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Obituary: Charles ‘Charlie’ Allan Gillis III

Charles “Charlie” Allan Gillis III, known for his positive spirit, passed away on July 3. He had lived and worked in Eagle County for over 20 years.

Charlie was the oldest of six children. He was born on March 17, 1953, in Bad Cannstatt, Germany, where his father was serving in the United States Army. Charlie also lived in Fort Meyer, Virginia, Fort Benning, Georgia, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Yuma, Arizona and Denver, Colorado.

Charlie took on a lot of responsibility at a young age. His mom taught him to drive at the age of 12 in case she needed help while dad was in Vietnam. Charlie was an accomplished horseback rider, earning many awards.  He ran track and was a strong swimmer in his youth. 

Charlie’s motto “cheers, dig life, and be way cool” was a true expression of how he loved and lived life to the fullest. Charlie made many lifelong friends with his infectious personality, positive outlook and great sense of humor. He had a strong work ethic and was a loyal son, brother, friend, and partner. Charlie enjoyed many road trips, especially in a hot car. Charlie’s creativity was evident in his home and garden.  

Charlie worked at the Cascade/Hotel Talisa for over 20 years. Most recently he was working at the Pet Vet in Eagle, where he was able to expertly calm nervous cats, dogs, and especially pet owners. After graduating from Adams State College in 1976, Charlie was a middle school teacher, pumped gas, worked in a liquor store, and worked as a mudjacker. 

Charlie never knew a stranger. His warm smile and ability to find the positive in every situation was well known throughout the Eagle community and will never be forgotten.

He will be dearly missed by many friends and family members: sister Karen Stanley (Rodney); sister Leslie Lemons (Steve); sister Diane Ragusa (Randy); sister Susan McGinnis (Michael); brother Gregory Gillis; nephew Ellory Gillis-McGinnis (Claire Bauer); nephew Josh Lemons (Amber), grand-niece Adalyn Lemons; nephew Luke Lemons (Meghan Scallen). And, of course, Charlie’s beloved Camo and Miss Piggy.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Mary K. Gillis, and beloved partner Chris B. DeMille.

A memorial for Charlie will take place on August 15 – details pending. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Eagle Valley Humane Society.

Obituary: Kate Heriot, July 5, 1949 – May 27, 2019

A celebration of life will be held for Kate Heriot on August 3, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Red Cliff, Colorado, at the old elementary school her children attended at 400 Pine Street. 

The family invites the community to come to share memories, stories, music, and light refreshments (pot luck welcome). Those attending are encouraged to come prepared with their favorite story/memory. For those so inclined, an impromptu gathering of friends is likely to follow, at a location to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation, in Kate’s name, to the Denver Dumb Friends League at: https://www.ddfl.org/ or, Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231. 

Any questions about this event can be sent to her daughter, Trina, at katherine.h.hoffer@gmail.com

Obituary: Claude Loyd Gerard

Claude Loyd Gerard passed away peacefully at the Glenwood Springs Health Care on Sunday evening, July 7, 2019. Claude was born in Gilman, Colorado, to Loyd A. Gerard and Ora E. (Carr) weighing in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces. He grew up and lived his life in the Gypsum Valley, attending school in Gypsum and graduated from Eagle County High School. While attending high school he was very active in Future Farmers of America and a member of the National Honor Society. During his years of FFA, he received both state and national honors being chosen for the American Farmers Degree.

Claude was known widely throughout the state of Colorado. He served on various boards concerning farming and the welfare of the ranching community. He saw quite the change in farming from using horse-drawn equipment to the technology today!

He served on the Eagle County RE-50J School Board, was an Eagle County Commissioner, Road & Bridge Supervisor for Eagle County Government and a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Claude retired as plant manager of a local gravel pit.

He is survived by his wife Mary Jo (Trezise) of almost 58 years, a son Loyd (Heather), daughters Melissa and Anna (J.P.), nine grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren, and nephews and nieces. His cat, Excavator, and his dog, Ziggy also held a special place in his heart.

Rest well, Grandpa!!!

As per his request, no services will be held at this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to the American Stroke Foundation, by visiting www.americanstroke.org.

Obituary: David Wesley Driver

A Celebration of Life will be held for David Wesley Driver, who passed on February 7, 2019, at the age of 55. It will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 11 a.m. with a light lunch to follow.

