Jane Gerard Ornella (6/5/2006)
Jane Gerard Ornella, a former music teacher and music coordinator for the District 9-R schools, died Saturday, June 3, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 82.
Mrs. Ornella died of natural causes, said daughter Rose Marie Clark.
"Her friends knew her as a very vivacious, fun, happy, compassionate person," Mrs. Clark said.
A Durango native, Mrs. Ornella was born on May 18, 1924, the daughter of Oliver and Alvetta Gerard. She spent her childhood summers in the Vallecito area helping on the family ranch before the construction of Vallecito Dam. There she became an expert horsewoman and fly fisher. She graduated from Durango High School in 1941.
During her first semester of college, the United States entered World War II, and her first thought was to enlist. Only 17, she had to wait until the end of her first year at college. She then enlisted in the Army and rose to the rank of technical sergeant.
While stationed at the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Md., she met Staff Sgt. Dominic "Nick" Ornella, who later became her husband.
After completing her enlistment period and briefly pursuing an acting career in New York City, she returned to school at Western State in Gunnison. She married Mr. Ornella in 1948.
Mrs. Ornella earned bachelor's and master's degrees in music education, becoming an accomplished musician with a mastery of every instrument except the violin.
She taught in Gunnison for three years and then returned to Durango. She taught music at Florida Mesa and Riverview elementary schools, eventually becoming music coordinator for the school district.
Mrs. Ornella's passion for music education sometimes followed her home.
"She often taught private piano lessons for students who were interested," Mrs. Clark said. "In the course of 29 years she taught a whole generation of students."
Mrs. Ornella retired from teaching in 1984. She enjoyed gardening, golfing, fly fishing, bridge, her friends and her grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband; daughters, Alvetta Pendleton, of Boulder, and Rose Marie Clark and Patricia Starns, both of Durango; and four grandchildren.
A rosary will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2006, at St. Columba Church. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2006, at the church.
Interment will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Colleen Warman (6/3/2006)
Longtime Durango resident Colleen Warman, 54, died at University Hospital in Denver on Wednesday, May 31, 2006. The cause of death was complications from heart surgery.
She was born to Art and Patricia Badgley in Cincinnati on Nov. 21, 1951. On Sept. 20, 1972, she married Bill Warman in Marysville, Ky.
The family moved to Durango 24 years ago. Mrs. Warman worked as a nurse in the natal intensive-care unit at Mercy Medical Center. She helped bring thousands of babies into the world and helped countless couples adjust to parenthood. Her fellow nurses said her skill with premature babies needing a high level of nursing care set the standard for many of them and led to what they call the Warman Procedure.
The Warman family enjoyed boating, camping and exploring the Four Corners. Mrs. Warman and her twin sister, Maureen Feeney, spent many hours shopping together.
"She could spot a bargain a mile away," her friend and fellow nurse Kate Largent said.
Largent said Mrs. Warman was passionate about ending the war in Iraq and seeing President Bush out of office.
"She had a wicked sense of humor," Largent said. "She was a very empathetic person, very lively with a great smile."
Mrs. Warman is survived by her husband, Bill Warman, of Durango; sons Zach Warman, Sean Warman and Andy Warman, all of Durango; sisters Maureen Feeney of Durango and Lynn Hawke and Molly Lacey, both of Cincinnati; brothers Kevin Badgley of Durango and Doug Badgley of Cincinnati; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 5, 2006, at the Rotary Park gazebo.
Stanford Howe (6/3/2006)
Lifelong Towaoc resident Stanford Rowe died Thursday, June 1, 2006, at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, N.M. He was 49.
He was born to James and May Marsh Howe on Oct. 30, 1956, in Cortez.
His family said Mr. Howe was "a very honest person who would say what was on his mind." They said they'll miss "The Claw."
Mr. Howe enjoyed working on his car and riding motorcycles. Hunting was another activity he treasured.
Mr. Howe was preceded in death by his stepson, Stanley Frost.
He is survived by his mother, May Marsh Howe, of Towaoc; sisters Emma Jean Howe of Cortez and Betty Avaline Howe of Towaoc; companion Cynthia Silas of Towaoc; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ertel Memorial Chapel, 42 N. Market St., in Cortez. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, June 5, 2006, at Towaoc Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Lorenzo Root will officiate. Burial will follow at the Towaoc Cemetery.
Felix Albert Tucson (6/2/2006)
Felix Albert Tucson, owner of Uncle Albert's barbershop in Ignacio, died at Swedish Medical Center in Denver on Tuesday, May 30, 2006, from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. He was 64.
Mr. Tucson was born in Ignacio to Hinio and Ernestine Tucson on July 16, 1941.
He served in the Army and was a Vietnam veteran. Mr. Tucson was also a member of the Southern Ute honor guard. His family said he was proud of his Southern Ute Tribal heritage.
They said his barbershop was a gathering place to enjoy conversation and laughter. Mr. Tucson enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Mr. Tucson had a talent for arts and crafts and his art work was displayed in his barbershop. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.
Mr. Tucson was preceded in death by his son Jeffrey Tucson.
