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Joy Horton Mahan – RIP

Aztec, NM
Charline “Joy” Horton-Mahan
May 20, 1941 – February 22, 2018

Charline “Joy” Horton-Mahan, 76, of Aztec passed away on Thursday, February 22 in Aztec. She was born on May 20, 1941 in Ponca City, OK to Charlie & Olive Horton.
Charline graduated from Farmington High School. She was a store clerk at Safeway in Aztec for 27 years. She was an avid reader and enjoyed sewing, needle work, puzzles such as Words With Friends and Kindle Every Word. Dad said she needed “Kindle Anonymous”. Dad always called her “my Joy” she was the Joy of our lives!
Charline is preceded in death by her parents, Charlie & Olive Horton; brothers, Rex Horton and James Horton; sisters, Phyllis Horton-Johnston and Kay Wahl-Horton.
Charline is survived by her loving husband, Leonard Mahan; son, Rob Mahan; daughters, Anita (Marvin) Mahan-Farley and Karen Mahan-Lamprecht; sisters, Patsy Horton-Olson and Lee Horton; grandchildren, Jolyn (Nate Enright) Farley, Ariel (Curtis) Farley-Janczak, Heather (Chris Bilinski) Lamprecht and Matt (Sarah) Lamprecht; great-grandchildren, Freyja, Kaitlyn, Gunner, Silas, Hunter, Joseph, Maddie, Ariah, Daniel, Denver, Nicholas, Evelyn, Alyona, Jaden and Baby Joy.
There are no services at this time.

Charline’s care is entrusted to Cope Memorial Chapel of Farmington, 404 W. Arrington Street, 505-327-5142. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at


Angelo Turano

Albuquerque Journal – April 9, 2002

Music Teacher Inspired Farmington

By Paul Logan
Journal Staff Writer

Angelo Turano inspired untold hundreds of students at Farmington High School during his 34 years of service.

Farmington honored Turano by naming the city’s new Piedra Vista High School performing arts center after him and a colleague. He also was named citizen of the year and was inducted into the Farmington High School Activities Hall of Fame.

Turano, 90, died March 25 in Albuquerque of leukemia.

A memorial Mass was celebrated March 27 at Gate of Heaven Mausoleum Chapel, with burial at the cemetery.

Turano loved music and he loved children, so it was only natural that he wanted to spend his life teaching music to children, said Ruth Turano, his wife for 65 years.

“Because he really loved his students – and they knew that – ” and because he was so dedicated to his profession, that was an inspiration to them,” she said.

The third of eight children of Italian immigrant parents, Turano graduated from Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. He worked at several schools before coming to Farmington Public Schools in 1942. He was the only music teacher until 1952.

He developed various singing groups and bands in elementary, middle and high schools, teaching all the instruments and strings for band and orchestra. By 1950, he had a 60-piece concert and marching band, a 75-member student choir and a string ensemble.

“He was just a very kind, compassionate man,” his wife said. “He had lots of patience. You have to when you’re dealing with high school kids.”

Howard Chrisman joined Turano in 1952, helping to build Farmington High’s music department into one of the state’s best.

His choir never received less than a superior rating at festival competitions.

Turano was selected director in 1972 of the New Mexico School Choir, made up of students from throughout the state. Turano took a group of 75 on a tour of Germany in conjunction with a music festival.

The Farmington Chamber of Commerce named him citizen of the year in 1974.
When he retired in 1976, former students, current students, friends and family entertained and honored him at the Farmington Civic Center. A scholarship was established in his name to annually honor an outstanding choral student.

Memorial donations may be made to the San Juan College Foundation, Angelo Turano Scholarship Fund, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington, NM 87402.

Turano was inducted into the sports hall of fame in 1991 for his work with the school marching band.

And last August, Piedra Vista High’s auditorium was named in honor of Turano and Chrisman. Ruth Turano said her husband called the dedication “the climax” of his career.

Turano once said his philosophy was “to develop within the student a sense of spiritual security through which he feels free to love, respect, challenge and face reality without loss of faith.”

“As a teacher, it was my duty to set an example. We as teachers owe it to the student to teach him or her how to inspire himself rather than have someone else inspire him. We will not always be with our students.”

A daughter, Janice Ryan of Albuquerque, died in 2001.

Other survivors include five daughters, Judith Gregori of Philadelphia, Joan Scriver of Farmington, Jani Perkins of Carbondale, Ill., Jean Vondle of Albuquerque and Juli Turano of Denver.

