Elizabeth June Wilkinson (3/9/2007)
Durango resident Elizabeth June Wilkinson died at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Friday, March 2, 2007. She was 83.
Mrs. Wilkinson was born to Herbert and Gladys Read in Tacoma, Wash., on June 17, 1923. She spent her younger years in San Francisco. After her family moved to Placerville, Calif., she met Delbert Wilkinson. The couple married in Placerville on Feb. 8, 1946, and lived on a ranch.
In 1965, the Wilkinsons moved to Durango and built the Durango Travelodge (now the Durango Lodge), which they managed and owned. Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson retired from the hotel business in the early 1970s.
They traveled the world after retirement. China was Mrs. Wilkinson's favorite place to visit.
She also enjoyed reading, spending time on her computer and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Wilkinson is survived by her husband of 61 years, Delbert Wilkinson, of Durango; daughter, Judi Miller, of Durango; sons Jay Wilkinson of Durango and James Wilkinson of Tempe, Ariz.; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Cremation will occur. A private family service will take place at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 1280 S. Parker Road, Denver, CO 80231.
Jo Ann Maddocks (3/8/2007)
Former Durango resident Jo Ann Maddocks died of a stroke on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. She was 72.
Known as "Jo," she was born to Carl C. and Madeline Thompson Skaggs in Smithers, W.V., on Oct. 27, 1934. After graduating from Mason City (Iowa) High School in 1952, she attended Iowa State University in Ames. Mrs. Maddocks earned her bachelor's degree with two majors, home economics and psychology.
On June 2, 1956, she married Robert Maddocks at the First United Methodist Church in Mason City.
She worked as a psychological social worker for Family Services in Des Moines, Iowa, until her husband finished law school in 1958. After that, she worked as a private counselor.
The Maddockses lived in Clarion, Iowa, St. Louis, Mo., Osprey, Fla., and Flower Mound, Texas. The couple lived for six months each year from 1991 to 2006 at Los Ranchitos on the Florida River, where Mrs. Maddocks enjoyed participating in the activities of the homeowners association.
"She personified the ultimate loving wife, mother and friend who consumed life and all it provided," her husband wrote.
Mrs. Maddocks was involved in many organizations. Activities with her Kappa Kappa Gamma sisterhood are among those that stood out as being important to her. She also enjoyed singing, music, collecting recipes, cooking, painting and counseling. A particular favorite was traveling, and she had been around the world four times.
Mrs. Maddocks is survived by her husband, Robert Maddocks, of Tucson, Ariz.; son, Todd Maddocks, of Irving, Texas; daughters Susan Maddocks Sullivan of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Amy Maddocks Willow of Reno, Nev.; and six grandchildren.
The family plans to hold a memorial service in May in her native West Virginia to spread her ashes.
Memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity in her memory.
Condolences may be sent to Mr. Robert Maddocks, 7586 East Ventana Vista Court, Tucson, AZ 85750.
Francis Xavier Harold Bland (3/8/2007)
Former Durango resident Francis Xavier Harold Bland died of renal failure on Wednesday, March 7, 2007. He was 82.
Known as Frank or "Bubby," he was born to Agnes Arlene (Harold) and John Dominic Bland Jr., in Lima, Ohio, on Nov. 15, 1924. He grew up on Long Island in New York.
Mr. Bland served in World War II from 1942 to 1945. He entered the war as an 18-year-old in the Marine Corps and was a member of the 3rd Division, 14th Defense Battalion. His campaigns included Guam and Tulagi Island (Guadalcanal). He was one of six Marines (one per division) who were given an early discharge in honor of V-E Day.
He graduated from Yale University in 1949 with a degree in geology and studied at the University of Kansas in 1950.
In 1950, he began a 36-year career with Chevron. Mr. Bland was recognized in the Wall Street Journal for oil and gas discoveries in Louisiana's Tuscaloosa Trend; was instrumental in establishing oil and gas investment partnerships with Merrill Lynch; managed Chevron's Eastern, Central and Gulf of Mexico divisions for exploration and production; and helped implement the merger of Chevron with Gulf Oil Co. nationwide.