The service will be held at the United Methodist Church of Eagle Valley, 333 2nd Street, Eagle, Colorado. Reverend Sid Spain, pastor and longtime family acquaintance, will officiate.

The program will include songs sung by David’s daughter, Jordyn Versiellen Kari-Ann Driver.

Dave Butler, a regional minister and counselor, will speak about David, as well as sing with Jordyn.

Members of the gathering are also invited to speak.

Jordyn has expressed a desire that the memorial recognize her father’s sense of humor. He always enjoyed his daughter’s dramatic flair. In that vein, she will wear a “Small Hat,” black with veil. She invites other ladies to join her.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in David’s name to the Mountain Valley Horse Rescue for the Children’s Summer Camp program at mountainvalleyhorserescue.com or by mailing a check to Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, 33933 Colorado River Road, McCoy, CO, 80463.

The community at large is invited to attend the service and lunch.

Obituary: Frank Lawrence Burton III, Sept. 23, 1959 – June 13, 2019

Frank L. Burton III passed away peacefully Thursday, June 13, 2019, in his home surrounded by loving friends. Frank left this world on his own terms with dignity and grace, just as he had lived his life. Born in Albany, New York, on September 23, 1959, Frank attended Hudson Valley Community College and Siena College. 

Frank was predeceased by his mother, Helen Kelly Burton; father, Frank L. Burton Jr.; sister, AnnMarie Burton; and beloved cat, Oprah. Frank is survived by his aunt, Dorothy Poland; cousins, Ellen Braun-Howland, Kelly Burtnick, and Maureen Mulligan; and in spite of Frank being an avid Boston Red Sox fan, his much loved (and Yankees’ namesake) dog, Jeter. 

After arriving in Vail in 1985, Frank worked 16 years on Vail Mountain for Vail Associates as a bartender, bar manager and carpenter, where he made more lifelong friends than can be counted. Over the years he built a successful career with Republic National Distributing Company where he was their Mountain Division Manager — Wine. Those that were fortunate enough to have ever worked with Frank know that no one was more dedicated to their work or cared more genuinely about the people he worked with. He could always be counted on to use his innately dry sense of humor to provide perspective in our chaotic business world and had a gift for being able to bring levity to any stressful situation. Whether you knew Frank through work or socially, he was the kind of person that everyone respected and enjoyed being around. 

Frank loved good wine, great coffee, new adventures and always his friends. A passionate skier and zealous traveler, Frank was always eager for the next escapade. Whether a ski trip to Tahoe or Chile, a wine tour in Spain or Italy, or just another jaunt to Vegas, Frank was all in. For those that have been blessed with the good luck to have ever traveled with him, you are smiling right now with the memory of that adventure, and he is too. Frank cared deeply for his friends and leaves behind many that miss him dearly. 

A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at the roof top deck of Eagle’s Nest on August 8th at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, those who wish are asked to make donations in his name to the Shaw Cancer Center. https://donate.vailhealthfoundation.org/

Obituary: Roy Robert Heimburger, May 17, 1937 – May 30, 2019

Roy Robert Heimburger was born May 17, 1937, in St. Louis, Missouri to Roy and Dorothy Steeger Heimburger. Roy joined the Lord in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 30, 2019, while being held by the hand by his dear friend, Ms. Glenn Carson. 

After graduating from Washington University in 1959, Roy joined the Army serving as a financial officer. Roy then worked for Price Waterhouse, the ABC Banks, the Commercial Bank of San Francisco, Continental Bank of St. Louis, Blue Cross Blue Shield of California and President/CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri. He also was an instructor in accounting at Southern Illinois University. 

An avid skier, Roy purchased a condo at Townsend Place in Beaver Creek, spending as much time as possible on the Colorado slopes during ski season. He was an active member of the EagleVail Church.

An accomplished pilot, Roy flew multiple missions for the California Palm Springs U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol over a 20-year span. A memorable letter was received from George W. Bush complimenting him as a pilot in command of a BC/BS aircraft that was flying G.W. from Philadelphia to St. Louis in 1994. He served as an elder of the Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church. 

Roy is preceded in death by his parents. 

