Thomas Howard Berry (7/3/2006)
Thomas Howard "Tom" Berry, who counseled teens and families in crisis, died Wednesday, June 28, 2006, as the result of a car accident.
Mr. Berry, 53, died at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver from injuries he suffered in a June 15 single-vehicle rollover near Durango, according to his wife, Chris Berry.
"Tom basically was the spirit that held everyone whole and complete and helped people to realize their potential," Mrs. Berry said.
The Durango resident was the son of Barbee Dinkel of Lafayette and the late Howard Berry. He was born Oct. 15, 1952, in Louisville and grew up there. He married Chris Hern in Denver in 1978 and moved to Durango in 1981. His son, Jason Berry, was born in 1984.
In Durango, Mr. Berry was an administrator at the Southwest Colorado Community Corrections Center Inc., also known as Hilltop House. He also ran a local drug and alcohol counseling program.
In 2002, Mr. Berry became a facilitator and trainer for teens in crisis through a program operated in conjunction with schools around the nation and dedicated to teen and family wellness and whole and healthy families.
His wife said he enjoyed "simply loving people," playing American Indian flute, camping, music and nature.
Mr. Berry's organs were donated and benefited many people. His heart was used to sustain another person's life.
Survivors include his wife, Chris Berry; son, Jason Berry; mother, Barbee Dinkel of Lafayette; brothers, Rick Berry of Louisville and Jim Berry of Soquel, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 6, 2006, at the Louisville Methodist Church. A celebration service is planned for late July in Durango.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a memorial fund in Mr. Berry's name set up at First National Bank in Durango. The fund will be used to filter donations to organizations Mr. Berry supported and for his son's schooling.
Lawrence Herbert Craig (7/1/2006)
Durango native Lawrence Herbert Craig died at his home near Durango after a lengthy illness on Wednesday, June 28, 2006. He was 89.
Mr. Craig was born to Herbert Steele Craig and Lucy Robuck Craig in Durango on April 3, 1917. He spent the majority of his life in Durango and La Plata County.
Mr. Craig graduated from high school at 16. He worked in the hard-rock mines of Telluride until he was old enough to join the U.S. Army. When the Smuggler Mine where he worked closed, Mr. Craig packed supplies into a knapsack and hiked for three days to the Vallecito River valley, where he got a job at a dude ranch.
Mr. Craig enlisted in the Army on June 13, 1941. He tested and qualified for Army Air Corps training and became a reconnaissance pilot in the North African theater during World War II.
Upon his return to the States, Mr. Craig helped develop training procedures for reconnaissance pilots in the newly formed Air Reconnaissance Division of the Army Air Corps. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 20, 1945, having been awarded the Purple Heart and Air Medal for Gallantry.
On May 8, 1943, he married Mary Kathryn Frost in Albuquerque.
The Craigs bought a farm in Bondad after his discharge from the Army. They raised chickens and sold eggs and hay.
The Craig family moved to Gallup, N.M., in 1959 and later to Albuquerque, where Mr. Craig worked in various capacities for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1977, after their eight children were raised, the Craigs moved back to Durango.
His family said that Mr. Craig had a deep-seeded love for the Colorado wilderness. They said he enjoyed fishing for trout, but only in the high mountain streams and rivers of the San Juan Mountains. They said low-altitude fishing didn't suit him.
Mr. Craig also enjoyed traveling in the United States and made it a point to visit every state. One of his daughters remembers a time when, on vacation, he packed the whole family in the car and drove for eight hours throughout New England so he could check off a half-dozen states.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Kathryn Craig of Durango; children Herbert Walter Craig, Susan Elaine Evans, David Lawrence Craig, Elizabeth Jane Craig and Robert Alan Craig, all of Durango, Mary Lu Dietzman of Gallup, and Kathleen Ann Torrez of Albuquerque; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Craig was preceded in death by his son James Austin Craig.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 8, 2006, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 495 Florida Road. There will be a reception at the church after the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 3801 N. Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301; or Durango Cancer Center, 1 Mercado St., Suite 100, Durango, CO 81301.
Eivind Hans Gundersen (7/1/2006)
A man who lived an adventurous life, Eivind Hans Gundersen, 90, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Sunday, June 25, 2006. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease.
He was born to Johan Bernhard Gundersen and Borghild Olsen Gundersen in Moss, Norway, on Nov. 22, 1915. He was one of five children. The oldest three children were born in Chicago, where his parents had immigrated and owned a grocery store. His mother had suffered heat stroke, so the family returned to Norway, where Mr. Gundersen and his younger brother, Jan, were born.
Mr. Gundersen grew up hearing stories about America. His daughter, Anne Gundersen, said that he had the lust for adventure in his veins and decided at an early age that he would like to live in America.
Mr. Gundersen was an accomplished gymnast and won awards as a young man in Norway.
In August 1935, he spotted 16-year-old Inger "Mossa" Forsth on the beach, and the couple fell in love at first sight. They dated for eight years before they married on Dec. 26, 1943.
In 1948, Mr. Gundersen left his wife and baby behind and went on an eight-month whaling expedition to Australia and Fiji to raise money to immigrate to the United States. The family, including a 2Â½-year-old daughter, Anne, made the trip in 1949, coming over by ship and landing in New York City with $50 in their pockets.
In 1952, the family moved to California, where they went to the beach every weekend, and Mr. Gundersen went surfing.
He was an aeronautical engineer, specializing in aircraft fasteners. In 1966, he accepted a job offer from the Boeing Corp., so the family moved to the Seattle area. While in the Pacific Northwest, the family enjoyed exploring the area, including sailing on their boat in Puget Sound.
