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Obituary: Michael T N. Fitch

July 7, 1945 – July 22, 2022

Michael T Newman Fitch – husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, telecommunications expert – succumbed to cancer on July 22, 2022. He was 77 and resided in Redondo Beach, CA.

Mike was born July 7, 1945 in Little Rock, AR to Jerry and Marcie Fitch. The Fitch family moved to Glenwood Springs, CO in 1951 where they operated KGLN radio station and later KDGO radio station in Durango, CO. His experience working at KGLN gave him his deep interest in radio and telecommunications and his skill on the microphone that fueled his professional life.

After graduating from Glenwood Springs High School in 1963, Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1967 and a Juris Doctor law degree from Columbia University in 1970.

From 1970-1990, Mike rose from an entry-level attorney to Bureau Chief and Senior Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. He worked on a wide range of telecommunications issues and spent one year as a Presidential Exchange Executive at the Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, PA. From 1990-1996, he was an Office Director and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Communications & Information Policy. He was responsible for international negotiations in the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva and international satellite issues involving Intelsat and Inmarsat, traveling widely to represent U.S. interests at multinational sessions.

In 1996, Mike became Vice-President of Regulatory Issues and Spectrum Management at Hughes Communications in Los Angeles, CA with responsibility for US and international satellite issues. He continued that work for Boeing after its acquisition of the Hughes satellite business. In 2005, he became the CEO of PCIA (now, WIA – the Wireless Infrastructure Association), the trade association for cellular towers, small cells, and distributed antenna systems providing wireless communications services. At PCIA, Mike led the successful legislative effort leading to the passage of section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. He continued his fifty-year telecommunications career as a consultant and Counsel at the Keller and Heckman law firm, representing clients in international satellite system requirements, FCC matters, and wireless infrastructure issues.

Throughout his career, Mike embraced life with his family – his sister, his parents, his wife, his daughters, and his grandchildren. Colleagues, neighbors, and friends also knew him as a kind man who listened and helped when he could. He was passionate about music, following the careers of exceptional songwriters and musicians across all genres. Those who knew him continued to marvel at the intention he brought to his interests, building his appreciation as he read and discovered more. Over the years, he collected sports cards and trains, Japanese woodblock prints, music literature, British commemorative china, art, aloha shirts, watches, and in recent years gained an encyclopedic knowledge of Legos.

Looking back on his life, Mike reflected that he had a wonderful run of it, through a happy childhood in Glenwood Springs, good education, and a career that was interesting and full. He loved his family and delighted in sharing his daughters’ and grandchildren’s daily lives. His only regret was not being able to share in his family’s continuing adventures and joys.

Mike is survived by his wife, Jean Prewitt, daughters Christine (Greg) Marick and Susannah Prewitt, ex-wife Aldona Fitch, and grandchildren Chloe and Oliver Marick, whom Mike so enjoyed watching in their academic and athletic endeavors during the last few years. His uncle Milford Kostman of Chicago also survives. His parents and sister Kathie pre-deceased him.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Los Angeles at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Art One Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ (www.artonefoundation.com), the Salvation Army (salvationarmyusa.org) or your charity of choice.

Obituary: Melvin Huffman

– April 24, 2022

Memorial Services for Melvin Huffman will take place Saturday, August 13th, at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 100 West Main Street, New Castle Colorado.

