Darlene Cuthair Garcia (3/14/2007)
Ignacio native Darlene Cuthair Garcia died in Albuquerque on Friday, March 9, 2007. She was 59. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mrs. Garcia was born to Curtis and Belle Williams Cuthair in Ignacio on Feb. 11, 1948. She was raised in Ignacio.
She worked in nursing care for the elderly at Eventide and continued there when it became Four Corners Health Care Center.
She married Manuel Garcia in Allison.
Mrs. Garcia was a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
Her hobbies included beading, going to the casino and taking care of her "animal kids."
"She was big-hearted, loving and had kind words and time for everyone," her husband, Manuel Garcia, said.
Mrs. Garcia is survived by her husband, Manuel Garcia, of Ignacio; son, Bernard Cuthair, of Farmington; stepsons Phillip Garcia of Arkansas, Thomas Garcia of Oklahoma and Andy Garcia of Missouri; stepdaughter Nora Bookless of Oklahoma; sisters Mary Ann Scott of Durango, and Garnet Olguin and Vera Sage, both of Ignacio; brothers, Larry Cuthair of Phoenix and Delbert Cuthair of Ignacio; two grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Cremation will occur. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2007, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ignacio. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17, 2007, also at St. Ignatius.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, OH 44720.
John R. Malles (3/14/2007)
Durango native John R. Malles died in Albuquerque on Sunday, March 11, 2007. He died 10 days before his 100th birthday.
He was born to John and Margaret Malles in Durango on March 21, 1907. He grew up here and attended school, graduating from Durango High School.
His family said Mr. Malles was "an ambitious boy," who delivered the Durango Democrat newspaper before school and The Durango Herald and the Denver Post after school. He played the French horn and trumpet in the DHS band and the Drum and Bugle Corps.
During high school and the following years, he worked with his father and brothers in the Malles Transfer and Storage business.
Mr. Malles married Nora Chiole of Breen in the mid-1930s.
In 1942, the Malles family moved to Breen, where Mr. Malles took over Mrs. Malles' parents' farm. Later, Mr. Malles bought more land and raised Polled Hereford cattle and grew wheat and alfalfa hay. Mr. Malles was one of the first participants in starting bull testing at the old Fort Lewis College campus.
In 1971, Mr. and Mrs. Malles decided to retire. He sold his land and livestock, and Mrs. Malles retired from teaching school in La Plata County after 31 years.
He was a member of the Odd Fellows and later the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 507.
Mr. Malles enjoyed dancing and traveling. He and his wife traveled by motor home for 27 years. They moved to Cortez and later to Truth or Consequences, N.M. They spent their last years together in Albuquerque, near their daughter.
"John was a hard-working, loving father and husband," his family wrote. "He will be greatly missed."
Mr. Malles is survived by his wife of 72 years, Nora Malles, of Albuquerque; daughter, Frankie Mae Malles Hitson, of Albuquerque; son, Reece Malles, of Gordon, Neb.; and by several nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2007, at Greenmount Cemetery.
Gabriele Schlittgen (3/13/2007)
Durango resident Gabriele Schlittgen, 73, died at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Monday, March 5, 2007. The cause was respiratory complications as a result of cancer.
Mrs. Schlittgen was born in Cologne, Germany, on Nov. 16, 1933.
She spent her childhood there.
"As a little girl, she had some terrible experiences before and during World War II," her stepson Geof Schlittgen said. "She didn't like to talk about them."
Mrs. Schlittgen immigrated to Montreal and then to Big Sur, Calif., in the early 1950s. She worked at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco as a special-events coordinator and organizing conventions.
She met Wolfgang Schlittgen while skiing at Sugar Bowl Ski Area in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The couple married in 1962 at Lake Tahoe, Calif.
The Schlittgens began their married years in Tiburón, Calif. For a time, they returned to Germany, where they lived in Munich for several years before returning to the United States. During their time in Snowmass, Mrs. Schlittgen worked at the Wildwood Inn in customer relations.
The couple moved to Durango more than 20 years ago to live near their sons. In Durango, Mrs. Schlittgen worked at the Jarvis Suite Hotel and DoubleTree Hotel, also in special events and customer relations.
Mrs. Schlittgen enjoyed knitting, skiing, boating and water-skiing.
Her stepson said she was also a good cook and loved her pets.
Mrs. Schlittgen was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Wolfgang Schlittgen.
She is survived by her stepsons Geof Schlittgen and Terry Schlittgen, both of Durango, and one granddaughter.
Cremation will take place. A private family gathering will be planned for a later date.
Opal M. Jones (3/13/2007)
Former Durango resident Opal M. Jones died in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Tuesday, March 6, 2007. She was 89.
Mrs. Jones was born to Luther and Ola Hodges in Scipio, Okla., on Sept. 2, 1917.
On June 10, 1933, she married Audie E. Jones in Oklahoma.
She lived in Durango from 1957 to June 2000. While in Durango, Mrs. Jones worked at Plaza Drugs and Mode O'Day.
She had lived in Santa Cruz for 6½ years.
Mrs. Jones enjoyed her home and watching professional football games - especially the Denver Broncos - on television.
She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 63 years, Audie E. Jones, in 1996.
Mrs. Jones is survived by her son, Rodger N. Jones, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
At her request, no services will be held.
