Miscellaneous LaPlata County, Colorado Obituaries


First Name:
Last Name:
John Robert ‘Bob’ White
March 31, 1998
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Dahl Funeral Chapels in Billings, Mont., for John Robert "Bob" White, who died Tuesday, March 31, 1998, of a heart attack. He was 85.
Mr. White was born Nov. 28, 1912, in Owens County, Indiana. He moved with his parents to Deaver, Wyo., in 1918. He attended the University of Wyoming, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He later became a newspaperman in communities throughout Wyoming.
He also worked at the Billings Gazette and Minneapolis Tribune and served as managing editor of the Durango Herald-News and editorial page editor of the Farmington Daily Times. In the 1950s he began the Four Corners Information Service and covered Utah’s booming uranium mining industry from Moab, Utah.
A position as public relations officer for the Southern Ute Tribe in Ignacio led to his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which began in 1961. He became superintendent of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and ended his career at the BIA in Billings.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Inez (Fillerup) White, and his brother, Richard C. "Dick" White.
He is survived by three daughters, Claudeen Wert of Aurora, Laura McLane of Seattle and Vennie White of Grandview, Wash.; four sons, Lane White of Denver, Joe White of Billings, Vernon White of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Scott White of Seattle; two sisters, Jeanne Haas of Tucson, Ariz., and Ruth Hutcheson of Burbank, Calif.; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Parmly Billings Library, 510 N. Broadway, Billings, MT 59101 or Billings Food Bank, P.O. Box 1158, Billings, MT 59103.

Donald Edward Wester
March 31, 1998
Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at First Southern Baptist Church in Durango for Donald Edward Wester, who died Tuesday, March 31, 1998, in Denver. He was 64.
The Rev. Lee Underwood will officiate.
Mr. Wester was born Jan. 7, 1934, in Bennett, Wis. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years.
Mr. Wester married Jean Marie East.
Mr. Wester graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor of science degree in biology. He was president and past member of the Four Corners Gem and Mineral Club. He enjoyed rockhounding in the Four Corners region for the past 21 years.
Mr. Wester was a retired Durango School District 9-R bus driver for the past 21 years.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Marie Wester of Durango; daughter, Deborah Kaye Anderson of North Canton, Ohio; sons, Glen Andrew Wester of San Jose, Calif., and Keith Douglas Wester of Denver; and three grandchildren.

Elias Valencia
March 31, 1998
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ogden, Utah, for Elias Valencia, who died Tuesday, March 31, 1998, at his home in Ogden, Utah. He was 58.
Burial will be in the Ogden City Cemetery.
Vigil service with Rosary will be offered at 6 p.m. today at Larkin & Sons Mortuary in Ogden.
Mr. Valencia was born Oct. 17, 1939, in Durango.
He married Shirley Esquibel, his wife of 34 years, in Durango. They later moved to Ogden, where they lived for the past 32 years.
Mr. Valencia worked for Hill Air Force Base for 28 years.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Valencia of Ogden, Utah; daughters, Michelle Bird, Darlene Barrera and Stephanie Valencia, all of Ogden, Utah; five grandchildren; brothers, Marion Valencia of Littleton, Colo., Sal Valencia of Aurora, Colo., and Ben Valencia of Durango and sisters, Mary Garcia of Durango and Sarah Moormann of Ogden, Utah. 