Obituary: Linda Bessette

February 11, 1961 – April 28, 2022

Surrounded by family and friends, our beloved Linda J. Bessette, 61, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2022 at Hope West Hospice in Grand Junction, Colorado after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born on February 11, 1961 in Holyoke, Massachusetts to Albert E. and Joan M. Bessette, Linda spent her formative years in Granby, Massachusetts with her five siblings (and best friends), playing games, climbing trees, riding banana bikes, working in the garden and participating in many sporting activities. She attended Granby High School where she excelled and lettered in basketball, softball and field hockey, played flute in the high school band, was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her classmates and was admitted as a member of the National Honor Society. Her desire for success, however, was far surpassed by her love for family and friends.
Working at the Willamansett Nursing home the summers before college pointed her to a career in nursing; and in the fall of 1979, Linda attended St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, graduating with a degree in Nursing, and soon after became a Registered Nurse. After college, Linda dedicated her time and talents to her Country by serving in the United States Army as an RN and surgical nurse for four years, attaining the rank of Captain, followed by an additional 5 years in the Army Reserves. While in the Army, Linda worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and, after training in Texas as a field surgical nurse, served in a M.A.S.H. unit in South Korea. She was eventually promoted from Captain to Major. After her decorated career in the full time Army, Linda took a position at Denver General Hospital in Colorado as a surgical nurse in the Children’s Trauma Unit. From Denver, her career brought her to Clagett Memorial Hospital and then to Grand River Medical Center both in Rifle, Colorado as an RN and surgical nurse. Linda worked at Grand River Health from July 1993 to August 2016. While at Grand River, she was an integral part of the design team on two separate occasions for the new surgical wing and worked as the Director of Perioperative Services for a number of years. Linda’s most recent years were spent at Community Hospital in Grand Junction, where she was not only a surgical nurse, but a cancer patient. Knowing her talents as an RN and the love she had for her own patients, the hospital asked Linda to be a spokesperson and fundraiser for the new Oncology Center. Through her talent, work ethic, passion and love of nursing, Linda earned the respect of administrators, doctors, associates and peers; and became a mentor to junior nurses, encouraging them to go beyond their perceived abilities and excel as nurses, care givers, teammates and, ultimately, friends. She was on the new robotics team in Community Hospital and worked on their inventory systems from home until the very end.
Linda lived most of her adult years in Colorado with her beloved daughter Emily and devoted spouse Kim Potter of 34 years, along with a community of friends and co-workers. She loved nature and the Rocky Mountains and was a fantastic tour guide to all who visited. She had an open house policy and became a second mother to many of the neighborhood children, where her swimming pool and kitchen became another home to many. Many days were spent working in her garden, on landscaping projects, or “floatin’ around the pool”. She had a talented eye for nature and lifestyle photography and was always seen taking photos. Due to her love of lobster and helping others, Linda hosted the annual Lobster Fest every summer in support of the Colorado Organization Angel Eyes. She volunteered for their Claws for a Cause fundraiser to deliver the Lobsters from the front range to the pick up location in Rifle where she would make sure everyone received their order. The following month Linda made the pilgrimage home to Granby to reunite with Mom, Dad and family, who then headed off to her favorite vacation spot, Cape Cod, to enjoy fun on the beach and which always culminated in a shopping spree along to Cuffy’s and a myriad of shops along Route 28, ending with lobster rolls at Captain Parker’s. Linda became extremely passionate about integrative and holistic medicine and was determined to heal from her disease, so that she could help others in her position do the same.
Linda is survived by her daughter Emily and life partner Kim Potter, parents, Albert and Joan Bessette, sister Laura Bessette and her life partner Nancy Hoff, sister Lisa Griffin and husband Tim, brother Albert, Jr., sister Leslie O’Neil and husband Brian and brother David and wife Caroline, along with nieces and nephews Amanda, Emma and Conner Griffin, Meghan Bissonette and Brendan O’Neil, Albert, III and Joseph Bessette, Jordan Stearns, Allison Bessette and Zackery Bohnet. She was deeply loved by all and her passing has left a void in the hearts of those who knew her.
Donations can be made in Linda’s name to Hope West Hospice, 3090 North 12th Street, #B, Grand Junction, CO 81506

Obituary: Melvin Huffman

– April 24, 2022

Memorial Services for Melvin Huffman will take place Saturday, August 13th, at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 100 West Main Street, New Castle Colorado.

Obituary: Mary Mateer

December 7, 1923 – September 23, 2020

Mary was the Best Mother a Child could have asked for, she passed away with Family surrounding her in Love and Prayer! She is survived by Daughters Barbara Tanaka, Pat Pappin, Son Ken Mateer. 8 Very Special Grandchildren. 9 Great Grandchildren which brought her great happiness. She believed and instilled in All of Us. “there is nothing more important than Family” Her service will be Friday Aug. 12, 2022 at St Stephen’s Church @ 10 am.

