Irene Martha 'Nina' Garcia (1/21/2007)
Longtime Bayfield resident Irene Martha "Nina" Garcia died Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango surrounded by all of her children. She was 77.
Mrs. Garcia was born May 17, 1929, in Salida to Victor and Pauline Rodriguez. She graduated from high school in Salida and married Julio Ruben Garcia on Feb. 10, 1947.
Mrs. Garcia was a mother and homemaker. Later in life she joined the work force as a health-care provider.
Her children said she was an avid reader and loved reading to her children. When her son Ruben was a soldier in Vietnam, Mrs. Garcia made Colorado flags and sent them to other Colorado soldiers. In 2006, El Valle newspaper selected Mrs. Garcia as Mother of the Year.
Her five children remember advice from their mother including, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," "Whatever will be, will be," and most of all "I love you," as well as "Wait till your Dad gets home."
Mrs. Garcia is survived by her sons Ruben E., Stephen and Michael Garcia, all of Bayfield; daughters Vicky Parrish of Bayfield and Carol Alexander of Hermosa; sisters Eva J. Rodriquez of Farmington, Della Rae Rodriquez of Bloomfield, N.M., Helen Leewaye of Santa Ana, Calif., Maryann Carter of Colorado Springs, and Joan Rodriquez of Ignacio; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ruben Garcia, of Bayfield.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel in Durango with Rudy Leewaye officiating. Cremation will occur at the Hood Mortuary Crematory.
Theodore Roosevelt Hunkins (1/20/2007)
Part-time Durango resident Theodore Roosevelt Hunkins died at his home in Rio Rancho, N.M., on Monday, Dec. 18, 2006. He was 89.
Known as "Ted," he was born April 15, 1917, to Lewis D. and Adelaide Belle (Wright) Hunkins in Battle Creek, Mich.
He married Alyce Claire Woolley in Battle Creek on May 16, 1943.
Mr. Hunkins attended Western Michigan University and graduated in 1940 with a bachelor's degree in economics and minor in history.
He served as a corporal in the Army from January to December 1943, during World War II. He was based at Percy Jones General Hospital in Michigan. Mr. Hunkins also served as a sergeant in the Michigan National Guard from 1948 to 1949.
Mr. Hunkins spent the majority of his working career as a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service. He then became a deputy sheriff in Rockingham County, N.H. When he moved to New Mexico, Mr. Hunkins became an investigator for the Albuquerque District Attorney's Office.
After three attempts, Mr. Hunkins finally retired in 1983.
Mr. Hunkins bought a condominium in Durango in the mid-1980s and loved coming here. His daughter Leslie Doran said they spent a lot of time taking rides on little country roads and sitting at Greenmount Cemetery to talk with friends and watch the deer and squirrels. Mr. Hunkins was a supporter and contributor to the Durango Latino Education Association.
Mr. Hunkins was a member of the Alumni Board of Directors for the Western Michigan Alumni Association from 1987 to 1991. He also was a member of the Association of Former Special Agents of the IRS.
Mr. Hunkins was a fan of the University of Michigan football team.
Family was his passion, and his family said he took great pride in its accomplishments. His favorite saying was "family first." His favorite activities were reading and spending time with his family.
Mr. Hunkins' new great-granddaughter, Alyce Ann Goff, who was named after his wife, met him hours before his death, and he was able to hold her.
Mr. Hunkins was preceded in death by his wife, Alyce Hunkins, in 1985.
He is survived by his daughters Leslie Doran of Durango and Martha Hunkins of Rio Rancho, N.M.; son, Robert Hunkins of Rio Rancho, N.M.; five grandchildren; five great-grandsons; one great-granddaughter; two nieces; and two nephews.
Cremation has occurred. Mr. Hunkins will be interred alongside his wife at Greenmount Cemetery. There will be a graveside service for family and friends at that time.
Michael Dwaine Thompson (1/20/2007)
Arboles resident Michael Dwaine Thompson died when fire destroyed his home on Friday, Jan. 12, 2007. He was 52.
He and his wife, Janet, had lived in Arboles by Navajo Lake for 14 years.
