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Obituary: Fletcher Macneill, July 8, 1928 – Oct. 27, 2019

Fletcher Macneill passed away peacefully on Oct. 27, 2019 at Castle Peak Senior Center in Eagle. Fletcher was born July 8, 1928, in Pennsylvania.  Fletcher met the love of his life, Louisa Bell and they moved to Vail, Colorado, in 1974. After a few years in California, they returned to Colorado. They were married for 33 years until she was sadly taken by cancer. Louisa was Fletcher’s shining light whose impressive personality captivated everyone who was fortunate to come within her sphere of influence.

He survived his parents, one sister and two brothers — all of Philadelphia.  Fletcher grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. He was well known for his pen and ink drawings.  Fletcher enjoyed many different sports including snow skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and biking over the years. 

A celebration of a long great life will be held in Eagle on Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. at Phil’s house. Please call 970-390-6962 if you plan to attend.

Obituary: Lisa Sterling

Lisa Sterling (Hicks) passed away after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer on Nov. 6, 2019. Born Aug. 10, 1962, in St. Paul, Minnesota, her family settled in Lakewood where she graduated from Jefferson High School. Not long after, she followed her sister Susan and made the mad trek to the mountains in the summer of 1981, where she met Sam Sterling, Sr.; had Vail babies; and created a warm and fun-filled life of hockey, skiing, and many Lake Powell and Green Mountain Reservoir trips.  She loved spontaneous travel with her family, and most recently hiking and supper club days and nights with treasured friends.

Liz (as she was known to many) committed her life to the devotion and unwavering support for her boys and family. Her passions were interior design (she was proud to obtain her BA of Design from Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design); masterful and heavenly home-cooked meals at a moment’s notice; and living life to the fullest without any regrets. It will be easy to remember the spirit of Liz, and if you were lucky enough to know her and call her a friend, you called her a great friend!

In her passing she confidently leaves in God’s hands: son Samuel Sterling (Katharine Koury); son Spencer Sterling; sister Susan Delmonico (Dr. Jack Laing); brother Jay Hicks (Andrea); sister Perri Doutre’ (Daniel), nephews Brandon (Ashley), Maxwell (Laurel) Delmonico; nephew Thomas Hicks, niece Brittany (Ben) Dennee; former spouse Sam Sterling Sr.; many great-nieces and great-nephews, and her umpteen friends around the country.  Her father Tom J. Hicks and mother D. Bonnie Roman (Hicks) preceded her in death.

Above all, she endeavored to say thank you from the bottom of her heart for all of the support and love from everyone in our wonderful community. Liz wanted all to remember her not in her illness, but in her faith, love of her family, and friendships.

Visitation is from 9-11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at The Vail Church located at 39209 U.S. Highway 6 in Avon with services to follow. Interment will be at River View Minturn Cemetery, 806 Cemetery Road, Minturn, Colorado. In lieu of flowers her wishes would be to give to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund www.vvcf.org; and the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance; www.Colo-OvarianCancer.org.

Obituary: Emedardo ‘Emer’ Espinosa

Emedardo “Emer” Espinosa passed away on Monday, Oct. 28, in Denver. Emedardo was born on September 28, 1931, in Vallecito, New Mexico, to Carlos and Manualeta Espinosa. He grew up in Las Tablas, New Mexico, and then moved to Del Norte, Colorado.

Emedardo met the love of his life, Helen Medina, and they were married on June 25, 1952. Emedardo moved to Minturn, Colorado, in 1956, where he worked at the New Jersey Zinc Mine in Gilman until it was closed in 1984. He then got a job working at the Eagle County School District where he eventually retired from working.

Emedardo enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling, fishing and watching the Denver Broncos. Emedardo was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and two children Louise and Leonard. He is survived by his sisters, Eurfinia (Amos) Medina and Casey (Arthur)Espinosa, children Gilbert (Linda) Espinosa, Charlie (Beatrice) Espinosa, Lorraine (Freddie) Medina, Mark Espinosa and his grandson who he raised as his own son Michael (Allysha) Espinosa.

Emedardo also has three grandsons and two granddaughters as well as four great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter.  Please visit www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.

Obituary: Rudy Frausto

Our beloved Rudy Frausto went to be with the Lord on Nov. 1. He was a husband to Diana Lopez, and a father to Claudine, Rodney, BJ, Rudy Jr. and, Carlene. Not only was he a father, he was a grandfather, great grandfather, brother, Uncle, Nino and a friend. He will be greatly missed by everyone he affected. 

There will be a memorial service on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. at New Life Assembly of God. A reception dinner will follow for all his loved ones who would like to attend.

