Former Durango resident Billy Haddow died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at his home in Walsenburg. He was 68.
Known as “Hap,” he was born to George and Myrtle Haddow on Dec. 11, 1943, in Pueblo. His father was a Scottish immigrant. His family said he loved climbing the mountains around his house.
A graduate of Holy Trinity High School in Trinidad, Mr. Haddow excelled in sports. He later received bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and history.
After college, he voluntarily enlisted in the Army, spending two tours in Vietnam as a member of the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry (Mechanized) of the 25th Infantry Division, also known as the “Electric Strawberry.” He was wounded in battle and spent a year in a body cast in Japan, later receiving a Purple Heart.
On March 12, 1978, he married Cindi Clark in Durango. The marriage later ended in divorce.
“He was never happier than when present at the birth of his son, Lawrence,” his family said. “A cowboy at heart, he paraded his young son all over San Francisco in his little cowboy outfits.”
Mr. Haddow lived in the late 1970s in Durango, where he was a bartender at the Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel. His family said he had many talents and was resourceful in finding careers. At various times, he was a policeman, worked in construction, drove a tractor-trailer hauling cattle and worked in restaurant and bar management in various places including Dallas, San Francisco and Greeley.
In 2001, he married his wife, Helen, in Walsenburg.
“He will be most remembered for the sparkle in his eye and his broad smile that could charm and delight just about anyone,” his family said. “He lived, worked and played hard.”
Mr. Haddow is survived by his wife of 11 years, Helen Haddow of Walsenburg; son, Lawrence Haddow of Durango; former wife, Cindi Clark Haddow of Durango; two grandchildren; and several cousins.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28, 2012, at the Walsenburg Golf Club in Lathrop State Park, 1399 County Road 502.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, for injured servicemen and women; or the Sangre de Cristo Hospice, South Office, 711 Walsen Ave. No. B, Walsenburg, CO 81089.