Zebuleon Jason Brown
March 30, 1998
Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Crestview Cemetery for Zebuleon Jason Brown, who died at birth Monday, March 30, 1998, at Centura Health-Mercy Medical Center.
Mr. Gene Chapin will officiate.
Zebuleon was the infant son of Mary Ellen and Les Brown of Ignacio.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mary Pearson, in May 1997.
In addition to his parents, survivors include his sisters, Eliza and Brenna of the family home in Ignacio; grandparents, Harry Pearson of Ignacio and Casey and Jean Brown of Ignacio; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Michael James Maloney
March 29, 1998
Services will be 10:30 a.m. today at Crist Mortuary Chapel in Boulder for Michael James Maloney, who died Sunday, March 29, 1998, in a ski accident in Whitefish, Mont. He was 46.
Mr. Maloney was born Dec. 3, 1951, in Colorado Springs. He graduated from Nederland High School in 1970. He did his pre-med studies at Fort Lewis College and the University of Colorado at Boulder, completed medical school in the Dominican Republic and attended Creighton University, Maimonides National Jewish Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh.
He served in the U.S. Army as a pharmacist.
Mr. Maloney was originally a practicing pediatrician in Farmington, N.M. He completed further studies to become an anesthesiologist, practicing in Kentucky, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Maloney married Judith Ann Jaynes Dec. 24, 1996, in Winter Park, Colo.
Survivors include his wife, Judith Ann Jaynes Maloney of South Fulton, Tenn.; father, Leo J. Maloney of Durango; mother, Joyce Gillis of San Francisco; son, Nathan Maloney of Boulder, Colo.; daughter, Julie Fager of Minot, N.D.; brothers, Matthew Maloney of Boulder, Colo., Martin Maloney of Montrose, Colo., and Murdoch Maloney of Durango; sisters, Mairi Maloney of Tucson, Ariz., Margaret Hutt of Montrose, Colo., Monica Maloney of Denver, and Melanie Maloney Richardson of Broomfield, Colo.; and one grandson.
Memorial donations may be made to Children’s Hospital, 1056 E. 19th Ave., Denver, CO 80218.

Harriet Pfrang Davidson
March 29, 1998
Harriet "Hattie" Pfrang Davidson died Sunday, March 29, 1998, at The Valley Inn nursing home in Mancos. She was 96.
Mrs. Davidson was born March 23, 1902, near Westmoreland, Kan. She and her husband, Francis Davidson, were longtime residents of Manhattan, Kan.
Following her husband’s death in 1993, Mrs. Davidson moved to Durango to be near her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Dr. Marie Davidson.
Survivors include her son, Michael Davidson of Durango; and two granddaughters.
Plans are under way for a memorial celebration and interment in Manhattan, Kan.

Josephine M. Sponsel
March 27, 1998
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Columba Catholic Church for Josephine M. Sponsel, a longtime Durango resident, who died Friday, March 27, 1998, at her home in Durango. She was 91.
The Rev. Mike McCleary will officiate at services. Recitation of the rosary will be 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Ms. Sponsel was born Oct. 31, 1906, in the Thompson Park area of La Plata County. She graduated from Durango High School and the University of Northern Colorado. She was a member of the first class of women bank officers to be admitted to a graduate school of banking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1958.
She was senior vice president of Burns National Bank where she was the first woman bank officer in Durango. After 47 years at Burns, she transferred to the First National Bank of Durango as vice president until she retired in 1985.
She was a member of the Four Corners Rose Society, American Association of University Women and La Plata Historical Society.
She is survived by one sister, Cecilia J. Sponsel of Durango, and many nieces and nephews.
Contributions may be made to the Sponsel Scholarship Fund of St. Columba School, 1801 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301 or any charity of one’s choice. 
Maude F. Asselstine
March 24, 1998
Maude F. Asselstine died Tuesday, March 24, 1998, in Durango. She was 91.
Per Mrs. Asselstine’s wishes, there was cremation, and she requested no services.
Mrs. Asselstine was born July 10, 1906, in Richmond, Ontario. 
Mrs. Asselstine was a registered nurse, and she belonged to several nursing associations.
Survivors include her husband, Gordon Asselstine of Durango; son, Wesley Asselstine of Durango; daughter, Wanda McCollar of Heidelburg, Germany; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 East Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301, or to Mercy Progressive Care, 375 East Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Orian Leon Box
March 23, 1998
Graveside services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Ouray Memorial Cemetery for Orian Leon Box, a former Southern Ute tribal councilor, who died Monday, March 23, 1998, at his home near Bayfield after an extended illness. He was 54.
Mr. Box was born March 31, 1943, in Ignacio to the Mouache and Capote bands of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. His parents were Fritz Bent Box, also a former tribal councilor, and Pearl Posey Box.
Mr. Box graduated from Bayfield High School in 1962 and Adams State College. 
Mr. Box was an artist and involved in the powwow circuit. He was a two-term member of the Southern Ute Tribal Council. At the time of his death, he was assistant director of the Southern Ute Museum.
Mr. Box was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Clyde; and a sister, Lena.
He is survived by his wife, Jann; a daughter, Lindsay Box of Bayfield; a brother, Greg Box of Bayfield; five sisters, Shirley Esparza, Karen Box, Joyce Frost and Ernie Watts, all of Ignacio, June Box of Portland, Ore., and Alvina Spencer of Boise, Idaho; three stepchildren, Cindy Phillips, Becky Canterbury and Clint Smith, all of Ignacio; and five step-grandchildren. 

