Nicole Redhorse (6/12/2007)
Durango resident Nicole Redhorse, 34, died on Thursday, June 7, 2007. The cause of death has not been determined.
She was born to Kenneth and Winona Redhorse in Farmington on Nov. 24, 1972.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2007, at Cope Memorial Chapel, 404 W. Arrington in Farmington. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens in Farmington.
James Strahan (6/10/2007)
Former Durango resident James Strahan died in Eastland, Texas, on Tuesday, May 22, 2007. He was 87.
Mr. Strahan was born to James Howard and Emma Strahan in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 14, 1919.
On Aug. 7, 1939, he married Enid Green in Cottonwood, Texas.
Mr. Strahan worked in offshore drilling for a few years and then slowly worked his way to Farmington, where he bought a water-hauling business in the early 1950s.
In 1954, he purchased Mesa Transfer Moving and moved many families in and out of Durango during the late 1950s.
His family said that for some reason, the union heavies came to Durango in 1959 and were trying to force Mr. Strahan to join. They insinuated that unless he joined, his family might get hurt. Mr. Strahan refused to carry a gun, so he sold the business. The family moved to Riverton, Wyo., where Mr. Strahan continued in the moving business. They only stayed in Wyoming for two years before returning to Durango. Mr. Strahan became affiliated with North American Moving at that time and sold the business in 1980.
"His goal was to give customers the best move they ever had," his family wrote.
Mr. Strahan didn't have a lot of hobbies, so his family said he began attending auctions. They said he liked the adventure of who he would see, what he would buy and how much he saved.
His grandchildren enjoyed going over to the alley behind their grandparents' home and collecting rocks. The shiny ones they would just clean with water, but the plain, ugly ones they would paint a bright color. They said that Grandpa was always their first customer with cash in hand.
"He made a kid feel important and excited about being in Colorado," his family wrote. "Whenever a relative or friend of a friend stopped by to visit, they were guaranteed a trip to the mountains, and usually there was a special picnic in their honor."
Mr. Strahan's wife, Enid, died in 1997 a few days before their 58th anniversary. Within two years, he moved to Cross Plains, Texas. There he met and married Ann Case on June 28, 2003.
In addition to his wife, Enid Strahan, Mr. Strahan was preceded in death by his daughter Margaret Lewis.
He is survived by his daughter Janice Moore of Durango; son Jim Strahan of Durango; brothers Bruce Strahan of Waco, Texas, and Harold Strahan of Cottonwood, Texas; four granddaughters; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Cremation has occurred. There will be two memorial services, one in Durango and another in Texas, later this summer.
Rena J. Valdez (6/9/2007)
Former Durango resident Rena J. Valdez, 72, died in Las Vegas on Monday, May 14, 2007. She had been in poor health for many years.
Mrs. Valdez was born to Victor and Rosa DeVargas Jaramillo in Tierra Amarilla, N.M., on Aug. 25, 1934.
She married Dessie Valdez at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango on Aug. 25, 1950.
Mrs. Valdez worked for about 15 years at Community Hospital as a laundry assistant.
After moving to Beatty, Nev., in 1987, she continued the same kind of work at the Exchange Motel for 13 years.
In addition to being with her family, she enjoyed crocheting. Her family said that soon after moving to Nevada, going to the casinos became one of her favorite pastimes.
Mrs. Valdez was preceded in death by sons Leonard Valdez and Tommy Valdez.
She is survived by her husband, Dessie Valdez, of Beatty, Nev.; daughters Berlinda Mestas of Durango, Deidra Valencia of Ignacio, and Barbara Owen of Oklahoma City; sons Ron Valdez of Ridgecrest, Calif., and Ray Valdez of Beatty, Nev.; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren with one on the way.
A rosary will be recited in honor of Mrs. Valdez and her son Tommy Valdez, who died in October, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, 2007, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. A service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2007, also at Sacred Heart.
Alex Juan Rodriquez (6/9/2007)
Durango native Alex Juan Rodriquez died of respiratory failure at Mercy Regional Medical Center on Thursday, June 7, 2007. He was 61.
Known as "Coles," he was born to Juan and Virginia Rodriquez in Durango on Jan. 28, 1946.
On May 16, 1968, he married Frances Chavez.
He was a laborer with the Wieman Sawmill from 1960-1975.
He later worked in the construction industry before becoming the custodian at St. Columba Catholic Church, where he worked from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.
Mr. Rodriquez enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren. He also liked to watch the Denver Broncos and old Western movies.
Mr. Rodriquez is survived by his wife, Frances Rodriquez of Durango; son Alex Rodriquez Jr. of Durango; daughters Renee Rodriquez, Natalie Rodriquez Medina, Gina Rodriquez Tsosie and Britney Rodriquez, all of Durango; brothers Joe Rodriquez and Tony Rodriquez, both of Durango; sister Silvia Lucero of Las Vegas; 14 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Visitation will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2007, at Hood Mortuary. A rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 12, 2007, also at Sacred Heart. The Rev. Antonio Flores will be the celebrant. Mr. Rodriquez will be buried at Greenmount Cemetery next to his daughter-in-law Jennifer Rodriquez following the Mass.
