Friends and family are remembering longtime Glenwood Springs resident, former raft guide and “greatest lawn guy” Ned “Nedly” Mechling as an all-around good person who had a way of making people smile.
Mechling, 44, who owned and operated Perfect Turf landscaping and lawn care with his wife, Kim, died unexpectedly July 8 of complications arising from recent colon surgery.
A public memorial and celebration of Mechling’s life is planned for 5:30 p.m. today along the banks of the Roaring Fork River at the Prehm Ranch just south of the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport.
Anyone planning to attend is asked to park at the old rodeo lot next to the airport between 4:30-5 p.m. and either take a shuttle provided by Glenwood Canyon Resort or walk the 0.8 miles to the ranch. The memorial service will start promptly at 5:30.
“Perfect gentleman. Always a kind word and infectious smile,” wrote Jacque Mcmillan on a Facebook page, “The friends and family of Ned Mechling,” which was dedicated to his memory.
“Such a great guy, always put a smile on my face,” added Patty Grace. “My heart goes out to his family.”
Mechling is survived by his wife and two daughters, Charlie, 16, a student at Glenwood Springs High School, and Maddie, 12, who goes to Glenwood Middle School. Both girls are competitive swimmers for the Aspen Speedos swim club.
Longtime local swim meet director Deanna Colaizzi wrote on the Facebook page that she could also count on Ned to help as a volunteer timer at his daughters’ meets.
“He was always good for a laugh or two as well … you will be missed by many,” she wrote.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at Alpine Bank in Ned Mechling’s name to help with his daughters’ future educational pursuits.
Tony Thompson, president of Alpine Bank in Basalt, was a friend of Mechling’s going back many years to when they played recreation league softball together.
“He just had a big personality and would do anything for anyone,” Thompson said. “He wouldn’t have wanted flowers, he would want to give something to his girls and their education.”
Kim and Ned Mechling had been together for 19 years, since they met while both were rafting guides at Rock Gardens in No Name. They started Perfect Turf together, a business that grew significantly over the years, she said.
“The guys have been working triple overtime this past week trying to keep up, so a big thanks to them,” she said.