, Calif., on June 17, 1942.
He joined the Army and was deployed to Europe. He served in the Signal Corps, beginning in England and landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. His wife said he fought in every battle up to Berlin and "never got a scratch on him."
After he was honorably discharged, Mr. Patrick worked at the Economy Store in Ignacio, which was owned by his father-in-law, for 15 years. He often helped out with basketball refereeing at Fort Lewis College and schools in Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio.
In 1960, the Patricks moved to Gallup, N.M., where Mr. Patrick managed the Navajo Shopping Center in Gamerco for seven years. He also founded Lee's Dry Goods and Western Wear, Lee's Pawn Shop and the Pants Rack - all located in Gallup's downtown area.
While in Gallup, Mr. Patrick was a member of the Lions Club, the Elks Lodge and Kiwanis. He attended the Methodist Church.
Mr. Patrick sold all of his businesses in 1984 and moved back to the Ignacio area to farm. He continued his membership in the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. During this time, he and his wife also traveled in their motor home across the western United States and Mexico. The couple also traveled to Europe, the Far East and the Middle East. The Patricks lived in Mesa, Ariz., during the winter.
Mr. Patrick enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.
His family said that he had told them that he "had lived a perfect life" and "never had any regrets."
Mr. Patrick was preceded in death by his son, Gary Patrick; and grandson Kelly Patrick.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Patrick, of Ignacio; daughter, Sharon Edgin, of Albuquerque; sister Mary Eleanor Stanberry of Grand Junction; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 5, 2006, at Ignacio East Cemetery. The Rev. Curt Alderton of Ignacio Community Church will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ignacio Community Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 317, Ignacio, CO 81137.
Kenneth James McCormick (5/4/2006)
La Plata County native Kenneth James McCormick died on Saturday, April 22, 2006, in Hood River, Ore. He was 87.
He was born to Leo and Vivian (Thompson) McCormick in Perins on May 12, 1918. His father was the superintendent of the coal mine. Both his parents died when he was barely into his teens, so he was raised mostly by his grandparents William and Lillian Thompson.
Mr. McCormick attended Animas City School from the first through the eighth grade. He graduated from Durango High School in 1937. While in high school and college, he played on the football and basketball teams and participated in speech and drama.
He had many stories of growing up in Animas City, where he hung out with a group of guys called the Animas City Toughies. His children remember him saying that they "raised a lot of hell and had a great deal of fun."
While in high school, he and his friends would offer to drive scared tourists on the Million Dollar Highway.
Mr. McCormick attended Fort Lewis College for two years at the old Hesperus campus. He went on to study for one year at the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduate from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, with a degree in history and a secondary-school teaching certificate.
Mr. McCormick enlisted in the Colorado National Guard in April 1937. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in September 1941.
Mr. McCormick married Florence Marie "Phil" Phillips on Dec. 6, 1943, in Aztec.
He was a flight commander of troop carriers. While participating in the invasion of Italy in July 1943, he was injured by friendly fire. He managed to fly the plane to safety after being struck with shrapnel and without the help of his copilot, who was mortally wounded. He was in the hospital for two months in Tunis, Tunisia, in Africa and was then transferred to another hospital in Longview, Texas. He returned to Durango in October 1943. Mr. McCormick limped slightly and had a scar on his cheek from this episode.
He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1955 with the rank of major.
When Mr. McCormick left the military, he became the pilot for his brother's uranium company in Moab, Utah. After working for a year as a "gentleman rancher" in Carbondale, he moved his family back to Bountiful, Utah, where he taught at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah, and coached the tennis team. He retired in 1980.
After Mrs. McCormick died in 1993, Mr. McCormick lived with daughters in Oregon and Las Vegas.
In addition to his wife, Mr. McCormick was preceded in death by his oldest child, Ken J. McCormick Jr.
He is survived by his daughters Sandra McCormick of Midway, Utah, Pam Jacobson of Parkdale, Ore., and Patrece McCormick of Mt. Charleston, Nev.; eight grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Mr. McCormick wished to be cremated, and some of his ashes will be spread along with his late wife's at the Pali in Oahu, and the rest will be buried in his family plot in Durango.
Lawrence Ray Brazell (5/3/2006)
Former Durango resident Lawrence Ray Brazell, 54, died in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, April 18, 2006. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Mr. Brazell lived in Durango from 1988 to 2004. He worked at the Durango Post Office and was active in the American Postal Workers Union. He also was a member of the Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge No. 507.
While living in Durango, he married Donna Foulk, on June 6, 1992.
Mr. Brazell was born to Raymond and Mary Agnes (Breen) Brazell in Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 11, 1951. He grew up in Dallas and graduated from the University of North Texas in 1973.
