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Joanne K. Carpenter
Joanne K. Carpenter (Ogier), 72, died Dec. 4 at her home in Parker. Graveside committal service was at the North Platte Cemetery on Dec. 15 and a celebration of life was held at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia on Dec. 16.
Joanne was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 22, 1943, to Raymon and Irene Ogier. She grew up in North Platte, where she lived until she went to college. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Carpenter, on Sept. 4, 1965. Once married, she and Bob lived in Cherry Hills Village, where they raised their four daughters. Joanne’s favorite past time was watching her beloved Broncos on Sundays and any and all college football games on Saturdays.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, brother and husband. She is survived by her daughters Stephany Coffman, Danielle (Pierre-Yves) Sprungli, Brandy (Danny) Flanagan and J.J. (Levi) Dockendorf, and grandchildren Patrick Coffman, Olivia and Sonya Sprungli, and Wyatt and Everest Dockendorf.
Donald R. Seawell
An invitation came from Judi Wolf, “The red haired dynamo wolf,” who has cared for Donald R. Seawell for many years while Wolf’s husband Marvin purchased the groceries. This was probably a challenge with the great culinary taste of Donald’s food and beverages.
The invite was to attend a memorial celebration for this great Denver icon down at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the Seawell Ballroom, which was dedicated to his late wife.
There we all were, nicely dressed for the occasion and seeing a great many local friends.
Almost precisely at 5 p.m. the procession of speakers marched to the stage and a breathtaking program ensued.
Chaired by the Wolf, who has served in many, many nonprofit roles, she gave a brief welcome and the program began with a live performance of There’s No Business Like Show Business performed by Michael Fitzpatrick, Mary Louse Lee, M. Scott McLean, Jeffrey Roark, Christine Rowan, Lauren Shealy and Shannan Steele.
The next accolade came from the top with Gov. John Hickenlooper, wearing a tie, giving a stirring tribute to his long-time friend and dinner companion. The governor related in his tributes that what he remembered most about Don was that he seemed to know everyone. The 500 friends in the audience could relate to that statement.
The governor spoke of his association with Broadway stars, titans of industry, among them Post Publisher Dean Singleton, who later acknowledge the prowess of his predecessor at The Denver Post.
The governor related that Seawell’s passion for the arts was infectious.
“Don lived and breathed the arts, and he worked tirelessly to share that love with others,” Hickenlooper said.
Another interlude of singing best described Donald’s life with the number, My Way.
Tributes were made by Scott Shiller who worked decades under Mr. Seawell’s keen sight and intuition.
A description of The Denver Center for the Performing Arts was shown with Mr. Seawell’s drawing of the complex on an envelope that later became reality in concrete and stone.
Another Denver icon, Daniel Ritchie, spoke of having followed Seawell at the Center, relating that it wasn’t always an easy task, but they were fast friends and comrades in arms for the arts.
Granddaughter Brett Wibur expressed her love and admiration for her grandfather, relating a recent telephone conversation with him at age 103. The three Seawell grandchildren, who seem extremely talented like Wibur, definitely got their grandfather’s genes.
They Can’t Take That Away from Me was another vocal selection, followed by brief statements by new Center arrival Kent Thompson, who has many tough acts to follow in his new role as producing artistic director for DCPA Theatre Co.
Singleton expressed his admiration for his fellow newspaper associate and read a legal decision attributed to Seawell’s legal acumen about newspapers really belonging to the people in the community that they serve. Singleton said that they both used that to defend The Post on occasion, and sometimes it worked the other way, as he acquired more than 160 publications in his illustrious career, now retired from active Post management.
Dean, “Hick” and Don were occasional diners at the Denver Country Club where the meals began with a bottle of Champagne selected by the “Don.”
The tributes were interlaced with melodies and I Will Always Love You performed by Mary Louise Lee, first lady of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, was breathtaking and memorable.
