Obituary: Celebrate Fred Haslee’s life Sept. 15
If You Go …
What: Celebration of Fred Haslee’s life
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.
Where: Battle Mountain High School in Edwards.
More information: In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred Haslee’s memory may be made to Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation, Box 1977, Avon, Colorado 81620 or to AFTD at www.theaftd.org
MINTURN — Fred Steven Haslee was a Minturn man to his very marrow most of his adult life, devoted father, husband, community volunteer, cyclist, skier, runner and friend.
Haslee died Aug. 9, 2018, after a long battle with Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in Franklin, Massachusetts.
Fred’s disease, which affected his body, mind and memory, progressed at the same time his young daughters, Laura and Maggie, lost their mother to cancer seven years ago. While Fred’s mind failed, their memories of their father remain strong and vivid.
“There are not enough words to fully capture all that my Dad was to me,” Laura said. “He was my mentor, my running buddy, my role model, my sounding board …”
Some of her favorite times with her father were on long runs.
“Looking back, I’m amazed by how the simple words he would state on these runs were so wise and practical,” Laura said. “He’d say, ‘It’s just about one foot in front of the other,’ and ‘Running into the wind is bonus training,’ and ‘Always run your own race.’”
“He taught me that life is about being present, bringing your best self to every day, staying focused on your goals, being your own person, and doing all of this even in the face of adversity. His memory and spirit will live on through these words and every morning when I lace up my shoes for a run,” Laura said.
Daughter Maggie remembers her father walking through Minturn, speaking to everyone he saw, whether he knew them or not. He had a passion for making every person feel welcome, she said. Her husband, a Boston native, was in awe of how many people knew Fred.
Maggie also remembers her dad being at every one of her sporting events, and even at practices to help where needed.
“My Dad would say,” ‘You practice how you play. Those words have stuck with me well beyond the gym of Vail Mountain School,” Maggie said. “It saddens me that his love for people, sports and his family won’t be passed on to my two boys, but his spirit lives in both of them and they will be told about how amazing their ‘Papa Fred’ was to his family, friends and strangers alike.”
A proud Colorado native, Fred was born in Denver on April 11, 1952. A 1970 graduate of Englewood High School, he attended Graceland College in Iowa and graduated with a degree in business administration and psychology from Western State College in Gunnison.
He met his wife Lorraine Mall when they were both skiing with their respective families. They were married Aug. 20, 1977 in Walsenburg, Colorado. Fred worked for Caterpillar, until the couple moved to Minturn in 1979, when Fred was hired by his close friend, Darell Wegert, to work at Gamble’s Hardware Store.
“Fred was a great friend my entire life, and like a true friend he could be counted on to help, whether asked or not,” Wegert said. “We grew up together, raised our families together, spent holidays together, skied, hunted, served in each other’s weddings and created great memories together. I will miss him.”
Fred volunteered as a Buddy Werner League coach, served two terms on the Minturn town council, was a volunteer with the Minturn Fire Department and the ambulance district, worked many summers for the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale and was a founding board member of Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation.
Fred was named Volunteer of the Year for the time and talent he gave to World Ski Championships and other ski races through the Vail Valley Foundation.
Fred was employed by the Vail Water District prior to his 30-year career as rules and regulations administrator at the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.
He ran several marathons, and completed the Boston Marathon with his daughter Laura.
He loved Colorado, and even after moving to Massachusetts in 2015, everyone knew his Denver Broncos were his top team in his eyes.
He was predeceased by his wife Lorraine, his parents Leland and June Haslee and brother-in-law John Scott.
He is survived by daughters Laura Mall-Haslee Goncalves (Paul), of Quincy, Massachusetts, and Maggie Haslee Connor (Sean), of Norfolk, Massachusetts; grandchildren, Sean Connor, Jr. and Colton Connor, of Norfolk; brother Tom Haslee (Katie), of Englewood; sister Judy Scott, of Greenwood Village, and several nieces and nephews.