Candelario Cordova, 1919-2009
Vail, CO Colorado
Candelario “Candy” Cordova passed away Monday at Vail Valley Medical Center. Cordova was 89.
He was born in Chamisal, N.M., on Dec. 13, 1919. His parents were the late Gomisendo and Prudencia (Casaus) Cordova.
Mr. Cordova enlisted in the United States Army and served during World War II. He was one of the many solders to have been in the first wave to hit Omaha Beach Normandy France at 6 a.m. on D-Day. Candy, as he was known, was very proud to serve his country and logged 406 days of combat duty. He served in Tunisia, Sicily, Northern France, Central Europe, Rhineland and Normandy. He was the recipient of the Bronze Arrowhead, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Theater Service Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.
After receiving an honorable discharge, Mr. Cordova returned to New Mexico and then in 1946, he moved to Minturn, and went to work at the Gilman Mine. He continued to work there until his retirement.
Mr. Cordova was a past member of the American Legion and a very active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10721. He was such an ambassador for service men and women. He went to all the schools in the Vail Valley and talked one-on-one with students about military service.
In all the time that Mr. Cordova served in the front lines he was never injured. As a result of this luck, he was known as “Lucky Candy.” An interesting story that his family recalls is that a young boy followed him all around one day just trying to touch his hand for good luck.
On June 12, 1948, Candy married the former Lela Tafoya in Leadville.
Mr. Cordova loved fishing, hunting and being with family and friends. An avid sports fan, Candy enjoyed both playing and watching baseball and basketball, and followed the Colorado Rockies, the Denver Nuggets and the Denver Broncos.
Mr. Cordova is preceded in death by his parents; his son, Henry, who died in 1960; his wife, Lela, who died in 1975; and 10 siblings.
He is survived by daughters Kathy (Joe) Rivera, of Littleton, Colo., and Dora Ortiz, of Colorado Springs; son Rodney (Rosa) Cordova, of Minturn; sister Aurora Rodriguez; and grandchildren Wayne Rivera, Lori Martinez, Christopher Ortiz, Bryan Ortiz, Amanda Ortiz, Amanda Troxel and R.D. Cordova. Candy is also survived by six great-grandchildren.
The Rosary will be recited Wednesday at 7 p.m. with visitation beginning at 5:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday at 10 a.m., all at St. Patrick’s Parish Center in Minturn. The Reverend Hugh Guentner will officiate and Fred Casaus will play guitar and sing.
Mr. Cordova will be laid to rest in Riverview Cemetery in Minturn with military honors.
Those wishing may make memorial contributions to the Vail Valley Home Health Care and Mountain Hospice at P.O. Box #40000, Vail, CO 81658.
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.