Known as "Pyrate Mike," he was born to Ruth Jeanette Supancic and Ottis Dwaine Thompson on Nov. 18, 1954, in Warner Robbins, Ga. He graduated from Lakewood (Calif.) High School in 1972 and attended Contra Costa College in El Cerrito, Calif., for two years.
Mr. Thompson served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1979. He went through basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., and was stationed at Fort Ord, Calif. He was a specialist with the CSC Second Battalion, 17th Infantry and was honorably discharged.
On Nov. 24, 1979, he married Janet Rose Bogema in Long Beach, Calif.
Mr. Thompson was a welder and carpet installer until he became disabled in 1990 in a work accident.
In his younger years, he was an avid surfer, sailor, fisherman and hunter. His family said music was his true passion, and throughout his life he enjoyed playing his guitar, both with friends and by himself.
Mr. Thompson was a fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Inspired by friends who had thrown a memorial picnic the year after Mr. Garcia's death. Mr. Thompson went home and built an outdoor stage in his orchard. Every year since 1997, on the weekend closest to the anniversary of Mr. Garcia's death on Aug. 9, he would hold "Jerry's Days."
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and their daughter, Rachel Seibel, would cook dinner and breakfast at their own expense for everyone who had camped in the orchard. Friends estimate that the total number of people they hosted over the years may have been in the thousands, none of whom was charged admission.
Many musicians, who were never paid to play, performed on the "Pyrate Orchard Stage."
Mr. Thompson's second favorite musician was Jimmy Buffett, whose song "A Pirate Looks at 40" was the genesis for his nickname.
Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife, Janet Thompson of Arboles; daughter Rachel Seibel of Arboles; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today, Jan. 20, 2007, in the Arboles Catholic Church basement. A wake will follow at the home of Dennis and Melody Finn.
The family home also was consumed in the fire, and everything was lost. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the Pyrate Mike Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank.
There will be a benefit concert in Mr. Thompson's memory on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at The San Juan Timberwrights in Arboles. Doors open at 6 p.m., and there will be a live auction from about 9 to 9:30 p.m. A silent auction will close at 10 p.m. Admission is free, although donations to help Mrs. Thompson begin rebuilding will be accepted. For more information, visit www.pagosadaily post.com and click on Friends and Neighbors.
Euna Inez Norton (1/19/2007)
Former Durango resident Euna Inez Norton died at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007. She was 82.
Mrs. Norton was born to Artie and Gurtie (Holmes) Shaw in Pampa, Texas, on June 18, 1924.
On April 14, 1941, she married Jim Norton in Sayre, Okla.
The Nortons lived in Durango and ranched for most of their married life .
Mr. and Mrs. Norton were the grand marshals of the Navajo Fiesta Parade one year, were named the king and queen of Snowdown in 1994 at the Durango/La Plata Senior Center and later that year were awarded the Heritage Award.
When they retired, the Nortons moved to Bloomfield, N.M.
Mrs. Norton enjoyed many activities at the senior center, including ceramics. She also enjoyed attending horse races with her husband.
Her family said that Mrs. Norton was "dearly loved" by everyone in her church, her friends and her family.
Mrs. Norton is survived by her husband of 67 years, Jim Norton, of Bloomfield, N.M.; daughter, Linda Norton, of Bloomfield; son, Denny Norton, of Durango; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007, at Cope Memorial Chapel, 404 W. Arrington in Farmington. A service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 22, 2007, at Aztec Baptist Church, 1219 South Main Ave. Her nephew the Rev. Ted Huntington will officiate.
Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery.
Warren Samuel Waldorf (1/18/2007)
Cortez resident Warren Samuel Waldorf died at the Vista Grande Nursing Home in Cortez on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007. He was 81.
Mr. Waldorf was born to Samuel Judson and Carrie Ethel (Stillwell) Waldorf on Dec. 16, 1925, in Windfield, Kan.
On Dec. 24, 1946, he married Wanda Aliene Beltz in Windfield. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month.
