Betty Talbot Speed (5/26/2007)
Durango resident Betty Talbot Speed, 84, died Thursday, May 10, 2007, in Durango. The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mrs. Speed was born to Perry and Marie Talbot in Lexington, Mo., on April 25, 1923. Her father was a locally prominent veterinarian.
Her family wrote that Mrs. Speed was "part farm girl, part Kansas beauty" who was popular in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where she grew up. She had a streak of mischief she occasionally revealed. One of her favorite pranks was soaping the local trolley tracks with her longtime partner in crime, Hale Kaiser. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Kansas, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.
On May 27, 1944, she married Army Maj. Hugh B. Speed Jr., who, the Speed family said, was "somewhat of a bon vivant in his Philadelphia debutante circles." After World War II ended, the young couple moved to the Washington, D.C., area.
After an 18-month tour of duty in London in the early 1960s, the family moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., where Mr. Speed assumed a position with STRIKE Command, now known as Central Command, at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base.
"It was during these years that Betty began earning her reputation as a 'cool' mom," her daughter Marie B. Speed wrote. "The mom everyone could talk to, the one who reserved judgment, the one who listened. Betty was a carpool mom, a mom who never missed her son's wrestling matches or football games. She was the first to help her daughters plan a party or practice for cheerleading tryouts or make Halloween costumes.
"She cooked a full dinner for her family every night, complete with china and silver - and no one was excused until she said so. This easy mantle of propriety and good manners informed her approach to most social situations as well as her personal conduct; lipstick and nails always matched, 'please' and 'thank you' were the bywords of conversation."
Her family said Mrs. Speed died with her lipstick on.
In 1971, Mr. Speed retired. With two of their three children grown, the Speeds decided to retire to Colorado. They rented a car and drove around until they found their dream Rocky Mountain destination - Estes Park.
Mrs. Speed was an animal lover, with dogs, cats, rabbits and hamsters in and out of her house all of her life. Her family said she was also generous and kind.
She moved to Durango in 2005 to live with her daughter Melissa T. Speed.
Mrs. Speed was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Hugh B. Speed Jr.
She is survived by her daughters Melissa Speed of Durango and Marie Speed of Ocean Ridge, Fla.; son Hugh B. Speed III of Mission Viejo, Calif.; two grandchildren; a nephew and numerous cousins.
Cremation has occurred. At her request, there will be no services, but her family said that there will be one heck of a party (also at her request).
Memorial contributions may be made to the animal shelter of one's choice.
Marie Thomas (5/24/2007)
Marie Thomas, a longtime Bayfield resident, died Monday May 21, 2007, at home in Peoria, Ariz. She was 76. The cause of death was cancer.
Mrs. Thomas was born on March 31, 1931, in Clayton, N.M., to Frank and Ruby Harris. The family moved to Bayfield in the 1940s. Mrs. Thomas graduated from Bayfield High School and attended Fort Lewis College in Hesperus.
She married Chuck Thomas on June 6, 1959, in Albuquerque.
Mrs. Thomas and her husband owned the Bayfield Texaco. Later, she worked for Southern Ute Community Action Programs, Southern Ute Housing and Bayfield Shur-Valu. She also did bookkeeping work for several local businesses.
Besides raising her own children, Mrs. Thomas opened her home to three foreign-exchange students, two nephews, a niece and a couple of foster children. She always thought her greatest achievement was being a grandmother, until she became a great-grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Chuck Thomas, son Tom Teller and grandson George Dow.
She is survived by her son Paul Thomas of Surprise, Ariz; daughters Susan Thomas of Peoria, Ariz., and Michelle Winner of Durango; sister Evelyn Smith of Canyon Lake, Texas; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous other family members.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, 2007, at Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Dan Straw will officiate. A gathering of friends and family at the Bayfield Lions Club will he held after the service. Burial will be at Greenmont Cemetery in Durango at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to a charity of your choice in Marie Thomas' name.
Sharon Joyce Paez (5/24/2007)
Longtime Colorado resident Sharon Joyce Paez, 59, died Friday, May 18, 2007, in Durango from complications of diabetes.
Mrs. Paez was born June 10, 1947, in Viborg, S.D., the daughter of Elden and Joyce Edman.