The program ended with Wolf bidding Don’s friends adieu to the music of Give My Regards to Broadway. This was a great show.
The only sad thing about the great memorial celebration was that Seawell wasn’t seated in the audience. He would still be clapping in his dapper suit and handsome stature.
As they all related, he was a great gentleman and loved the arts, matching them to our mountains.
Thank you, Judi.
Donald R. SeawellFile photo by Glory Weisberg
Donald R. Seawell, founder and chairman emeritus of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, died Sept. 30. He was 103.
“Donald Seawell was a visionary whose dreams for the City of Denver, the state of Colorado and indeed the world will outlive generations to come,” said DCPA President & CEO Scott Shiller. “Mr. Seawell’s reputation as an industry leader inspired the creation of countless other performing arts centers throughout the country. Denver is the No. 1 arts city in the country because of the innovative path Mr. Seawell set us on 37 years ago. We will continue to honor his legacy in all we do.”
A native of North Carolina and graduate of the University of North Carolina, Seawell studied law and came to Washington, D.C., as an early staff member of the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the outbreak of World War II, he went to the War Department and the Department of Justice, on loan from the SEC, serving as director of the Anti-Subversion Division of the Justice Department and executive secretary of the Combined American and British Intelligence Organizations.
In 1943, he entered the armed services and served on the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force ultimately reporting to Gen. Eisenhower. As part of SHAEF, he participated in planning for D-Day, in which he worked with the British on diversionary tactics that led the Germans to believe the invasion would occur at Pas de Calais instead of Normandy. After V-E day, he transferred to the Judge Advocate General’s Department to argue veterans’ reemployment rights before the United States Supreme Court. He then entered the private practice of law in New York.
While he was head of his firm’s corporate and international divisions, his work as attorney became increasingly involved with the theatre. His theatrical clientele began with Ruth Draper, growing to include Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Tallulah Bankhead, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, among others.
He became involved with theatrical presentation, on Broadway and in London, producing or co-producing A Thurber Carnival, Noel Coward’s Sail Away, The Affair, The Beast in Me, Slow Dance on the Killing Ground and dozens more Lunt/Fontanne hits and other shows in addition to television and motion picture productions.
He was first to bring the Royal Shakespeare Company to America. In 1962, he directed and presented the RSC production of The Hollow Crown on Broadway and on tour and, in 1964, to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary, he imported the RSC’s King Lear and The Comedy of Errors, which opened the New York State Theatre.
“Donald Seawell is one of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s greatest friends,” said Artistic Director Gregory Doran, “serving as a governor since 1980, and as an honorary governor since 2001. He was the first to bring the RSC in its current form to the USA, directing and presenting our production of The Hollow Crown on Broadway and on tour in 1962. Just over 50 years ago, he helped mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, taking our productions of King Lear and The Comedy of Errors to the New York State Theatre. As chairman of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, he collaborated with us to stage a landmark production of Tantalus, John Barton’s 10 play retelling of the Greek Epic Cycle, which opened in Denver in 2000 and toured the UK, including the Barbican Theatre, to great acclaim. This heroic project, which brought together international artists from the U.S., UK, Japan, Greece and Ireland, reflects the scale of Donald’s vision and his extraordinary passion for theatre and the RSC.”
Helen G. Bonfils, principal owner of The Denver Post, was his partner in many Broadway shows and other ventures. She asked him to become the attorney both for her and The Denver Post, representing her interests in a decade-long fight for control of the paper. In 1966, Seawell became president and CEO of The Post. It was not long before he became chairman and publisher of The Post and a full-time resident of Denver.
