Georgia LaVenia Jones (6/17/2007)
Redmesa resident Georgia LaVenia Jones died of heart failure at her home on Monday, June 11, 2007. She was 93.
Mrs. Jones was born to Joseph E. and Mary Jane Ammons Cox in Tipton, Okla., on Oct. 5, 1913.
In October 1931, she married William H. Jackson in Tipton, who preceded her in death after 20 years of marriage. In 1966, she married Faye Jones, also in Tipton. He preceded her in death after five years of marriage.
Known as "Granny," she was an ordained pastor in the Pentecostal faith and traveled as an interim minister from 1951 to 2005 for churches in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Washington. She retired to Redmesa after 54 years of ministry.
"Her laugh and zeal to live were contagious to all," her family wrote. "The legacy she leaves to all that came into contact with her was the deep love of Christ she shared. Her devotion to all people was unconditional."
Mrs. Jones was also preceded in death by her son, Jerry T. Jackson.
She is survived by her daughters L. Jo Chesnut and Gail Judge, both of Redmesa; five grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2007, at the Marvel Methodist Church. Burial will take place in a private family service in Tipton, Okla.
John Dee Dillon (6/17/2007)
Longtime Durango resident John Dee Dillon died of lung cancer at his home on Wednesday, June 13, 2007. He was 77.
Mr. Dillon was born to John Dennis and Ruth Blanche (Laird) Dillon in Cedaredge on Sept. 17, 1929.
He grew up on an 80-acre farm raising corn, hay and milk cows. He attended Cedaredge High School until his father contracted polio, which required him to focus on his time to the farm.
Mr. Dillon joined the Navy for two years and then was drafted into the Marine Corps. He served in the Korean War.
In 1951, he met Carlene Pierson in Telluride. The couple married in Ouray on Sept. 19, 1954. They lived in Naturita while Mr. Dillon worked in the uranium-mining industry.
In 1964, the family moved to Durango, where Mrs. Dillon became a nurse and Mr. Dillon went to work at the Standard Metals Mine in Silverton. In 1970, along with two partners, Mr. Dillon started Animas Aggregates in the north Animas Valley.
Three years later, he left that business and started his own business, Sandco. During the following years, the business acquired the east half of the Dalton Ranch, which was partly an aggregate resource. Mr. Dillon enjoyed returning to the farming activities he had participated in as a boy.
His family said that growing up during the Great Depression instilled hard work and conservation in Mr. Dillon. Fishing and traveling were favorite pastimes.
Mr. Dillon was preceded in death by his wife, Carlene Dillon, in 1993.
He is survived by his sons John Dillon and David Dillon, both of Durango; daughter Linda Head of Bayfield; sisters Luella Schoonover, Dorothy Huff and Darlene Myers, all of Delta; seven grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred. A service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, 2007, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 495 Florida Road. Refreshments will be served after the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 931, Durango, CO 81302.
Lawrence Edward Stein (6/16/2007)
Former Durango resident Lawrence Edward Stein died in Santa Barbara, Calif., three days before his 59th birthday on Jan. 13, 2007. The cause of death was cancer.
Known as "Larry," he was born to Dr. Edward V. and Ruth B. Stein in Los Angeles on Jan. 16, 1948.
He was raised in Marin County, Calif., where he was an excellent athlete at Drake High School. He received an athletic scholarship to Stanford University, where he was a wide receiver on the football team.
After graduating from Hastings Law School in San Francisco, he worked for the Trust for Public Lands, protecting open space in California.
Mr. Stein lived in Durango from 1987 to 1999, where he worked as a Realtor for Re/Max.
His family said that he enjoyed skiing, volleyball, camping, hiking and photography in the mountains of Colorado.
Mr. Stein later moved to Santa Barbara, where he became a senior consultant with the Synergy Group working with both public and private organizations.
He also co-founded The Money Camp, a nonprofit dedicated to the education of adults and children in financial literacy with camps in 10 states.
Mr. Stein played and taught volleyball throughout his life, and won several competitions in beach volleyball with his doubles partner.
He was an avid photographer and greatly appreciated the culinary arts. He cooked a variety of cuisines, much to the delight of his family and friends, his family said.
Mr. Stein enjoyed mystifying children with his magic tricks and often had a prank or two planned for adults as well.
"He loved life and thought of each day as a blessing," his family said. "He never tired of watching the sun rise or set, often taking his conga drum with him to celebrate the day. His warmth, compassion, kindness, spirit, humor and smile will be missed, but will never be forgotten."
