Claude V. Martin
Memorial services for lifelong Cortez resident Claude Vincent Martin will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 16, at the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Rev. Erika Meyer will officiate.
Claude was born Oct. 3, 1921, at Goodman Point, Colo., to Thomas Elbert and Margaret Elizabeth (Chastain) Martin. He passed away Monday, May 12, 2003, at the Vista Grande Nursing Home at the age of 81.
On July 10, 1948, Claude married Jean Rutherford at the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the same church, of which Claude was a member.
His community was an important part of Claudes life. He was a member of the Rotary Club and served as a director on the First National Bank board. He was a former school board member and was the founder of the Cortez Little League Association.
Claude is survived by his wife, Jean Martin of Cortez; his children: Claudia Martin of Woodland Park, Colo.; Russell Martin and wife, Lydia Nibley, of Denver; and Carol Martin and husband, Kurt Schneider, of Durango; grandchildren: Sarah Drummond of Woodland Park; Ian Drummond of Loveland, Colo.; Megan Nibley of Mesa, Ariz.; Laurel Hatch of Bozeman, Mont.; and Silas Hatch of Durango. His sister Edith Flanagan of Cortez is left behind as well.
Preceding him in death are his parents; his four brothers: Leonard, Alec, Oscar, Elbert and two sisters: May and Lela.
Memorial contributions can be made in Claudes memory at First National Bank to establish a memorial scholarship fund. Services are under the direction of the Ertel Funeral Home.
Lester Lee Posey
Services for Lester Lee Posey, 53, of Towaoc, were held at Friday, May 16, at The Chapel on South U.S. Highway 160. Sister Lois Wooten and Brother Mac Coyote officiated. Interment followed at Towaoc Cemetery.
Visitation was held Thursday at the Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel in Cortez.
Mr. Posey was born to Kean Posey and Rose Mary Mills Whyte March 9, 1950, in Ignacio, Colo. He passed away at his residence in Towaoc May 10, 2003.
He lived most of his life in Towaoc, where he was employed as an artisan and painter for Ute Mountain Pottery, and also was a painter for Mesa Verde Pottery in Cortez.
Mr. Posey enjoyed spending time with his nieces and family. He loved his pet cats and dogs.
Some of his favorite activities were attending church at The Chapel and singing in the choir.
Lester Lee Posey is survived by his siblings: Kean Washington Jr. and Rose Ann Mills, both of Towaoc; Karen Washington of Las Vegas, N.M.; numerous nieces and nephews and an aunt, Pearl Alice Arkansas of Randelett, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents and two brothers.
Cortez Four Corners Funeral Chapel, Hale & Gerken is serving the family.
Tennie Bernice Puckett
Tennie Bernice Puckett, 90, died Friday, May 9, 2003, of natural causes at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 14, at the Church of Christ in Durango.
Mr. Hunt Zumwalt will be officiating. Burial will occur at Greenmount Cemetery
Visitation will be held at Hood Mortuary today, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Mrs. Puckett was born May 25, 1912 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the youngest of 10 children of Sam and Annie (Bunyard) Caudle. She married Marshall Puckett on December 18, 1945 at Carlsbad, N.M. She had lived in the Durango area since 1957.
Mrs. Puckett attended grade school in Woolsey, Ark., graduated from high school in 1930 in Eureka Springs, Ark. and attended nursing school in 1934 at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She also received nurses training at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. She held nursing positions in New Jersey and Arkansas until she moved to southern New Mexico.
She served in the U.S. Navy in San Diego in 1942 and was stationed in Pearl Harbor for two years until W.W.II ended. She returned to New Mexico to raise her family and was honorably discharged from the service in 1950.
She moved to Durango in 1957 and from 1963 to 1970 worked with her husband at Puckett Electric Company doing bookkeeping. She liked to fish, sew, crochet, garden and can food. She also taught bible study for 30 years and enjoyed trips to Arkansas.
She is survived by her husband Marshall of Durango, children, Jerry Puckett of Durango, Joe Puckett of Durango, Marsha Beaver of Cortez; grandchildren, Lacy Puckett of Durango, Jodi Puckett of Durango, Valerie Puckett of Columbia, S.C., Jason Puckett, currently deployed on a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, Stephanie Puckett of San Diego and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, five sisters and four brothers.
