Richard Isaac (Dick) De Vore, a longtime resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side the evening of Aug. 6, 2012, at Chandler Regional Hospital in Arizona. He was 91. Dick was a wonderful caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Dick was born Sept. 2, 1920, in Lamar, Colo., to William T. De Vore and Nancy E. (Carnahan) De Vore. After graduating from high school in McClave, Colo., in 1939, Dick worked with his father on the John Martin Dam.
In the fall of 1939, Dick started college at Colorado State College (University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colo. He also took many radio repair classes. In 1942 he joined the Army during World War II. He served in the South Pacific as a radio mechanic in the Signal Corps. He was a Chief Warrant Officer and headed a group of men to keep the communication systems working. He was given an honorable discharge from the Army in 1946. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal, an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal, Philippine Liberation medal and a World War II Victory medal.
Dick joined his brother Charles in Pagosa Springs in 1946. They had bought the building at 480 Lewis Street in 1945, and Charles had started “Boys Market,” a grocery store and bakery.
Dick met Violet Anderson at the wedding dance of John and Ophelia Chavez June 12, 1947, at Pine Grove. Dick and Violet were married Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1947, in the Presbyterian Church in Monte Vista, Colo. They became the proud parents of one son, Larry, and three daughters, Marla, Christine and Laure.
In 1951, Dick was nominated to be Pagosa Springs Postmaster by Archuleta County Democrat Party Chairman Charles Rumbaugh. Dick was acting postmaster until May 22, 1952, when he was appointed Postmaster of Pagosa Springs by President Harry S. Truman. Dick served as postmaster 38 years until he retired in 1989.
The Pagosa Springs Volunteer Fire Department organized in 1948. Dick, Wilbur Voorhis, Carlos LaVarta, Norman Ottoway, George Yanase, Bud Patterson and Bill Whitney were some of the first members. When they started, the only equipment they had was a hose cart. Later that year, they bought a used fire truck. The fire station was in the old town hall. Dick served 40 years (1948-1988) and was chief 25 years. The town acknowledged his service with a plaque noting him as a charter member, chief and honorary battalion chief of the Pagosa Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
Dick was a member of the Community United Methodist Church. He was a church trustee a number of years when Rev. Wood was minister. Dick served on the local Draft Board. He was a member of the Lions Club and a director of the TV Translator Association that brought TV to Pagosa Springs in the late ’40s. He was a member of Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108.
Dick was the director of the American Red Cross for many years. He helped numerous military people to return home to Pagosa Springs when there was a serious family illness or a family death. He was on the Archuleta County Fair Board for 17 years and served as secretary-treasurer. In 2000, Dick was honored by receiving the Western Heritage Award.
Dick was a 64-year member of Pagosa Oddfellow Lodge 122 and served in all offices. He was a trustee for 10 years for the Grand IOOF Lodge of Colorado and made monthly trips to Canon City, Colo. In 1993, Dick was named Colorado Oddfellow of the year. He was also a member of Pagosa Rebekah Lodge 134 for many years.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Charles and Frank.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Violet De Vore, his son Larry De Vore, his daughters Marla Garza, Christine De Vore and Laure De Vore, all of Phoenix, Ariz.; grandchildren Tom De Vore (Staci), Danielle Noffsinger (Paul) all of Greeley, Colo.; Richard Garza (Libby), Michelle Savage (Eric) all of Phoenix, Ariz., and Renee Liday (Mitchell) of Torrance, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Liam De Vore, Lia Billheimer, Lily Noffsinger, EJ Savage, Allie Savage, Abby Garza, Emma Garza, Violet Liday and Weston Liday; niece Tolanda Sprague (Wes) and sons Cody, Eric and James of Cortez, Colo., and niece Nancy Hoffheins (Don) and sons Karl and Kevin and daughter Kami of Klamath Falls, Ore.
A private family celebration of Dick’s life was held Aug. 10, 2012, at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
Memorial donations may be sent to: National Kidney Foundation, Finance Department, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.
To donate online, go to www.kidney.org/DonateNow.