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Terry Ann Biddinger
Terry Ann Biddinger, BSN, RN, passed away on April 24, 2017 following months of declining health. She was born December 18, 1937 in Mason City, Iowa, the oldest daughter of Mary Catherine (Farrell) and Murray Finley. She moved to Denver over 40 years ago with her late husband Dr. John Biddinger but never lost her love for her native Iowa.
A devoted mother, professional, and community volunteer, she played instrumental roles with numerous institutions and organizations including Cherry Creek School District, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Central City Opera Guild, Denver Lyric Opera Guild, Friends of Nursing, Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders, Institute for International Education, Mental Health America of Colorado, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, University of Denver Humanities Institute and Lamont School of Music, Denver Art Museum, Littleton Public Schools, Bright by Three (formerly Bright Beginnings), Archdiocese of Denver, and the University of Colorado Chancellor’s Office, School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, Center for Ethics and Humanities, School of Business, Department of Endocrinology, and the College of Nursing where she served as director of External Relations from 2005 until her retirement in 2012.
Recognizing her many contributions she was awarded the Joseph Addison Seawell Award from the University of Colorado in 2007.
Surviving her are her children Anne (Greg) Schlessinger and Paul (Sudha) Biddinger, grandchildren Connor, Tyler, David, and Catherine Schlessinger and Kiran Biddinger, siblings Thomas Finley, Murray Finley, Jr. and Catherine Clark, as well as her many cherished friends.
Terry was honored as Villager Woman of the Year in 1998.
Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, May 3 at 3:30 p.m. at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 1900 California Street with a celebration to follow. Interment is a private ceremony. Everyone who knew Terry knew how proud she was of her Irish heritage. To keep her Irish eyes smiling guests are encouraged to wear their favorite shade of green.
Contributions in Terry’s memory may be made to The Touched By A Nurse Fund, University of Colorado Foundation, Attn: Gift Processing, 10901 W. 120th Avenue, #200, Broomfield, CO 80021 or online at giving.cu.edu/fund/touched-nurse-endowment-fund. Visit HoranCares.com to leave condolences for the family.
Sharon Cooper pictured here with former Bronco Reggie Rivers.
Sharon Cooper died April 16 at Brookdale Meridian after an eight-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.
She operated Sharon Cooper & Associates, a Denver based Public Relations, Marketing & Advertising Firm for many years.
A memorial service was held at Temple Sinai on April 18. Donations can be made to Cancer League of Colorado.
Shirley Carol Smith
Shirley Carol Smith, 82, of Cherry Hills Village, passed away on March 1, 2017. She was born on February 19, 1935 in Waco, Texas, the daughter of Mabel (Albritton) and John Dillard Shields.
Survivors include her husband, Marlis Smith; sons, Marlis Smith, Jr (Karyn) and John Timothy Smith (Wendy); daughter, Melinda Haymons (Christopher) and 10 grandchildren. Shirley was preceded in death by one sister and one brother.
Shirley’s love of the arts began at age five studying ballet, piano and voice. Performing in school musicals throughout grade school, high school and her college years fostered a love of the performing arts, specifically opera. Voice studies at Baylor University and Texas Tech University began her “Diva Dreams.” Performance and recitals continued until a young geologist named Marlis entered the picture. “Diva Dreams” became church soloist, children’s choir director and serving as “First Chair” of carpooling three young children. Marlis, honored as the first Fine Arts Foundation Citizen of the Arts, continues his support of Shirley’s passion for the arts.
Arts enrichment and education are two priorities of Shirley’s. As a member of two national sororities, Mu Phi Epsilon music sorority and Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority, Shirley experienced college life to the fullest combining music and lasting friendships. A Theta Foundation Board member, Shirley was honored with the establishment of the Shirley Shields Smith Kappa Alpha Foundation Scholarship awarded every year to a Theta graduate student of music or science. In 1990, Shirley was distinguished as Colorado Theta “Woman of the Year.”
