Obituaries – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:56:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Obituaries – The Pagosa Springs SUN 32 32 Brenda Lee Wood Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:56:24 +0000 In memory of Brenda Lee Wood, who passed away surrounded by her loved ones on June 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The daughter of Martha and Harold “Bull” Phillips, she was born in Pagosa Springs on Dec. 13, 1964. She met the love of her life, Dusty Wood, and they ran Superior Car and Home Audio store right on main street for over 10 years. They have three children; Doss, Devin and Asia. After spending her whole life in Pagosa, Brenda and Dusty decided to move their business to Arizona in 2007. 

Brenda had such a kind heart and adopted many abused dogs and they fell in love with her kindness and adored her. 

Her beautiful heart and kind spirit was something she was known for. She would always give her time and love to anyone who needed it. 

 She is survived by her husband, Dusty; children Doss, Devin and Asia; her sisters, Bonnie Phillips and MaryAnn Robles; her niece and nephew, Lee Ann Martinez and Barry Robles.

A funeral will be held June 7 for close family and friends.

 To our beautiful Nina, you will be deeply missed and although our hearts are broken, your example of love will forever be cherished.

Glen Daryl Rayburn Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:54:58 +0000 Glen Daryl Rayburn went to be with Jesus on June 14. Glen was the son of Gerald and Sylva Rayburn, and he was born in Seaside, Ore., on Dec. 11, 1952. Raised in Akron, Ohio, Glen was a graduate of North High School and received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Youngstown State University. He served in the U.S. Army in South Korea. One of Glen’s most memorable positions was when he was the maintenance supervisor at St. Thomas Hospital in Lima, Ohio. Glen married his love, Pam Reynolds-Day, in November 2012 and they worshiped at First Assembly of God now Open Door Church. He was an avid photographer and loved nature. Glen was known for his great faith and love for the Lord and was loved by everyone that knew him. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Lola Rayburn. Glen is survived by his wife, Pam; daughters Jessica Rayburn and Rachael Rayburn; step-daughter Roxanna Wills (Jake); siblings Beth Baca (Tony), Gerry Rayburn, Roberta Baker (Dave); as well as two grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews. There will be a Celebration of Life for Glen on Friday, July 3, at 10 a.m. at Open Door Church, 110 Trinity Lane, Pagosa Springs, Colo. For those out of town and social distancing, Glen’s service will be recorded and an online link will be made available following the service. Contact Open Door Church for the link. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mercy Hospice House. Contact the Mercy Health Foundation online at or call (970) 764-2800.

Virginia L. Martinez Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:54:11 +0000 Funeral arrangements for Virginia L. Martinez are on July 13. Service will start at 11 a.m. at Calvary South Denver Church, 9052 W. Ken Caryl Ave., Littleton, CO 80128. Then Mom will be put to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Mom lives on in the memories of her six children, two stepsons, 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, three brothers and three sisters, nephews, nieces, primos, primas (cousins) and extended family. Mom was taken from us unexpectedly. 

We send everyone our love. Thank you for the support and all the prayers we have received to help get us through this most difficult time, as life has been most unusual and challenging. Our Lord Jesus Christ has guided us to navigate through this COVID-19 pandemic crises. Join us on July 13. We will be practicing safety. Masks and social distancing in a large church. Live streaming will be available through the Calvary South Denver website.

Waldo Gomez Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:52:47 +0000 Lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Waldo Gomez, 68, left us to be with the Lord on June 11. He was born Uvaldo Arcenio Ribera to Juan Mauricio and Maxine Ribera on Sept. 30, 1951, in Durango, Colo. Due to family circumstances, his parents allowed him to be raised by Mike and Edalia Gomez from a toddler and later adopted by Edalia at age 12.

In 1977, Waldo married Elizabeth Lucas and they had two children: Elizabeth and Shonna. Then in 1983, he married Maxine Albo-Lujan and they had three children: Virgil, Michael and Leanne.

