Joe Barry Dyar (5/8/2007)
Durango resident Joe Barry Dyar died at his home on Friday, May 4, 2007. He was 80.
Mr. Dyar was born to Henry Fredrick and Anna Augusta Gebauer Barry in Fort Morgan on Dec. 3, 1925. His mother had fallen from a horse just days before, and was taken to the hospital where doctors and nurses failed to save her life after working through the night. The baby was placed in a box on a radiator and not expected to live. The next morning, he was still alive.
Mr. Barry was overwhelmed by the death of his wife and the seven children he was already raising on the farm. He asked the owner and operator of the hospital, Ivo B. Dyar, to look after the baby. Ivo Dyar eventually adopted him and he became Joe Barry Dyar.
After serving as a hospital corpsman in the Navy during World War II, Mr. Dyar returned to his home in Fort Morgan and married Dorothy Jean Johnston there on Aug. 18, 1946.
His children said he was active in community service and supported their activities as they grew. Mr. Dyar was president of the Flying Hoofs horse drill team, a Scout Master in Des Moines, Iowa, and the president of the builders' association while living in Brighton.
In 1989, the Dyars moved to Durango to be close to family. Mr. Dyar was involved in several Durango organizations, including holding leadership positions at the Durango/La Plata Senior Center and with the Division of Wildlife volunteers. Recently, he received his 50-year recognition in the Masonic Temple.
Mr. Dyar enjoyed fishing and was known for his sense of humor and gregarious demeanor, his family said.
Mr. Dyar was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Jean Dyar, in 2005.
He is survived by his sons Barry Dyar of Ignacio and Jeff Dyar of Bayfield; and two grandsons.
A family service will be held in Fort Morgan.
Memorial contributions may be made to Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 2258, Durango, CO 81302.
Thomas W. Demsko (5/8/2007)
Bayfield resident Thomas W. Demsko died at his home on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. He was 79.
Mr. Demsko was born to Michael and Anna Demsko in Ranshaw, Pa., on Dec. 12, 1927.
He grew up there and attended St. Anthony Grade School and Coal Township High School.
On July 25, 1953, he married Connie M. Janaski in Ranshaw.
Mr. Demsko served as a radio operator in the Army and the Navy.
He worked for General Motors as a planning coordinator in Wilmington, Del., and South Gate, Calif. The Demskos lived in California for 37 years.
Mr. Demsko retired in 1982 and moved to Bayfield in 1993. He enjoyed reading, gardening, golfing, fishing, hunting, working crossword puzzles and woodworking.
Mr. Demsko is survived by his wife, Connie Demsko, of Bayfield; daughters Terri Wise of Durango, Denise Demsko of Bayfield, and Kathi Webster of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; son Tom Demsko Jr., of Castro Valley, Calif.; and four grandchildren.
Cremation will occur. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 10, 2007, at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church in Bayfield. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, P.O. Box 488, Bayfield, CO 81122.
Ronald E. Miers (5/8/2007)
Former Durango resident Ronald E. Miers died at Southwest Regional Medical Center in Cortez on Friday, May 4, 2007. He was 67.
Mr. Miers was born Aug. 14, 1939. He grew up in Grand Forks, N.D., and attended high school in Minnesota.
After graduation, Mr. Miers enlisted in the Air Force. He was a tail gunner in a B-52 bomber and was wounded in Vietnam.
After his discharge, Mr. Miers attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. He also had attended Moorhead State Teachers College in Minnesota.
Mr. Miers worked for Mohawk Carpet Co., and then traveled across the country. He started his own floor-covering business and operated it in many states before settling in Durango, where he opened Quality Carpets.
Mr. Miers is survived by his wife, Carol Miers, of Cortez; brother; sister; and nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. John Knutson with Christ the King Lutheran Church will officiate. Visitation will take place before and after the service. Burial will take place at Greenmount Cemetery.
Hazel F. Johnston (5/6/2007)
Longtime educator and Durango resident Hazel F. Johnston died Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. She was 92.
Mrs. Johnston was born April 15, 1915, in Colorado Springs to James and Frances Farmer . She grew up in various places in Colorado. She graduated from Meeker High School, then attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Shortly after graduation, she married Don W. Johnston in Pueblo on Aug. 15, 1937. The couple moved to Springfield, where Mr. Johnston pioneered the school's industrial-arts program. They moved to Durango in 1939 and built the home where they would reside for the rest of their lives.
In Durango, Mrs. Johnston taught third grade at Needham Elementary School beginning in 1951. She retired from teaching in 1977. The Johnstons' daughters wrote that the couple valued learning and education. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston obtained their master's degrees in Greeley during the summers from 1960 to 1964.
They loved to travel and visited locations including China, Russia, Israel, Scotland, England and Egypt.
Mrs. Johnston was an active member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, where she served on the alter guild and the Caring Committee. She was also active in Chapter CS, P.E.O., Retired Bible, the School Teachers Association and various community study groups. As a longstanding member of Eastern Star, she served locally and in various Grand Chapter positions. Mrs. Johnston was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary for Mercy Medical Center and volunteered at the Manna Soup Kitchen until she was 90.
