Vail Daily obituary: Ludwig ‘Louie’ Jordan: A life well lived
Editor’s note: The following was written by a longtime friend who didn’t want to be named.
Many fond memories of Louie came to my mind when I was asked to write a few words in his memory after his passing on May 14. The one that stands out is when he — not too long ago — volunteered out of the blue to me: “I have been so lucky in my life. I came to America, I found a wonderful wife and am blessed with great kids, I have a nice home — beyond my wildest dreams — so much to be thankful for.” Ever since I have called him “Lucky Louie” in my mind!
Louie was born in Eggenfelden, Bavaria, in 1938. After high school, he went through the famous, thorough German apprenticeship for carpentry and cabinet-making, and, with his master’s certificate in hand, he set out for adventure. An adventure that took him by ship to the shores of the United States and then Lake Michigan and Chicago where he had a job lined up through a cousin.
In no time he had made contact with a German club that welcomed new arrivals with open arms at Saturday night dances and the festivities — like Oktoberfest — that Germans are well known for. At one of these dances he met the daughter of other German immigrants who liked to dance just as much as he did, with the added plus that she was cute and bubbly.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
It did not take long for them to go steady and become “ein Herz und eine Seele” (one heart and one soul). A wedding soon followed, and they have been a heart and soul team ever since.
They became a family of five, with sons Carl, then John and daughter Lisa. They were a happy family and things were good in Chicago, but when an opportunity presented itself to move to the mountains of Colorado, they went for it! They moved to Vail in 1972, and, with partners Jim and Pat Hansen, built the Enzian Lodge in Lionshead Village, a lodge with a definite German and Bavarian feel to it, mostly due to the German touch that Louis brought to both the interior and exterior, not only of the entrance, reception and dining room on the first floor, but also the lodge rooms and condominiums on the upper floors. Louie and Cynthia became active members and enthusiastic promoters of the still evolving Vail community. Louie was a happy man, aside from running the lodge with the “manager in chief,” Cynthia, he had time enough to sneak off to the slopes for a few runs during the ski season or go mushroom or elk hunting in the summer and fall.
Eventually the Enzian was sold and Cynthia and Louie were looking for another investment opportunity, which presented itself with the establishment and part ownership of Beaver Liquors where Louie’s knowledge of fine wines, beers and spirits was very much appreciated, not only by the locals but also by the wine connoisseur homeowners and visitors of Beaver Creek and Vail.
There came a time when Cynthia and Louie decided to change the high-country, long-winter lifestyle for a more suburban life in Broomfield, Colorado and a winter home in California. They enjoyed their life in both locations with many old and new friends, always happy to have guests for delicious gourmet dinners expertly prepared by Cynthia, and, of course, accompanied by exceptionally good wines carefully selected by Louis. They enjoyed traveling here and abroad with friends or by themselves. I fondly remember Louis telling me — his eyes sparkling — about their trip by boat on the Danube from Hungary to Germany.
A funny-talker friend.
Louie — “Opa” to his grand children — leaves behind his loving, true soul mate, Cynthia, his children he was so proud of: son Carl and his wife, Janet and their sons Matt and Kyle in Eagle; son John and his wife, Joan, and John’s sons Alex and Noah in Firestone, and daughter Lisa and her husband Wolfgang Opel and their children Nikolaus and Kristina in Gypsum, as well as his brother, Walter and his family in Passau, Germany and many very fond friends in Colorado and California.
A private celebration of Louie’s life will take place sometime next winter in the Vail area.
You may share your memories of Louie with his family by mail at 16470 Grays Way, Broomfield, CO 80020-0528.