Obituary: Mark Raley McCluer

September 16, 1956 – July 28, 2022

Our beloved brother, uncle and shining star passed away peacefully on July 28th in Glenwood Springs, CO. His spirit and laughter will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He was born on September 16, 1956 in Tucson, Arizona to William and Nell McCluer. At the age of 30 he moved to New Castle, CO with his sister and her family. Mark was a devoted employee at Mountain Valley Developmental Services for 35 years and loved his job in the greenhouse. His work ethic was beyond expectations and his easy going nature, generous heart and perpetual smile made him an instant and favorite friend to many. He taught us patience and compassion and continually kept us smiling with his humorous antics. His biggest joys were going to work, bowling, Special Olympics, root beer floats, WWF wrestling, and dancing and listening to music, especially Lawrence Welk. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Bill Fuhst. Survived by his sister, Pat(Kim)Porter, brother, David(Jeannette)McCluer, niece, Shannon Reynolds and nephews, Michael and Brian McCluer and Jacob and Caleb Fuhst. Our family cherishes the years we shared with this remarkable man. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 20 at 2:00 at St. John’s Guild Hall, 1st and Main St., New Castle, CO. Funeral services will be on August 12th, 2:00 at East Lawn Palms Mortuary, Tucson, AZ where he will be buried beside his parents. If you wish to donate in his memory, please make contributions to Mountain Valley Developmental Services, Glenwood Springs, CO.

Obituary: Suzanne (Sue) Plush

July 20, 1932 – July 21, 2022

On July 21, 2022 a shining light of love and music went dim. After a joyful 90th birthday filled with family visits and phone calls Suzanne Plush left our world peacefully at her Glenwood Springs home. Suzanne (Sue to all who knew her) was born on July 20th, 1932 in St louis Missouri to Dr. Charles Cain and Janet Cain (nee. Chilton). Joined by her newborn sister, Bernice, Sue’s family moved to Caruthersville, Missouri where her father practiced medicine and her mother Janet worked as an editor at the Democrat Argus, the local paper, instilling a love of newspapers and reading in young Sue. After finishing high school, Sue attended Southeast Missouri State University, graduating in 1953 with a B.S. in music. Sue then spent 2 years teaching music to the children of U.S. Air Force members in Wiesbaden Germany. Pursuing a master’s degree in music Sue attended C.U. Boulder in the summer of 1960. Singing in the First United Methodist church choir Sue met Robert (Bob) Plush. Their first date was an after-dinner flight in Bob’s trusty Stinson airplane. They were married that same year, an invincible marriage that lasted 62 years.

In 1974 Sue and Bob moved from Boulder, with their two children Janet and David, to Glenwood Springs. Sue continued sharing her love of music by teaching many generations of students piano in her home. In her time in Glenwood Sue shared her passion for music with the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, playing the piano there for more than 20 years. Sue loved travel; she and Bob explored the world. From St. Petersburg to Athens, Valdez to Bariloche, Sydney to Christchurch, Sue was always ready for an adventure. Sue also had a passion for local history, working as the Assistant Director of the Frontier Historical Society in Glenwood for over ten years. Sue is survived by her loving husband Robert, her beloved sister Bernice (Wendell), her two children Janet Bodrogi (Peter) and David Plush (Mindi), grandsons Ian Bodrogi and Seth Plush, granddaughter Hannah Bodrogi as well as many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews in Missouri and Kansas. Sue touched many members of the Glenwood community through her music and love of history. Many no doubt will miss her presence, but her light surely will continue to shine.