He is survived by his wife, Anna Marie Tucson of Ignacio; sons Anthony Tucson of Phoenix, and Patrick Tucson of Ignacio; daughters Mary Ann Tucson of Phoenix, and Delisa Blattner of Idaho; brothers Amador Tucson and Isidro Tucson, both of Durango, and Jake Tucson of Farmington; sisters Theresa Amato, Beatrice Cervantes and Connie Tucson, all of Durango, Amy Gonzales and Debbie Tucson, both of Salt Lake City; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. today, June 2, 2006, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2006, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The Rev. Joseph L. Gallegos will officiate. Burial will occur at La Posta Cemetery.
Lunetta MiickToni Miick (6/2/2006)
Former Durango residents Lunetta Miick, 78, and Toni Miick, 55, have died.
Lunetta Miick was born on Jan. 18, 1928, and died on Tuesday, April 25, 2006. Her daughter, Toni Miick, was born on March 8, 1951, and died on Sunday, May 21, 2006.
Their survivors include Lunetta Miick's husband and Toni Miick's father, Robert Miick, of Salem, Ore.; and Lunetta Miick's son and Toni Miick's brother, Rudy Miick, of Durango.
Cremation has occurred. Their ashes will be scattered at an informal gathering at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 10, 2006, at Molas Pass.
Dieter Werner Miesler (6/1/2006)
Durango resident Dieter Werner Miesler died in Durango from complications of pneumonia and longstanding Parkinson's disease on Monday, May 22, 2006. He was 80.
He was born to Helmut and Olga Miesler in Breslau, Germany, on July 20, 1925. His family said he was artistically inclined. He became a self-taught musician, writer and photographer. By his late teens, he played the bass, cello and piano.
Mr. Miesler was drafted into the German infantry in 1943. He was injured and captured by the British in Italy and imprisoned in Egypt.
While a prisoner of war, he became a trustee and formed a jazz band. For the duration of the war, he and his band entertained British officers at the officers club.
After the war, Mr. Miesler returned to Germany. He married Hungarian-born Ildiko Valeria Fodor, a music librarian, in 1946 at Lake Constance, Germany.
Because of the deprivations of post-war Germany, the Mieslers immigrated to the United States in December 1955 with their three children and settled in Chicago. Mr. Miesler worked at Altman's, Chicago's largest camera store. At night, Mr. Miesler played the jazz organ in dinner clubs. On the side, he cultivated his love for classical music, playing and touring with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra as a bassist.
Mr. Miesler began a German bimonthly magazine Die Neue Welt (The New World), which he single-handedly produced, wrote, photographed and edited, while the family published, assembled and distributed it.
His family said it was a literary and visual success, but lacked a sufficient audience. They still treasure copies from its one-year run.
In 1968, the Mieslers moved their family to Burlingame, Calif.
There, Mr. Miesler established Dietrich Foto-Grafic. His family said, "He was artistically talented and a persuasive salesman, but he was a poor businessman."
The business failure put stress on the Miesler marriage, and the couple eventually divorced.
At the age of 50, Mr. Miesler enrolled in Foothills College to study physiology and massage.
While working with an older client who was facing amputation because of poor circulation, his massages improved the blood supply so that the limb was saved.
After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and gerontology and a master's in health science from San Jose State University, Mr. Miesler created the DayBreak Geriatric Massage Project.
He produced numerous instructional videos, correspondence courses and teaching aids about the muscle system. He toured nationally to present workshops.
After almost 20 years at the Daybreak project, Mr. Miesler began to exhibit the neurological symptoms of Parkinson's.
He turned the business over to a longtime associate, and it has developed into the Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute.
In April 2001, Mr. Miesler moved to Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango to be closer to his son Peter Miesler.
Family members said they will miss his "irrepressible, witty, charming spirit."
Mr. Miesler is survived by his former wife, Ildiko Miesler, of Norman, Okla.; sons Peter Miesler of Durango and Hans Miesler of Penrose; daughters Gabriele Snyder of Charlotte, N.C., Carolyn Schaviattelo of Tucson, Ariz., and Stephanie Royse of Norman, Okla.; and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in August.
Ebba Elizabeth Percell (7/27/2006)
Retired Durango teacher Ebba Elizabeth Percell died at The Valley Inn in Mancos on Tuesday, July 25, 2006. She was 89.
Mrs. Percell was born to Swedish immigrants John and Hilda Swanson in Pagosa Springs on Nov. 27, 1916.
She attended public schools in Pagosa Springs, and after graduating from Pagosa High School, attended Fort Lewis College at the old Hesperus campus. Mrs. Percell later attended and graduated from Adams State College in Alamosa.
On June 1, 1941, she married Richard B. Percell in Farmington. The marriage ended in divorce after 18 years.
She began her teaching career in the rural schools of Archuleta and Montezuma counties. Mrs. Percell started teaching in Durango's elementary schools in 1955. She was the principal of the old Animas School when it closed in 1967. She retired in 1981.
Mrs. Percell was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Durango, a Past Matron of Harmony Chapter - Order of the Eastern Star in Pagosa Springs, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society and the Association of Retired Teachers. She had been active in the Community Hospital Auxiliary.
Mrs. Percell is survived by her daughter, Gay Percell, of Durango; sons Richard H. Percell of Granite Falls, Wash., and Kim S. Percell of Wilmington, N.C.; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 28, 2006, at Hood Mortuary of Durango. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 28, 2006, at the First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Jeff Huber will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Durango, 2917 Aspen Drive, Durango, CO 81301; or to the Friends of the Durango Public Library designated for the children's section, 1188 East Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301.