President of Denver Lyric Opera Guild in 1985 and again in 2000, Shirley helped produce the DLOG competition for Colorado Singers. Ten grants are awarded yearly to DLOG Competition winners. Many of these winners continue successful careers in the performing arts.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has for many years been a source of enjoyment that Shirley and Marlis are honored to support. The Smiths were founding members of the DCPA Director’s Society and they co-chaired the popular “Saturday Night Alive” in 1993.
Shirley, as a three-term trustee of the Santa Fe Opera, established with Marlis, the John D. and Mabel Albritton Shields Apprenticeship for Singers in memory of Shirley’s parents who nurtured her childhood dreams. Researching and recording family genealogy fascinate Shirley who remains a long-standing member of Colorado Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1990, the Smiths co-chaired the Fine Arts Foundation Debutante Ball. Their daughter, Melinda Smith Haymons, debuted in 1987 and began a tradition for Smith grandchildren. Mariah Noelle Smith, 2012, was honored as a Debutante with her two young cousins, Alexandra Haymons and Allison Smith serving as tiara mistresses.
Past experiences included two terms as president of the Denver Symphony Orchestra Conductor’s Circle. Singing throughout the city as a member of “The Gallery Singers,” a small performance group of eight women, was a highlight during this period. Conducting the overture to Colorado Ballet’s Nutcracker proved a memorable, once in a lifetime experience!
At the time of her passing, Shirley served as a Lamont Society Council member, Lamont School of Music, University of Denver, supporting young musicians. Serving as an Opera Colorado Board member promoting Opera Colorado productions, Shirley’s interest includes the Opera Colorado Young Artist Program and the Opera Colorado Outreach Program. Shirley co-chaired the Opera Colorado Inaugural Opera Ball and most recently, Shirley and Marlis shared honors with two couples co-chairing Gala, 2000.
Introducing grandchildren to opera, attending school functions and athletic programs, piano recitals and cheering on the 2012 Colorado State High School Tennis Championships, have kept Shirley and Marlis delightfully busy. At last count, four grandchildren have expressed aspirations, “Career Dreams,” of performing, singing and acting.
Collecting sculptures and fine art have been of great interest for many, many years. Shirley’s daughter, Melinda Smith Haymons, has encouraged and assisted in the development of Shirley’s new endeavor; learning the technique and execution of oil painting.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 10 at Christ Church of Denver, 2950 S University Blvd. Visitation was March 9. Private interment will be held in Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Denver Lyric Opera Guild or to Opera Colorado.
Pamela Babst Bent died unexpectedly on Dec. 11, 2016, at age 72 in Tubac Ariz.
Born in Greenwich, Conn. she graduated from Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn. and Hollins University in Roanoke, Va. Pam taught for many years in Denver independent schools including Garland School, Colorado Academy and St. Mary’s Academy. Beloved by her students, she introduced women’s lacrosse to many in the state and was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
Her legacy lives on at St. Mary’s Academy where she helped bring the Pam Bent Turf Field to fruition. She was also an avid birder as demonstrated by her life list of 524 species.
Her legacy lives on at St. Mary’s Academy where she helped bring the Pam Bent Turf Field to fruition.
Daughter of George P. Bent and Alice B. Bent of Greenwich, Conn., she is survived by her sister, Edwina F. Bent (Gordon G. Kauhanen) and her nephew, Peter G. Kauhanen of Monterey, Calif.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Academy, 4545 S. University Blvd. in Englewood, followed by a reception. All are welcome to attend.
Contributions can be made to St. Mary’s Academy, 4545 S. University Blvd., Englewood, 80113 or Tucson Audubon Society, 300 E. University Blvd. #120, Tucson, Arizona 85705.
BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSON
Gretchen Ann Davis was born on Sept. 15, 1939 to Irene Davis and Richard “Bernie” Davis and was a third-generation Coloradan. She graduated from Denver’s East High School and moved to New York City where she and fellow students at Tobe Coburn Fashion Institute lived at the Barbizon Hotel. After receiving her degree in fashion, her career took off in San Francisco at I. Magnin. It was in San Francisco that she met Calvin H. Pope at a party. He was a big band drummer and asked her to get him a beer. The sassy Gretchen told him he could get his own beer. The couple who married in 1962, returned to Denver, and were blessed with three children – Kimberly, Kindall and Kevin. Their theme song was “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Pope became affiliated with several prestigious fashion boutiques in Denver, including Neusteters, Cates First Avenue and Joseph Magnin. She also modeled for Joslins and other department stores and co-chaired the Central City Fashion Show in 1980.
The multi-talented and ambitious Pope also pursued marketing, advertising and public relations. She was a co-partner in Accent Point for eight years and later founded Gretchen Pope and Associates. Both garnered high-profile clients in the Rocky Mountain Region. She even produced and hosted a health watch show on KDEN radio.
Because of her creativity and ability to have a pulse on everything in the community and a knack for networking, she essentially became a professional fundraiser and developed a golden list of key benefactors. She was tenacious and fun, joking that she wore beige – a symbol of neutrality.
Although she was linked to many nonprofits, including Developmental Pathways, Big Sisters of Colorado, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Central City Opera Association, Children’s Hospital Denver, Variety Club International, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Fashion Group, Women in Radio Broadcasting, Swedish Hospital Foundation, Camp to Belong and Girls Club of America, the leader narrowed her focus to two because her son was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10.
She was active with American Diabetes Association and served as vice president of fundraising for the ADA Auxiliary. She later became executive director of the nonprofit and recruited countless loyal volunteers and of course, donors. As a consultant for Children’s Diabetes Foundation, she assisted with fundraising and development benefiting The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. She served as president of the CDF Guild and used her fashion sense to launch its highly successful Jewels for Hope program. Members and friends donate their fashion and otherwise jewelry which is recycled – being sold at various fundraisers and events in boutique style.
Pope may have lost her heart in San Francisco, but she poured her heart in to Denver. Our dear friend departed on Feb. 1, 2017 after suffering a stroke.
She is survived by daughter Kimberly Pope Myers and grandson Ryan Ross of Denver, daughter Kindall Pope of Denver and son Kevin Pope (Terri) of Elizabeth, and sister, Diane Long of Arizona.
Because Cal, her sweetheart of 48 years, passed away on Valentine’s Day 2011, Gretchen’s Celebration of Life will be Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 1 – 4 p.m. at Wellshire Event Center’s Mountain View Pavilion at 3333 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her name be made to her “baby” – Jewels for Hope at Children’s Diabetes Foundation, 4380 S. Syracuse St., Suite 430, Denver, Colo. 80237.
Gene N. Koelbel
Gene N. Koelbel, 90, passed away November 27, 2016 immediately following a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with the family. She was a renowned community volunteer and philanthropist for her entire adult life. She was married to Walter A. Koelbel, founder of Koelbel and Company, one of the longest continually operating full service real estate development companies in Colorado. One of their notable communities was Pinehurst Country Club, in Southwest Denver, on Pinehurst Farm, originally owned by her parents Carl A. and Juliet Norgren.
Loving wife of Walter A. Koelbel for 62 years until he passed Christmas Day, December 25, 2011. She was the devoted mother of Lynn (Jim) Stambaugh, Walter A. “Buz” (Sherri) Koelbel, Jr., Robert “Bob” (Deb) Koelbel, Leslie (Tom) Webb and Laurie (John) Chahbandour; proud grandmother of Carlee (Josh) Steck, Stacey (Jonathan) Malcolm, Brady (Jamie) Stambaugh, Cody Stambaugh, Carl (Fallon) Koelbel, Walt (Laura) Koelbel, Dean (Kristen) Koelbel, Bethany Koelbel, Kyle Koelbel, Kari Koelbel, Kevin Koelbel, Tyler Webb, Claire Chahbandour and Beck Chahbandour; nine loving great-grandchildren; and sister of C. Neil Norgren, Lee H. Norgren, Donald K. Norgren and Vanda N. Werner.
