Frank Darrell O'Caña (1/5/2007)
Pagosa Springs resident Frank Darrell O'Caña, 56, died in Durango on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007, one day after his wife, Sophie O'Caña, died in Pagosa Springs. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mr. O'Caña was born in Pagosa Springs to Frank and Petronilla Opal Romero O'Caña.
On Nov. 15, 1969, he married Sophie K. Lucero in Pagosa Springs.
Mr. O'Caña enjoyed playing the guitar and had his own band for years. He also enjoyed hunting, collecting, working on vehicles and anything hands-on, according to his family.
"He was a hard worker and a good provider for his family," they wrote. "He was deeply committed to his wife and family and proud of all of them and enjoyed being with his grandchildren. He was a man of few words, but those spoken held deep meaning. He had a strong faith."
Mr. O'Caña is survived by his mother, Petronilla O'Caña; sons Frank O'Caña of Boulder and Darrell O'Caña of Peoria, Ill.; daughters Vanessa Miller of Parker and September O'Caña of Pagosa Springs; sisters Ramona Ferguson of Lake Eli, Calif., and Susie Candelaria of Durango; and eight grandchildren.
Joint services will be held for Mr. and Mrs. O'Caña.
A rosary will be recited beginning at 6 p.m. today, Jan. 5, 2007, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, also at Immaculate Heart. The Rev. Carlos A. Alvarez will officiate.
Burial will take place at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.
Mensun Joshway Kleppe (1/4/2007)
Mancos resident Mensun Joshway Kleppe was killed in a roadside accident there on Friday, Dec. 29, 2006. He was 28.
Mr. Kleppe was born to Michael and Terrisita Big in Tuba City, Ariz., on Dec. 20, 1978. He was born into the Reed People Clan for Norwegian.
Mr. Kleppe attended schools in Cortez, Dove Creek, Egnar, Phoenix, Kayenta, Ariz., Tucson, Ariz., and Shiprock, N.M.
He worked many trades and with many contractors in the area. Carpentry was his main specialty.
Mr. Kleppe met his wife, Heidi, in Cortez. The couple married on Nov. 20, 2004, in Sweetwater, Ariz. They moved from Cortez to Mancos three years ago. They welcomed a new daughter, Anela, in November.
Mr. Kleppe enjoyed watching and playing all sports, especially basketball. He was a Green Bay Packers fan and enjoyed both cooking and eating.
His family said, "He had a firm belief in God and profoundly loved his family."
Mr. Kleppe is survived by his wife, Heidi Kleppe of Mancos; mother, Terrisita Big of Kayenta, Ariz.; father, Michael Kleppe of Kayenta; daughters, Riana Kleppe and Anela Kleppe, both of Mancos; son, Josiah Kleppe of Mancos; brother, Ian Gambill of Kayenta; grandmother, Opal Gran of Cortez; and numerous other family members.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, at the First Baptist Church in Kayenta.
Burial will take place at a private family cemetery, also in Kayenta. Visitation will be held before and after the service.
James Alden Harrington Sr. (1/3/2007)
Bayfield resident James Alden Harrington Sr. died at his home on Friday, Dec. 29, 2006.
He was 85.
Mr. Harrington was born in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Dec. 26, 1921.
During World War II, Mr. Harrington served in the Navy. He was stationed in the European Theater and also took part in the 1943 invasion of Tarawa, which is located 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.
It is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles in Marine history.
Mr. Harrington achieved the rank of chief motor machinist mate.
He worked for the County of San Luis Obispo's Engineering Department for 38 years, retiring in 1984.
He moved to Bayfield in 1985.
Mr. Harrington was a lifelong outdoorsman, whose passions were hunting and fishing, his family said. After he retired, he became an accomplished gardener and learned the art of stained glass.
Mr. Harrington was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Jean Harrington, in 1973.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Harriet Harrington of Bayfield; sons, Jim Harrington Jr. and Charlie Harrington, both of Bayfield, Jack Harrington of New Braunsfels, Texas, and John Spears of Atascadero, Calif.; daughters, Nancy Jo Pritchett of Spring Branch, Texas, and Leslie Anne of San Luis Obispo; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. At Mr. Harrington's request, no formal memorial services will be held.
Philip Pierce Gilbert (1/1/2007)
Philip Pierce Gilbert of Port Arthur, Texas, died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006, in the Durango home of his daughter and son-in-law, Janice and Brooks Taylor. He was 94.
Mr. Gilbert's family said he read the Bible through several times in his life and lived the testimony of a Christian. He taught the children in his extended family, in their words, to love God and nature from his example, and most learned how to swim, sail, crab and bird.
He was born on April 21, 1912, in Teague, Texas, to Florence Ada Rawls and Francis Newton Gilbert. His family moved to Port Arthur in 1915, where he graduated from high school while rising through the Boy Scouts program to become an Eagle Scout.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in architecture from Texas A&M University, Mr. Gilbert worked as an engineer for Texaco. He retired as assistant chief engineer of Texaco Port Arthur after 40 years of service.
Mr. Gilbert married Lily Edith Crawford in 1935.