Finding himself at the crossroads of 14th and Curtis streets in downtown Denver one day, looking at the old Auditorium Theatre (built in 1908) and the surrounding four blocks, Seawell had an idea for a performing arts center that could utilize some of the existing buildings. Before the day was out, he had secured the approval of his fellow trustees of the Helen G. Bonfils Foundation to form the not-for-profit Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
In its inception, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts was two-fold: the four-block, 12-acre site that today is managed by the City of Denver. Now called the Denver Performing Arts Complex, it is home to 10 performance venues that feature ballet, symphony, opera, theatre and musicals. Secondly, Seawell created the DCPA to offer locally-produced theatre and Broadway tours to Denver audiences. While no longer managing the majority of downtown’s Arts Complex, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has become the largest nonprofit theatre organization in the nation, presenting theatre, cabaret, musicals and innovative, multimedia plays.
Ground was broken in December 1974. By 1978 the 2,634-seat Boettcher Concert Hall – the nation’s first in-the-round concert hall – was completed, along with an eight-story, 1,700-space parking garage. By 1979 the Auditorium Theatre had been renovated, two cabaret spaces and four more theatres had been added: The Stage, Space, Source (now Jones) and Ricketson – comprising the Helen G. Bonfils Theatre Complex contained within the larger complex. The 2,830-seat Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre was completed in 1991 and the Grand Ballroom atop The Space Theatre was added in 1998.
In 1982, he brought the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain to Denver to participate in a Festival of World Theatre sponsored by the DCPA. He sat on the boards of the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Central City Opera, was president of the Denver Opera Foundation and helped create the Mayor’s Commission on the Arts (now Denver’s Office of Cultural Affairs).
Seawell was an honorary governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and was an early and vigorous proponent for the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts, testifying before Congress on behalf of funding for the NEA and for its sister agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and serving on the NEA’s theatre panel. As chairman and CEO of the American National Theatre and Academy, he played a role in creating the American National Theatre in Washington, D.C., and, as a member of New York’s Broadway Alliance, contributed to launching its first performance.
While chairman of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, he oversaw such landmark events as the pre-Broadway debut of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the national tour launches of Disney’s The Lion King and Sunset Boulevard among others, and the world premiere productions of Quilters, The Laramie Project and the landmark 10-part epic production of Tantalus. A defining moment in his career was receiving the 1998 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre on behalf of his beloved DCPA Theatre Company.
In 2002, Seawell received the Honorary Award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) from England’s Queen Elizabeth. In 2004, he again was recognized for his contributions to the City of Denver with a Mayor’s Award, and in 2006 he was honored with induction into Broadway’s Theater Hall of Fame.
Seawell stepped down as full time chairman of the DCPA in 2007 to be succeeded by Daniel L. Ritchie. He continued to actively serve as chairman emeritus of the Helen G. Bonfils Foundation, the DCPA and ANTA until his death.
Seawell married actor Eugenia Rawls in 1941. She passed away in 2000. He is survived by their children, Brockman Seawell of New York City and Brook Ashley of Santa Barbara, Calif., a granddaughter Brett Wilbur of Carmel, Calif., and two great-grandchildren.
Ronald Stuart Loser
Ronald Stuart Loser, 81, died peacefully at home on Sept. 5 after a valiant battle with Leukemia. Born Oct. 17, 1933, to Earl G. and Edith Loser, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jeri, son Mike Losier (Chris), daughte, Katy Clair (Troy) and daughter Gail Lasater (Scott); nine grandchildren, seven great grandchildren.
A Denver native, Ron graduated from South High School in 1951 and the University of Colorado where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1955. During his time at CU, he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and was on the ski team. Ron lettered all four years and 50 years later the Alumni “C” Club inducted Ron into the Living Legends. After completing his under graduate studies, he attended the University of Colorado Law School. During school, Ron met and married the love of his life, Jeri Sando in 1956. He graduated from Law School in1958.