Obituary: Damien Thomas Coleman, June 24, 1981 – Sept 11, 2019

Damien Thomas Coleman (38) was born on June 24, 1981, in Westminster, Colorado. He moved to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, in 1985 where he grew up and graduated from RLHS IN 1999. After graduation, he moved to Colorado where he worked for Beaver Creek Resort from 2000 to 2019. 

He married his high school sweetheart Jessica Ahrens in 2013 and they had a daughter Lily Ann in 2014. Damien left Colorado and moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, in 2019 to be closer to his daughter.

Damien is survived by his daughter, Lily Ann Coleman, and his ex-wife Jessica Ruesch of Wausau, Wisconsin; his parents Lori Coleman, Springfield, Oregon, and Thomas Coleman, Haslet, Texas. His uncles Larry Jacobson and wife Debbie, cousins Abbey Cullen, Jeremy Jacobson, and Heather Jacobson. His uncle Jody Jacobson and wife Kitti, cousins Kristopher Jacobson, Aaron Jacobson, and Amanda Jacobson. His cousin Eric Lindgren from Colorado and preceded in death by his Aunt Kathy Lindgren.

The Big Horn mountains of Wyoming were a special place for Damien as he spent many family camping trips there as a child and as an adult. In honoring his wishes, his family will be celebrating his life with a scattering of his ashes in the Big Horn mountains in the summer of 2020. Damien was loved by his family and friends and will be missed by all who knew him. His daughter Lily will always hold a special place in her heart for her daddy.

Obituary: Rebecca (Becky) Sue Puhl

Rebecca (Becky) Sue Puhl passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. 
Becky was raised by Elmo and Bernadine Puhl. She grew up in Utah and Minnesota, and graduated from New York Mills High School. Becky moved to Vail, Colorado, to pursue a management internship. After her internship, Becky started working at Vail Health Hospital, where she spent the last 28 years. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Health Information Administration and was able to use her talents in the IT department as the Interface Architect. She was loved and respected by her co-workers and friends. 

Becky was preceded in death by her parents, Elmo and Bernadine Puhl, and stepmother Elaine (Kling) Puhl. She is survived by her brothers John (Gayle Mercil) Puhl and Michael Puhl and her niece Krista (Peter) Schulenberg (Puhl). Becky had many close friends in the Valley as well as throughout Colorado, Minnesota and Texas that thought of her as family.

A Celebration of Life is planned for November 10, 2019 at Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle, Colorado, at 1 p.m. A dessert “potluck” will be held; bring a dessert to share. If you would like to share a story, memory, or kind words, there will be time provided at the service. A memorial has been set up at the Eagle Valley Humane Society for those who wish to contribute.

Obituary: James Sepenzis, July 22, 1937 – Sept. 19, 2019

James Sepenzis, nee Lentgis, passed away peacefully of congestive heart failure at home in Denver, Colorado, on Sept. 19, 2019.

Jim was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on July 22, 1937, to Constantine Lentgis and Mary Konstand of Greek heritage. His early education was completed at Quebec High School and Stanstead College. He attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, from 1955-59 where he earned a General BA in Politics, English and Philosophy.

In 1960 Jim began his career in finance with the Royal Bank of Canada in Montreal. From there he moved to Smith Barney in Manhattan, New York, in 1964 where he accepted a position as an institutional salesman. Over the next 20 years he became well known for his impeccable integrity in making money for his clients. He eventually became a vice president and manager of the institutional sales department. In 1984 he moved on to become a founding partner of Needham and Company.

Jim loved the Rocky Mountains where he hiked, skied and fly-fished with family and friends. He moved the family to Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, in 1995 to live the Colorado lifestyle. He worked in Denver at Hanifen Imhoff and, subsequent to their acquisition at Stifel Nicolaus until he retired in 2005. Holidays and weekends were spent in the mountains enjoying the great outdoors. As empty-nesters, Jim and Barbara retired to Edwards, Colorado. They had skied many mountains but loved Vail Valley the best. Jim’s debilitating stroke in 2008 sadly compromised his health over the years and necessitated a move back to Denver in 2015.

Jim is survived by his wife of 36 years, Barbara Jean Sepenzis, nee D’Andrea, daughter Andrea Jean Sepenzis, son Alexander James Sepenzis and daughter-in-law Gloria Novoa Sepenzis. He is survived by his relations from a previous marriage: son, Thomas Andrew Sepenzis; daughter Danya Kathryn Sepenzis Weller; son-in-law Michael Weller; grandson Sean Weller and granddaughter Brooke Weller. In addition, he is survived by his younger sister Vangie Lentgis; brother-in-law James Garofalo; sister-in-law Theresa Garofalo; nieces-in-law, Jessica and Lauren Garofalo; sister-in-law Lisa Garofalo. Jim was preceded in death by his youngest sister Corinne Lentgis Gittleman. All the immediate family gathered in Denver to say their goodbyes shortly before he passed away.