Mr. Bland regularly attended the American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meetings and was a member of various petroleum clubs.
The Bland family lived in Metairie, Houma and Lafayette, La., and Natchez, Vicksburg and Jackson, Miss., returning to Metairie in 1961 and remaining there until Mr. Bland's retirement in 1986.
Mr. Bland had traveled widely, and chose Durango to be his retirement residence. Mr. and Mrs. Bland lived here until 2002, when they moved to Memphis, Tenn. Among his travels, Mr. Bland returned to Guam and Saipan for the 50th anniversary of World War II; toured Canada, Alaska and Hawaii; and regularly visited family.
While living in Metairie, he was an active member of St. Mary Magdalen Parish, where he served multiple terms as president of the Society of the Holy Name of Jesus and participated in other charitable endeavors. He was awarded the Order of St. Louis by Archbishop Phillip Hannan of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Mr. Bland volunteered for Pope John Paul II's visit to New Orleans and attended silent retreats at the Jesuit Manresa for more than 30 years.
His family said he sent each of his 10 children to 12 years of Catholic education and packed them off to college with suitcase in hand. He was a longtime financial supporter of Louisiana State University, Yale University and Boys Town U.S.A. Mr. Bland was also a long-time fan of the New Orleans Saints and Notre Dame University's Fighting Irish football team.
During Mr. Bland's time at "Rancho Blando" in Durango, he volunteered for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, participating in the annual banding of geese and salmon spawns, assisting at the DOW fish hatchery and providing tours of the attached museum. He was a benefactor to local schools, including the geology departments at Navajo College in Shiprock, N.M., and Fort Lewis College.
He enjoyed studying American Indian traditions and lore, was an avid reader and investor, golfed and was a member of St. Columba Catholic Church.
After relocating to Memphis, Mr. Bland attended Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his son Thomas Bland.
Mr. Bland is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marguerite Grinnan Bland, of Memphis; sons Kevin Bland, Christopher Bland and Laurence Bland, all of Baton Rouge, La., Daniel Bland of Columbus, Ohio, Mathew Bland of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Eric Bland and Stephen Bland, both of Metairie, La.; daughters Robin Hude of Memphis and Nancy Bland of Houston; brother John D. Bland III of Tom's River, N.J.; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today, March 8, 2007, at Memphis Funeral Home, 5599 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38119. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 9, 2007, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 8151 Poplar Ave., Germantown, TN 38138. Burial will follow at 9 a.m. at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, 4000 Forest Hill/Irene Road in Memphis.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans Memorial Program, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301; or a charity of your choice.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Marguerite Bland, Kirby Pines Retirement Center, 3535 Kirby Road, Apt. M217, Memphis, TN 38115.
Michael Don Brandt (3/7/2007)
Durango resident Michael Don Brandt died at his home from an accidental fall on Sunday, March 4, 2007. He was 48.
Mr. Brandt was born to Donald Nathan and Janet Brandt in Lebanon, Pa., on July 30, 1958.
He grew up and graduated from high school in Palmyra, Pa. Mr. Brandt enlisted in the Army's 82nd Airborne and was a helicopter crew chief.
After his discharge from the military, Mr. Brandt worked in auto paint and body repair. He owned his own bus. In 1985, he moved to Texas, and two years later, he moved to Durango.
He enjoyed motorcycling, hunting, fishing and custom car designing and fabricating.