Lawrence M. Chastain
March 22, 1998
Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hood Mortuary for Lawrence M. Chastain, who died Sunday, March 22, 1998, in Durango. He was 77.
Mr. Guy Orbison Jr. will officiate. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Mr. Chastain was born May 8, 1920, in Breen. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945.
Mr. Chastain worked for La Plata County for 13 years in road maintenance. He also worked for La Plata Electric Association for 24 years and farmed on Florida Mesa for 40 years.
Survivors include his wife, Bernice Chastain of Durango; daughters, Bonnie Mellott and Thelma Hoover, both of Durango, Fern Shahan of Chromo, Beverly Hoover of Montrose and Shirley Jeter of Belen, N.M.; sisters, Thelma Chastain and Mae Reusink, both of Durango, and Alta Mainer of Washington, D.C.; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Mercy, 375 E. Park Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Jessie Perotti
March 20, 1998
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Daniel Catholic Church in Ouray, Colo., for Jessie Perotti, who died Friday, March 20, 1998, in Phoenix, Ariz. She was 88.
Rosary service will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at the church. Visitation will be 8 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church. Burial will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Ms. Perotti was born Feb. 14, 1910, in Portland, Colo. She worked in aircraft factories during World War II in Arizona.
Ms. Perotti lived in Durango since 1950. She worked as a waitress and was retired, living in Tamarin Square.
Survivors include her brother, Lawrence Perotti of Colorado; sisters, Louise Fellin of Washington and Stella Myers of Colorado; four nephews; three nieces and several great-nephews and great-nieces.
Marion Louise Rietveld
March 20, 1998
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hood Mortuary Chapel for Marion Louise Rietveld who died Friday, March 20, 1998, in Durango. She was 81.
The Rev. Mike McCleary will officiate at services. Visitation will be Wednesday morning prior to the service. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery.
Mrs. Rietveld was born Aug. 9, 1916, in Blue Island, Ill. She married William "Willys" Rietveld Nov. 16, 1940, in Harvey, Ill., before moving to Durango in 1956. She worked with her husband in their family construction business.
Mrs. Rietveld was a member of St. Columba Catholic Church and was active in the Altar and Rosary Society. She enjoyed fishing and gardening and devoted her life to her family.
She is preceded in death by her husband who died October 1995.
She is survived by her sons Willis and Robert Rietveld of Durango. 

G. Susano Silva
March 18, 1998
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. today at St. Ignatius Catholic Church for G. Susano Silva, who died Wednesday, March 18, 1998, in Ignacio. He was 72.
The Rev. Eddy Andary will officiate. Burial will be at the Ignacio Cemetery. 
Mr. Silva was born Sept. 30, 1925, in Ignacio.
He was employed as a carpenter.
Mr. Silva was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Martinez Silva.
Survivors include his stepdaughter, Beatrice Duran of Ignacio; a stepson, Paul Lucero Silva of San Jose, Calif.; brothers, Louis Silva of Fiat, N.C., Delfido Silva of Fallon, Nev., and Ross Silva of Bloomfield, N.M.; sisters, Emma Jaquez of Ignacio and Pauline Sanchez of Bayfield; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Donald Joseph Matney
March 14, 1998
Memorial services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Fort Lewis College Chapel for Donald Joseph Matney, a longtime Durango resident who died Saturday, March 14, 1998, in Durango after an extended illness. He was 69.
The Rev. John Knutson will officiate. 
Mr. Matney was born July 30, 1928, in Albuquerque. He was a disabled veteran of World War II, where he served in the Army Air Corps.
Mr. Matney married Betty Spalding July 7, 1947, in Los Lunas, N.M.
Mr. Matney was a member of the La Plata County Volunteer Fire Department. He was very active in city softball and was also the founder of the women’s softball league.
Mr. Matney was preceded in death by a son, Patrick Matney and by a daughter, Carol Matney.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Matney of Durango; daughters, Anna Anderson of Durango and Janey Matney of Denver; sons, Donald Matney, Paul Matney, Steven Matney and Christopher Matney, all of Durango; sister, Joann Mickelson of Durango; 14 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to the Donald J. Matney Memorial Fund, c/o Bank of Durango, P.O. Drawer G, Durango, CO 81302.

