Douglas O'Connor Personeus (6/30/2006)
Cortez resident Douglas O'Connor Personeus died at his home on Monday, June 26, 2006. He was 82.
He was born to Lester and Hattie (Barringer) Personeus in Grand Gorge, N.Y., on May 1, 1924.
In October 1966, Mr. Personeus married Jean Yates in Durango.
His family said that Mr. Personeus loved the outdoors. They said he was a well-respected farrier.
In his free time, Mr. Personeus enjoyed shooting guns at the rifle range. His family said he was an exceptional marksman.
Mr. Personeus is survived by his wife, Jean Personeus, of Cortez; children Brant Personeus of Grand Junction, Nancy Personeus Bukowski of Layton, Utah, LeDonna Personeus of Albuquerque, and Bryant Personeus of Glendale, Ariz.; sisters Harriet McGowan and Constance Bird, both of St. Augustine, Fla., and Pricilla Pierce of Syracuse, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today, June 30, 2006, at the Ertel Memorial Chapel, 42 N. Market St. in Cortez. The Rev. Bud Rousset will officiate. Military honors will be provided by the Ute Mountain American Legion Post No. 75.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Montezuma, 1345 S. Broadway, Cortez, CO 81321.
For more information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.
Stanley C. Riha (6/30/2006)
The father of Durango resident Donny Thulson, Stanley C. Riha, 67, died on Monday, June 19, 2006, in Blue Earth, Minn. The cause of death was a heart attack. Mr. Riha died 2½ months after his wife, Bette Riha, died of cancer.
He was born to Clarence and Verena Riha in Spillville, Iowa, on Dec. 6, 1938. Mr. Riha graduated from Protivin High School in Protivin, Iowa. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Winona State College.
On June 1, 1959, he married Bette A. Schneberger in Calmar, Iowa. They moved to Winnebago, Minn., in 1966, where Mr. Riha taught speech and business at Winnebago High School for many years. He later became an insurance agent and recently passed his business on to his son, Monty Riha.
Mr. Riha also served on the Winnebago City Council for many years and was mayor as well.
He was a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church, a 4th Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Minnesota Education Association.
He is survived by his daughter, Donny Thulson, of Durango; son, Monty Riha, of Mankato, Minn.; four grandchildren; one brother and two sisters.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his granddaughter Kirsten Thulson.
Visitation and family services were held in Winnebago. Cremation has occurred. Mr. Riha's cremains, along with those of his wife, Bette Riha, will be buried at Greenmount Cemetery next to their granddaughter Kirsten Thulson.
Nathan McReynolds McCuistion (6/29/2006)
Durango resident Nathan McReynolds McCuistion died on Saturday, June 24, 2006, in a hiking accident south of Silverton. He was 21.
He was born to Don and Janet McReynolds in Springfield on Jan. 19, 1985. He spent his adolescence in Oklahoma City and Jackson, Wyo. When he moved to Durango in 2002, his family said he "found home."
They said he was gifted in electronics and computer systems. When he got his first car at 16, a 1990 Mercury Sable, he built a custom audio system for it. He was also an artist who could draw and sketch.
Mr. McCuistion eventually combined his artistic and computer skills, working in Web design and digital art. He could restore photos and was also involved in video-game design and modification. His family said that Mr. McCuistion's passion for video gaming started when he was 2 years old and received his first Nintendo system. His family said that it was his dream to become a video-game designer and programmer.
Mr. McCuistion enjoyed the outdoors and the beauty of Colorado. His family said that on the day of his death, he was very loving toward his family and friends, and he mentioned how much in awe he was of this area.
Mr. McCuistion is survived by his parents, Don and Janet McReynolds, of Durango; grandparents Donalod and Carrie McReynolds of Ardmore, Okla., Clarence McCuistion of Las Vegas, and Georgia Martin of Stilwell, Okla.; aunts and uncles Rhonda Martin of Trinidad, Reid Martin of Springfield, Tilden Martin, Franklin Martin and Quentin Martin, all of Stilwell, Okla.; and numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today, June 29, 2006, at the Calvary Chapel of Durango, 799 Tech Center Drive in Durango. Immediately following the service, a special memorial will be held at Vallecito Reservoir.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Nathan McCuistion Family Memorial Fund, c/o The First National Bank of Durango, P.O. Box 2910, Durango, CO 81302.
