Al Koppel and Leo Goto
By Robert Sweeney
Two former Villagers were laid to rest recently, Al Koppel and Leo Goto. They were both long time friends of many area residents.
Al Koppel served in the Freda Poundstone era of dynamic growth for Greenwood Village. He was always a voice for common sense and good local government.
One of his projects was a planned Greenwood people-to-people exchange. We were to go to Israel and spend some time living in a rural village; likewise some of those folks would come to Greenwood Village.
It didn’t happen because of military conflicts in the area and the events were canceled. It would have been a great educational experience but didn’t come to fruition, no fault of Koppel, the guiding force in the sister-city program.
Leo Goto stood by the door at his Wellshire Inn and greeted and seated hundreds of his friends for several decades at his famed restaurant leased from the City and County of Denver.
He left the Wellshire Inn in 2008 with his lovely wife Linda and enjoyed a short period away from the restaurant business, but it was in his genes. Leo missed the culinary business and had a short stint with a new restaurant in Littleton that ended poorly for he and his family.
Visiting with Leo often at social events, he was always warm and gracious, that great smile and courteous demeanor. He and Linda were a significant force in the Denver social scene. Leo was a leader in the growth and development of The University of Denver where he proudly served as a Dan Ritchie Trustee for many years receiving their highest honor, the Evans Award in 1995.
The will both be missed by many friends and family members and remembered for giving back to their communities.
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