Joseph Micheal Dwyer
In July 2003, Joe Dwyer was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He fought bravely and tirelessly with constant chemotherapy and radiation. He made himself available for numerous experimental treatments and became a pioneer for research in helping to find a cure for his disease. Through it all, Dwyer remained the kind, fun-loving and gentle man his family and friends will always remember.
Joseph Micheal Dwyer died Thursday, Dec. 29, surrounded by his family at his home in Leadville.
He was born in Leadville on Oct. 22, 1945. His parents were the late John and Margaret (Stark) Dwyer.
After graduating from Leadville High School in 1963, Dwyer went to CSU in Ft. Collins until he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served his country in the Vietnam conflict. Upon receiving an honorable discharge, Dwyer returned to Leadville.
On July 11, 1970, he married the former Mary Louise Champeau at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Park Hill. The marriage was officiated by Father Leo Smith.
Dwyer went to work for the Climax Molybdenum Mine, first as a data processor and then as a maintenance scheduler. He worked for Climax through its various shutdowns and reopenings until the mine closed for the last time. Dwyer also worked as a technician for the IRIS Company doing interactive conferences. This job took Dwyer all over the world and he enjoyed it very much. On occasion Dwyer’s nephews were able to travel with him and these trips were especially fun.
From 1993 to 1995, Dwyer owned and operated the restaurant “Mom’s Place” in Leadville.
He was employed at Parkville Water for over 15 years. His last position was as general manager. When Parkville needed a larger place, Dwyer was the impetus that got them into their new building. He continued to work there until his health would no longer permit and in December Dwyer made his last trip to the water company where he was able to see the office they were holding for him.
Dwyer was a collector of many things, especially coins, old mining paraphernalia and antique tools. He could fix anything and loved the many camping trips on the family’s 1880 mining claim. Though he lived nowhere near the ocean, Dwyer loved sailing. His family describes him as a “land-locked sailor.” Dwyer was also a powerful skier and biker having ridden in the Ride the Rockies Bike Tour several times. He was devoted to his family and was never happier than when he was doing something with them.
Dwyer was a past Exaulted Ruler of the Leadville B.P.O.E. #236 and was also a member of the local V.F.W. Dwyer is preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret, one son, Matthew who died as an infant and his stepfather, Edward Hasty, who raised Dwyer from the age of 8. He is survived by his wife Mary Lou in Leadville, two children Correen (Michael) Martinez in Greeley and Michael
Dwyer in Thornton. He is also survived by grandchildren, Christopher and Matthew Martinez; three sisters, Rose Marie (Don) Champeau in Gainsville, Ga., Margy (Virgil) Silver in Alameda, Calif. and Kathy (Jim) Achatz in Buena Vista; two brothers, Jack (Mary) Dwyer in Denver and Dennis (Sharon) Hasty in Leadville. Dwyer is also survived by nieces and nephews, Keith (Lisa) Champeau, Kieran (Lydia Ann) Champeau, Andrew (Cornel) Champeau, John (Patty) Dwyer, Ginny Dwyer and her son, Jordan, Tom (Kendra) Dwyer and son, Aidan, Stacey and Ted Achatz, Paul (Brandi) Hasty and their children Carolyn and Garrett and Shannon Hasty. The Rosary was recited on Sunday, Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. and Mass of Christian Burial was Monday, Jan. 2 at 10a.m., both at Annunciation Catholic Church in Leadville. Father Leo Smith officiated and Joan Dawson sang accompanied by Neil V. Reynolds. Dwyer was laid to rest in Elks Rest Cemetery with Military Honors by Ft. Carson Army Base and committal services by officers of the B.P.O.E. Lodge #236. Pallbearers were Keith, Kieran and Andrew Champeau, and John, Tom and Jordan Dwyer. Following the interment, a reception was held at the Leadville Elks Lodge.
Arrangement were handled by Bailey Funeral Home.
Those wishing may make memorial contributions in Dwyer’s name to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 1123 Chapala St., Suite 200, P.O. Box 91840, Santa Barbara, CA 93190-1840.
Western Colorado native, Frank Tucker, age 64, died Monday, Jan. 2 after a long and valiant battle with cancer, at his home in Montrose, surrounded by his wife, Debbie, their three daughters, Whitney, Morgan and Sloan Tucker, and his sister Judy (Glenn) Brice of Grand Junction.
A private family vigil is scheduled for Thursday evening, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. at Montrose Valley Funeral Home chapel, followed Friday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. with a Funeral Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Montrose.
Friends and family are invited to a visitation on Saturday, Jan. 7 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., to remember Tucker at the Montrose Valley Funeral Home. A final funeral service in honor of Tucker will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8 at Martin Mortuary in Grand Junction. Interment will follow Sunday’s service at Memorial Gardens in Grand Junction.
Montrose Valley Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Johnny R. Romero
Johnny R. Romero, 33, Ojo Sarco, N.M., died Jan. 22, 2005.