She married her first husband Marshall Schield in 1964, and moved from Waverly, Iowa, to Boulder in 1965. They had four children together. Her second marriage was to Michael Paez in 1987.
Mrs. Paez was a wife, mother and a nurse. She raised four children. And she was active in Arvada at the King of Glory Lutheran Church, where she taught children's Sunday school classes.
Mrs. Paez enjoyed gardening, baking, traveling, river rafting, sailing, spending time at the beach, relaxing at the pool, camping, fishing, shopping, gambling and watching her children's sporting events. She also enjoyed spending holidays with children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Paez is survived by her husband, Mike Paez, of Denver; daughter Tracy Toner of Durango; sons Travis Schield of Durango, and Troy Schield and Trent Schield, both of Denver; mother Joyce Edman of Waterloo, Iowa; brothers Steve Edman of Waterloo, Iowa, and Ron Edman of Oconomowoc, Wis.; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today, Thursday, May 24, 2007, at St. Columba Catholic Church. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld with St. Columba Catholic Church will officiate. Cremation will occur at Hood Mortuary.
John H. Galland (5/23/2007)
Durango resident John H. Galland was killed in an automobile accident outside of Caddo Lake, Texas, on Friday, May 18, 2007. He was 56.
Mr. Galland was born in Baltimore to Richard I. and Alice Halstead Galland on Jan. 11, 1951.
He grew up in several places and was an excellent athlete, a member of the Colorado All-State high school soccer team and an active mountain climber.
In 1971, he was injured in a skiing accident and lost the use of his legs. His family said that it did not deter him from the active life he loved.
Mr. Galland studied at St. Mark's School in Dallas; Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale; North Texas State University in Denton; and various other schools throughout the United States. He graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
On July 1, 1989, he married Maggie Klein in Mahtomedi, Minn.
Mr. Galland was a substitute teacher, first in Minneapolis and then in Durango School District 9-R for the last five years. He focused on K-12 science.
"He was gifted in stimulating kids' curiosity to explore the world around them," his family wrote.
"Jack will be remembered for his outgoing, sunny disposition, his curiosity about the natural world, his sense of humor and his indomitable spirit of adventure."
Mr. Galland devoted much of his life to sharing his passion for the outdoors with others.
He was involved with Paraplegics Out In Nature Together in Texas, numerous Outward Bound Schools throughout the country, the Vinland Center and Wilderness Inquiry in Minneapolis, S'PLORE in Utah, Adventure Etc. in San Francisco, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program and Adaptive Sports Association in Durango. He represented the United States as the first U.S. Nordic skier in the 1988 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Mr. Galland also enjoyed sailing on Lake Dallas as a member of the Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club.
He continued to sail, play tennis and ski after he became a paraplegic.
He was also an avid fly fisherman and loved anything to do with water and boats. His favorite catch was taken in the Mississippi River in Minnesota and various rivers throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
"Believe me, my young friend," his family quoted him as saying, "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
Mr. Galland is survived by wife, Maggie Klein Galland of Durango; son Luke Galland of Durango; father and stepmother, Richard I. and Arlette D. Galland of Dallas; brother Richard Galland Jr. of Santa Cruz, Calif.; sister Holley Galland Haymaker of Baton Rouge, La.; stepsister Carin Knoop of Cambridge, Mass.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2007, at the Galland family home, 2016 Crestview Drive in Durango. Dress is casual, and young people are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, gifts of remembrance may be made to Adaptive Sports Association in Durango,email@example.com; S'PLORE in Salt Lake City Utah, firstname.lastname@example.org; Wilderness Inquiry in Minneapolis, email@example.com; or Caddo Lake Institute in Austin, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Benson Muir (5/23/2007)
Durango resident Robert Benson Muir died at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez after being flipped from his raft on the Dolores River on Sunday, May 20, 2007. He was 36.
Mr. Muir was born to Lawrence and Sharon Louise (Benson) Muir in Richardson, Texas, on Feb. 25, 1971.
He was trained as a chef and worked as a sous-chef at Purgy's at Durango Mountain Resort from 2000 to 2003, before going on to work for short stints at Dalton Ranch and the Palace Restaurant. He was planning to move back to Texas at the time of his accident.