Donations may be sent to the New Mexico Christian Childrens Home, 1356 NM Highway 236, Portales, NM, 88130 or to the Four Corners Youth Camp, P.O. Box 145, Cortez, CO 81326.
Flora Opal Cruzan
Memorial services honoring longtime Cortez resident Flora Opal Cruzan will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at the Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church. Reverends Jan and Samuel Adams will officiate.
Flora was born March 23, 1922, in Empire, Okla., the fifth child of nine to John Wiley and Clara Lula (Armstrong) Roundtree. She passed away at the Vista Mesa Retirement Center in Cortez on Wed., May 7 at the age of 81.
Flora became the bride of Herbert Logan Cruzan at Oklahoma City, Okla., on Dec. 20, 1938. The couple shared 41 years of marriage before Herbert's death in 1980. Flora enjoyed a strong faith in God all her life. She valued hard work and personal integrity above all. She was a loyal wife, mother and friend. She will be remembered for her many years of volunteer service at Southwest Memorial Hospital and Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church.
She crocheted and knitted all her life and loved craftwork. When asked how she would like to be remembered, Flora hoped that others would recall that she was congenial and helpful.
Surviving Flora are her children, Robert Cruzan and wife Marsha of Cortez; Duane Cruzan of Cortez, and Linda Wancura of Mesa, Ariz. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren; two brothers, William Roundtree of Charlotte, N.C., and Elvin Roundtree and wife, LaDelle of Cortez; a sister, Maxcine Retherford and husband, Ted of Grand Junction, Colo.; and a host of friends.
The family requests that anyone who desires may make a contribution in Flora's name with Hospice of Montezuma, 1108 N. Mildred Road Suite. B, Cortez. Arrangements are being made through the Ertel Funeral Home.
Dennis Wells Root
Graveside services for lifelong Towaoc resident Dennis Wells Root will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, at the Towaoc Cemetery. Brother Jaron Levi will be officiating.
Dennis was born at Ignacio, Colo., on March 2, 1950, to Hugh Root and Jane Wells Root. He passed away on Monday, May 5 in Cortez. Dennis was 53 years old.
He is survived by his children, Kendall Cuthair, Eric Lopez, Chloann Laner, Vicki Denise Root-Lehi, Antoine Laner, all of Towaoc, and Cheryle Root of Ignacio; his 12 grandchildren; and his siblings, Barbara Peabody of Towaoc, Genevieve Root-Thompson of Ignacio, Virginia Root of Towaoc, Steve Root of Tucson, Ariz., and Alvin Root of Towaoc. He leaves his aunt, Jessie Root House of Towaoc, as well. Preceding him in death are his parents.
Services are under the direction of the Ertel Funeral Home.
Charles Kelsey Spear
Funeral services for longtime Cortez resident Charles Kelsey Spear will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at the Lifeway Baptist Church in Cortez. Pastor Jimmy Kennedy will officiate. A private family burial will be held at a later date.
Chuck was born Nov. 16, 1930, in Clay Center, Neb., to Gerald Charles and Eleanor Orila (Wright) Spear. He went to be with the Lord Thursday, May 8, 2003, at the Southwest Memorial Hospital at the age of 72.
Chuck served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Upon his return he made his home in San Jose, Calif.
On May 29, 1965 he married Betty Kerley in Los Altos, Calif. He later retired from Kaiser Airspace/Electronics in 1991 and has since made his home in Cortez. Chuck loved fishing, the outdoors, hunting, and he adored his family.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Spear of Cortez; his daughter and son, Nancy Spear of Aztec, N.M., and Randy Spear of Dolores; his grandsons: Paul Spear of Cortez; Joshua David Spear of Flagstaff, Ariz.; his granddaughter, Elizabeth Rutherford of Farmington; his brother, Earl Dean Spear of Placerville, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews, all of California.
Preceding him in death are his parents; his daughter, Constance Fern Lofton; and his brother, Kenneth Spear.
