George Hoskovec, a 61-year-old Glenwood area-man who was found dead in the Colorado River last weekend, was an avid outdoorsman and homeless by choice, relatives said Friday.
His 25-year-old son Steven grew up fishing and hiking with his father in the wilderness near Golden.
“He just wanted to help people, even if he didn’t have anything for himself,” Steven said in an interview.
George’s brother Doug Hoskovec said, “He was a loving father, brother and son. He was a really good guy and everybody liked him.”
Doug recalled an occasion when his brother left money anonymously with his neighbors to prevent them from being evicted. He also used to helped clean the local church.
Hoskovec had a weakness for alcohol that contributed to a history of mostly minor criminal incidents. After moving to New Castle three years ago, he was cited for drunken driving and found it hard to maintain a home, but stuck it out anyway.
“He finally just decided once he got over here that he was gonna make it work,” Steven recalled.
George Hoskovec had a phone and called his son every month or so. The last time they spoke, he had set up camp near No Name. He worked part time, did odd jobs and sometimes stayed in area motels during the coldest winter months.
Although the family sometimes worried, Steven believed his father could take care of himself.
It came as a shock when an official from the Garfield County Coroner’s office arrived in Denver to deliver the sad news.
Rafters spotted Hoskovec’s body in the Colorado River near Rifle on July 5. Although toxicology results are pending, preliminary autopsy results indicate drowning as the cause of death and suggest he was in the water for about a week. He had sustained injuries to the neck and head consistent with a diving accident. There was no indication of foul play.
He is survived by his mother, Ethel, brothers Doug and Steve, sister Rita McKay, and son Steven.