Mr. Muir enjoyed rafting, skiing, snowmobiling and riding motorcycles.
He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Sharon and Billy Shuler of Flower Mound, Texas; sister Carolyn Orbin; brother Roger Muir of Irving, Texas; and one niece.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2007, at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home in Colleyville, Texas. Burial will follow at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park.
The family is planning a memorial service in Durango at a later date.
For more information or to send condolences, visit www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary.
Helen F. Trembly (5/22/2007)
Longtime Durango resident Helen F. Trembly died at The Valley Inn in Mancos on Sunday, May 20, 2007. She was 88.
Mrs. Trembly was born to Elmer and Lucy (Garber) Ramsay in Grand Junction on Jan. 28, 1919.
On June 26, 1938, she married Homer Trembly in Grand Junction. They moved to Durango in 1943.
Mr. and Mrs. Trembly owned Trembly's Marine. Their first building was at College Street and East Eighth Avenue where Durango Natural Foods is now located. Later, they were one of the first businesses in Bodo Park. Mrs. Trembly actively participated in running the business, keeping the books, ordering stock and maintaining the appearance of the building.
During the summer, family and friends spent many weekends boating and waterskiing at Vallecito Reservoir. Her family said she water skied for many years when she was terrified of the water and did not know how to swim. Mrs. Trembly later took swimming lessons at the Fort Lewis College pool. In the winter, the Tremblys and their friends went snowmobiling in the mountains north of Durango.
Mrs. Trembly was a lifelong member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and a longtime member of the Durango Emblem Club. She delivered Meals-on-Wheels for many years.
Her yard and her garden were one of her passions. Mrs. Trembly grew dinner-plate-size Peace Roses in her rose garden. Some of her roses, irises, hollyhocks and rhubarb are now growing and blooming in her children's gardens.
Her family said Mrs. Trembly was totally devoted to them and was happiest when they could be together. When her grandchildren were small, she would have them come to stay with her and her husband for a week or two in the summer. She potty trained most of her grandchildren during those visits.
Mrs. Trembly brought her family together for holidays and other special occasions. They said she never forgot the birthday or anniversary of any of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. Trembly enjoyed traveling, especially ocean cruising. They cruised the Caribbean, traveling through the Panama Canal several times, to Hawaii, Tahiti and to Alaska with her brother Don Ramsay.
Mrs. Trembly was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Homer Trembly, in October 2006.
She is survived by her daughter Donna McConnell of Durango; sons Darrell Trembly of Durango and Larry Trembly of Cortez; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Cremation will occur. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 24, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel.
James Layvon 'Smitty' Smith (5/22/2007)
Longtime Mancos resident James Layvon Smith died at The Valley Inn in Mancos on Friday, May 18, 2007. He was 85.
Known as "Smitty," he was born to James Frank and Ida Mary (Johnson) Smith on July 14, 1921, in Mize, Miss.
On Dec. 18, 1937, Mr. Smith married Mady Kolean Craft in Raleigh, Miss.
He served as a private first class in the Army during World War II but was not shipped overseas. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans.
After the family moved to the Mancos Valley on Jan. 1, 1957, he became a member of the Southern Baptist Church. He was also a member of the Masons as well as being a Rainbow Dad.
Mr. Smith was part of the crew that installed the natural-gas system for Dolores, Mancos, Dove Creek and Cortez. He later opened a welding shop and worked as a mechanic.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time with his family.
Mr. Smith was preceded in death by grandsons Billy Lynn, Bobby Markham, James Oen Noland, Darin Bradshaw and Richard Layvon Smith; and great-granddaughter Lena Michelle Schnaubert.
He is survived by his wife of more than 69 years, Kolean Smith, of Mancos; daughters Vonda May of Farmington, Judy Reider of Hesperus and Susie Nolan and Mary Pickens, both of Mancos; sons Jack Smith and Paul Smith, both of Mancos; 15 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 24, 2007, at the Mancos Performance Center. Burial will follow at the Cedar Grove Cemetery with military honors and Masonic services.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Mancos Ambulance, 41595 U.S. Highway 160, Mancos, CO 81328.