Carlos Chanio Herrera was born on August 15, 1972 at 11:35 a.m. at Mercy Medical Hospital in Durango. He was born to Felix and Leona Herrera.
Carlos attended elementary school, middle school, and high school in Ignacio, Colorado and also completed part of his high school education in Tuba City, Arizona. He is an enrolled member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and grew up on a small ranch with his brothers: Steven, Richard, and Marvin. Carlos knew a farmer's life as he spent most of his younger years in the fields irrigating, cutting hay and riding tractors. In his free time, he evolved over the years from tuning and racing bicycles to skateboarding. He was blessed to have a loving uncle in Gerald Howe who introduced him to the Ute culture and our Native American customs. Carlos became a fancy dancer in the Southern Ute Youth Group during its formation. He was invited to dance for events and outings in the local area as well as the surrounding communities. As he grew older, he turned his focus toward ceremonials within our tribe and in other tribes. Carlos spent many years as a Sun Dancer who danced locally and as far as North Dakota. He participated in healing practices with various tribes and was effective as an apprentice in the healing ways.
After High School, Carlos met and married Daphne Washington. They lived together for many years and were blessed to have three beautiful children named Carlos, Angela, and Christina. Now, his children are grown and making their own paths in this world, but Carlos always speaks highly of them and his ongoing love for his family. Like many of the Ute children in Ignacio, Carlos started working at young age through the J.T.P.A. summer youth program. He worked for the HIP crew at Construction Services. He worked for the wood yard. Carlos became a sergeant for the Southern Ute Detention Center.
Carlos enjoyed listening to loud music and "jamming out." His early influences were Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, and AC/DC. He expanded his appreciation of music into Reggae and Heavy Metal. He liked to fish and to just watch nature. It was easy to watch him "watch nothing" and wonder what he was thinking. He also enjoyed going to concerts and traveling to see various places.
In his later years, Carlos met Rebecca Rael and they became inseparable. They shared a love and understanding that was strong and lasting. They took care of the farm and enjoyed taking time to themselves to appreciate the little things in life, but most of all to enjoy each other's company.
Carlos left this earth on June 5, 2021. He leaves behind his 2 daughters Angela and Christina, as well as his son Carlos. He is preceded in death by his brothers Steven Herrera and Richard Herrera.
Services for Carlos will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday June 16, 2021 at Hood Mortuary, Durango.
Published in The Durango Herald on Jun. 10, 2021.