The Gundersens missed the beach and the warmer climate of Southern California, so in 1968, Mr. Gundersen took a job with Hi-Shear Corp. in San Pedro, Calif. In the meantime, their only daughter, Anne, had settled in Cave Creek, Ariz., with her horses, so Mr. and Mrs. Gundersen followed her there to live on the horse ranch. After 11 years, they moved to Bayfield in 1992 and later to the Oxford area.
Anne Gundersen said her father had a great zest for life and both worked and played hard.
He had a lifelong interest in photography and had a darkroom in every house where he lived.
"He was a funny guy and always the life of the party," she said. "There was hardly any toy he didn't own or any sport he didn't try."
His family said Mr. Gundersen especially loved the Colorado years and spent winters cross-country skiing with his wife. He kept fit by jogging every other day until he was 80. His last years were spent at home, where he enjoyed the view of the La Plata Mountains from his favorite chair.
Mr. Gundersen is survived by his wife of 62 years, Inger Gundersen, of Oxford; daughter Anne Gundersen, also of Oxford; brother Jan Gundersen of Norway; one grandson; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews both in the United States and Norway.
A memorial service will be held on Aug. 26, 2006, at the Norwegian Seaman's Church in San Pedro, Calif.
Richard E. Wilson (8/31/2006)
Durango resident Richard E. Wilson, 34, died at his home on Monday, Aug. 21, 2006. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. Wilson was born in Lorain, Ohio, on Nov. 18, 1971.
He attended Southview School.
Mr. Wilson was interested in magic and began performing professionally at the age of 14. His family said he loved to entertain the public and did so until he injured his shoulder in an accident.
He had lived in Bloomington, Ind., before moving to Durango.
Mr. Wilson is survived by his daughter, Misty, and his son, Sage, of Indiana; mother, Deborah Butler, of Laurenburg, N.C.; brother, Damion of North Carolina; and grandmother, Verba Wilson, with whom he lived.
No visitation or services are planned.
Victor George Gensheer (8/30/2006)
Longtime Durango resident Victor George Gensheer, died at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006. He was 85.
Known as "Vic," he was born to Fred Arthur and Grace Gensheer in St. Joseph, Mo., on Oct. 8, 1920. In 1926, his family moved to Denver, and in 1935, they came to Durango. Mr. Gensheer was one of nine sons.
After graduating from Durango High School in 1940, he enlisted in the Army on Aug. 25, 1942. Mr. Gensheer was assigned to the Signal Corps stationed in the Philippines. On Dec. 23, 1945, he was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant.
Until 1980, Mr. Gensheer served in the Army Reserves, retiring with the rank of first sergeant.
On June 1, 1946, He married Cecelia R. "Babe" Garnand in Aztec.
Mr. Gensheer worked for Durango Paint and Glass from 1937 to 1956, and then for Cornelius Paint Co. until his retirement in 1985. At that time, he did custom wallpapering.
Mr. Gensheer was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 and the International Order of Odd Fellows for many years.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Cecelia Gensheer.
Mr. Gensheer is survived by his son, James Gensheer of Augusta, Ga.; daughter, Vicki Kirkpatrick of Durango; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
An open house celebrating the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Gensheer will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, at Mr. Gensheer's home, 1708 Eastlawn Ave. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Animas Museum, P.O. Box 3384, Durango, CO 81302; or to the charity of your choice.
Verda E. Kimball (8/30/2006)
Bayfield resident Verda E. Kimball died in Farmington on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006. She was 85.
Mrs. Kimball was born to Robert and Lora Hotz in Allison on Feb. 14, 1921. On Aug. 6, 1938, she married Glenn Kimball in Pagosa Springs. They were married for 50 years and lived there and in Oldfield, Mo., before moving to Bayfield.
Her family said she loved to read, garden and do crafts. She enjoyed spending time with children.
Mr. Kimball was preceded in death by her son Lance Kimball and her granddaughter Amanda Kimball.
She is survived by her children Jay Kimball and Gayle Faverino, both of Bloomfield, N.M., Donna Walker of Oldfield, Mo., Vernon Kimball and Vickie Miller, both of Bayfield, and Danny Kimball of Kirtland, N.M.; brother Vernon Hotz of Cedaredge; sisters Beulah Christensen of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Charlotte Freytag of Grand Junction; 27 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006, at Eagle Park in Bayfield.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the charity of your choice.
Fay Lillian Brewer (8/30/2006)
Former Durango resident Fay Lillian Brewer died at her home in Grand Junction on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006. She was 76.
Mrs. Brewer was born to Wes and May (Erlandson) Fleming in Hayden on July 28, 1930.
In 1952, she began to work for Western Colorado Power Co. and eventually moved to Durango, where she met her future husband.
On Dec. 9, 1960, she married Norton E. Brewer in Aztec. Her family said that after her marriage, she ended her career at the power plant and began her career as a homemaker for her family.
Mrs. Brewer enjoyed history and heritage. She was a member of the San Juan Historical Society, Territorial Daughters of Colorado, the Fore-Kin Genealogy Society and the Texas County Missouri Genealogical Society.
Mrs. Brewer was preceded in death by her husband, Norton Brewer, in July 1997.
She is survived by her sons David Brewer of Grand Junction and Michael Brewer of Sundance, Wyo.; sisters Bonnie Fleming of Fordham, England, and Diane Campbell of Lake City; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today, Aug. 30, 2006, at the Montrose Valley Funeral Home Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to The San Juan Historical Society or the March of Dimes.