A memorial service celebrating her life was Dec. 2 at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Denver followed by a reception at Cherry Hills Country Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sewall Child Development Center, 940 Fillmore Street, Denver, 80206, The Denver Santa Claus Shop, P.O. Box 102104, Denver, 80250, or Denver Zoological Foundation, P.O. Box 17745, Denver, 80217.
Edith Fettinger Williams of Centennial, born Jan. 2, 1925 in Newark N.J., passed away on Nov. 25 after months of failing health. Edith was educated in the Maplewood N.J. school system until the untimely death of her father in 1942. After her father’s death, her mother moved Edith and her sister to Saco, Maine where she graduated from Thornton Academy in 1943 and later from Westbrook College, now known as University of New England.
She married Tom Williams in Saco in 1946, a storybook relationship that began in elementary school. During their life together, they lived in Seaford, Del., Allentown and Devon, Pa., Wilton and Greenwich, Conn. Evergreen and most recently, Greenwood Village and Centennial. Her four children, 10 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and her West Highland terrier, Charlie, brought her the most joy in life. She embodied the definition of motherhood in all its forms. Nothing mattered more to her than the happiness and well being of her family.
Edith volunteered in various community, school an Edith is survived by her devoted husband of 70 years, Thomas Phillips Williams; a sister, Rosemary Fettinger Worth of Saco; four children and their spouses: Deborah Williams Tryon and her husband, Bill [Cherry Hills Village; Thomas W. Williams and his wife, Nancy [Hingham, Mass.]; Susan Williams [O’Neil] Edmondson and her husband, John [Milford, Mass.]; Theodore T. Williams and his wife, Susan [Greenwood Village]; 10 grandchildren: Ben and Jeff [wife, Carrie] Tryon; Megan Williams [husband, Sean] Cragan; Carrie Williams [husband, John] Schlegel; Tommy Williams; Daniel [wife, Gina] O’Neil; Timothy [wife, Dara] O’Neil; Kevin [wife, Kayla] O’Neil; Kristen Williams and Eric Williams. 10 great grandchildren: Tessa, Caroline, Colin, Jack, Nora, Connor, Maryn Edith, McKenzie, Trent and Lilly. Edith was predeceased by her brother, Theodore Ford Fettinger, a Purple Heart recipient in World War II.
A memorial service to honor Edith’s life will be held Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church, Cherry Hills Village. A service of burial will take place at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Saco, at a later date. In lieu of flowers please make donations to St. Gabriel Episcopal Church, 6190 E. Quincy Ave. Cherry Hills Village CO 80111.
BY BOB SWEENEY
Don Johnson: I really miss Don Johnson, who passed away recently. His wife Arlene and family did a masterful job at his memorial service. Don and Arlene have been wonderful residents of Cherry Hills Village and hosted so many well attended events in their lovely home. Gone, but not forgotten, a good friend in service to others.
Joe Ignat: Such a solid figure in the metro community. A philanthropist, business leader, husband and father. He was a powerhouse in the Ohio-based family Nord Foundation. Joe was a portrait of courage in his battle against cancer. He thought Bitcoins were the future, good for Joe. A memorial service will be held soon for him and a private service was already held in his beloved mountains.
Clark Douglas Fortner, 87 years old and a World War II veteran ending up his life as a resident of Centennial. He joined the Marine Corp in 1946 and was an aircraft mechanic on an aircraft carrier. He is survived by his wife Jan of Centennial and son Douglas Fortner of Denver, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was part of that Greatest Generation who are almost all gone now. Remember Veterans Day Nov. 11. A salute to a departed local Marine.
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