Marietta McDonnell Golder (6/29/2006)
Durango resident Marietta McDonnell Golder, 77, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Monday, June 26, 2006. The cause of death was brain lymphoma.
She was born to Peter and Agnes (Hoadley) McDonnell in Glen Ellyn, Ill., on July 27, 1928.
On April 16, 1948, she married Frank Edward Golder Jr. The Golder family moved from Chicago to Durango in 1968.
Mrs. Golder later became the first female meter maid for the Durango Police Department.
Her family said that "this position allowed her to become well-acquainted with the fine people of Durango."
Mrs. Golder's favorite activity was being with people, visiting and reminiscing.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Golder Jr.
Mrs. Golder is survived by her children Jeff Golder, Jann Craig and Jill O'Rand, all of Durango, Bruce Golder of Farmington, and Pete Golder of Tucson, Ariz.; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. Per Mrs. Golder's wishes, there will be no services. The family will spread Mr. and Mrs. Golder's ashes at a later time.
Nina Jim McCarty (6/28/2006)
Durango resident Nina Jim (Livingston) McCarty died at Mercy Medical Center on Saturday, June 24, 2006. She was 93.
She was born to James Thomas and Nettie Frances Roberts Livingston in Salem, Ark., on Oct. 18, 1912. When she was a child, the family moved from Arkansas to Seminole, Okla., where her father found work in the thriving oil fields. Mrs. McCarty graduated from high school as both valedictorian and a beauty queen.
She met Robert Lee McCarty in Oklahoma, where they both worked for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The couple married in St. Louis in 1943. They lived in Florida, Pittsburgh, Chicago and San Francisco while Mr. McCarty worked in Naval Intelligence for the U.S. Navy.
After he retired from the military, the couple moved to Peoria, Ill., to attend watch-making school. After graduation, the McCartys moved to College Station, Texas, where they owned and operated a jewelry store near Texas A&M University.
In 1961, the McCartys moved to Durango, where they owned and operated Taylor-Raymond Jewelers for many years. They sold the business in 1983.
The couple enjoyed traveling to gemological conferences throughout the United States to enhance their business.
Mrs. McCarty was a member of the American Gem Society, Durango Toastmistresses, the Durango Club, the 100 Club and St. Mark's Episcopal Church. She was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling.
Her family said Mrs. McCarty was involved in the local community and was also a philanthropist, contributing generously to many charities.
Mrs. McCarty was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Robert Lee McCarty.
She is survived by four nieces.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2006, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Andrew Cooley will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 910 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
Janet Loretta Waite (6/28/2006)
Cortez resident Janet Loretta Waite died at her home on Monday, June 26, 2006. She was 79.
Miss Waite was born to William and Margaret Waite in Butler, Pa., on Nov. 21, 1926. She was a nun in the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years. Miss Waite retired from the clergy and became a school teacher in San Jose, Calif.
Upon her retirement in 1997, Miss Waite moved to Durango.
She enjoyed traveling and art.
She is survived by her brother Gene Waite of Rio Rancho, N.M., and sister Marie Stevens of Campbell, Calif.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2006, at St. Columba Catholic Church. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate.
Victoria Ann Scott Velasco (6/28/2006)
Ignacio resident Victoria Ann Scott Velasco, 45, died in Ignacio on Saturday, June 24, 2006. The cause of death was not disclosed.
She was born in Cortez and raised in Towaoc. Mrs. Velasco attended school in Cortez before leaving to attend Phoenix Indian High School in Phoenix.
She enjoyed sports, art, music and powwows. Mrs. Velasco was a traditional dancer and represented the tribe when away from home. While attending the Indian School, she was asked to represent the three tribes of Utes - Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Northern Ute.
She married Daniel Velasco in Phoenix.
In 1996, Mrs. Velasco moved back to Ignacio.
