Rudolph Ralph La Varta

Former Durango resident Rudolph Ralph La Varta died Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Cañon City. He was 81.

Known as “Ralph,” he was born to Dea La Varta on April 23, 1931, in Pagosa Springs. He grew up in Durango with his aunt and uncle, Louie and Tillie Marquez, and with his mother in Pagosa, graduating from Pagosa Springs High School in 1949.

He joined the Navy and served aboard the USS Tarawa (CV-40) during the Korean War.

On Feb. 9, 1963, he married Daphine Stone in Aztec.

After graduating from Texas Chiropractic College in San Antonio, Mr. La Varta practiced in Memphis, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; and Durango for 45 years. He had La Varta Chiropractic in Durango from 1996 to 2010.

His daughter, Tammy La Varta, said the Chiropractic Association of America sent her father to China in 1982 to study acupuncture and acupressure, and Mr. La Varta was the first American to study directly with the Chinese.

“Ralph loved Jesus Christ, working with his patients and the fellowship of his professional medical colleagues,” his family said. “He enjoyed the great outdoors and an occasional hunting and trout-fishing adventure.”

Mr. La Varta was preceded in death by his grandson Travis Lee Galloway.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Daphine La Varta of Cañon City; daughters Tammy La Varta of Durango and Carolyn Cook and Charity White, both of Cañon City; son, Rod Cook, of Durango; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one aunt; and numerous nieces and nephews.

At his request, there will be no public services.

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