Mrs. Johnston is survived by daughters Penny Bay of Omaha, Neb., and Meg Cummings of Mancos; sister Lois Curtis of Greeley; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Don Johnston.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 7, 2007, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Durango. The Rev. Andrew Cooley will officiate. Cremation will occur, and her remains will be interred at St. Mark's Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the following: Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6439, Americus, GA 31709-9952; St. Jude's Ranch for Children, P.O. Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006-0100; St. Mark's Episcopal Church Building Fund, Durango, CO 81301; or the charity of your choice.
Juanita Clara McAllister (5/6/2007)
Durango resident Juanita Clara McAllister died at The Valley Inn in Mancos on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. She was 85.
Mrs. McAllister was born to Gus and Clara Schneider in Pueblo on Feb. 4, 1922. In high school, she won 12 gold medals for archery and was a champion diver, but turned down a scholarship to study physical education in college to attend business school.
After graduating, Mrs. McAllister worked at a steel mill in Pueblo called CF&I until she met her future husband, Robert Hugh McAllister, on a blind date. He was a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
On Jan. 22, 1944, the couple married in Pueblo.
Her family said she wanted a houseful of children but had only one, her daughter Beverly Jean.
Mrs. McAllister was active in the Methodist Church, both in Dallas and later in Durango when she and her husband moved here 26 years ago.
Mrs. McAllister was also an artist when she was young, painting on reverse glass and doing leatherworking. She liked animals.
Her family said she was married to the love of her life for 61 years. Mr. McAllister preceded her in death in September 2005.
Mrs. McAllister is survived by her daughter Beverly McAllister of Durango; sisters Flora Lalich and Beverly Oldaker, both of Pueblo; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation will occur.
James Edward Tanner (5/6/2007)
James Edward Tanner died Thursday, May 3, 2007, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. He was 87.
Mr. Tanner was born Oct. 11, 1919, in Keansburg, N.J., to James and Loretta Murphy.
Mr. Tanner was a World War II veteran, who served in the Army Medical Division. He sold insurance and worked for Turner Securities and Investments for 30 years in Durango, and was an active and founding member of the 55+ Center, now the Durango/La Plata Senior Center. He celebrated his 50th anniversary as a Master Mason with Durango Lodge No. 46 in 2006. He also was an active member of the Neighbors of Woodcraft for more than 30 years.
Mr. Tanner was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Tanner, in 2001.
No services are planned at this time. Cremation will occur. Interment of his remains will occur at Greenmount Cemetery at a later date.
Donald Francis Weissbeck (5/5/2007)
Bayfield resident Donald Francis Weissbeck, 77, died at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. The cause of death was complications from diabetes.
Mr. Weissbeck was one of 11 children. He was born to Joseph and Barbara Weissbeck in Collyer, Kan., on Dec. 3, 1929.
Mr. Weissbeck graduated from high school in Topeka, Kan., and attended Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) in Fort Collins. He graduated from both Kansas State University and the University of Kansas with degrees in bacteriology and dairy manufacturing.
From 1950 to 1952, Mr. Weissbeck served in the U.S. Air Force.
On July 14, 1956, Mr. Weissbeck married Selena Southard in Topeka. They spent the next 13 years living in Liberia, West Africa, where Mr. Weissbeck was a supervisor on the Firestone Rubber Plantation at Harbel, Liberia. For the following 32 years, he was a sales representative for Diversey Wyandotte selling commercial cleaning equipment and supplies in the mid-South.
The Weissbecks moved to Bayfield in 1995 from Cordova, Tenn.
Mr. Weissbeck enjoyed fishing, hunting, golf and snorkeling and skindiving, and he liked to share stories with others who had the same interests. He also enjoyed spending time with his sons and grandchildren.
Mr. Weissbeck was preceded in death by his son Anthony Weissbeck in 1968.
He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Selena Weissbeck of Bayfield; sons Scott Weissbeck of Farmington and Barry Weissbeck of Carolina Beach, N.C.; sisters Annette Kresie, Becky Penn and Karen Matthews, all of Topeka, Kan., and Mary Murray of Leawood, Kan; and two grandchildren.
A rosary will be recited at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church in Bayfield at 7 p.m. Monday, May 7, 2007. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2007, also at St. Bartholomew's. The Rev. Doug Hunt will be the celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, P.O. Box 488, Bayfield, CO 81122.
Frank James Johns Sr. (5/4/2007)
Durango resident Frank James Johns Sr., died at Four Corners Health Care Center on Thursday, April 26, 2007. He was 79.
Mr. Johns was born to Estille and Ruth Anna (Furtick) Johns in Denver on Oct. 7, 1927. He was raised in Woodland Park and graduated from Woodland Park High School.
In February 1946, he married Pauline Jesse, and they moved to Durango around 1950.
Mr. Johns was employed for many years by Holsum Bakery as "The Bread Man."
He enjoyed fishing, bowling, traveling and playing cribbage.
Mr. Johns is survived by his daughters Patricia Wortham of Cortez and Rose Mary Tapia of Durango; son Frank James Johns Jr., of Clifton; three granddaughters and one grandson; and two great-granddaughters and three great-grandsons.
A private family graveside service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Mercy, P.O. Box 3462, Durango, CO 81302.