Jim was well regarded if not loved by all who knew him from longstanding clients to business colleagues, from friends to family. His intelligence and humor shone through with a twinkle in his eyes, kind smile and gentlemanly manner.

At his request, there will be no funeral service. A celebration of his life will be planned for later this year. Donations in his memory may be sent to the National Stroke Association. 

Obituary: Sarah M. Quirk, Nov 20, 2001 – Sept 28, 2019

Sarah M. Quirk passed away on Sept. 28, 2019. She lived in Avon with parents, and graduated homeschool in May 2019. She had aspirations of attending the Air Force Academy after a gap year. Her funeral was held Oct. 8, and a Life Celebration will be held Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. at Stephens Park in Vail.

Obituary: Jessica Erin Gregg-Galles, 1981-2019

Jessica Gregg -Galles, beloved daughter, sister, auntie, adored friend and confidant, departed this world on Oct. 9, 2019. She was like a shooting star in our lives, brilliant and shining with love, laughter and tears. She could crack you up with the most absurd jokes or comments about a situation, and then break your heart with her compassion for someone else’s pain, whether it was handing out cigarettes or any money she had to a homeless person on the corner of the street, helping an animal that was abandoned or lost, or winning over a little kid who just stole her heart with a look or laugh.

She would talk to anyone on a street or airplane and charm them with her amazing dynamic personality, or she would get in a fistfight on a bus or a street or a bar protecting anyone, but especially her friends. Her friends have been sharing some of their amazing memories about her … No matter how huge the enemy, her loyalty was undying. She gave without thinking twice, and that was her vulnerability that people saw and loved her for.

Jess battled addiction her whole life with sometimes days, sometimes months and even years when there was a respite. She worked so hard to overcome this awful last battle she was having with heroin. Jess did not die of an overdose as some have speculated, although she very easily could have at any time. She had developed an awful infection in her heart valve that had moved to her lungs and eventually shut down her kidney and liver. Her little body was just too weak to overcome this last huge enemy, and it took her from us while her friends and family cradled her and surrounded her with love so she could finally find some peace that was denied to her in this life.

Look at her beautiful face and recognize that the face of addiction is all around you, possibly even in the mirror. Not everyone is battling heroin, but there are so many other things out there. Please don’t look and judge other people and please don’t deny them your love and support. Let’s turn this battle around and help people get help. Jess had a lot of loving family and friends trying to help her and it was an uphill battle. We all tried so hard but in the end, it was her battle, not ours.

Jess was born on October 25, 1981, at the Vail hospital to Lynn Gregg and David Galles at 8:46 in the morning and which she reminded me of every year on her birthday! With laughter, she would ask me how it felt!!

Her friends and family are throwing her a birthday party on Friday, Oct. 25, from 6-9 in the evening, at Shakedown Bar in Vail Village, and on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a reception in her honor at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel in Edwards. We would love to hear your stories of Jessica.

Obituary: Dr. John A. Feagin, Jr.

Dr. John A. Feagin, Jr., former resident and active Vail community member, died peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 1, at his home in Jackson, Wyoming, amid friends and family. He was 85.

John Autrey Feagin Jr. was born into a military family on May 9, 1934, at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio when his father was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base after graduating from West Point.

John’s mother, Katherine Feagin, was a third-generation Texan. His appreciation and respect of service to country and love of Texas were deeply rooted from his youngest days. He enjoyed the mobile life of an Air Force brat while his father was stationed at Hamilton Air Base in Marin, California, and Tonopah, Nevada, but always connected back to the family home in Texas. He spent summers selling watermelons and ice on the Guadalupe River in Hunt, Texas.

John entered West Point in 1951 as one of the youngest in the Class of 1955. While he clearly was headed for a life of service to country and others, he was encouraged to attend the United States Military Academy by his father because of the secured paycheck upon graduation.

At West Point, he enjoyed being a Sunday School teacher, member of the NCAA-championship water polo team and class treasurer. John was forever proud of his classmates and the lifelong bonds forged at the Academy. His first career dream had been to fly in the Air Force, but, failing the eye exam, he was on to active duty service with the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg and two years of “soldiering.”

John was granted a “leave of absence without pay” to attend medical school. He loved the Army and wanted to be a surgeon-soldier. He was among the first three West Point graduates to be granted that permission.