He was a student at Northern New Mexico Community College at the time of his death.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Leonarita Barela.
Romero is survived by his wife Angelina Gurule-Romero, Ojo Sarco; daughters Ivy Hope Romero, Alcalde, N.M.; and Brittany Romero, Ojo Sarco; son Tommy Lobato, Ojo Sarco; sister Lisa (Nova) Romero, Espanola, N.M.; parents John Romero, Vail; and Kathy Romero, Leadville; father-in-law Danny Gurule Sr.; mother-in-law Theresa Gurule; and brothers-in-law Danny and Randy Gurule.
Pallbearers were Rayben Sandoval, Sammy Cordova, Ronnie Trujillo, Danny Gurule Jr., Randy Gurule and Nova Romero. Honorary pallbearer was Tommy Lovato.
Funeral services were held Jan. 26, 2005, in Truchas, N.M.
Louis ‘Lou’ Babovich Jr.
Louis Babovich Jr., 73, died Feb. 17, 2005, at Deaconess Billings Clinic in Billings, Mont., surrounded by his family.
Babovich Jr. was born Nov. 25, 1931, in Leadville to Josephine (Hren) and Louis Babovich Sr.
He was raised in Leadville and graduated from Leadville High School. He attended the University of Colorado and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Babovich Jr. then entered the Army, serving his tour overseas. On Jan. 9, 1951, he married Patricia A. Dwyer. Together they raised four children in Los Alamos, N.M., where he worked for Zia Company. His work in human resources brought Babovich Jr. and his family to Billings in 1984 where he became the first human resources director for Yellowstone County until his retirement.
After retirement, he pursued his love of fishing on the Big Horn River, golfing and frequent trips to Las Vegas. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved wife of 48 years Pat; son Steven Louis; and sister Mildred Swarthout.Babovich Jr. is survived by his daughters Jennifer (Tim) Donovan, Laura Babovich and Rachel Eubank, all of Billings; and grandchildren Courtney and Ryan Donovan, April and Amber Eubank, Sarah Kearns and Elise Vopal.Memorials can be made to Big Sky Hospice, P.O. Box 35033, Billings, MT 59107 or charity of one’s choice.
Morris Howard Gay
Morris Howard Gay, 82, died Feb. 13, 2005, at his home in Leadville. He was born in Leadville on June 23, 1922 to Maurice A. and Ida Belle (Switzer) Gay who were ranchers and sheepherders on the Cavalli property, Turquoise Lake area and Tennessee Pass.
"Jr.,” as he was known, went to school at St. Mary's Catholic School in Leadville and then enlisted in the United States Army. He was involved in the Battles of Cologne, Brest, Remagen Bridge and the Battle of the Bulge. He was part of the 13th wave landing on Utah Beach on D-Day. He received the American Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal as well as the Good Conduct Medal. After being wounded, he was flown to England, which was the only time he was ever on an airplane in his life. Just before he returned to active duty, the war ended and Gay received his honorable discharge before returning to Leadville.
He went to work for the Climax Molybdenum Mine, working his way up to the position of Shift Boss in the ball mill. Gay retired from Climax in 1987.
Gay's hobby was truly his work. Almost from the time he could walk, he had a job and helped support the family. He only had a 6th grade education and could barely read or write but Gay raised his family, provided for them, was able to retire and got along very well, all without ever owning a credit card of any kind.
In his younger and healthier years, Gay enjoyed fishing, but arthritis eventually kept him away from the high lakes and he stayed busy closer to home.
Gay was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Ray, Bill, Alice. Shirley, Frieda and an infant; stepgrandson Kristopher Paul Brown; and his first wife Rose Stepisnik.
He is survived by children Sherrie (Bob) Clotworthy, Elko, Nev.; and Russell "Rusty" Gay, Denver; brother Laverne "Corky" Gay, Castlerock; grandchildren Heather (Ben) Steel; and Carrie Clotworthy; second wife Alice Lorraine (Thelin) Nellson, Nathrop; stepchildren Douglas Raymond (Jackie) Brown, Mack, Colo.; and Carol Lynn Johnson, Grand Junction; and stepgrandchildren Tammy Christine and Shanna Diane Johnson.
Gay is also survived by his good friend Frank Bradach, who, for the past several years has done all the shoveling and shopping for him, has taken him to all his doctors appointments and checked on him daily. Gay and Bradach had a special bond that will never be forgotten.
According to his wishes, Gay was cremated. A memorial service was held on Feb. 20 at Bailey Funeral Home Chapel. The service was officiated by Father Jay Jung. Honorary pallbearers were Frank Bradach, Sherrie Clotworthy, Corky Gay, Lorraine Nellson, Jack and Maryanne Owen, Lynn Johnson, Douglas Brown, George Webster and Hal Joseph.
A reception followed at the Golden Burro where Bradach enjoyed many a meal.
Arrangements were handled by Bailey Funeral Home.