Mr. Waldorf was a founder of the Four Corners Jeep Club. He was also a member of the Mancos Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and was a past commander of the Ute Mountain Ute American Legion Post No. 75.
Mr. Waldorf was involved with Little League as a coach for many years. He also helped organize the Good Samaritans.
His family said that Mr. Waldorf was passionate about inventing and innovation. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors.
Mr. Waldorf was preceded in death by his daughter Kathy Waldorf-Johnson.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda Waldorf, of Cortez; daughters Beverly Carter and Tammy Lindsay, both of Cortez; son Dan Waldorf of Arriola; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred. A memorial service will be scheduled in the spring.
Condolences may be sent at www.ertelfuneralhome.com.
Mary Vorwald (1/17/2007)
The mother of Durango residents Peggy and Cora Vorwald, Mary Vorwald, died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, in Snellville, Ga. She was 50.
Mrs. Vorwald worked in the loan department at the Bank of North Georgia in Tucker, Ga. She was a member of Grace Fellowship Church.
Mrs. Vorwald is survived by her husband, Jack Bean, of Snellville; daughters Peggy Vorwald and Cora Vorwald, both of Durango, Jamie Vorwald of Glenwood Springs, Amanda Bean of Hawaii, Noel Bean of Grand Junction; son, Craig Bean of Jacksonville, Fla.; mother, Mary Ann Costello, of Johnsburg, Ill.; six brothers and three sisters; five grandchildren; and 24 nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, GA 30078. A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007, at Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Center, Research Foundation, 6075 Roswell Road, Suite 630, Atlanta, GA 30238.
An online guest registry is available at www.stewartfh.com.
Arthur L. Lee (1/17/2007)
Part-time Durango resident Arthur L. Lee died Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006, in Cottonwood, Ariz. He was 85.
Mr. Lee had been a part-time resident of Durango since 1936.
He was born to Albert and Blanche (Wheeler) Lee in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sept. 17, 1921. Mr. Lee was raised at Salina Springs Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation.
He attended Mesa High School and one year of college at Arizona State University.
Mr. Lee joined the Army Air Corps as a glider-pilot instructor and was commissioned as a first lieutenant. He also flew gliders to transport troops into Europe. Mr. Lee was credited with saving hundreds of lives after he invented a landing brake for the transport gliders.
He met Martha Jean Altimus in Pittsburgh, and the couple wed on March 31, 1946, in Gallup, N.M.
Mr. Lee spent much of the first 40 years of his life involved with the Navajo people. He owned several trading posts west of Chinle, Ariz. The Navajos called him Gamali Begay.
In 1961, Mr. Lee left the reservation and moved his family to Flagstaff. There he was involved in several businesses, including Denny's Restaurants and the Turquoise Nugget. He also was active in Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue for many years. He was a certified tracker and emergency medical technician, and he worked closely with his friend and colleague, Sheriff Joe Richards.
Mr. Lee was an avid fisherman and had one of the first slips at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell. He would look for opportunities to spend long weekends on the lake, taking his friends, his son's friends, and, eventually, his three granddaughters. His hobbies included jewelry making, golfing, tennis, mining, wood cutting and hunting. His family said he enjoyed the outdoors so much, he would cut firewood for friends and people with disabilities.
"As long as he was working outdoors, he was happy," his family wrote.
"My entire life has been centered around prospecting," Mr. Lee once wrote. "You may think I have been always searching for uranium, gold, silver, petrified wood and or things of great monetary value. This is true to some extent, but mostly my prospecting has been for other things as well. And they to me have been greater rewards than monetary riches. What were they? I have prospected for friendship, love for our fellow man, new ways of business, new talents to master, new frontiers to see, new things to do, new people to meet, new lands to visit. The things I have prospected for are as many as the sunsets we have seen, or as many as the billowing clouds in the sky."
Mr. and Mrs. Lee had lived in Cottonwood, Ariz., since 1990.
Mr. Lee was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Jean "Mike" Lee.
He is survived by his son, Ron Lee, of Durango; three granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on July 7, 2007, for the immediate family at the Lee family homestead on the Florida River.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Coconino County Search and Rescue, 911 E. Sawmill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.