Gordon H. Rowe Jr. (3/10/2007)
Gordon H. Rowe Jr., the father of Durango resident Susan "Suzi" Watkins, died on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007. He was 87.
Judge Rowe had served as Rio Grande County judge for 27 years, spent one term as a representative in the Colorado Legislature and one term as the district attorney for the San Luis Valley.
He was born to Gordon Henry and Mary Virginia (Higginbotham) Rowe in Las Vegas, N.M., on July 17, 1919. The family moved to Trinidad in 1921. Mr. Rowe graduated from Trinidad High School in 1937, where he played football and was in the band.
After attending Trinidad Junior College for one year, he transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1941.
With the start of World War II, his completion of law school was put on hold. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended Officer's Training School at Notre Dame University. He underwent further training at Torpedo School at Northwestern University in Chicago,
Mr. Rowe served on the U.S.S. Anderson DD411, a Sims-class destroyer, for three years, where he was first the torpedo officer and then the gunnery officer. At his discharge in 1946, Mr. Rowe held the rank of lieutenant commander. He stayed active in the Naval Reserve.
He graduated from law school in 1946 after completing his final semester.
Because he enjoyed fishing, and big game and water fowl hunting, Mr. Rowe decided to start his practice in Monte Vista where he could pursue those activities. His first position was with the practice of Frank L. Shaw, which he started on Oct. 1, 1946. After a year, he established his own practice and later moved it to the old stone bank building on the corner of 1st and Washington in Monte Vista, where he practiced law for 50 years. His family said he was known for integrity and dedication to the profession.
Mr. Rowe served two terms as president of the San Luis Valley Bar Association, twice as president of the Monte Vista Rotary Club and was a member of the Adams State College Foundation. He was also counsel for the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Co-op, past president of the Ski High Stampede and a board member of the Creede Repertory Theater and Rio Grande County Museum boards. Mr. Rowe was also a charter member of the Greater South Fork Community Foundation Board and was an active member of The Chapel of the South Fork.
He received the Bill Fassett Award from Adams State College and the Small Town Practitioner Award from the University of Colorado.
"Gordon loved his 26 years as Rio Grande County Judge, and he loved skiing at Wolf Creek," his daughter Susan Watkins wrote. "Throughout those 26 winters sitting on the bench in Del Norte, he would wear his ski clothes under his judge's robe, and as soon as court was over, he would high-tail it up to Wolf Creek to ski. Gordon and his family also enjoyed skiing Purgatory in the early '60s."
Mr. Rowe and his wife, Roena, enjoyed participating in many San Luis Valley parades during the years with their antique buggy and Arabian horse, Zeke. In 1989, they were selected as parade marshals for the Sky Hi-Stampede Parade.
Mr. Rowe is survived by his wife, Roena Rowe of Monte Vista; son, Gordon H. Rowe III of Albuquerque; daughters Susan Watkins of Durango and René York of Colorado Springs; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A service was held on March 3, 2007, at The Chapel of the South Fork in South Fork.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to The Chapel of the South Fork, P.O. Box 465, South Fork, CO 81154.
Phyllis Rita Moskios (3/9/2007)
Durango resident Phyllis Rita Moskios died of a staph infection at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, March 7, 2007. She was 83.
Mrs. Moskios was born to Sam and Mary Mandarelle in Portland, Maine, on Aug. 23, 1923.
In 1944, she married George Moskios. She spent most of her life as a restaurant owner-operator in Southern California. Mrs. Moskios lived for a brief time in Dallas before moving to Durango in 1984.
She and her husband built a house on Florida Mesa. While in Durango, Mrs. Moskios worked for many years at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
"Family, friends and church were always her main concerns," her son Geo Moskios wrote. "She was loving and friendly to all, and we'll all miss her beautiful smile."
Mrs. Moskios is survived by her sons, Geo Takoma Moskios, Jerry Moskios and Phillip Moskios; daughter, Donna Moskios; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10, 2007, at St. Columba Catholic Church. A celebration of her life will be held at her home, 933 County Road 300, after the Mass.
Linda M. Baird (3/9/2007)
Former area resident Linda M. Baird died of congestive heart failure in Farmington on Sunday, March 4, 2007. She was 91.
She was born to Teppo and Mary Salmine in Telluride on Nov. 15, 1915. Mrs. Baird was the second of eight children. She graduated from Durango High School in 1933 and was the salutatorian of her class. Mrs. Baird was a member of the Glee Club and worked on the school newspaper. Her son, Michael Baird, said that several of her classmates had told him his mother was the prettiest girl in high school.
Mrs. Baird went on to attend Western State College in Gunnison, where she was an honor student. She was also the captain of the fencing team. Her family said she was an aviation pioneer as a female pilot when few women flew.
On Dec. 15, 1941, she married Delbert J. Baird in Aztec. The couple ranched near Ignacio until their retirement in 1978. They moved to Durango and later to the state of Washington.
Mrs. Baird tooled leather for many years and had high standards, her son said. She also enjoyed cross stitching and was an avid reader of all kinds of books. She spoke fluent Finnish, read and spoke Latin and could communicate in French and German.
Mrs. Baird was preceded in death by her husband of more than 52 years, Delbert Baird; and her daughter, Susan Lynn Baird.
She is survived by her son, Michael J. Baird, of Bloomfield, N.M.; two granddaughters; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. today, March 9, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Jeremy Noble will officiate. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the National Rifle Association Foundation, Inc., 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.