After graduation Ron joined the Denver Law Firm of Fuller and Evans and opened their Littleton office. The family moved to Littleton where they have resided ever since. The Writer Corporation, one of the most prominent builders and developers at the time, was one of his first clients and the position as the official coordinator of the Home Rule City Charter Convention started off his career. In 1959, he was appointed assistant (prosecuting) city attorney for Littleton. In 1965 he started as Arapahoe County Attorney and held the position until 1979. During those years he worked with the legalities surrounding the zoning and development of the Arapahoe County Airport (now Centennial Airport), as well as the controversial project known as I-470, today known as C-470. After resigning from the county attorney position in 1979, the Littleton Independent stated he was a “skillful attorney and loyal and dedicated public servant.” Ron continued with private practice and ended his career with Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio P.C. A perpetual hard worker, Ron was in the office the week before his death.
Ron had an active life of golfing, skiing, traveling and enjoying music. A man of community, he served at Cherry Hills Country Club as director from 1984-86 and president from 1997-98, in addition to posts at the University Club, the Arlberg Club and Denver Gyro Club. A man of service, the Red Cross appointed him disaster chairman during the flood of 1965. Two years later, he sang with the “Fiasco” fundraisers for the Littleton Library. Over the course of his professional career, he was a valued member of many boards. He made each member of his family feel special by visiting often, and celebrating their achievements. He will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers donations in Ron’s memory can be made to: The Denver Hospice, 501 S. Cherry St., Suite 700, Denver, CO 80246. Colorado Symphony Orchestra, 1000 14th Street, #15, Denver, CO 80202. Friends of Chamber Music, 191 University Blvd. #974, Denver, CO 80206-4613. Trinity United Methodist Church 1820 Broadway Denver, CO 80202.
The service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 1820 Broadway Denver. A reception will be held at the University Club, 1673 Sherman St., Denver following the service.
Submitted by Debbie Aragon
I will so miss dear Sherry Sargent, my friend of 26 years, who I admired and loved so greatly. There is not a term for losing a dear friend, such as widow or orphan. Sherry has been such an important person in my life for 26 years – we met through CCSD Parent Information Network, PIN, when my oldest was in kindergarten – he is now 31. Everyone who was fortunate to have known Sherry would wholeheartedly agree that there could be no more of a positive and inspirational person in our lives and that she has made all of us better people than we would have otherwise been. She will be so very missed and life will always be different without our radiant, dear Sherry. There simply was not a better person, wife, mother, grandparent, friend, community leader, change agent, enthusiast, connector of people, cheerleader, optimist, unifier, lifelong learner, brainstormer, resource gatherer, photo taker and distributor, note writer, butterfly lover, hostess, encourager, goal setter, affirmer, supreme example, difference maker – than dear Sherry Sargent.
Sherry was a living example every day of the utmost of character, integrity, determination, perseverance, focus, kindness, caring, positive energy, generosity, making important things happen, going above and beyond, hospitality, vivaciousness, optimism, and much more. Sherry was the rare kind of friend who cared so deeply about those in her life and truly wanted to know the full answer to “How are you and your family?” Those beautiful blue eyes and that smile looked directly and listened intently wanting far more details than most people ever do.
Who else would be so involved in all levels and many Cherry Creek Schools simultaneously when her own children had long ago finished at those schools and were well onto their adult lives?! Only Sherry, who attended multiple weekly PTCO and other district meetings, organized and ran the Science Fair at Cherry Hills Village Elementary school for many years, attended sporting events, plays, concerts, speech and debate tournaments, not only to watch and support her own children and grandchildren participate, but for many many others as well. Sherry and Frank were regulars at the annual Fitness Festival, increasing the enthusiasm and success of the event by virtue of them being there.
Sherry was so passionate about positive youth development, issues of character, integrity, what was good for kids, and to speak out about unhealthy behaviors and harmful choices. She and Frank worked tirelessly in the effort against legalizing marijuana in Colorado and spoke out about the detrimental effects of alcohol and marijuana, especially on the developing brain. And they also constantly looked for ways to incorporate proven tools into our schools such as the Rotary 4 way test, among many other beneficial programs and ideas.
