In Memoriam

In Memoriam …

Dee Delk Johnson, 91, passed away at Gila Regional Medical Center on March 9, 2015, after a brief illness. Dee was born to George Delk and Annie Flury Delk at the family ranch near Santa Rita, New Mexico on July 23, 1923. She attended both New Mexico Western State Teachers College and New Mexico A&M (now NMSU) where she was a cheerleader. Dee married her husband Clint Johnson Jr. after his return from WWII and had one daughter. She ranched throughout her life in Silver City which was her passion to the last. She was dedicated to family history, local archeology, and enjoyed knitting. She was a founding member and once president of the Copper Cowbelles and was involved in other local organizations and was a friend to many.

Dee is survived by her daughter, D’Aun West (Bert) of Silver City, NM, granddaughter Wendy Crisp (Brandon) and great-granddaughter Maggie Crisp of Silver City, NM. She is also survived by sister-in-law Betty McKinley of Albuquerque, NM and numerous nieces and nephews. Dee was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Clint Johnson Jr., as well as brother Forrest Delk, and his wife Gertrude of Santa Rita, and sister Aloha Burris and her husband Howard of Silver City, NM.

There is no planned memorial service, yet donations can be made to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.

K’dyn Ross Brewer, 7, Roswell, passed to be with his Lord on March 9, 2015. He was born on June 22, 2007 to Chandra and Roper Brewer in Roswell. K’dyn grew up outdoors and loved being outside with his mom, dad, sisters and many friends and relatives. K’dyn took to the life of a cowboy at a young age and planned on helping his dad on the cattle ranch when he grew up. In fact, he was quite a bit of help already at the age of 7. K’dyn was involved in many “play-day” events at local arenas. Everyone at those events couldn’t help but notice him in the crowd. Someone said recently, “Little K’dyn was so strong, so fearless and full of life. He was just so full of spunk and laughter. His skills in the saddle would put most men to shame.” K’dyn accepted Jesus into his life at a really young age and was very sensitive to the things of God. K’dyn was honored at Valley Christian Academy in 2014 for a character award for his love and compassion for others and the Lord. He is survived by his mother and father, Chandra and Roper Brewer , his loving sisters Kelsey and Makenzzye Brewer, his grandmother Jackye Brewer and his grandparents Stan and Cyndi Cogdill all of Roswell, NM. He was preceded in death by his grandfather S. Dean Brewer of Roswell. He is also survived by his aunt Tracye Brewer Burge, his cousins Shaye Nelson and Dallye Brewer Burge, his aunt and uncle April and Cory Cogdill and cousins Kiley, Elijah and Judah Cogdill all of Roswell. Those that knew him couldn’t help but love him. We will miss you good buddy!

Bruce “Vonnie” Fields, 77, Canyon, Texas passed away on March 6, 2015. He was born on July 14, 1937 in Potter County to Bruce and Mildred Mashburn Fields. He graduated from Happy High School and received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Texas State University in 1975. He worked as a Registered Nurse and was a certified Post Anesthesia Nurse for many years at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital and then at Thomas E. Creek Veteran’s Hospital. He later received his Mortuary Science degree from Amarillo College in 2008 and was a vital part of Brooks Funeral Directors. Bruce was a Master Mason and a 50 year member of the Canyon City Lodge #730, where he served as past Master. He was also a member of
A & A Scottish Rite. He served as an officer for Texas Post Anesthesia Nurses, and was named Who’s Who Among Human Services Professionals. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Canyon. He was a longtime supporter of West Texas A & M University Buffalo Athletics. Survivors include his wife, Anne; his son, Scott Fields and wife, Shayla, Happy; four grandchildren; his cousin, Jane Frost (husband, Bob), San Jon, New Mexico; several other cousins and his schnauzers, Molly and Lucy.

Helen G. Paterson, 88, passed away on March 8, 2015, with her loving husband, John Alex, by her side as he had been for the past 65 years. Kind, fearless, humble and a constant source of unconditional love and encouragement to those who knew her, she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was born February 7, 1927, to Emil and Esther Gunnary near French Lake, Minnesota. Raised on the family farm, she grew up doing chores. A tomboy, she preferred work in the barn and the fields rather than in the house. The second of nine children, she grew up speaking Finnish. She attended the Gunnary School, a one-room school that had eight grades. She was a voracious reader, spending her spare time reading the encyclopedia, and won the state of Minnesota Spelling Bee. She read her Bible daily and was an active member of the Silver City Methodist Church and the Alpine, Arizona, Community Church. Each morning when she got her first cup of coffee, she would turn on the TV to get the latest weather reports, a habit that went back to her childhood. Upon graduation from high school in 1945, her older sister, Phyllis, encouraged her to move to Rochester, Minnesota, to work in the Mayo Clinic. Soon, she was accepted in the last class of Army nurses to be trained for World War II, a service commitment that was later waived. She graduated from the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, and worked at the Mayo Clinic before moving to Morenci, Arizona, where she worked at the Phelps Dodge Hospital. For many years she was a school nurse for the Clifton Public Schools as well as Cobre Consolidated Schools. In addition to her nursing degree, she also received a bachelor of arts degree from Western New Mexico University. Helen and Alex Paterson have owned the 9/6 Ranch on Centerfire Creek, north of Luna, New Mexico, in Catron County for over 60 years. She is survived by her husband, Alex, and three children, John (wife, Diana), a beef cattle nutritionist, Bozeman, Montana; Mary (husband, Paul) Curry, Las Cruces; and Tom (wife, Callie), a Houston trial lawyer and cattle rancher near Luna and Alma. She had eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She also leaves her five surviving siblings, Phyllis, Celia, Jo (husband, Sid), Wally (wife, Barb), and Teddy  (husband, Dave); her beloved nieces and nephews; and the dedicated staff at Milli’s Adult Care Facility, where she resided for the past two years. She also leaves many, many cherished friends in Silver City, Bayard, Luna and Alpine.

