James D. "JD" Sturgill
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
James D. “JD” Sturgill of Carbondale passed away quietly in the comfort of his home on Missouri Heights on July 23, 2009 with his loving wife, Sylvia Wendrow by his side. He was 70.
JD was born in Kentucky, but grew up in central Ohio. As a graduate of The Ohio State University and Ohio University with a degree in Civil Engineering, he was a loyal Buckeye through and through.
JD was an accomplished swimmer and loved being on the ocean, whether it was during his stint as seaman on a U.S. Navy destroyer or during frequent visits to longtime friends on Cape Cod. He decided to take up downhill skiing as a member of the Toledo (Ohio) Ski Club, and it was at one of their annual University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University football game day gatherings that he and Sylvia ‘already an avid skier and a University of Michigan Wolverine’ first met.
When JD retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation in 2000, he and Sylvia had the opportunity to house sit for friends in the Roaring Fork Valley. It didn’t take long for JD to decide that the mountains of Colorado were where he really wanted to be. He applied his organizational and engineering skills to help plan, design, build and landscape their own home, as well as while serving on the board and as president of his homeowners association.
JD found his retirement career as a volunteer for a number of Valley organizations, Aspen Music Festival and School, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Choral Society and Glenwood Community Chorus, Women’s World Cup, Food and Wine Classic, Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet, Wheeler Opera House, Thunder River Theatre and the Winter X Games. He continued to enjoy downhill skiing, bicycling and in 2007 was proud of achieving 1000 miles of hiking with the 100 Club. He enjoyed and was a regular attendee at the lectures for the general public at the Aspen Physics Institute and an active participant in a Great Decisions foreign policy discussion group.
Throughout his 15 month battle with pancreatic cancer, JD’s wonderful sense of humor and good spirits never diminished and when asked “How are you doing?” his reply would be “I’m doing great” and “Life is good.” JD was always ready to lend a helping hand to his friends and his kindness and generosity will be greatly missed.
JD was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd Monroe Sturgill and Jane Flaugher.
He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Wendrow; brothers-in-law, Norm and Greg Wendrow of Mt. Pleasant Mich.; sister-in law Margaret (Dave) Paolucci of Acworth, Ga.; cousins in Arkansas, aunt and cousins in Ohio and good friends in Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Michigan and the Roaring Fork Valley.
If you wish to honor JD’s memory, you may plant a tree, contribute to Hospice of the Valley, PO Box 3768, Basalt, CO 81621 or your favorite charity.
A gathering to celebrate JD’s life will be held in September in Glenwood Springs, CO.
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