Waldo loved music. He loved to dance and sing. He tinkered with many instruments, but he loved to play the guitar. He was very artistic and creative. He was a builder/carpenter for most of his life. He helped build a lot of buildings and houses in and around Pagosa Springs and Durango, most recently Pagosa Springs’ new high school. His last job was at the Spring Inn until he could no longer work due to health issues. Many have mentioned they will miss seeing him in the grocery store, walking around town or riding his bike. He loved Pagosa Springs. He loved nature and the mountains he grew up in. Most of all, he loved his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his family members: Mauricio Ribera, Mike Gomez, Edalia Gomez, infant older sister Maria Anna Ribera, nephew Gabriel Ribera and former wife Maxine Albo-Lujan.

Waldo is survived by his mother, Maxine Ribera; all three daughters and two sons; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; brothers Mauricio, Dan, Patrick, Chris and Val Ribera; sisters Maxine Sena, Ramona Perue, Irene, Arabella and Josephine Ribera; step-siblings: Teresa Melendez, Ramona Rogers and Jose Echavarria; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.

A memorial Mass was held on June 16 at John Paul II Catholic Church. Graveside services will be held at Hilltop Cemetery at a later date to be announced.

Patricia Dee Gammill Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:51:55 +0000 We said goodbye to Patricia Dee Gammill on June 27, after an amazing life. She was born Sept. 5, 1940, in Whittier, Calif., and became Patt to everyone who came in contact. She moved around with her family including three brothers and graduated high school in Omaha, Neb. From there, she attended Denver’s Women College with a degree in music; and it is there she met and married Gerald Hunter Gammill on June 9, 1960, after his graduation from the Air Force Academy. Through her life as a military wife, she established lifelong friends who remember her fondly and became an advocate for animals in need. During this time, her three children experienced her devotion to them as well as housing temporarily a host of ducks, birds, dogs, cats, and saw her save snakes and any creature living.

Patt was an avid tennis player well into her 60s and instilled the sport to her three children. Upon her move back to Colorado in 2005, Patt began volunteering her time and energy to the Special Olympics and reacquainted her love for skiing. There are many family trips to Pagosa resulting in “Nana” skiing with her grandkids and kids. She also established great friendships in Pagosa through her church, her neighborhood and canasta group. Patt’s contributions throughout her life are far too many to mention, but she loved to help anyone and anything in need. She had a tremendous heart that will be greatly missed.

Patt and Gerry recently celebrated their 60th anniversary on June 9, and was able to celebrate virtually with all of her family members which gave all of her kids and grandkids the opportunity to speak of her wonderful impact on their lives. She even got to see her 2-year-old great-grandson. Patt was special to each grandchild through her singing “Fuzzy, Slimy Worms,” frequent visits and reading specially selected books. One grandchild wrote, “Nana was an amazing, caring person who inspired me to love unconditionally as she did all her family.”

Patt leaves behind her husband, Gerald Gammill; son Greg Gammill (Terry), and their three kids, Taylor (Gabi) and their son Declan, Chandler and Chris; daughter Sharon Wilhite (Ron) and their two children, Claire and Cole; and daughter Jill Milliner (Monty) and their children, Hunter (Rebeca) and Kearby. Patt is also survived by two brothers, George and Kent Van Kleeck and many nieces and nephews. Patt is preceded in death by her parents, George and Mary Van Kleeck, as well as brother Loren Van Kleeck.

There will be a celebration of her life on Saturday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at Centerpoint Church, 2772 Cornerstone Drive, Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Memorial donations may be made to the humane society of your choice.

George R. Esterly Thu, 25 Jun 2020 21:00:22 +0000 George R. Esterly was born Feb. 19, 1931, in Carthage, Mo., to Dr. George B. and Louise Esterly and died on June 16 in Green Valley, Ariz. George was the oldest of four children. He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Mary Louise Smerdon and Virginia May Larson; wife Judy; and daughter Ellen. He is survived by his brother, William Esterly; daughter Jan Herzog, and her husband, Mitch Herzog; grandchildren Peter, Andrew and Sarah; and a beloved friend and soulmate, Helen Russo. 

After high school, George received a BS from Southwest Missouri State University and a MS from Trinity University. 

George served as a psychologist in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1956. Following his time in the service, George worked as a high school guidance counselor. Following his retirement as a guidance counselor, he became a certified financial advisor. 