Sherry demonstrated so clearly the power of parents and particularly moms, in her vision of creating PIN almost 40 years ago. She, along with other moms, were concerned about some of the behaviors and choices they were seeing in their high school kids, and because of their efforts, there are now many more informed and proactive parents and safer and more healthy young people. Sherry was truly the face and heart of PIN for all of these almost 40 years.
When Frank came up with the brilliant idea in 2010, for PIN to begin an annual Sherry Sargent Scholarship in Sherry’s honor, we came up with the following criteria, all important aspects of Sherry, that the scholarship recipient should emulate:
Has noteworthy achievements in education and leadership within their school community
Is involved in the community and depicts honesty, fairness and caring for others
Emulates a “Service Above Self” and a positive and joyful spirit which encourages better friendships and improves their communities
Demonstrates an active passion for enabling others to see new possibilities and achieve new dreams
The students selected for this special scholarship over the last six years have truly been exemplary and have gone on to achieve greatly academically and personally.
The following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson fits Sherry so well:
‘The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Rarely in our lives has one person, on her own, made such a huge difference for so many many individuals, children and families. Some of the initial reactions people shared upon hearing of Sherry’s death: “She was an icon that will never be again,” “She was one of a kind,” “I will so miss her smile and graciousness,” “A bright light has gone out,” “There will never be another like Sherry,” “A shining star is missing from our lives,” “Such authentic love and care Sherry showed to all,” “Such a huge loss for us all but what an amazing legacy she leaves.”
Our great self-described “community activist” Sherry Sargent is unbelievably no longer with us, but we will all do the best we can to carry on her great vision for our community and her passion for life. We are all better people for having had Sherry in our lives. Sherry was my dear friend, and was such an important role model, mentor and inspiration. She will be missed beyond words and she will always, always live in our hearts.
Ivar P. Carlson, July 24, 1928 – July 21, 2015
Ivar P. “Swede” Carlson was born on July 24, 1928 in Denver to Ivar and Elsie (Nord) Carlson. Elsie passed soon after his birth and he was lovingly raised by his new mother Henrietta (Lindahl) and father Ivar at the family home in Englewood. He is survived by his younger sister Virginia (Tom) and his younger brother Eddie (Maxine).
He graduated from Englewood High School in 1946. He proudly served his country in the United States Army (1946-1948) and the Air Force Reserves (1948-1952).
Ivar married Phyllis Muhr on Oct. 14, 1951. They raised their three sons Darryl, Paul and Neil and moved the family from Grand Junction to Lakewood in 1967. Over the years the family has grown to include: two daughters-in-law, Charlotte and Jan; seven grandchildren and spouses, Melissa, Nathan, Michael (Joanne), Nicholas (Lisa), Angela, Erik (Kayann), and Kirsten; and six great-grandchildren, Paul, Abigail, Kendall, Christian, Adele and Gabriel. Ivar lost his precious, loving wife Phyllis on Aug. 12, 2010. His final wish to be reunited with her for eternity has finally come true.
Ivar worked in the freight transportation business as a salesman and sales manager for Rio Grande Motorway and Northwest/Westway Transport prior to his retirement.
Ivar was an active lifetime member of the Denver Lions Club joining in 1969 and serving as club president in 1994-95. He became a Melvin Jones Fellow in 2002, was an advancement Key member and served on the Rude Park board and pres. in 1991-92. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and the VASA Swedish Lodge. He was a longtime member of Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church. Ivar was a loyal fan and season ticket holder of the Denver Broncos and also enjoyed attending Colorado Rockies games.
Interment was held July 28 at Fort Logan Cemetery with services at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lakewood.
Sherry Sargent, wife of Frank Sargent, died July 2.
Her birth name was Shirley Anne Shepherd, born in Cambridge, Mass. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in 1959 in sociology and education. It was there that she met Frank Sargent whom she married in 1960. Sherry became a teacher and taught at Fishinger Road Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1970,Sherry, Frank and their children moved to Cherry Hills Village, with their children attending Cherry Hills Village Elementary School. Sherry joined its PTCO and started the annual fall science fair.