Obituary: Charlotte Zilm

August 10, 1934 – June 30, 2022

Charlotte Bea Norstrum Zilm (b. August 10, 1934) passed away on June 30, 2022, at the age of 87 in the comfort of the home she loved in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She had outlasted COPD and congestive heart failure for quite a while. The love of her life, William (Bill) Zilm, preceded her in death two years prior (June 18, 2020).
Charlotte was born to Helen and Lloyd Norstrum in Des Moines, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her younger brother, Robert (2020), and is survived by her older sister, Maxine. In her youth, she enjoyed competing with the North High School rope jumping team, which won competitions and invitations to appear on television. She always had a strong work ethic, working multiple jobs in her youth at institutions like Drake University and the Des Moines Register, on her way to becoming an accomplished secretary and more.
When Charlotte was 18, she was introduced to Bill Zilm. She knew quickly that he was special. They were inseparable and wanted nothing but to be together, so the couple married on Christmas Eve in 1953, and then had two exceptional children, Kurt William (b. 1955) and Mark Robert (b. 1958). They raised their sons in Des Moines, investing in land and building spec houses until 1960, when they moved to Memphis so that Bill could pursue optometry. While the boys started grade school and Bill studied, she worked. She took pride in supporting the family to help Bill successfully attain his doctorate in optometry in 1964.
In 1965, the Zilm family moved to Glenwood Springs, where they would plant their forever roots and build their businesses. Charlotte worked side-by-side with Bill to build his optometry practice, 20/20 Eyecare, and the Sunlight I and Sunlight II subdivisions on Four Mile Creek. Every step of the way, Charlotte did everything she could to bring success to the people and places that she cared about.
Charlotte was very civic-minded; her sense of home extended beyond her house and to the larger community. She volunteered at the polls, and she supported charities and politicians. One special way that Charlotte and Bill gave back to the community was by hosting an annual event on their property to give local youth the opportunity to learn how to fish. Charlotte spent as much of her free time as possible with her sweet William at their remote fishing camp in Canada on Laird Lake. Many of their most cherished memories were made on the water with poles in hand and friends by their side. She was always up for an adventure. Whether flying into the Zilm fishing camp on a float plane, horse packing on the Flat Tops, sightseeing in Mexico, or taking the RV on a trip, she always included family and friends.
Most importantly, Charlotte was a shining example of love and commitment to family. No matter the circumstance or distance, she was always there. Charlotte always said the most valuable thing she had was her time, and she gave that generously.
Charlotte is survived by three generations who will miss her dearly. Her younger son, Mark Zilm, and his wife, Phyllis, are long-time residents of Glenwood Springs. Their children Nick, Sarai, and Kenna remain in Colorado. Kenna and her 2-year-old son Isaac were with Charlotte every day in the months preceding her death. Charlotte adored hearing a great-grandchild’s pitter patter and giggles throughout her house. Her older son, Kurt Zilm, lives in Connecticut with his wife, Velma. Their children Charles, Katie, Emily, Michael, Lauren, and Johnathon have moved all across the country. She was very proud of all nine of her grandchildren, who will miss feeding fish in the pond, cooking, fishing, shopping, riding bikes in the canyon, getting advice, and hearing stories about their ancestors from their Grandma Char. She is also survived by 7 great-grandchildren: Lydia, Martin, Isaac, Alexys, Ashton, Madeleine, and Oliver.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your favorite charity or donate your time, as she so often did, to your community.

Obituary: Christopher Moulton

July 14, 1981 – July 13, 2022

Chris Moulton passed away on July 13, 2022 as a result of a vehicle accident.
Chris was born to Carl and Beth in Yuma, Arizona on July 14, 1981. Chris grew up in Jacksonville and Middleburg, Florida and graduated from Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, Florida in 1999. Chris went on to college at the University of North Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business/finance in 2006.
In 2017, Chris met Brandon Richards and within a couple years they traveled to Western Colorado where they started hemp farming in the Piceance Basin.
Chris met Luz Gonzalez in 2019 and by this current summer, Chris had become a rock in her and her children’s lives. If Chris was not in Luz’s presence, he was usually on the phone with her. In Luz’s words, “Chris was always a cabrón. He was a leader and wanted to be first at everything.”
In 2021, Chris and Brandon moved on into the cannibis business and started growing and processing operations in Parachute, Colorado. This was one of Chris’s passions and the answer to his dream to farm in the beauty of his surroundings.
Chris was a brutally honest and genuine person. If he cared about you, he had your back, no matter what! He always kept his head up and stayed positive, even on the worst of days. He never let a moment go by without trying to make family and friends laugh and enjoy themselves with his excitement, energy, and laughter.
In the words of his father, Carl: “I can say with every ounce of my heart and soul, that my son found a deep and profound love here in Colorado. To everyone in my son’s life, I am forever grateful. Through everyone, Chris exemplifies external life”.
Chris is survived by his father (Carl Moulton), mother (Beth Dryden), grandmother ((Granny) Ann White), and a steadfast circle of friends in Florida, Colorado, and beyond who he treated as family.
A memorial service will be held in Parachute, Colorado near his farming operation at the Orona Ranch on Parachute Creek at 5:00 pm, Saturday the 30th of July. A celebration of life will follow the service at Shommy’s restaurant down in town. Additionally, a memorial will be held in Jacksonville, Florida at a later date.

Obituary: Baxter Morgan Haynes, Jr.

April 5, 1943 – December 28, 2021

Due to Covid within the family, the Memorial Service for Baxter Morgan Haynes, Jr. previously scheduled for Saturday, July 30 is CANCELLED. The memorial service for Morgan is now rescheduled on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 200 Elk Run Drive, Basalt, CO, at 11:00am.