Eddie Belt, RIP


Eddie Wayne (Ed) Belt passed away on January 2nd, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona.  Ed was born on December 3rd, 1942 in Lubbock, Texas to the late L. Wayne (Pete) Belt and Vivian Opel (Babe) Belt. He graduated from Farmington High School in Farmington, New Mexico in 1961 and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1966.

Ed worked more than 40 years in the ready mix concrete industry, spending most of his career in Phoenix, Arizona with additional stops in San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He was passionate about football, and after a collegiate career, became an ardent supporter of the Arizona State University and, then, San Diego State University programs. He was even  more passionate about golf and played every day he was able, making some of his most cherished friends and memories at the Wigwam CC in Litchfield Park, Arizona and Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix.

In his recent retirement years, Ed filled his need for service and activity assisting special needs children and teachers in several Phoenix-area public schools.  The innocence and authenticity of these and other young people, and the dedication of their teachers, gave him new perspectives and touched his heart immensely.

He is survived by his wife, JoAnn Belt; sister, Vicki Jayne Belt; daughter, Tiffany Lyn Fisher; son, Bradley Wayne Belt and his wife Michelle; stepdaughter Michelle Battaglia; stepson Kevin Lawhorn; eleven grandchildren; and his first wife, Linda Kay Belt.

Memorial Services will be held at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, Arizona at 3:00 p.m. on January 9th, 2018. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations are encouraged to the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and Christ’s Church of the Valley.


RIP – Tom Dugan

Thomas “Tom” Allen Dugan, 91, of Farmington, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at his home. He was born Nov. 24, 1925, in a small oilfield lease house just outside of Oilhill, Kansas, to his parents Sherman and Bess Dugan and sister Winifred (Dugan) Jacobs.
Tom spent his childhood hunting, fishing, playing football, and surviving the Great Depression. He graduated from Potwin, Kansas High School in 1943 and joined the U.S. Army, where he served during World War II for three years. Tom was with the Army’s 44th Tank Battalion stationed in the South Pacific during the Philippine Liberation. For his service and valor, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart and was honorably discharged.
After his military discharge, Tom graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, with help from the G.I. Bill. Tom met and married Mary Elizabeth Mott on Aug. 26, 1950. Tom considered 1950 the best year of his life. He graduated from college, got a job, bought a car, and married the love of his life.
Shortly thereafter, he moved to the Four Corners area to work for Phillips Petroleum. Later, he went to work for Pacific Northwest Pipeline Corp when they acquired the Phillips properties. Tom started his own company, Dugan Production Corp., from his kitchen table on Feb. 1, 1959. Tom threw his entire being into his business, working hard every day, expecting more and more from himself and the same from everyone else.


Through hard work, sacrifice, and strong leadership, Tom grew Dugan Production into one of the largest “very” independent oil and gas companies in the San Juan Basin. Tom said, “Keep your costs low and your profits will soar.” Tom, with the help of his loyal employees, grew Dugan Production into a major player in the San Juan Basin. The company won many accolades, including being named to the New Mexico Private 100 Group.


Tom and his friend Emery Arnold co-authored and published the book “Gas!.” The final product was enhanced by the editing skills of Dorothy Winer. The book chronicles the history of gas in the San Juan Basin, from its earliest exploration to the various boom and bust cycles and the continued growth throughout the rest of the twentieth century. The book has been widely circulated and printed in multiple languages.
Throughout their 47-year marriage, Tom and Mary Dugan were dedicated and active members of the Farmington community. They were charter members of Bethany Christian Church, where they taught childrens’ Sunday School for 30 years. They gave generously to many civic organizations, including the San Juan United Way, San Juan Regional Medical Foundation- Cancer Treatment Center, San Juan College Foundation and the Farmington and Aztec Museums. Tom was a lifelong supporter of education and contributed to the University of Oklahoma and Texas Christian University. He also continued his own education, attending classes at San Juan College well into his 90s. Tom was inducted into the Farmington Historymakers, Oil and Gas Hall of Fame, and the San Juan College Hall of Fame among many other accolades.
Tom was an avid Denver Broncos and Oklahoma Sooner football fan. Tom attended as many games as he could, including multiple Super Bowls and Sooners Bowl games. The family vacations often revolved around the dates of important Sooners and Broncos games.


Tom’s generosity has benefited San Juan County for decades, creating a lasting legacy and positive impact for generations to come. While Tom’s public acts brought him much acclaim and respect, he was probably most proud of the acts of kindness he did outside the public eye: the educations he paid for, the money he provided to make people’s visions come true, and the advice and support he freely gave to anyone who sought him out. These countless selfless acts of generosity and compassion are his real legacy.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Dugan (October 30th, 1998); infant daughter, Elizabeth Dugan; and son, Sherman Dugan (December 21, 2013). He is survived by his grandchildren, Sean (Adina) Dugan of Durango, Colo., Megan (Jason) Rains of Farmington; and great-granddaughter, Eleanor Elizabeth Dugan.


