Obituary: Celebrate Alan Brock Friday, Sept. 22, in Grand Junction
VAIL — Alan R. Brock’s dad taught him the brick mason’s craft in the 1960s, when Vail was springing up out of Gore Creek Valley pastures, and so was he.
In fact, Brock caught his first fish in 1962, fishing from the spot that would become Vail’s iconic Covered Bridge.
Alan was a fifth generation mason. He taught hundreds of others the craft, and the circle keeps rolling. His son, Kevin, is a sixth-generation mason. Brock was raised in Gypsum, lived in Aurora, Denver and Grand Junction, raised hi family in Glenwood Springs, and worked in the Vail Valley most of his life. He died this week in Grand Junction. He was 60.
Stroll through Vail Village, or almost any other Western Slope town, and you’ll see Brock’s work. It started in the 1960s when he was just a kid, tagging along after his dad.
In Vail he worked on jobs like the Tivoli, The Lodge at Vail, the Clock Tower Inn and all over Lionshead. Battle Mountain High School is one of his projects, 1973-75. That building is now Homestake Peak School, and the mason’s work remains as solid as the stone it is.
There were the Inventors of Vail, and there were the Builders of Vail.
When Vail was being springing up in the 1960s, local contractors that made it all happen under harsh weather conditions, a short season and often unsafe conditions. The original buildings were constructed of concrete blocks, with stucco and stone facade and plaster inside. Those masons were the builders of Vail.
In those days, construction was seasonal and stopped during the winter.
He worked with the giants in the masonry business like Gerald Gallegos, Bolles Masonry and Brock Masonry, and in Aspen with Sam Johnson. Scores of general contractors and architects knew him well.
Alan has made his trowel mark on edifices and monuments of stone beauty all over the western slope. He prided himself in the teaching of the trade to his sons, countless apprentices and young immigrant Hispanics filling the jobs when the industry needed it the most. He was hands-on in the field and with the architect for 52 years.
The funeral service is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2881 Orchard Ave., Grand Junction, Colorado. Interment will follow at 1 p.m. in the Palisade Cemetery, 3529 Front Street, Palisade, Colorado. A reception is scheduled for from 1:30-5 p.m., at Varaison Vineyards & Winery, 405 W. 1st Street, Palisade, Colorado.