While the Sargent children went on to West Middle School and Cherry Creek High School, Sherry brought Opera Colorado singers to the schools. She also helped establish a drug counselor position at CCHS. Out of that seed grew what are now the Community Asset Building Committee and the Fall Fitness Program. That program went on to include the district schools as well as the surrounding community at large. Sherry supported anti-drug programs, including Drug Free America, Smart Colorado and DARE.
If all that wasn’t enough to secure a legacy of leadership, Sherry also helped start Red Ribbon Week, which spread to the rest of the state.
The Sargent family is also proud to note that in 1978, Sherry was in on the ground floor of what became the Parent Information Network, PIN, a district-wide organization informing parents on current issues impacting youth. That PIN became the basis of the foundation scholarship. For more information on this program visit email@example.com.
When Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Monte Moses was named 2005 Colorado Superintendent of the Year, Moses said that PIN was a major factor in him being honored.
Sherry also helped start the Cherry Creek High School After Prom Party with several other parents.
Sherry was involved with the Denver Lyric Opera, University of Denver Lamont Society, Opera Colorado, and several local sports groups.
Sherry is survived by her son Craig and wife Laura Sargent and their children, Victoria and Taylor; Linda Sargent and children Courtney and Abbey; Stephen Sargent and wife Laura and their children, Savannah, Nicholas and Grace; and Jim Sargent and wife Kristi and their children Kylie and Luke.
The Sargent family belongs to Hope United Methodist Church where Sherry helped with the Summer Bible programs. Sherry was also involved with Rotary International as a non-member local district committee member.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation and the Sherry Shepherd Sargent Scholarship via the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation, Attention: SSS Scholarship, 4700 S. Yosemite St., Suite 130, Greenwood Village, CO 80111. Online donations can be made at www.ccsdfoundation.org/donate. The family would like donations to be marked in memory of Sherry Sargent.
Visitation will be at Hope United Methodist Church: Sunday, Aug. 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. Friends are welcome to visit with the family during this time. Memorial Service will be at Hope United Methodist Church: Monday, Aug. 3, at noon.
By Glory Weisberg
Cable and online university pioneer Glenn Jones, 85, died July 7, leaving a legacy of achievements, including Jones International University in Centennial. This was a campus-free effort to enable more people to get a college degree. The building and satellite dishes are visible from I-25. It was the first fully online university to win accreditation.
Jones was an attorney and considered a cable pioneer, and part of a local effort that included such icons as the late Bill Daniels. Because of this close knit group, Denver is often called the birthplace of cable television.
Jones and partner Dianne Eddolls were seen frequently at nonprofit funding events for decades. Jones was honored with The Mizel Institute’s Community Enrichment Award in 2012.
At that time Jones was quoted as saying, “Life for me has been an adventure. Civilization floats on education, making education more equal.”
Just last month Jones was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress “for his significant contributions and sustained efforts in building a stronger country. Jones joins the ranks of other American greats including Madeleine Albright, Ray Charles, Walter Cronkite and more.” The award was presented by Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress, honoring Jones “for his decades of service to the advancement of education and helping to widely expand access to the treasures of the Library of Congress globally.” Billington added, “[Jones] was active in the creation of the National Digital Library, as well as the World Digital Library which was launched in 2009 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
“Jones [was] one of the founding members of the James Madison National Council – a select, private advisory body to the Library of Congress, and he [was] chair of its Education Committee.”
Mr. Jones said at that time that he “is deeply honored to be recognized as a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. It has been my life’s passion to make education accessible to more people, and I am humbled to join the list of Living Legends who have contributed to our American way of life.”
More information is available at www.jonesncti.com.
Michael James, Volunteers of America Denver director of development, noted that loved ones planned a private family service and that a Celebration of Glenn’s Life is being planned for a later date.
Information used in writing this article also came from the Denver Business Journal and Pete Casillas, publisher.
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