James Santiago Duran, Sr., born February 9, 1927, to Serapio and Bertha Duran in Penasco New Mexico. He had 12 siblings, Lalo, Viola, Mary, Louie , Josie, Serapio Duran Jr., Bobby, Dolly, Deena, and Patsy.
He loved his family very much and always kept in touch with all of them. But there was one who he called almost every day, his sister Mary; they had a special bond and James would always take her a lemon pie or some sopa.
Later he met the love of his life at his friend's wedding, his honey, Consuelo Montoya. It was love at first sight! They dated for a short period and began their life together on September 5, 1948, in Taos. James and Consuelo celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on September 5, 2018. Those two were inseparable. The love they had for each other was beautiful and amazing. My dad took very good care of his honey. In those years James and Consuelo had 7 Children, Evelyn Anaya, James Duran Jr., Sharon Halmstad (Bob) Cindy Kyllo (Pat), Victor Duran (Carol), Debbie Grant (Tomas) and Eric Duran (Lavern. He helped raise two of his grandchildren, Thomas and Melinda Tafoya. He also has 14 Grandchildren, 19 Great Grandchildren, and 3 Great Great Grandchildren.
James loved his family and Friends. And no matter what he was always willing to lend a helping hand. James did many things in his life, he served in the Army during the WWII era and was honorably discharged. He was a Contractor and owned his own business called Duran Builder's and built many beautiful homes in the community, He also with the help of his mother Bertha founded the Taos Foursquare Church. He loved to hunt and held the World Record in 1959 for the largest non-typical mule deer killed in the United States. The deer is being displayed at Cabellas in Albuquerque and is currently ranked third largest mule deer in New Mexico. He was also a part of the Boon and Crockett Club which supports and advocates for fair chase hunting and habitat conservation.
But his passion laid in Politics! He was the Chairman of the Democratic party for 18 years. He served as County Commissioner and County Manager. He hosted several political parties and BBQ's with Governors such as Bruce King and Bill Richardson, Congressman, Senators such as Eric Serna and many local leaders. He served as a delegate on the National Democratic Convention where he got the opportunity of meeting former President Jimmy Carter in 1980. James was a great leader in our community with a great sense of humor, and he loved to joke and make everyone laugh.
James loved Astronomy, and He loved it so much he made his own telescope so he could gaze at the stars that still works to this day. James loved to take his wife cruising on his little smart car every chance he could. They would end up in Espanola, where he loved to eat at Angelina's, or if he were feeling up to it he would end up in Albuquerque at Red Lobster where his grandson David would fill his plate up with crab, and if he were really feeling adventurous he would call from California to let his family know where he was. He loved to travel, we all know he loved Vegas and would always say he was going to put all his money on double or nothing, but hopefully he would come back with a big bag of money. Even in his last days, we would ask him if he would like us to bring him anything, and it never failed, A BIG BAG OF MONEY!
James also loved his grandchildren dearly, he would always take the time to make them homemade carne seca, he made the best strawberry, lemon and chocolate pies, and he got so much joy knowing his grandchildren loved and enjoyed every bite. James loved and helped everyone he possibly could, and was loved by his community, family, and friends. He will be missed but not forgotten. On behalf of the Duran Family, we would like to express our sincere thank you to family and friends for their thoughts, prayers, hugs, texts, phone calls, messages, flowers, food, gifts, and help during this difficult time. We are so grateful and so very blessed for each and every one of you. We love you!
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