Memorial contributions can be made in Chucks memory to the Lifeway Baptist Church Building fund.
Services are under the direction of the Ertel Funeral Home.
Donald G. Ripley
Memorial services for longtime Dolores resident Donald Gilbert Ripley will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 14, at the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Dolores. Rev. Johnny Arrington will be officiating.
Don was born on Dec. 3, 1910, in Fort Morgan, Colo., to Samuel and Jesse (Irons) Ripley. He passed away on Wednesday, May 7, at the Vista Grande Nursing Home, at the age of 92.
On June 7, 1939, in Victor, Colo. Don married Besse Marie Myers. He worked as a national park ranger and developed the original signs at Mesa Verde.
He was also the very first ranger at Hovenweep. In 1992, Don was honored by Colorado University through the Cortez Cultural Center for his archaeological work. He was also honored by the Crow Indians and taken into their tribe as a brother. Don always said that Old Coyote was his brother. Old Coyote was the medicine man that blessed Don and Besse's home when it was completed in 1958. Don was a good carpenter who built several homes.
Woodworking, writing and artistry were other areas Don was good at. He collected knives, belonged to the rotary, American Legion, NRA, and the CU Foundation. Don was on the Dolores Public Library board of directors as well.
He is survived by his half sister, Lavina Housman of Nampa, Idaho; his cousins, Kenny Irons and Sandra Marquis, both of Bonners Ferry, Ida., Delbert Irons of Kingsville, Tex., Ernest Irons of Denton, Tex., Edgar Irons of Elko, Nev., Darrus Irons of Sand Point, Ida. Jim and Donita Graves of Wheatland, Wyo., Jean and Sherm Wiseman of Cheyenne, Wyo., Lucy and David Flora of Ocean Park, Wash., John and Nancy Graves of Colorado Springs, Colo., Herb Graves of Wheatland, Wyo.; and his cousins-in-law, Shirley Dennison and Charlotte Thompson both of Dolores.
Preceding him in death are his parents; his wife, Besse, who passed on May 16, 1982; and his sister, Hazel Ripley who passed in October of 2002.
Memorial contributions can be made in Don's memory to the Dolores Public Library Fund, P.O. Box 847, Dolores, 81323. Services are under the direction of the Ertel Funeral Home.
Christine C. Perkins
Longtime Montelores resident Christine C. Perkins died a few days short of her 98th birthday at the home she shared with her son, Gary, in San Jose, Costa Rica. Christine was born May 10, 1905, in Pickens County, S.C., to J. W. and Ola Cauley.
Christine and a cousin came to Cortez in 1928 from Brownwood, Texas, where she had moved with her family as a child. They found work at a café at the present location of the El Grande in Cortez.
After a few months, her cousin returned to Texas but Christine decided to stay. She worked quite a few years teaching school at several of the one- and two-room schools scattered around the area in those days, including: Dripping Springs, Cahone, Pleasant View, Prospect, Old Ackman and Sylvan.
It was at the two-room Sylvan School in 1933 while teaching the lower four grades, she met another young teacher, Marcus Perkins, who was teaching the upper four grades. They were married in October 1934.
Mrs. Perkins enjoyed many varied interests during her lifetime: piloting her own airplane, hunting, traveling and harvesting and canning the fruits and vegetables she grew on her farm.
She was a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, farmer and businesswoman, owning at one time a hotel in San Diego, Calif., a motel in Dove Creek, and a rental business in Ft. Worth, Texas.
At the age of 93, she sold the businesses and retired in Costa Rica, Central America.
Christine Perkins is survived by her sons: Delano, Gary and Douglas; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers: Joel, Delores, Bobby and Berlyn Cauley; sisters: Ola Mae Rowell, Berniece Williams and Selma Brown; and her husband.
Christine requested no services or memorial be made. She wished everyone who knew her to remember her in their own way.
She did, however, hope to be remembered fondly by the family of the late Al and Alice Lancaster of Pleasant View and later Cortez. Christine and Alice Lancaster were fellow teachers, kindred spirits and great friends for more than 60 years.
Cremation will take place and Christines ashes returned to Colorado to be scattered over her favorite places.