In her spare time, she enjoyed hiking, hunting, swimming and having cookouts just to be with family.
Her family said Mrs. Velasco made a lot of friends wherever she went, and that people always remembered her smile.
Mrs. Velasco was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Velasco, and son Jeremy Velasco.
She is survived by her children Yvonne Velasco and Jeffrey Velasco, both of Ignacio; siblings James Scott, Patrick Scott, Fredrick Scott and Dorena Wing, all of Ignacio; Dorothy Wing and David Wing, both of Towaoc; and Howard Lee of Farmington; stepfather John K. Wing of Towaoc; one grandson, Jagur Velasco of Ignacio; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be recited from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2006, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2006, also at St. Ignatius. Monsignor Daniel Huber will officiate. Burial will take place at Ouray Memorial Cemetery in Ignacio.
Lonnie Luis Sucwanuch Howe (6/22/2006)
Durango native Lonnie Luis Sucwanuch Howe, 34, died in the Seattle area on Thursday, June 15, 2006. The cause of death was a heart attack.
He was born to Reginald and Lindy Howe in Durango on Sept. 12, 1971. He moved with his family to Washington when he was a child. In 1989, Mr. Howe graduated from Kent Meridian High School in Kent, Wash.
He worked for the Safeway food-store chain in Seattle as an assistant manager for many years.
His family said he loved life and being with his family. They also said Mr. Howe enjoyed playing sports and was competitive in all the activities he pursued.
Mr. Howe is survived by his wife, Tanesah Majors-Howe, of Seattle; children Carlton Howe, Sierra Howe, Omry Howe and Cheyenne Howe, all of Seattle; mother, Lindy Montgomery, of Puyallup, Wash.; father and stepmother, Reginald and Marie Howe, of Ignacio; grandmothers Jeannette Bright, of Paradise, and Stella Santistevan, of Ignacio; sisters Shyida Shyla Howe, of Ignacio, and Glorie Mae Johnson, of Auburn, Wash.; stepbrother Marty Shaughnessy, of Puyallup, Wash.; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral and burial have taken place in Seattle. A memorial service honoring Mr. Howe will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2006, at the Head Start Gymnasium in Ignacio. The family invites guests to attend a reception following the service.
David A. Spitzer (6/21/2006)
Fort Lewis College graduate David A. Spitzer, 52, died on Friday, June 16, 2006, at St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction. The cause of death was a stroke.
After graduating from Dove Creek High School in 1972, Mr. Spitzer attended FLC on a football scholarship. He was a running back for four years, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education in 1977.
Mr. Spitzer was born to Gerald W. and Bettie Jane (Garvin) Spitzer in Clovis, N.M., on July 5, 1953, and grew up in California.
On Sept. 21, 1974, he married Krista Barlow in Cortez. After he received his degree, the Spitzers lived in Dolores and Hotchkiss before moving to Cedaredge five years ago.
He was a high school teacher and coach at Cedaredge High School. Mr. Spitzer was a member of the Colorado High School Coaches Association, Colorado High School Activities Association, the National Athletic Directors Association and Promise Keepers.
Mr. Spitzer is survived by his wife of 31 years, Krista Spitzer of Surface Creek; son, Shawn Spitzer of San Clemente, Calif; mother, Bettie Jane Spitzer of Durango; brothers Gerald Spitzer of Durango, Michael Garvin Spitzer of Missouri and Brian Russell Spitzer of China; and sister Leah Lorraine Roberts of Klamath Falls, Ore.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today, June 21, 2006, at the Cedaredge High School Gymnasium. The Rev. James Tennaple will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the scholarship fund in memory of David A. Spitzer (for Cedaredge High School students), c/o Surface Creek Bank, 945 S. Grand Mesa Drive, Cedaredge, CO 81413; to the scholarship fund in memory of David A. Spitzer (for Hotchkiss High School students) c/o First State Bank of Hotchkiss, P.O. Box 38, Hotchkiss, CO 81419; Life Outreach International, P.O. Box 982000, Fort Worth, TX 76182; or to Promise Keepers, P.O. Box 11798, Denver, CO 80211-0798.