Tommy “Tom” Gene Sims
Tommy “Tom” Gene Sims, 60, died Sunday, March 12, in Denver. At his request no services were held.He was born Feb. 28, 1946, to Ted and Denzel (Dickerson) Sims in Cushing, Okla., and grew up in the Yale, Okla. and Stillwater, Okla. areas.After serving in the U.S. Army, he moved to Denver, where he met and married the love of his life, Betty Trujillo. They were married in 1971 and moved to Leadville in 2001.They had four sons: Tommy Gene Jr., Billy, Michael and Danny.They also adopted two of their grandchildren: Jazzmine and “little” Billy.Sims loved being around his family and friends and would do anything for them. He will be terribly missed by his entire family and those who knew him.He was known in the asphalt business as “one of the best” and owned his own company for many years.He was a natural mechanic and an avid race-car enthusiast.He was preceded in death by his first son, Tommy Gene, and both parents.He is survived by his wife and his adopted children, Jazzmine and Billy; his sons, Billy and Michael, both of Denver, and Danny of Burlington, Ala.; two granddaughters, Cheyenne and Shay of the Denver area; one sister, Glenda (Ken) Nasworthy of Yale, Okla.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Joe (Little Joe) Sanchez
Joe (Little Joe) Sanchez, 81, passed away March 14. Sanchez always had a great story to tell and loved to keep himself busy doing his own work around the house and tending to the family grave sites. Sanchez was born in Leadville and lived in Granite until the house burned down. When he was younger, his mother owned homes in Granite, Walcott, Eagle, Minturn and also Leadville. Sanchez’ love was his wife of 50 years, Mary Louise Sanchez, who passed away 7 1/2 years ago. He spent every day taking care of her and they did some traveling before she got too ill. He also loved his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. Another of his loves was his trucks. Sanchez owned a few through his life, and anyone who saw them would mistakenly think they just saw Sanchez driving by as he fixed them up with air horns and lights from bumper to bumper. Sanchez was a proud teamster of 35 plus years. He then retired to take care of his wife. She taught him how to cook, and he become very good, cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for all the family. He always made a pie for everyone to take home at the end of the day. Sanchez played pool when he and his wife first got together and was good enough to be able to pay the bills and go dancing every Saturday. The couple could cut a rug! After the children started coming, 11 in all, Sanchez had to get a full-time job as his wife was a full-time mom. He managed a gas station and also managed a pool hall in
Leadville. He then joined the Teamsters Union and was a heavy-equipment driver in the summer. He worked on the first side of the Eisenhower Tunnel and on the road to and from the tunnel, also on the Dillon Dam and many other construction jobs all over Colorado. In the winter, he would work for one of the small mines in town. Sanchez bought the house on 7th Street and built the upstairs with help from his kids. He worked on his own vehicles and the cars of his family to help keep them on the road. He also loved to tell his life stories. His was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary Louise Sanchez; sons Daniel and Arthur Sanchez; daughter Alice Brown; grandchildren Chuck and Michele Brown; father Danielo B. Sanchez and mother Rachel Sanchez. Sanchez is survived by his children: Rose (Stephen) Chown, Texas; JoAnn Barron, Leadville; Carol (Mario) Rivera, Vail; Karen (Herman) Sanchez, Avon; Eva (Jesus) Vigil, Leadville; Keith (Tami) Sanchez, Leadville; brothers Frank Sanchez, Calif.; Fred Sanchez, Salida; Freddie Sanchez, Denver; David and Dwayne Lane, New Mexico. Sanchez had 10 grandchildren: Anthony (Amie) Rivera Jr., Leadville; Matthew (Dione) Rivera, Leadville; Donna Descher, Texas; Joe Descher; Walter (Tami) Descher Jr., Okla.; Stephanie and Sarah Sanchez, Leadville; Evan (Niki) Vigil, Leadville; Andrea and Joseph Sanchez, Avon. Sanchez had 15 great grandchildren: Ryan, Cheyenne, Nevah, Shane, Jadyn, Jacenda, Jasmiine, Genna, Matt, Aaron, Kalob, Stephen, Ashlynn, Tye, Trey and Brayben.Sanchez spent the first few years after losing his wife recycling metal and working on his house. When he could not do that anymore, he spent time in Black Hawk and Central City. He also made a few trips to Vegas. His children say that Sanchez will be sadly missed and was the best dad anyone could have asked for.
Sanchez is also survived by Vicki Armenta, granddaughters Dana and Kimberly and grandson Tyler; great-grandchildren Cameron and Kalob; and Frieda (Tom) Smith, granddaughters Vivian, Sallie and Valerie Browning; and three great-grandchildren Jonathan, Kathyn and Steven.