George lived in Pagosa Springs for many years before moving to Green Valley. George had been active in community activities. He volunteered at the White Elephant and the Sahuarita/Green Valley Chamber of Commerce.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Green Valley. 

May God bless the memory of George R Esterly.

Donations may be made in George Esterly’s memory to the Salvation Army and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

Louis Ruben Perez Jr. Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:00:50 +0000 Celebrating the life of Louis Ruben Perez Jr., also known as “Sonny” and “Ruben.”

Born June 28, 1934, and passed peacefully in his sleep at home with family by his side on June 12 at 85 years old, he is now home with his Heavenly Father.

Louis was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and had many friends and relatives who loved him dearly. In addition to raising his children, he was a mentor and father figure to many. Louis was a fishing and hunting enthusiast and enjoyed dancing, telling lifetime stories, bringing family together, barbecues and dessert.

Louis was born in Pueblo, Colo., and later moved to San Diego, Calif., with his former wife, Dee Peralta. With this union, they had four children: daughters Susie Perez (Jurgen), Penny Perez (Anthony), and Jerris Perez (Daniel); son Louie Perez; and from a previous relationship, daughter Sharon Vigil (Antonio). In 1972, he met and married his love of 47 years, Gloria Lujan, and raised her two daughters, Lori Chavez and Tricia Perez (Jody).

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Perez; brother Roy Perez (Barbara); mother-in-law Emma Lujan; 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Luis and Maria Perez; sister Irene Sandoval; and brother Rudolph Perez; grandson Derek Mize; son-in-law Danny Jiron; and father-in-law Santana Lujan.

Louis starting working at a very young age in a variety of trades. His adult life included CF&I Steel Mill, Colorado State Hospital and he was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps on Aug. 4, 1961, after eight years of service. He worked at Solar Turbines in San Diego, Calif., from 1966 to 1998 and, upon retirement, he moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo., where he began work at the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office.

Louis built a new home in Pagosa Springs to enjoy retirement years with his wife, Gloria, and keeping his promise to bring her back to her home town to be close to her parents and siblings.

Celebration of Life services will be Friday, June 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., with viewing at Hood Mortuary, 2017 Eagle Drive, Pagosa Springs, (970) 444-5439. Saturday, June 20, from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. will be viewing/eulogy; 9:30 a.m. Mass at Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, 353 S. Pagosa Blvd., Pagosa Springs CO 81147, 731-5744.

Church seating will be limited and the service will be streamed to the church gazebo outside, where you will need to bring your own seating. The service will be taped for viewing on the Hood Mortuary website:

Barbara Lee Ackman Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:00:47 +0000 Barbara Lee Ackman, age 76, after a long struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, passed away on June 5 at her home in San Antonio Texas. Barbara grew up in Oakdale, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh and kept fond memories of Pittsburgh during her life in California, Pagosa Springs, Colo., and San Antonio Texas. She had three boys, Mike, Tim and Mark Fasenmyer. She was the loving grandmother of Nichole, Mechelle, Alex and Nicholas Fasenmyer, whom she was instrumental in raising; the great-grandmother to Lynden, Mariano and Barry and the loving family of Diane, Emily and Katie. She will be missed by all the people she touched and remembered for her passion for sweets, strength of character and unyielding tenacity to live her life the way she chose to. Barbara will be celebrated by her family in a private gathering on Aug. 1 in Camden, Texas.

Mamie Lynch Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:00:40 +0000 Born Mamie Ruth Holder in Winthrop, Ark., on May 9, 1932, and departed this earth on June 4, at the age of 88. Mamie was a woman ahead of her time and a true trailblazer. Mamie was offered a contract with a women’s professional traveling basketball team, The All-American Redheads, prior to finishing high school. The school allowed her to begin traveling with the team at mid-season and then return in May for graduation. You can imagine the amazing experience of a rural girl, who had scarcely been out of her county, getting on a bus and meeting up with the team in Montana. Her team played over 200 games a year, always against the best men’s team local towns could put up. The Redheads were part comedy and basketball trickery, but they were also highly skilled players. She played two seasons with the Redheads, still managing to graduate valedictorian, before moving to Colorado with her family where she met and married Doug Lynch.