He is survived by Barbara Heimburger; cousins, Melberne Mansfield, Bruce Crelin and Gail Larson; dear friends, Glenn Carson and Jim Hermann, Annie Breckheimer and many more who loved him.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the Vail Church, 39209 Highway 6, Avon, Colorado, 81620. Inurnment will be at Vail Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made in Roy’s memory to the Gary Sinise Foundation, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund or a charity of your choice. 
Arrangements by: The Springs Funeral Services, tsfs.co

Obituary: Armando T. Romero

Armando T. Romero, 61, of Minturn passed away Saturday, June 29, 2019. A visitation will be held on July 6 at 9 a.m. with the Recitation of the Rosary at 10 a.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 10:30 at St. Patrick Parish, Minturn. Interment will be at River View Cemetery. A reception will immediately follow at Saint Patrick Spirit Center. Please visit www.kentfuneralhomes.com to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.

Obituary: Tayler Esslinger, May 8, 1993 – June 25, 2019

It is with great sorrow to say goodbye to our beloved son, husband, and friend Tayler. Tayler was born May 8, 1993, in Vernal, Utah. We moved our family to Gypsum when Tayler was 3 years old and he grew up here. Tayler was a Gypsum firefighter and an Eagle County Deputy.

He leaves behind his wife, Vanessa Villa Esslinger, his parents Debi and Bill Esslinger, three brothers Will, Josh and his twin brother, Tyler, and two sisters, Amanda Reid and Angie Esslinger. Tayler was loved by his community, friends, his brothers and sisters at the Gypsum Fire Department and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. If you had the privilege to know him, you know how much of an impact he made in people’s lives.

Tayler was kind and had a big heart, and he will be missed by all. 

Services will be held Monday, July 8, at 12 p.m. at The Eagle River Center located at 794 Fairgrounds Road in Eagle, Colorado.

Obituary: David Stern

David Stern, 75, of Edwards, Colorado, passed away Saturday, June 29, at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. In his last days, he was surrounded by his wife, Liz, his children Eric and Jeffrey Stern, Amanda Burdette (Jon) and his beloved grandchildren, Tori and Sierra Stern and Hannah and Levi Burdette (and his dog Yankee). 

David was born in the Bronx, New York, and faced what could have been overwhelming medical challenges from early on. None of it stopped him, and he went on to become a parent, a CPA, and a Master of Tax Law. When he and Liz moved to the Vail Valley 19 years ago, he also became an adaptive ski instructor, a black belt in martial arts, a jet fighter pilot for a day (thank you, Roundup River Ranch!) and a very mediocre one-armed golfer. Overall, he was very involved in the Vail community and was well known for his wit and generosity.  He will be missed by many. 

Shiva will be Tuesday, July 2, at his home in Singletree at 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 19, at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel. Contributions in his honor should be made to the Vail Veterans Program and Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum.

Obituary: Morgan W. Nields, Jan. 25, 1946 – June 18, 2019

Morgan W. Nields, a devoted husband, a loving father and grandfather, a respected businessman and a friend to thousands, passed on June 18, 2019, in Denver, Colorado. Morgan is survived by Belinda Nields, his wife of 51 years, his sons William (MD), Stefan, Morgan Jr. and Hunter, his daughter Lindsey Kennedy, his brother Robert Nields and sister Vicki Nields. A fifth son, Michael, preceded Morgan’s death.

Morgan will be remembered as a medical technology visionary, an extraordinary entrepreneur, an intellect, and a fierce competitor.

Morgan attended Holderness School, Williams College, and Dartmouth College receiving degrees from Williams in French Literature and a MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Morgan competed collegiately in NCAA downhill ski racing, a passion he continued into his 60s as a member of the International Masters Ski Racing Organization. Morgan furthered his athletic interests as a funding contributor of the Front Rangers, a competitive, Colorado bicycling club.

As a co-founder of Fischer Medical Imaging, Inc., which he led as chairman and CEO for 22 years, Morgan is best known for his continual quest to aid women with more accurate diagnosis and improved treatment of breast cancer. Using his entrepreneurial spirit to better diagnose and treat other malignancies, he founded Ablatech Imaging and Intio, LLC. Morgan strived to change the world of medicine and oncology for the better.

Morgan’s thirst for knowledge, his boundless energy, his genuine interest in family and friends coupled with his endless smile will remain with us forever.

A private service will be held in Denver in July. In lieu of memorial gifts please send any contributions to Collier Hospice@Lutheran Medical Center (LutheranMedicalCenter.org/).