Carbondale man will be missed |

Carbondale man will be missed

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” People were devastated to hear of Barry Maggert’s death after his single-engine airplane crashed in a heavily wooded area west of Central City Thursday afternoon.

“To say it’s a shock is a little bit of an understatement,” said Rock Leonard, a friend of Maggert’s. “Barry was a good guy.”

Maggert was well known as a structural engineer, a former town council candidate, a Libertarian and a columnist for the Carbondale Valley Journal.

Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cherokee Blake said Maggert, 55, and 23-year-old Jonathan Holton were on the plane. They were on their way to a graduation for Maggert’s son, Lee Barry Maggert, in Boulder when the crash occurred west of Central City in an area called Miner’s Gulch on Thursday.

The 1965 Cessna 182 took off from the Glenwood Springs Airport at 3:10 p.m. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said the pilot reported engine trouble and was losing altitude shortly before dropping off radar at about 3:45 p.m. The plane was registered to Maggert and Carroll Winkler, of Glenwood Springs.

Maggert, a structural engineer with his Maggert and Associates Engineers firm in Carbondale, ran unsuccessfully three times for the Carbondale Board of Trustees and was the former chairman of the Garfield County Libertarian Party, said Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig.

“He was bright, articulate ” and it’s a real tragedy,” Hassig said. “Really what stuck with me was just his love for his family and how proud he was of his kids and how much he cared for them all.”

Maggert graduated from the University of Texas and leaves behind his wife of 25 years, Renee Maggert, and three sons, twins Lee and Bryant, 23, and Taylor, 21. Maggert’s younger brother is Jeff Maggert, a PGA tour golfer. Jeff Maggert withdrew from The Players Championship golf tournament in Florida Thursday.

Holton was reportedly able to call 911 on a cell phone after the crash. Authorities used a Blackhawk helicopter to rescue Holton Thursday. Nearly 50 people, some on snowmobiles, assisted in Thursday’s rescue at an altitude of above 10,400 feet, according to Alpine Rescue Team spokesman Bill Barwick. Holton was flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.

Dick Weinberg, manager of the Glenwood Springs Airport, said he was devastated to learn of the crash. He’s unsure of what might have gone wrong but he knows the weather wasn’t cooperating. Thunder and turbulence were reported, he said.

“The guy was extremely bright ” extremely ” you don’t meet people that sharp every day of the week,” he said.

Weinberg said he hadn’t yet spoken to many other local pilots about the crash.

Jeff Ellis, a partner at the Land and Shelter design development firm in Carbondale, said Maggert’s death is a major loss for the community.

“He was well-known and one of the best-natured guys ” makes you laugh ” but also a really solid engineer who did a lot of good work,” Ellis said.

Drew Sakson, a friend from Carbondale, was also devastated to hear about the crash. He said Maggert was a great guy, gregarious and funny. Maggert was a very independent thinker, a great father and a role model citizen, Sakson said. Maggert loved golf and coached a kids golf team in Carbondale.

Sakson said Maggert was a real leader who spent a lot of time, money and energy supporting the Libertarian party. He had some fresh ideas for bringing a Libertarian model to local government, which could show state and federal government’s how things can work better, Sakson said.

“It was a real sad loss for our community to not have his voice be a part of it,” he said.

Carbondale Town Councilor John Foulkrod supported Maggert in his recent bid for one of the open trustee seats, and was a personal friend and occasional golf and bridge club partner as well.

“He was just a good guy,” Foulkrod said. “He was a good father, and coached his kids in baseball when they were younger. He really kind of wanted to be elected … but not everyone agreed with his politics.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.

The Associated Press, the Carbondale Valley Journal and the Aspen Times contributed to this story.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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