He will be missed by his family, friends, employees, and his Farmington community.
A memorial service for Tom will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at the San Juan College Henderson Theater, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington with reception to follow at the School of Energy Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology, 5301 College Blvd. in Farmington.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the San Juan College Foundation in memory of Thomas Dugan.
Tom’s care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so

Dick Ledbetter

Richard “Dick” I. Ledbetter, 79, of Farmington, passed from this life Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Farmington. He was born March 4, 1937, in Tipton, Okla. Funeral services are pending. Dick’s care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at –

Gretchen Welsh Haase


gretchen welch haas

Gretchen Ann Haase
(July 1, 1941 – August 23, 2016)

Gretchen Ann Haase, age 75, a longtime resident of Portales, New Mexico, passed away on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 in Albuquerque, NM, surrounded by her family. Gretchen was born on July 1, 1941 in Crestone, Iowa and spent her childhood and teen years on Farmington, NM with her brother Peter and parents, Don and Helen Jungbluth Welsh. Her dad and mom purchased a Ben Franklin Store, known as Friendly Bennys, where she and her brother worked at the store while in High School. Gretchen loved horses, socializing and was a very talented swimmer. In high school, she was involved in Student Council and was known as a bit of a “class clown” and a practical joker, forming lifetime friendships with classmates. After graduating from Farmington High School, Gretchen attended the University of New Mexico. In 1962, she married and moved to Portales where she began her full time job as a devoted mother and wife. She was recognized as Mother of the Year in 1974, by the American Mothers Committee and again Woman of the Year in 1975. She was baptized at Central Christian Church, was active in the community and worked tirelessly for the American Cancer Society. Gretchen also established the Don C. Westfall Memorial Fund which raised money for cancer patients; she was highly involved in charitable fundraising and public education for cancer awareness. Gretchen enjoyed working with children and was the Director-Owner of Portales Preschool from 1978 through 2003. She was active with friends, family and volunteering throughout her life. Gretchen consistently gave gifts anonymously. She loved cooking for her friends, collecting books, music, travel, photography, as well as collecting and selling antiques.

Gretchen had a true gift for getting autographs from such people as Jimmy Stewart, Richard Bach, Chuck Yeager, Anne Rice, Bill Walton and Ronald Reagan.Gretchen was well known in the community for cooking for friends, in later years, for working with the elderly and taking care of people in need and animals. She will be fondly remembered by her family and friends for so many reasons, mostly her love, community outreach and generosity. Gretchen was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Tex Haase of Tucumcari, New Mexico and by her parents, Don and Helen Welsh of Pocatello, Idaho. She is survived by her three children, Scooter Haase and wife Deb of Lancaster, PA, Robin Billmaier and husband Mike of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Donald “Don” Haase and wife Kenna of Denver, CO; brother, Peter Welsh of Pocatello, Idaho; grandchildren, Dan, Justin and Haley Faith and great grandchildren. Memorial Services will be held at Central Christian Church on South Main Street in Portales, New Mexico, on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Central Christian Church, 1528 S Main, Portales, NM 88130, to the Portales Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 695 Portales, NM 88130, or the Salvation Army of Farmington, NM., 319 W Broadway Farmington, New Mexico 87401. Arrangements by Direct Funeral Services, 2919 4th ST. NW. ABQ. 505-343-8008

Howard Chrisman

“I think when you learn to do something well, you just like to keep doing it.” -Howard Chrisman Howard Wesley Chrisman, 90, of Farmington, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and the prayers of those who could not be with him, Saturday, April 6, 2013. He was born to Herbert and Eva Chrisman, Nov. 3, 1922, in Alamosa, Colo. He was the youngest of three children. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Barbara McGuire and Virginia Bader; his sons, John and Van Lee Chrisman; and his loving wife of 67 years, Barbara Jean Chrisman.Howard received his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. He met Barbara Jean Bristol through a cousin at a social at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. They married April 24, 1943 on an Army furlough in Manhattan, Kan. He enlisted in the Army-Air Force in November 1942 to proudly serve in World War II. During World War II, Howard was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army-Air Force. He was among a select group of B-24 pilots training for low-level reconnaissance flights along the Japanese coast. Prior to the planned Allied Invasion, their mission was abruptly canceled in August of 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. After the war ended he and Barbara Jean moved to Alamosa, Colo. to start his teaching career. There he was the instrumental music supervisor of band and orchestra for four years. His ambition as a young teacher was to develop a high school symphony orchestra. Howard was asked to develop a high school music program in Farmington in 1951 by Angelo Turano. Howard was the director of the Farmington High band from 1957 to 1972, and the orchestra from 1951 until his retirement in 1985. In the beginning years he started the Kelly Greens auxiliary marching unit at Farmington High School. He was also music coordinator for the Farmington School District. Howard was elected president of the San Juan Community Concert Association when the group was formed in 1953. He was founder and the first musical director of the San Juan Symphony.He was inducted into the Farmington High School Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the New Mexico Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in January 1994. Howard was the choir director for the First United Methodist Church in 1958 and carried that role for many years. He and his wife were also charter members of the New Covenant United Methodist Church in Farmington.