Daisy Mae Cannon, 78, Clifton, Arizona, died at home on January 13, 2015 after a valiant battle with cancer. She was born in Amarillo, Texas on December 25, 1936 to Marion H. Keith and Virginia L. Gibbs Keith. Daisy Mae has spent her entire life in Arizona. She attended school in Benson and married Joe Blayne Cannon on June 3, 1953 in Pomerene. Daisy Mae was a lifelong rancher and was a member of the Greenlee County Cattle Growers, Cochise-Graham Cattle Growers, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Greenlee Cowbelles, Arizona State Cowbelles, National Cattle Women Association, ACWA and SWPCA. She enjoyed helping family, neighbors and friends. Daisy Mae loved cooking, crocheting, knitting, sewing, working cows and was a 4-H leader. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Joe Blayne Cannon, and her daughter, Marian Jo “Sissy” (husband, Claude) Walker, York Valley, Arizona, and her son, Keith G. “Bopper” (wife, Robin) Cannon, Rimrock, Arizona, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Willis Harvey “Wart” Walter, Jr., 86, Animas, passed away on December 5, 2014. Wart was born on September 2, 1928 to Lela Mae White and Willis Harvey Walter, Sr. (Curly) in Hachita. He, along with his brother, Russell and sister, Betty, lived and worked on the ranch homesteaded by his father in Animas. After graduating from Animas High School, Wart stayed on the ranch to help his Dad. During this time, he met and married Sylvia Ann Springer, May 17,1952. He worked for George Godfrey at the XT and for Ace Robinson at the Cloverdale Ranch. In December 1952 he was drafted into the army, serving two years during the Korean War. After returning home from the war, he worked for the Bar Y Ranch near Santa Rosa,NM and then back home at the ranch. Drought forced him to get a job with the Southern Pacific Pipeline. In 1965, Wart bought his father’s cattle and leased the ranch. He made improvements and expanded by buying the Atkinson place just south of the homeplace. Over the years, they also leased many ranches for breeding stock and to relieve the ranch. Wart and Sylvia also bought two school buses from T.B. Strickland, Sylvia drove the bus for 38 years. Wart worked for Benny Snure, Brown & Root, Columbus Electric, K.W.Loomix and the SP Pipeline station at Road Forks. Wart has always had a way with horses and through the years has broke and trained many for different people. He rode horses for Benny Snure, Ed Hitson, Hugh Peterson, Ted Robb, Bill Cowan, Fred Darnell and Sherwood Culberson, to name a few. He was a member of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Posse in the early 5O’s, a past member of the Hidalgo County Fairboard where he supervised the Western Pleasure and Horse Showing competitions, a member of Farm Bureau and the NM Cattle Growers’ Association. He was inducted into the Hidalgo County Hall of Fame in 2003. Wart leaves behind his wife, Sylvia, and his sons, Randy (wife, Duti), Bill (wife, Beth) and Warren (wife, Dolly), eight grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

Diana (Dinah) Long Culberson, 73, Lordsburg, on February 15, 2015, surrounded by her husband and their three sons as she stepped into His loving arms. Dinah, as she was known by nearly everyone, was born to Norvel A. Long and Lillian Bomar Long on August 11, 1941 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Her family moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico when she was 11. Dinah loved music and was an accomplished pianist at a young age. Upon graduation from high school, she matriculated into Eastern New Mexico University where she attained a Bachelors’ of Science in Musical Arts. She met and married Jim Culberson while they were both students at Eastern. They moved to Lordsburg following their graduation from college. Dinah was active in numerous community and civic groups including the Order of the Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls, Beta Sigma Phi, and the Lordsburg Centennial Committee. She played the piano for countless weddings, school programs and other special events for members of the community.   Even though she was the volunteer pianist and organist at First United Methodist Church since the mid-1960s, she blessed congregations all over Lordsburg and in numerous states with her musical offerings. She taught piano to people of all ages in Lordsburg. She was active in her local church where she accompanied the adult and children’s choirs, served as youth leader and Sunday School teacher, and served on countless boards and committees. She served on many teams for the Walk to Emmaus and Kairos Outside ministry. She also toured internationally with the Continental Singers and later with Loaves & Fishes International which ministered specifically to the Ukraine Challenge. Dinah is survived by her husband of 52 years, Jim; her sons and their wives, Vic (wife, GiGi) Culberson, Dave (wife, Holly) Culberson, and Brian (wife, Michelle) Culberson; her five grandchildren; and her brother and his wife, Ernie and Xiu Long.