Shortly after her children were born, Mamie became a working mother. In 1958, she started working for the Archuleta School District as a secretary and quickly became one of the few women in the role of school finance manager in the state. Mamie worked for the district for over 20 years and was known for her financial acumen and tight budget controls. I’ve been told that if anyone in the district got a note in red pen saying “see me” signed Mamie R. Lynch, you knew a budget issue was going to be firmly discussed. 

Around the time of her retirement from the district, an effort had been initiated to build a new high school gymnasium. Mamie’s financial skills in securing bond funding and a repayment plan within an existing budget was so impressive to district leadership that the gym, now the middle school main gym, was named after her. If you attended basketball games in the ‘60s at the original Pagosa High Gym, you’ll remember that Mamie was a fixture there serving as the official scorer for all basketball games over many years.

Upon retirement from the schools, Mamie started her second act and it was a grand one. She ran for Archuleta County Commissioner in the mid-1980s and won, becoming the first woman to be elected to that position in this county. She loved the work and thrived in this new role. She was known for being a good listener, a highly principled decision maker and a true nonpartisan servant to the community she loved. After a string of victories in many of life’s arenas, Mamie was defeated when she sought re-election by some outside carpetbagger whose name I can’t recall. This is worth mentioning because it illustrates the amazing resilience she displayed throughout her life. After sitting out of politics for a few years and entering her 70s, she decided to run again. She was a tireless campaigner, knocking on every door in the county, and then won for a second time. Mamie would say that being commissioner was the best job she ever had. She always spoke most fondly of serving with Bob Formwalt and Jerry Martinez because politics took a back seat to doing what was best for the county.

During those years between commissioner terms, Mamie also served as the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and served on the school board and the Mary Fisher Hospital board. Mamie was a charter member of the Round-up Board at LPEA and is still remembered fondly for her compassion and dedication. Mamie was a devoted Rotarian and served the club as president. She was also grand marshal for the Fourth of July parade on two occasions and was executor of the Ruby Sisson estate and managed that scholarship fund for two decades.

When not working and serving in these public roles, Mamie grew a fantastic garden and used her early evening gardening sessions to relax and de-stress. She took great pride in her garden as she did every other aspect of her life. Many have admired her bountiful garden on Hermosa Street, with one observer noting, “only the Anasazi and Mamie Lynch can grow corn in this climate.”

Mamie was a one-of-a-kind grandmother who was always up for cooking, teaching and playing endless hours of board games. She truly was always willing and eager, whether that was making homemade ice cream, fried green tomatoes or calzones the size of your head. She always joked, but never followed through on selling grandchildren to the circus. Mamie was a sounding board for her grandchildren, listening without judgment and giving sage advice. There was no wound or hurt that she could not assuage. She was someone who always made things better. 

Quiet times on winter evenings were spent knitting, reading and doing puzzles. Up until the last weeks of her life, her mind was sharp as a tack and she exercised it by completing the crossword puzzle published in The SUN every week.

Mamie will be deeply missed by her family and everyone that knew her and her memory will live on for all of us who love our families and believe in serving the community in which we live; she is everlasting. 

Mamie was one of 10 children and is survived by sisters Thelma McMinn and Francis Homan. Her children are Loretta Parks, Linda Cahill, Steve Lynch, Bob Lynch (Livia Lynch) and Patty Wagner. 

Her grandchildren are Nicki Parks, Steve Cahill, Chris Cahill (Catie Cahill), Jamie Cahill, Jessica Lynch, Mesa Lynch, Cade Wagner and Kelsey Wagner.

Great-grandchildren are Jordyn Parks, Miles Cahill, Olivia Cahill and Alec Cahill. Many nieces and nephews always enjoyed spending time with their “favorite” aunt.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Douglas Lynch; her son, Steve Lynch; two infant sisters; her parents, Robert and Jewel Holder; and siblings Mozelle Herman, Mabel Dunnigan, Robert Holder, Florence Hovland and Roy Holder.

A celebration of the amazing life Mamie lived will be held later in the year when we can gather safely in her yard on Hermosa Street. The family will post a notice when a date has been set.

In Memoriam Lujan Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:00:34 +0000 Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure; you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

In memory of Santana Lujan, June 16, 2016.