Mr. Brandt is survived by his father and stepmother, Donald and Gwen Brandt, of Palmyra, Pa.; sisters Barbara Kreider of Annville, Pa., and Crystal Brandt of Palmyra; brother, David Brandt, of Palmyra; stepbrothers Eric Piper of Bayfield, Patrick Ingalls and Michael Ingalls, both of York, Pa., and Bob Ingalls of Hershey, Pa.; stepsisters Cathy Douts of Washington Boro, Pa., Carolyn Wood of Grasonville, Md., Mary Lochtie of Seattle, Peggy Rhine of Lebanon, Pa.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Mary Edlund will officiate. Burial will take place at Mount Annville Cemetery in Annville, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Annville First Methodist Church, 1 College Ave., Annville, PA 17003.
George Kalitowitsch (3/7/2007)
Durango resident George Kalitowitsch, 79, died at his home on Sunday, March 4, 2007.
The cause of death was complications from a stroke.
He was born to Joseph and Anna Kalitowitsch in Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia, on July 27, 1927. He grew up in Europe and began his career as an auto mechanic with the French Occupation forces in southern Germany after World War II. He married Gertrude Arbauer.
Mr. Kalitowitsch later moved with his family to Tarkoola in the Australian Outback.
He and his family were able to immigrate to the United States in 1960. He continued his career as an auto mechanic in Chicago.
Mr. Kalitowitsch's love of the outdoors and hunting eventually brought him to Colorado in 1999, where he enjoyed his retirement. That same year he suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side.
His family said that Durangoans would recognize the tenacious "shoe leather express" biker, outdoorsman and regular participant in activities at the Durango Community Recreation Center. He swam, did yoga in the pool and did exercises and stretches to rebuild his strength after his first stroke.
He spent every possible moment camping, hiking, hunting, and telling stories about his adventures.
"He was interested in backwoods safety and took lots of classes," his daughter, Ann Bauer-Lasiewicz, said. "He was very ecologically minded."
Mr. Kalitowitsch was also active at the Durango/La Plata Senior Center and a member of the National Rifle Association.
"His family, especially his grandchildren, was the primary focus of his life," his daughter wrote, "And he will always be remembered for his big voice, his boundless energy, his inquisitiveness and his generous heart."
Mr. Kalitowitsch was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude Kalitowitsch.
He is survived by his daughter, Ann Bauer-Lasiewicz; and two grandchildren.
Cremation will occur. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 8, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Earl Caudill of Hospice of Mercy will officiate.
Memorial donations may be made to Durango Nature Studies by calling 382-9244 ext. 3 or by visiting its Web site at www.durangonaturestudies.org.
Audrey Mae Walker (3/6/2007)
Longtime Durango resident Audrey Mae Walker died at her home on Saturday, March 3, 2007. She was 80.
Mrs. Walker was born to Clinton B. and Eva Mae (Beard) Moore in Claude, Texas, on April 16, 1926. She was an only child and grew up on a dry-land farm near Melrose, N.M.
Her family said Mrs. Walker loved school and participated in 4-H. She attended Eastern New Mexico University and majored in home economics, winning a trip to a national 4-H conference in 1945 in Washington, D.C., with a suit she designed and made herself.
In 1946, she married Donald Walker in Portales, N.M. They lived in Farmington for a short time, and then moved to Crownpoint, N.M., where they owned a trading post. Mrs. Walker served as the postmaster. Social events, health and dental care were all 56 miles away in Gallup, N.M.
After 27 years in Crownpoint, the Walkers moved to Durango, where they built their own home and farmed.
Mrs. Walker won numerous awards at the La Plata County Fair for her canning, baking and sewing. She was the Sweepstakes Award winner for four years (1985-88), as well as having Best in Show many years in canning and baking.
Her family said she loved her animals, reading, entertaining and cooking. Her family said that if you were around the farm at mealtime, you were fed well.
She and her husband traveled and went on annual cruises. They made friends in Canada and other states during their travels.
"She was a strong, independent, hard-working woman who loved her family and friends," her family wrote.
Mrs. Walker was preceded in death by her daughter Barbara Joyce Walker.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Donald Walker, of Durango; daughter Lynne Martin of Durango; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Earl Caudill with Hospice of Mercy will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County 4-H Council, 2500 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.