Mr. Stein is survived by his mother, Ruth B. Stein of San Rafael, Calif.; daughter, Erin Casagram-Stein of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; companion Laura Chrisman of Santa Barbara, Calif.; brother Karl Stein of Arlee, Mont.; sisters Paula Kelleher of Petaluma, Calif., and Laurel Stein of Magalia, Calif.; former wife Melani Woodruff of Durango; and stepdaughter Chelsea Woodruff of Durango.
Private services were held.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wellness Program of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, 300 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105; or to The Money Camp, 135 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
Paul Wayne Decker Sr. (6/14/2007)
Mancos native Paul Wayne Decker Sr. died of pneumonia on Saturday, June 9, 2007, at his home in Rimrock, Ariz. He was 75. Mr. Decker was born to Alvin Morris and Maria Wheeler Decker in Mancos on Dec. 29, 1931. He grew up there and graduated from Mancos High School. On June 6, 1955, he married Thelma Brown in Farmington. Mr. Decker served in the Air Force as an aerial photographer. He was an equipment operator and worked for several years for Nelson Construction. In 1980, Mr. and Mrs. Decker moved to Arizona. Mr. Decker is survived by his wife, Thelma Brown Decker, of Rimrock, Ariz.; sons Dean Decker of Mesa, Ariz., Wayne Decker of Henrietta, Okla., and Clayton Decker of Rimrock; daughter Sharon Trask of Shelton, Wash.; 19 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 15, 2007, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Camp Verde, Ariz. Burial will take place at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.
Fred M. Martin (6/14/2007)
Durango native Fred M. Martin died after a long battle with a degenerative muscle disease at his home in Aztec on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. He was 52. Mr. Martin was born in Durango to Ralph M. and Ina Martin on Oct. 10, 1954. He attended Florida Mesa Elementary School and junior high school in Durango before moving to Aztec, where he graduated from Aztec High School. His interests were woodworking, cabinetry and rebuilding cars and trucks. He worked rebuilding mobile homes. His family said he liked to help people. " He enjoyed this life, his work and people, " his family wrote. " He wanted to say thanks to all he knew for their interest, companionship and support. " Mr. Martin is survived by his sisters Eleanor Kambouris of West Plains, Mo., and Barbara Martin of Kansas City, Mo.; brother John R. Martin of Bloomfield, N.M.; two nieces; and great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
William A. Grimes (6/14/2007)
The father of Ignacio resident Devita Jackson, William A. Grimes, died after a long illness on Saturday, June 9, 2007 in Bloomfield, N.M. He was 81. Mr. Grimes was born to Howard and Erma Grimes in Naturita on April 6, 1926. He delivered propane for the oil and gas industry. Mr. Grimes was preceded in death by his son Acel Grimes. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Shirley Grimes, of Bloomfield; daughters Devita Jackson of Ignacio, Karen Kinslow and Levita Brewer; sons Tom Kinslow, Bob Kinslow, Rick Kinslow, Stewart Kinslow and Clayton Grimes; 20 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A service will be held at 4 p.m. today, June 14, 2007, at the Aztec Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2010 Sierra. The Rev. Tobin Savage will officiate. Burial will follow on Friday, June 15, 2007, in Nucla.
Nicole Leigh Redhorse (6/13/2007)
Durango resident Nicole Leigh Redhorse, 34, died in Durango on Thursday, June 7, 2007. The cause of death is undetermined.
Ms. Redhorse was born to Kenneth and Winona Redhorse in Farmington on Nov. 24, 1972. She attended Niwot High School from 1987 to 1989 and graduated from University High School in Tucson, Ariz., in 1991. Ms. Redhorse earned a bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in economics at Dartmouth University in Hanover, N. H., in 1995.
After graduation, Ms. Redhorse worked as a research analyst for a nonprofit in Denver. She also held various jobs in California, Washington and Colorado. She had moved to Durango in Sept. 2006, and was looking for employment.
She was an avid reader.
"She was intelligent, very sweet and kind," her mother, Winona Redhorse, said. "She was very giving and willing to help people out even when she didn't have much."
Ms. Redhorse is survived by her parents Kenneth and Winona Redhorse of Longmont; sister Consuelo Redhorse of Longmont; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A service will be held at 10 a.m. today, June 13, 2007, at Cope Memorial Chapel, 404 W. Arrington in Farmington. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens in Farmington.
Rosemary Miller (6/13/2007)
Former Durango resident Rosemary Miller died in Erie on Thursday, April 26, 2007. She was 90.
Mrs. Miller was born to Clifford Charles and Myrta Beitler Chaney in Superior, Neb., on Oct. 23, 1916. She grew up on a homestead in Cedar Hill near the Colorado-New Mexico state line, where she and her sister, Doris Chaney, herded cattle on their parents'ranch.
After graduating from Aztec High School in 1934, she earned her teaching certificate from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She met her future husband, Samuel H. Miller, while teaching school in Aztec.