He attended medical school at Duke University from 1957-61. In Durham, he met Martha Bagley, a Duke undergraduate from Alabama. They married in 1959, and they had the first of three children when Randle was born at the Duke hospital. John then did his internship at Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii and his orthopaedic residency from 1963-67 at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. There they had two children, Rob and Nancy.

John served in Vietnam in 1966-67 with the 85th Evac in Qui Nhon. He was humbled by his time as a soldier surgeon serving his country.

A tour of duty as surgeon and team physician at West Point was followed by a fellowship in hip replacement surgery in England with Sir John Charnley at Wrightington Hospital. When John returned from England, the Army sent him to the Presidio at San Francisco and then once more to West Point to be hospital commander. Running a hospital and moving up the chain of command in the Army had its rewards but took time away from his passion of caring for patients.

In 1979 he retired from the Army and moved his family to Jackson to begin a private practice, run a medical clinic at the base of the young ski resort and raise a family in a mountain town. He became immersed in the ski town lifestyle, both in his personal and professional lives.  In his orthopaedic practice, he was able to continue to specialize in sports medicine whether it was attending to the local football team, caring for the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, or serving as the Team Physician to the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. All the while, taking the opportunity to foster a love for the outdoors and adventure in his family. He arranged for the whole family to learn about climbing and mountaineering, even instigating a family outing to summit the Grand Teton. He was also able to get his pilot’s license during those years and loved flying to rural clinics around the state.

After Jackson, John returned to Duke University in 1989 to continue his teaching and research career. He joined the orthopaedic faculty at Duke University in the Sports Medicine Division, where he remained until 1999. He was a team physician for Duke University Athletics, reuniting with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, whom he had taken care of when Mike was a basketball player at West Point. While at Duke they won two basketball national championships. It was a special time and he was ever thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the excellence of the coaches and players.

During his tenure at Duke, he embarked on one of his highlight adventures — flying his Cessna 182 in the footsteps of Charles Lindbergh, across the Atlantic. His only regret was that he could not take his trusty copilot Samba, his English sheepdog. Samba had over 5,000 logged copilot hours.

After Duke, it was John’s friendship and camaraderie with Dr. Richard Steadman that brought him to Vail. John became a dedicated supporter of the Vail Valley Medical Center, Howard Head Sports Medicine, The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute and he spent the next 10 years of ‘retirement’ mentoring Fellows and helping to build and grow the visions of the local medical community. John’s influence and network of mentees were instrumental in bringing top-notch physicians from around the country here to Vail, who will continue to carry his passion for patient care for our local community.

John, and his wife of 10 years, Martha Head, were active supporters of Vail in every sense and took pride in helping Vail grow while still preserving its character and history. John enjoyed playing golf at Eagle Springs Golf Club and attending lunch with his favorite group of friends and colleagues in the No Name Lunch Club. 

John returned to Jackson, Wyoming, in 2015 where the remainder of his days were lived out making beautiful memories with his children and grandchildren.

Along the way, John was awarded numerous honors and continued to serve in a variety of ways. He was President of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; served on the USMA Board of Trustees; earned the United States Military Academy’s Distinguished Graduate Award, and was named to the Sports Hall of Fame of the AOSSM and West Point.

The Feagin Leadership Program at Duke University was established to honor and build on Dr. Feagin’s legacy of leadership in patient care in medicine. The program is in its 11th year of teaching and inspiring young medical professionals. To many, the program is the culmination of his life work, with a focus tying together leadership, education, patient care and ethical values.

John is survived by his children Randle (Melissa) Feagin; Robert (Susan Temple) Feagin; and Nancy (Jonathan Carpenter) Feagin; and grandchildren Whitney Feagin; Lillian and Walter Duquette and Helen Feagin; and Connor Carpenter. He is also survived by Martha Feagin, his former wife, lifelong partner in family, and champion supporter; sister Katherine Jeter (Col. John R. Jeter, USMA ‘55); nieces and nephews; and so many extended cousins, family and friends that he cherished.

While serving as a mentor to many he remained forever grateful to his family for sharing his life’s journey and for his friends, colleagues and extended family for tolerating his peripatetic course. He always tried to live the West Point Cadet Prayer: “Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. … And grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service.” May it be said, “Well done.”

A small celebration of Dr. Feagin’s life was held at Calico Restaurant in Wilson, Wyoming, on September 18. The formal memorial service will take place on Monday, Nov. 25, at the United States Military Academy Chapel at West Point in New York, where he will remain forever with his beloved classmates.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Feagin Leadership Program Endowment Fund at Duke University (feaginleadership.org). The endowment will ensure that Dr. Feagin’s legacy lives on in perpetuity. The Feagin Leadership Program provides transformational learning experiences that develop effective, ethical leaders who positively influence health care.