Jennie A. Rivera
Jennie A. Rivera died Monday, April 3, at the Life Care Center of Westminster. Rivera was 82 years old. She was born in Ojo Sarco, N.M., on Jan. 24, 1924. Her parents were the late Augustin and Adelina (Romero) Armijo.Rivera went to school in Ojo Sarco and then married Nicanor T. Rivera in Albuquerque, N.M. Together the couple had six children before moving to Minturn in 1956 where her husband went to work for the New Jersey Zinc Co. at the Gilman Mine. Rivera’s full-time job was raising her family. She was a wonderful wife and mother and an excellent cook. Her family will always remember walking into the house and smelling her delicious tortillas. When Rivera had a little spare time, she would often spend it doing hand work and mending. Rivera loved flowers and feeding the birds. She liked singing and dancing. Her husband was a very good accordion player and many was the evening when the couple entertained the family with their music and dancing. On Saturday nights the whole family would settle in and watch the musical family of Lawrence Welk.A member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Minturn, Rivera was devoted to her church. Four years ago, Rivera moved to Westminster where she was a resident at the Life Care Center. Her family will always appreciate the love and care she received there. Rivera is preceded in death by her parents, her husband who died in 1987 and one sister, Cidelia Aguilar. She is survived by her children Eleanor (Juan) Roybal, of Phoenix, Ariz., Betty (Robert) Gallegos of Denver, Tony (Ruth) Padilla of Denver, Cecilia (Rudy) Sandoval of Leadville, Jessie (Amado) Lovato of Redcliff and Elaine (Robert) Martinez of Minturn; one brother Nestor (Georgia) Armijo of Santa Fe, N.M.; three sisters: Helen Sanchez, in
Santa Fe, Petronila Pacheco of Penasco, N.M. and Melva Medina of Butte, Mo. Rivera is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.The Rosary was recited on Thursday, April 6 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Minturn, and Mass of Christian Burial was Friday, April 7, also at St. Patrick’s Church. Father Hugh Guentner, O.S.B. officiated, and Antonio Ortega sang. Eulogies were given by Michael Martinez, Bobbi Gallegos, Alexandria Klein and Ray Lovato. Rivera was laid to rest next to her husband in Riverview Cemetery in Minturn. Pallbearers were Michael Martinez, Carl and Steven Sandoval, Christopher Gallegos, Ray and Amado Lovato, Rick and Joseph Roybal, and Michael Paul Padilla.Following the interment, the family received friends at a reception at the Spirit Center.Arrangements were handled by Bailey Funeral Home in Leadville.
Phyllis C. Archuleta
Phyllis C. Archuleta, 58, passed away unexpectedly on March 22.She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She brought joy and laughter to all who were blessed to be in her presence.Archuleta drove a school bus for 30 years (including 20 years in Leadville) through mountains, plains, snow and sun, always getting children safely to their destination.She will be deeply missed.She is survived by her husband, Louis Archuleta; sons, Rick (Madeline), Chris (Robyn) and Greg (Bridget); sister, Bernice (Dan) Aguilar; and five grandchildren.She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Archuleta was preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Alice Brito; and her grandparents.
Laverne E. Gay
Laverne Eugene Gay, 77, of Castle Rock, died at his residence in Castle Rock on Thursday, April 13.Funeral services were held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 19, at Olinger Andrews Caldwell Gibson Funeral Home in Castle Rock.Interment was in the Fairview Cemetery in Salida.Gay was born on October 28, 1928, in Leadville, the son of Maurice Antoine and Ida Belle (Switzer) Gay. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In January of 1955 he married Claudette Walsh in Leadville. She preceded him in death in 1971.In June of 1984 he married Sandra Lee Larrew on top of the rock in Castle Rock. She preceded him in death in 2004.Gay was a supervisor for Climax Molybdenum Mine.He also owned and operated the Little Village Cleaners in Castle Rock, retiring in 1981.He was a lifetime member of the Salida Elks Lodge.
Gay is survived by his children, Tom (Kandyce) Freeman,Tonna (Jerry) Parkison, Michelle (Greg) Pennington and step-daughter Susan Ramsey. He is also survived by five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.Beside his two wives, Gay was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, four sisters and two grandsons.The family will hold an open house at the home of his daughters on Saturday at noon at 4946 N. Bayou Hills Road, in Parker.Arrangements were handled by Olinger Andrews Caldwell Gibson Funeral Home, in Castle Rock.
Robert Murrel “Red” Cooper
Robert Murrel “Red” Cooper died Wednesday, April 19, at St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville. Cooper was 81 years old. He was born in Cotton County, Okla., on Oct. 27, 1924. His parents were the late John W. and Myrtle I. (Harris) Cooper.Cooper went to school in Oklahoma and served in the U.S. Army in World War II. After receiving an honorable discharge, Cooper returned to Oklahoma.On August 18, 1951, Cooper married the former Lela M. McChristian in Midland, Texas. “Red,” as he was known, was a “roughneck” in the oil fields of Texas until 1963 when he and his family moved to Leadville, where Cooper went to work for the Climax Molybdenum Mine. For the next 20 years Cooper worked in the Climax warehouse.Cooper loved fishing and bird hunting and was an avid Bronco fan. He also enjoyed playing poker with his friends.Cooper was preceded in death by his parents, his son Gary “Mike” Cooper, who died in 1984, two sisters and two brothers.He is survived by his wife, Lela Cooper of Leadville; one son, Ronald Cooper also of Leadville; his daughter, Vickie Cooper; three sisters, Winona Norton and Helen (J.D.) Taylor, both of Oklahoma, and Dorothy Pybus of Texas. Cooper is also survived by his daughter-in-law Karen Cooper of Woodland Park; two grandchildren, Candace (Donin) Helmick, of Alamagordo, N.M., and Kimberly Cooper of Colorado Springs; and three great-grandchildren, Tyler, Ashley and Caitlin Helmick.Services were held on Saturday, April 22, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Leadville. The Reverend Alison Bucklin officiated.Cooper was laid to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery.Arrangements were handled by Bailey Funeral Home.