John F. Gutierrez

Longtime Durango resident John F. Gutierrez died Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at the Valley Inn in Mancos. He was 78.

Mr. Gutierrez was born to Juan and Margaret Miera Gutierrez on Jan. 11, 1934, in Lumberton, N.M., which is just across the state line from Chromo, Colo.

In 1954, he married Elizabeth Kelly in Waterflow, N.M.

He was a truck driver all of his life, and he worked for Kimbel, Durango Mercantile Co., Holsom Bread, Yellow Freight and NW Transport for more than 40 years. His family said Mr. Gutierrez received a number of awards for safe driving.

He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Teamsters union. Mr. Gutierrez belonged to the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks Lodge 507. He was an avid golfer, bowler, pool player, fisherman and hunter.

Mr. Gutierrez was preceded in death by his daughter Joni Nelson.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth Kelly Gutierrez of Durango; sons Dean Gutierrez of Durango and Steve Gutierrez of Farmington; daughters Lisa Griffin of Chula Vista, Calif., and Judy Martin of Gold Canyon, Ariz.; brother, Eugene Gutierrez, of Durango; sisters Mary Ann Webster of Farmington and Cecelia Archibeque of Bloomfield, N.M.; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; an uncle; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 254 East Fifth Ave. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, also at Sacred Heart.