He married Cindy Simon and the couple had a daughter. The marriage later ended in divorce.
Mr. Brazell began his career with the U.S. Postal Service in Dallas and Denton, Texas.
After Mr. and Mrs. Brazell retired in 2004, they moved to Grand Lake, north of Grove, Okla.
Mr. Brazell is survived by his wife, Donna Brazell, of Grand Lake, Okla.; daughter Erika Bockover; sisters Betty Hobbs of Justin, Texas, and Gayle Grawunder of Bedford, Texas; three granddaughters; and numerous relatives and friends.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2006, at the Durango Elks Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Elks Foundation, c/o the Durango Elks Lodge, 901 East Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Dorothy Henry Jones (5/2/2006)
Durango resident Dorothy Henry Jones, 79, died at her home on Tuesday, April 25, 2006. The cause of death was cancer.
Mrs. Jones had moved to Durango recently to live with her daughter Melody Smith.
She was born to Raymond and Verna Henry in Philadelphia on April 10, 1927. On March 27, 1948, she married Charles Matthew Jones at Valley Forge, Pa.
As a teenager and young adult, she worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad. After their marriage, the Joneses moved from Pennsylvania to a working cattle ranch in Arizona that was 42 miles from the nearest town.
Her family said that raising six children with no electric power, telephone or television was not easy. She volunteered at a local elementary school.
After the death of her first husband, she married Donald Cunningham in 1981 in Phoenix. The marriage later ended in divorce.
Mrs. Jones enjoyed dancing and gardening. Her family said she was an excellent horsewoman.
She roller skated until the age of 62, when she fractured her wrist. Mrs. Jones collected clocks and chickens. She was an avid card and board-game player. She volunteered for various duties at Yarnell Senior Center in Arizona. Mrs. Jones also collected and revised house plans.
"In the brief time she was in Durango," said her daughter Melody Smith, "she touched many lives."
Mrs. Jones was preceded in death by her husband of 32 years, Charles Jones; former spouse Donald Cunningham; and sons Ellery Jones and Charles Jones Jr.
She is survived by her companion Robert McCarrel of Yarnell, Ariz.; children Melody Smith of Durango, Brian Jones of Prescott, Ariz., Rose Pfluger of Morristown, Ariz., and Alan Jones of Phoenix; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2006, at Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home in Prescott, Ariz.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 E. Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301; or the Yarnell Senior Center, 184 Broadway St., Yarnell, AZ 85362.
Bobbie Mack Fender (5/1/2006)
Bobbie Mack Fender, 82, father to three Durango residents, died Saturday, April 29, 2006, in Phoenix.
His daughter Marlene Haddon said he went peacefully.
Mr. Fender was born on Jan. 6, 1924, in Bloomington, Ind., to Charlotte and Lester Fender. He spent much of his life in Chicago.
He was "the toughest man in Chicago," according to a statement by his family. He retired to Durango in 1975 and relocated again to Phoenix in 1981.
Mr. Fender was a competitive man who enjoyed playing cards and golfing. He also was passionate about his family, daughter Maurneen Kulovitz said.
The family's statement called him "a one-in-a-million husband and father."
His family also remembered him as a great storyteller with a lively sense of humor.
"We all will miss your talks of your adventures," his family wrote.
Mr. Fender was an Army veteran, having served with the 107th Cavalry. He was a member of the Elks Lodge.
Survivors include his wife, Bunnie Fender, of Phoenix; daughters, Marlene Haddon and Maurneen Kulovitz, both of Durango, Lindy Carmody of California and Bonnie Honer of Corpus Christi, Texas; son, Bobbie Fender II, of Durango; 12 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hood Mortuary Chapel in Durango. Burial will follow in Greenmount Cemetery.
Jeanette 'J' Aguilar Lovato (6/30/2006)
Former Durango resident Jeanette "J" Aguilar Lovato died in Farmington on Sunday, June 25, 2006, from injuries suffered in a car accident. She was 48.
She was born to Raymond and Susan Ann Marie Herrera Aguilar in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Nov. 20, 1957. Mrs. Lovato had lived in Durango for many years.
Her family said that she was a "loving, caring and forgiving person who loved to laugh."
Mrs. Lovato is survived by her husband, Roy Lovato, of Farmington; son Paul Manuel Sandoval of Farmington; sisters Joanna Aguilar, Christine Bartley and Jacqueline Gallegos, all of Farmington; brother Raymond Aguilar Jr. of Durango; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. today, June 30, 2006, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be taken to Wells Fargo Bank in care of Jeanette Lovato.