On June 22, 1939, the couple married in New Mexico.
After Mr. Miller returned from the South Pacific after serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, the Millers decided to build a "motor court," using Mr. Miller's Marine pay and cribbage winnings to help finance the building. He harvested logs from U.S. Forest Service land and built the Spanish Trails' first cabins in 1946.
The Millers sold the motel in 1983, having, over the ensuing years, built 53 units that covered more than 3 acres of land. They then built a home on the Animas River on East Second Avenue, where they lived until moving to Louisville in 1996.
Mrs. Miller was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for many years and later became a member of the Cornerstone Evangelical Church. She belonged to the Sarah Platt Decker chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Both Mr. and Mrs. Miller were both members of the Republican Party for many years.
After leaving Durango, she took care of her garden and her husband. She also became an artist, sculpting structures and animals out of wood putty and rocks. She helped care for her grandchildren, became a member of the Creekside Evangelical Church and rode horses at the Colorado Therapeutic Horse Center until the week before her death.
Mrs. Miller was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Samuel Miller; and her son Sammie Lynn Miller.
She is survived by her daughter Colleen Miller of Erie; son Matthew Miller of Ithaca, N.Y.; and five grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. A party was held to celebrate Mrs. Miller's life on Sunday, June 3, 2007, at the family home in Erie. Her ashes will be buried with her husband and son at Greenmount Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Mrs. Miller's name to the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, 11968 Mineral Road, Longmont, CO 80504. The funds raised will be used to retire her 28-year-old former mounted-police horse Poco Dos.
John O. Brittain (6/12/2007)
Longtime Durango resident John O. Brittain, 73, died at his home on Saturday, June 9, 2007. The cause of death was cancer.
Mr. Brittain was born to John and Anna Brittain in Mancos on Sept. 29, 1933.
He loved basketball and other sports. Mr. Brittain graduated from Mancos High School in 1951.
On Nov. 4, 1952, he married Betty McGechie in Aztec.
After enlisting in the Air Force, Mr. Brittain spent 18 months building landing strips on the islands in and around Okinawa, Japan. After his discharge, he returned to Durango and worked in construction. He and his brother, Harland, had an opportunity to buy a gas station and motel. They did so, and Brittain's Highland Service is now located on the site.
In 1999, Mr. Brittain had a heart attack and two years later, a second one. He retired, and his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Dyan Brittain, took over operation of the business.
After recovering from his heart attacks, Mr. Brittain became interested in Harley-Davidson motorcycles, traveled to rallies in Sturgis, S.D., and Laughlin, Nev., and joined a club.
Mr. Brittain is survived by his wife of 54 years, Betty Brittain, of Durango; son Richard Brittain of Durango; daughter Ann Brittain of San Diego; sister Bonnie Levine of Montclair, Calif.; two grandsons; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at Christ the King Lutheran Church. Refreshments will be served afterward.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund for has been set up in Mr. Brittain's name at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 495 Florida Road, Durango, CO 81301.
Arthur Allen Wolff Jr. (6/12/2007)
Former Durango resident Arthur Allen Wolff Jr. died at Conejos County Hospital in La Jara on Saturday, June 9, 2007. He was 54. No cause of death was released.
Known as "Buddy," he was born in Pueblo to Juanita (Benson) and Arthur Wolff Sr., on Dec. 26, 1952.
In 1991, he married Laura Monroe in Grand Junction.
Mr. Wolff had worked in Durango and Grand Junction as a mail carrier and mechanic for the United States Postal Service. He was also a self-employed mechanic, and his family said mechanics were his passion. After moving to Romeo (a small town south of Alamosa), he was a volunteer firefighter with the Romeo Fire Department.
His hobbies were taking things apart, fixing things and working as a jack of all trades. He enjoyed hunting and reading. Mr. Wolff had been a member of The Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 270 in Grand Junction since 1989.
"Arthur was a very kind and giving person," his family wrote, "and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He loved people."
Mr. Wolff is survived by his wife, Laura Wolff, of Romeo; sons Rick Wolff of Grand Junction and Robert Wolff of Pennsylvania; daughters Tammy Fanch of Arvada, Shannon Wolff of Thornton, Samantha Wolff of Romeo and Elizabeth Brath of Collbran; sisters Joan Haga of Ignacio, Jean Miller of Apache Junction, Ariz., and Bonnie Carpenter of Tempe, Ariz.; 13 grandchildren; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Cremation has occurred. A celebration of Mr. Wolff's life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at the Romeo Fire Department in Romeo. Burial of Mr. Wolff's ashes will take place at a later date in Durango.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthur Wolff Jr. Memorial Fund, c/o First Southwestern Bank, 720 Main St., Alamosa, CO 81101.