Nelda A. Blood (6/9/2007)
Former Durango resident Nelda A. Blood died from complications of Alzheimer's disease at Sears Manor in Brunswick, Ga., on Dec. 14, 2006. She was 85.
Mrs. Blood was born on Feb. 13, 1921, in Pagosa Springs to Lloyd and Beulah Clark. She grew up there and graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.
She married George Blood.
In 1961, after her husband's death, Mrs. Blood and her family moved to Durango. She lived here for 42 years.
After moving to Georgia, she was a member of Glyndale Baptist Church of Brunswick.
Mrs. Blood was preceded in death by her husband, George Blood.
She is survived by her sons Norman Blood of Brunswick, Ga., and Sherman Blood of Kingman, Ariz.; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16, 2007, at the Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield.
Lucille Vivian Gibble (6/8/2007)
Lucille Vivian Gibble of Durango died at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango on Monday, June 4, 2007. She was 86.
Mrs. Gibble was born Aug. 13, 1920, to Emmett Glaze and Bertha Babeon Glaze in Stratton. She graduated from high school there and moved to Denver to work in her mother's cafĂ©.
On Dec. 7, 1941, she married Floyd Gibble. In 1953, the couple moved to Durango where they owned and operated Columbine Sales & Service, a drapery and home-decorating business. When they sold the business, Mrs. Gibble took a secretarial job at the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. She was there from Aug. 13, 1968, to Aug. 31, 1985, when she retired.
Mrs. Gibble's daughter, Linda Mrazek, said her mother's co-workers referred to her as "one of the most stabilizing forces in the department." Her mother had to be a social worker as well as a secretary, her daughter said.
Mrs. Gibble was active in the Church of Christ and sang at many weddings and funerals. She also was an avid golfer and was twice women's champion at Hillcrest Golf Course.
"She will be most remembered for her sense of humor and her positive outlook on life," Mrazek said.
Preceding Mrs. Gibble in death were her husband, Floyd Gibble, and son Stanley Gibble.
In addition to her daughter, Linda Mrazek of Yuma, Ariz., she is survived by her son Dennis Gibble of Durango: three grandchildren; two great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service is scheduled at 2 p.m. today, June 8, 2007, at Greenmount Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice of Mercy, 1970 East Third Avenue, Suite 100, Durango 81301.
Charles L. McClanahan (6/8/2007)
Durango resident Charles L. McClanahan died of cancer at his home on Monday, June 4, 2007. He was 83.
Mr. McClanahan was born to Charles and Eva McClanahan on May 23, 1924, in a house his father built in Graham, Okla. He attended local schools until his father was disabled as the Depression ended. Mr. McClanahan was 15 years old and went to work in a local bakery to help support his family.
Later, during World War II, he joined the war effort by learning welding. The training took him to the shipyards in Richmond, Calif., where he helped build the Liberty Ships.
In 1943, at the age of 19, Mr. McClanahan enlisted in the Army Air Corps. As he was completing training and preparing to deploy to the Pacific Theater, he and childhood sweetheart, Winona Putman, married on Oct. 30, 1943, in Greensborough, N.C.
Mr. McClanahan served as a turret gunner on a B-25 with the 345th Bomb Group, 498th Squadron, known as "The Air Apaches." After the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, his plane flew over what he called the "totally destroyed" cities. As the war ended, his plane flew in the escort formation taking members of the Japanese Imperial Government to the formal surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor on Sept. 2, 1945. Mr. McClanahan was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant at the age of 21.
After his discharge, Mr. McClanahan worked for a time at Bethlehem Steel and then in the oilfields around Salem, Ill. In 1949, with the oil business booming in California, the McClanahan family moved to Long Beach. They remained in Southern California for nearly 50 years. Mr. McClanahan retired from Smith Oil Tools in 1987.
In 1991, Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan moved near their hometowns near Healdton, Okla., where they lived until 1999, when they moved to Durango to be near their daughters.
Mr. McClanahan enjoyed outings, vacations and camping trips with his family. His hobbies were organic gardening, beekeeping and tinkering in his garage, where his family said he could build and repair just about anything.
"He has always been my hero," his daughter Janice McCown said. "As a child, I thought my daddy could do anything, and that he was the strongest man in the world. I have always admired and respected my father immensely."
Mr. McClanahan was preceded in death by his sons Charles McClanahan Jr. and Rodney McClanahan.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Winona McClanahan, of Durango; daughters Janice McCown and Jenifer Douglas, both of Durango, and Carolyn Kidd of Moffat, Texas; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; several nieces and extended family.
Mr. McClanahan requested that cremation occur, and his ashes be spread on the Pacific Ocean to be united with those of his sons. A memorial service will follow at a later date in California with a Mariner's Farewell.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Battle Monuments Commission, National World War II Memorial, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 501, Arlington, VA., 22201.