Mr. Gilbert served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, becoming a post engineer and achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lily.
Mr. Gilbert is survived by three children; nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2007, at the Levingston Funeral Home, 5601 39th St., Groves, Texas. Burial will follow in Port Arthur.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Mercy, P.O. Box 3462, Durango, CO 81302.
Josephine Louise Baker (2/23/2007)
Former Southwest Colorado resident Josephine Louise Baker died at her Delta home on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. She was 86.
Mrs. Baker was born to Louie and Verna Gibson Hess in Manassa on Feb. 17, 1921. She grew up in Mancos and graduated from Mancos High School. She attended Fort Lewis College at the old Hesperus Campus before earning her bachelor's degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
On July 4, 1946, she married Jess Baker in Syracuse, Kan.
Mrs. Baker worked as a teacher for many years and had lived in Delta since 1964. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Delta.
Mrs. Baker enjoyed sewing, fishing, playing bridge and doing crossword puzzles. She had also been a volunteer at the Delta Museum.
Mrs. Baker was preceded in death by her husband, Jess Baker.
She is survived by her son, Robert Baker, of Cedaredge; daughters Sherry Burns of Delta, Karen Hopkins of Sequim, Wash., and Gwen Floyd of Cedaredge; 16 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007, at First Baptist Church of Delta.
Donations may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, P.O. Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Condolences may be sent to www.mesaview.net.
Roy R. Donan (2/23/2007)
Durango resident Roy R. Donan, 77, died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007. The cause of death was complications from diabetes.
Mr. Donan was born to Myrtle and Orville Donan in Louisville, Ky., on March 22, 1929. He was the eighth of 10 children. He spent his younger years in New Albany, Ind., where he met Regina Hash. The couple married on Aug. 5, 1950 there.
The Donan family moved to Albuquerque in the 1960s, where Mr. Donan was involved in the new construction of the subdivisions west of Sandia Crest. Mrs. Donan was promoted through her job with the Lovelace Clinic, leading to a move to Farmington. Mr. Donan spent many years working for the city of Farmington as a painter. While in Farmington, Mr. Donan also volunteered for the Farmington Fire Department.
After retirement in 1970, the couple moved to Bayfield, where they spent the next several years helping to raise their three grandchildren. Mr. Donan enjoyed taking his wife and grandchildren to Beaver Meadows to gather firewood and picnic.
The Donans went on to live for 10 years in Allison.
According to his family, Mr. Donan always had a project going, usually involving woodworking or tinkering.
Upon the sale of their property in Allison, the Donans moved to the Hermosa area, where Mr. Donan spent most of his time outdoors with his wife, enjoying nature and keeping a well-groomed yard. He was an avid bird watcher and enjoyed fishing. He also enjoyed the frequent visits from the local bear population and kept a close watch on the herd of elk near his home in Hermosa.
His family said Mr. Donan was never bored. His family was important to him, and he enjoyed teaching his child, grandchildren and great-grandchildren the importance of hard work. Mr. Donan was also a dog lover and would always be found with a well-trained dog in tow. He spent many hours in the front porch swing with his latest and favorite dog Tina.
Mr. Donan is survived by his wife, Regina Donan, of Durango; son, Roy L. Donan, of Durango; brothers Raymond Donan and Orville Lee Donan, both of New Albany, Ind.; five grandchildren; eight grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his dog Tina's name to the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81303.
Allie May Jackson (2/22/2007)
Durango resident Allie May Jackson died at her home Monday, Feb. 19, 2007. She was 91.
Mrs. Jackson was born to Essie and Lillie Soyles in Calhan on Jan. 14, 1916. She graduated from Calhan Union High School and went on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from Adams State College in Alamosa. She taught school for five years before her marriage.
On Dec. 30, 1939, she married William Francis Jackson in Raton, N.M. Mrs. Jackson worked with her husband on the Jackson Hereford Ranch south of Pagosa Springs from April 1940 to August 1995.
She taught the fourth and sixth grades at Pagosa Elementary School for 22 years, retiring in 1978. During those 22 years, she was a member of the Pagosa Springs Education Association and was president of the organization for one term. She was also chairman of the Teacher Educational and Professional Standards Committee of the Colorado and local associations for many years.
Mrs. Jackson was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. She was a member of the church's guild for 32 years.
She moved to Durango in 1993.
Mrs. Jackson was a family person and avid reader who played the organ and piano. Until three months ago, she was walking at least a mile a day. Her family said she had memorized a great deal of poetry and often quoted passages.
"She was a great teacher," her son William Jackson said, "and she could handle a horse as well as she handled a classroom. She was competent at anything on the ranch."
Mrs. Jackson was preceded in death by her husband of almost 58 years, William Jackson; and her grandson Joseph Jackson.
She is survived by her daughter, Essie Whiteface, of Pine Ridge, S.D.; sons William Jackson of Olsburg, Kan., Thomas Jackson of Scottsdale, Tasmania, Australia, and John Jackson of Delta; brother Paul Sayles of Chico, Calif.; 18 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, at St. Columba Catholic Church. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate. Burial will take place at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs after the service.