After his retirement in 1985, Howard continued to share his love for teaching music. He studied the Suzuki method of teaching and taught Suzuki Violin to many young students from 1983-2010. Howard is survived by his daughters, Suzanne Gettman and her husband, Gary of Logan, Utah, Sallie Riley and her husband, Jay of Navajo Dam and his son, Kurt Chrisman and his wife, Donna of Farmington; grandchildren, Shane Heard (Renee) of Albuquerque; Brandon Heard (Jade) of Farmington, Lindsay Gifford (Jeremy) of Justin, Texas; James Heard (Stevee) of Tulsa, Okla.; Scott Chrisman of Santa Fe, and Leigh Chrisman (fiance, Taylor Higgins) of Albuquerque; great-grandchildren, Amanda, Audrey, and Stephen Heard, Camron and Kylie Heard, Micah and Lylah Gifford and Gradie Heard. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Dr. Joe Pope and staff, LifeCare Center, Basin Home Health and Hospice, and we are most thankful to Rebecca Morgan, Jan Montanye of Namaste House, and the wonderful Namaste House staff. They are truly our family too. We would also like to thank Pam Prater, the Orchestra parents at Mesa View Middle School and Piedra Vista High School for their help at this difficult time. Cremation will take place and a memorial services will be 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the First United Methodist Church, 808 N. Monterey Ave. in Farmington.

“When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.” The family requests that memorial contributions be made in Mr. Chrisman’s name to your music program of choice or to San Juan College

Orchestra or Band, c/o Dr. Keith Cochrane, 4601 College Blvd. Farmington, NM 87402.

Howard’s care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688.

Teddyanna Keith

Teddyanna Rae (Dennis) Keith left this earth to join her husband, Wesley on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. She was born March 28, 1941, in Carson City, Nev., to Lila Dennis.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 30 years, Wesley Keith; her mother; son, Jay; her sisters, Sunny and Dollie; her brother, Bill; and her nieces, Melody and Susie. She is survived by her children, Denice (John) Miller of Bloomfield, Dennis (Kristy) Starkey of Billings, Mont. and Joe Welch; and stepdaughter, Kari Vaughn. Teddy is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren along with a nephew, Bill Woodard; and a niece, Pam Long.

Teddy and Wesley loved the Denver Broncos and went to all the home games. They spent many hours at Navajo Lake on their houseboat. For many years they owned and operated the Sportsman’s Inn at Navajo Dam. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Northwest New Mexico Hospice.

A memorial service for Teddy will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19 at Cope Memorial Chapel in Farmington.

Teddy’s care is entrusted to Cope Memorial Chapel, 404 W. Arrington St. in Farmington, 505-327-5142. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at

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Rusty Rambo

rusty rambo

Long time Bangs resident Howard Lee “Rusty” Rambo died on May 25, 2016 after a long illness.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at the Bangs Cemetery under the direction of Davis Morris Funeral Home with Reverend Michael Redmond officiating and Ben McCleery assisting.

Rusty was born in Brownwood on Jan. 21, 1940, to Roy Lee and Mildred Wagner Rambo. He graduated from Farmington, New Mexico High School in 1958. He later proudly served his country in the United States Navy.

He married Sharon Young on Aug. 6, 1966. Rusty was an employee of the Santa Fe Railroad for 35 years and told many stories of his adventures “riding the rails”. He was a member of the Bangs Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and the Bangs United Methodist Church.

Rusty leaves behind his wife Sharon; daughters, Laura Lee Gambino and Leslie; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to employees of Brownwood Regional Hospital, Oak Ridge Manor and Kindred Hospice who showed such kindness and compassion during his illness.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to West Texas Rehab, 4601 Hartford, Abilene TX, 79605, or charity of choice.

Arrangements under the direction of Davis-Morris Funeral Home, Brownwood, TX.