William F. Distler
William F. Distler, 85, retired president of Climax Molybdenum Co., AMAX INC., died in Scottsdale, Ariz., on July 4. He was born in Denver, Colo.
In 1939, he graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and started working at the Climax Mine in 1953 as assistant mine superintendent.
In 1966, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
In 1977, he was awarded the “Distinguished Achievement Medal” by the Colorado School of Mines for significant achievements in the mineral industry.
During his career as a mining engineer, he worked his way through the ranks, from the Miami Copper Co. in Arizona; to manger of AMAX's highly acclaimed “Henderson Project” in Colorado; to president of the Molybdenum Division of AMAX. He retired in 1983.
He was one of the founders of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville.
He was a member of MMSA; AIME; CSM Alumni Association; Colorado Mining Association; and the Mining Club of the Southwest. He was a director of the Colorado National Bank of Denver and the Lutheran Medical Center Foundation. He is listed in Who's Who in America.
He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Della.
He is survived by his wife Marie, and her daughter, Zoe Frazier; children Bruce Distler; Emily (Thomas Kraus) Distler; Marilyn (Paul) Bugg; granddaughters Laura and Katie Bugg; and sister Letha Daniels.
A memorial service will be held Aug. 28. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Colorado School of Mines Foundation Scholarship Fund, 923 16th Street, Golden, CO 80401-0005.
Doris Jean Draper-Wooten
Doris Jean Draper-Wooten, 66, died May 21, 2003, after a three- month-long illness.
She was born in Enid, Okla., on Jan. 22, 1937, and grew up in Cleo Springs and Locust Grove, Okla.
She joined the WACs (Women’s Army Corps) when she was 18 years old.
She met her husband Jearl Dee Wooten in the service; they later separated.
She moved to Leadville in 1976 where she resided the rest of her life.
She was survived by a special friend of 28 years, James Talbert; her sister, Sarah Lorrita Martin, Pierce City, Mo.; a nephew in Fort Smith, Ark.; a niece in Springfield, Mo.; five grand nieces and nephews; one great grand niece; and many friends and relatives.
Sister Mary Elaine Murphy
Sister Mary Elaine Murphy, 90, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, formerly a teacher and principal, died on July 25, 2003, at Ross Hall, Mother House, Leavenworth, Kan.
Nora Murphy was born on June 8, 1913, in Leadville, one of eight children of Dennis and Julia Sullivan Murphy. She graduated from St. Mary’s Grade School and Leadville High School.
She entered the religious community of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth on July 8, 1940, and as Sister Mary Elaine, made her profession of vows on Jan. 9, 1942.
She received a B.S. in education from the University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, Kan.
After profession, she was a teacher, principal, and caregiver for children at various places in Colorado, Kansas and Montana. In 1988, she began her service as receptionist at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver.
She retired to Ross Hall in 1999.
She was preceded in death by her aunt, Sister Laurentia Sullivan, SCL.
She is survived by a sister, Margaret Murphy, Denver.
A vigil was held on July 27 in Ross Chapel of the Sisters of Charity Mother House in Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection was celebrated in Ross Chapel on July 28.
Interment followed in Mount Olivet Cemetery on the Mother House grounds.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Retirement Fund, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048-5054
Michael A. Eddy “Monster” Duarte
Michael A. Eddy “Monster” Duarte, 37, of Dillon died Wednesday, Nov. 12, at his home.
Duarte was born April 14, 1966, in Leadville. He grew up there and graduated from Lake County High School. He later attended Mesa State College in Grand Junction for one year and also attended an automotive specialty school in Missouri.
In 1999, Duarte moved to Summit County. He married his wife Laura on Dec. 31, 1999. He loved people, and his 15-year job as a United Parcel Service driver allowed him to make many friends. He loved being a prankster, and was always known for his smile. One of Duarte’s joys was to work on classic cars. He was a member of the Elks, the Eagles and Teamsters Local 17.
Duarte is survived by his wife Laura Duarte, Dillon; father Max Duarte and wife Mary, Leadville; mother Ruth Schafer and husband Henry, Las Vegas, Nev.; sister Jennifer Duarte, Laramie, Wyo.; brother Patrick (Amanda) Schafer, Denver; his mother and father-in-law Carol and Gary Ashurst, Aurora; sisters-in-law Connie (Brian) Brown, Aurora; and Rose Ashurst, Ft. Collins; brothers-in-law Shane Ashurst, Bryers, Colo.; and Daniel Ashurst, Missouri; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Annunciation Catholic Church with Father Jay Jung officiating.
Arrangements were under the direction of Rocky Mountain Funeral Home of Breckenridge.
Florence McNair Witt
Florence McNair Witt, 80, died on Dec 21, 2002 in Wheat Ridge,
She was born in Leadville on Feb 8, 1922, to Fred J. and Goldie
Raised in Leadville, she graduated from the University of
Northern Colorado at Greeley, where she earned her teaching
degree with a minor in business education.
Upon graduation, she returned to Leadville where she taught in
the public school system. She also joined the Naval Reserves
where she spent most of her career as a Russian interpreter. She
rose to the rank of Navy captain and retired as such.
She moved to Beatrice, Neb., to teach in the public school system
and married Forrest Kitch, the district manager for a utility
company and a Nebraska native.
After he died, she brought her mother, father and aunt to Beatrice
where she lived until her father died. They then moved to
Lincoln, Neb., where she took care of her mother and aunt until
She then married Karl Witt, a long time friend.
Her love of music caused her to open her house and heart to
individual students of music, particularly piano. Her desire was to
help them achieve their goals in music.
She was a member of Second Church of Christ Scientist, Lincoln,
and First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, as well as the
Delta Omicron Music Sorority; the Daughters of the American
Revolution; the Retired Naval Reserve; the National Mining Hall
of Fame and Museum; the Music Teachers National Assn.; and
the American Legion.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Arthur J.
McNair; and husband Karl Witt.
She is survived by nieces Adrienne McNair, Ithaca, N.Y.; and
Virginia McNair, Falls Church, Va.; nephews Fred P. McNair,
Woodland Hills, Calif.; and Wilson Chase, Bennett, Colo.;
stepdaughter Carolyn Spaulding, New-town, Conn.; and step
granddaughters Sandy Drayton, Dallas, Texas; and Penny
Hemphill, Fairfield, Conn.
A memorial service was held on Jan. 7 at Roper and Sons Funeral
Home in Lincoln, Neb.