Former La Plata County resident Nora (Chiole) Malles died Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Albuquerque. She was 102.
Mrs. Malles was born to Frank and Valentina Chiole on April 19, 1910, in Silverton. She started school in Telluride, but finished the elementary grades at Breen in a rural one-room school. She attended the boarding high school at the Old Fort Lewis College for four years. The facility then became a junior college, which Mrs. Malles also attended.
She became an elementary school teacher on the Fort Lewis Mesa. When FLC became a full four-year institution, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
In 1934, she married John Malles in Aztec. He worked in the family business, Malles Transfer. When the business closed in 1942, the family moved to Breen, where they ranched.
“Nora loved teaching and working with her pupils,” her family said. “She enjoyed her young years on a farm.”
Mrs. Malles was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teacher’s sorority. Nora participated in all the community activities.
In 1971, after 31 years of teaching at various schools on the Fort Lewis Mesa, Mrs. Malles retired. The Malleses also sold the ranch, moving to Cortez. The couple traveled by RV throughout the country and Mexico.
Mrs. Malles also loved to dance. Her family said she and her husband danced well into their 90s. In 1982, Mr. and Mrs. Malles moved to Truth or Consequences, N.M., where they could dance five nights a week. They also continued to travel in their RV.
In 2004, they moved to Albuquerque.
Mrs. Malles was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, John Malles, in 2007.
She is survived by her daughter, Frankie Mae Hitson, of Albuquerque; and son, Reece Malles, of Gordon, Neb.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
An online guest book is available at www.RememberTheirStory.com.