Iva L. Fox
March 14, 1998
Private cremation services were held at Durango Cremation Service for Iva L. Fox, a longtime Durango resident who died Saturday, March 14, 1998, at Four Corners Health Care Center. She was 88.
Mrs. Fox was born July 18, 1909, in Ansley, Neb.
Survivors include her sons, Merle Mehring, former manager of King Center Laundry, now of Mora, N.M., and Gerry Mehring of Durango; 30 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Norman Stephen Payson
March 12, 1998
Norman Stephen Payson, a longtime resident of Bayfield, but recently of Silverton, died Thursday, March 12, 1998, in Silverton. He was 96.
There will be cremation. Mr. Payson has requested no memorial services.
Mr. Payson was born March 4, 1902, in Telluride. He came to Bayfield in 1928. He was a rural mail carrier in the Pine River Valley. He retired in 1968 after carrying the mail for 39 years. 
Mr. Payson enjoyed wildlife and was a sports hunter. 
Mr. Payson married Sophie E. Coon from Siloam Springs, Ark., in May 1933 in Claremore, Okla.
He was preceded in death by his wife and one son, Ellery Dean Payson.
Survivors include his daughters, Fadona M. Rhoades of Silverton and Sylvia Payson of Clayton, N.M.; one son, Gary L. Payson of Bloomfield, N.M.; a half-brother, Frank Willbanks of Pueblo; two nephews; and two nieces.
In the spring, Mr. and Mrs. Payson’s ashes will be scattered over Cave Basin in Colorado.

Amanda Stewart Lechleiter
March 12, 1998
Funeral services will be today at Menoken Christian Church in Montrose, Colo., for Amanda Stewart Lechleiter of Montrose, who died Thursday, March 12, 1998, after a long illness. She was 94.
Mrs. Lechleiter was born Jan. 4, 1904, in Cameron, Mo. She moved to Adair, Okla., in 1909 where she attended grade school. In 1919, the family relocated to Colorado and she attended high school in Norwood and Delta. She graduated from Western State College at Gunnison and began teaching at Coal Creek School in Montrose, where she met her husband, Henry Lechleiter, whom she married in June 1926.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1966.
She is survived by her son, Stewart Lechleiter; sisters, Bettie Gregg and Helen Leonardelli of Durango; brothers, Forest Stewart of Montrose and Everett Stewart of Grand Junction, Colo., several great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews. 
Mae B. Dengler
March 11, 1998
No services are planned for Mae B. Dengler, who died Wednesday, March 11, 1998, in Durango. She was 94.
Mrs. Dengler was born Oct. 10, 1903, in Robesonia, Pa. She was a homemaker. 
Mrs. Dengler’s granddaughters, Jill and Gina Brazell had lived with her for 25 years in Durango.
Mrs. Dengler was preceded in death by her husband, Madison Dengler.
Survivors include her daughter, Deanna Brazell of Durango; son, Madison Dengler of Decorah, Iowa; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Neil Arthur Edstrom
March 10, 1998
Services will be 4 p.m. today at Miller Funeral Home in Gunnison for Neil Arthur Edstrom, who died Tuesday, March 10, 1998, at his home in Gunnison after a brief struggle with cancer. He was 70.
A reception will follow at 5 p.m. at St. Peter’s Parish Hall in Gunnison.
Mr. Edstrom was born Jan. 14, 1928, in Two Harbors, Minn., and graduated from high school there in 1946. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Japan with the Occupation Forces of World War II. After military discharge, he worked as a section hand on the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad before attending Hamlin University in St. Paul and then the University of Minnesota in Duluth. He then transferred to the School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in forestry in 1953.
Mr. Edstrom’s entire career with the U.S. Forest Service was in Region 2 in Colorado. His first assignment was as a timber survey specialist in Pagosa Springs in 1954.
He married Karen Snyder April 26, 1958.
In 1966, Mr. Edstrom was assigned to the Tomichi District in Gunnison, and while there, he also served as Taylor River District Ranger. In 1975, he was transferred to the Animas District in Durango, where he retired from the Forest Service in 1981. The family later returned to Gunnison.
Survivors include his wife, Karen Edstrom of Gunnison; children, Eric Edstrom of Missoula, Montana, and Svea Whiting, Andrew Edstrom and Sven Edstrom, all of Gunnison; two grandchildren; mother, Ethel Edstrom of Two Harbors, Minn.; sisters, Bonnie Tangen of Brainerd, Minn., and Janis Lundberg of Two Harbors, Minn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Gunnison Valley Hospice, c/o Hospice of the Gunnison Valley, 1400 W. Tomichi, Gunnison, CO 81230.