David George Farr, 83, Datil, passed away on January 12, 2015. He was born on October 10, 1931 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to George David Farr and Edith Funk Farr. He spent his boyhood summers on the San Augustine Plains and during the school year attended in Albuquerque, while living with his grandmother, Ida Mae Farr. He graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1949. After graduation, he moved back out to the ranch where he worked for two years before joining the Marine Corps in the early 1950s. He then returned to the ranch in 1953 where he went back to work and roped and went to rodeos whenever he could. Dave met Karen Sybil Moen at a rodeo in August in Los Alamos in the summer of 1956, and they married on February 26, 1957. They moved back to the ranch where they had two children and worked together as a team for over 57 years. Dave did what he loved, raising good Hereford Cattle and always improving the Ranch. He was a lot more progressive than most people realized when it came to ranching – dividing pastures and running pipelines – anything to make things better for the cattle and more efficient for the ranch. He even thought the “damned Angus Bulls” would improve the bottom line and allowed them to be brought out in 1999! Dave enjoyed good horses and was lucky enough to ride quite a few in his time. He loved to rope and there was no telling how far he could have gone with more chances to get out to more rodeos. But he also loved the ranch, and worked his hardest to make it the best he could. He was a man of few words, but he always gave a straight answer when asked, and you always knew his opinion without a doubt! Dave was no stranger to hard work, and he enjoyed playing just as hard, just maybe not as often. He liked to take a day or two for roping, and one of his favorite sports besides roping cattle was getting some friends together to rope burros out on the ranch. He always gave them plenty of advice to stay safe, watch for holes, etc, but once the race was on, he wouldn’t hold to any of it! He is survived by his wife Karen, their son Roy, (wife, Elena); their daughter Amy Williams (husband, Mickey); four grandchildren and one great-grandson, and his nieces Marie and Mary Farr.

Kimberly M. Mitchell, 53, Albert, passed peacefully into the hands of the Lord on February 13, 2015. She was born in Raymondville, Texas on March 26, 1961 to Harvey Kurt Mutz and Billie Nell Mutz. A graduate of Sharyland High School (Mission, Texas), class of 1979, Kim earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University in 1984. She met the love of her life, Terry Robert Mitchell, at TAMU in August 1979 and they married on July 27, 1985. Married for 29 years, the two lived in Albert on the Tequesquite Ranch. All those who encountered Kim were drawn to her vibrant, magnetic personality as evidenced by the countless friendships she created throughout her life. She was a loving rancher’s wife and stern but nurturing mother who acted as executive assistant to her husband. With the grit of a cowgirl and the grace of a lady, she loved working cattle and conserving the land and heritage with Terry. Kim was actively involved with the Mesa Soil and Water Conservation District; New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts; El Llano Estacado Resource Conservation & Development Council; and New Mexico Association of Resource Conservation and Development. She was a member of the Mosquero Community Church as a devout Christian and prayer warrior who placed her faith and family in God’s hands. She made it a point to pray every day for her three children as well as their future spouses and their lives together. Her enthusiasm for life was evident and her love of family foremost. Kim is survived by her loving husband, Terry R. Mitchell, Albert; her children, Tanner Mitchell, Albert, Ashleigh Mitchell, Grants, and Zachary Mitchell, United States Navy; mother, Billie Mutz, Mission; her father and step-mother, Harvey and Minerva Mutz, Mission; sisters and brothers-in-law, Tracy (husband, Brannon) Brooke, New Braunfels, Texas, Pamela (husband, Paul) Kemp, Gatesville, Texas, and Tricia Brown, Mission; her step-brother, Alex Mutz, Corpus Christi; her half-brother, Kurt Mutz of Lubbock, TX; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Editor’s Note: Email Memorial donations may be sent to the Cattlegrowers’ Foundation, a 501(c)3, tax deductable charitable foundation serving the rights of ranch families & educating citizens on governmental actions, policies & practices. Cattlegrowers Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 7517, Albuquerque, NM 87194. The New Mexico Stockman runs memorials as a courtesy to its readers. If families & friends would like to see more detail, verbatim pieces must be emailed to us, & may be printed at 10¢ per word.