Helen Ida Caylor
March 9, 1998
Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Thursday at the Ertel Memorial Chapel in Cortez for Helen Ida Caylor, a lifelong Mancos resident, who died Monday, March 9, 1998, at the Valley Inn Nursing Home. She was 92.
The Rev. Alane Griggs will officiate. Burial will follow at the Cortez Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Ertel Chapel.
Mrs. Caylor was born Nov. 7, 1905, in Cañon City, Colo. Her family moved to Mancos in 1910. She graduated from Mancos High School and continued her education at Adams State College in Alamosa.
Mrs. Caylor was a member of the United Methodist Church in Mancos. She was a teacher first at McPhee and then at Lebanon, where she met and then married Harold E. Caylor March 12, 1927.
Mrs. Caylor was preceded in death by her husband, and daughter Marion L. King.
She is survived by three children, Duain Caylor of Salt Lake City, Ronald N. Caylor of Daytona Beach, Fla., and Ivan B. Caylor of Raton, N.M.; three sisters, Geneva Cox and Ruth Brown, both of Mancos, and Winifred Mallett of Rangely, Colo.; two brothers, James Neeley of Cortez and Raymond Neeley of Farmington; 15 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Max Ortega Jr.
March 5, 1998
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at St. Daniel’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, Ariz., for Max Ortega Jr. who died Thursday, March 5, 1998, at his home in Scottsdale after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 65.
Mr. Ortega was born in 1932 in Holbrook, Ariz. He grew up in Lupton, Ariz., where his father had a trading post along Route 66. 
Mr. Ortega established Indian arts stores in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Silverton and Durango. He has traveled to Silverton each summer since 1974 when he opened a store there. 
Survivors include his wife, Mildred Ortega of Scottsdale; son, Max III; daughter Debra Ortega-Foster; brothers Armand, Gilbert and Dennis Ortega; sister Esther Andre; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a large extended family.
Edith Williamson Brochu
March 4, 1998
Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Fort Lewis College Chapel for Edith Williamson Brochu, who died Wednesday, March 4, 1998, in Durango. She was 68.
Mrs. Ginny Brown will officiate.
Mrs. Brochu was born Sept. 26, 1929, in Kansas City, Mo. She served as the Red Cross director for a MASH Unit during the Korean War.
Mrs. Brochu graduated from Kansas University and earned her doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She was a professor at Fort Lewis College for 25 years. 
Mrs. Brochu was a member of the Neo Delphian Sorority and PEO.
Survivors include her mother, Mrs. Blake A. Williamson of Kansas City, Kan.; sister, Dr. Betsy Chattaway of San Diego, Calif.; and a nephew and a niece.

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