Landmark property owner dies at 65 |

Landmark property owner dies at 65

A well-known businesswoman who owned landmark properties in New Castle and Glenwood Springs has died. Faye Faas, 65, passed away at her home in Glenwood Springs, Sunday, July 30.

Born on Nov. 4, 1939, in Los Angeles, Faye grew up there but spent many summers in New Castle with her father’s cousin Barton Porter and his family. Her father, Walter Brannan, was born in New Castle and lived on West Elk Creek.

“My mom swore she would come back here,” her son, Eric, said.

Faye worked for her dad, who owned a machine shop in Los Angeles, Eric said. After her marriage ended when Eric was an infant, Faye fulfilled her dream moving back to New Castle in 1978. She and Eric lived at the mouth of Garfield Creek southwest of New Castle.

“She lived the good life for a couple years. She liked to hunt and fish, and she had a big garden,” Eric said.

Then Faye began to buy properties in New Castle and Glenwood. In the early 1980s, she bought the house she promised she’d have if it ever came up for sale ” Buster Brown’s brick home on Grand Avenue and 13th Street, Eric said.

One of her early purchases was the gray stucco building on Eighth and Black known as the Williams Apartments.

At one time, Faye owned the New Citizens Bank building, which is now home to WestStar Bank, on the corner of Eighth and Grand in downtown Glenwood Springs. She also owned the building at 809 Grand, as well as the building on the 900 block that is home to Roaring Fork Music and Barksdale’s appliance store. Faye also owned the property that became the Park East development in south Glenwood Springs.

“She loved real estate. She liked old buildings” that she could remodel and bring back to their original splendor, Eric said.

But Faye is perhaps best known for the property she owned in New Castle that is now the Lakota Ranch golf course and housing development.

Faye bought a ranch up Garfield Creek and remodeled the log cabin there. In the mid-’90s, she acquired 1,200 acres in New Castle that had also belonged to Buster Brown. It was part of this property that became Lakota Ranch.

“I always considered her a very pleasant person to work with,” said New Castle town administrator and former mayor Steve Rippy.

As mayor, Rippy worked with Faye on the annexation of her land for Lakota Ranch. “She was a very tough but fair negotiator.”

Rippy said one of her key contributions to the town was giving it land on the east side of her ranch as right of way for Castle Valley Boulevard to connect it to the Interstate 70 interchange.

“That was pivotal to our long-term traffic needs,” he said.

Besides being an astute businesswoman, she was the mother of an only child, with whom she had a unique relationship.

“She was my best friend,” Eric said of his mother. “It was just she and I … We did everything together.”

“She was a great mom. She let me spread my wings and learn things the hard way. I would make mistakes but I always knew she would be there. She’d say, ‘I know you screwed up, but you know I love you.'”

Faye was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. Two years later, doctors found it had spread to her brain. She received radiation treatment, and at that time doctors gave her three months to live, Eric said. She lived for another three years.

“That’s a testament to her spirit,” he said.

Two of her greatest satisfactions during her illness were seeing Eric wed and the birth of her grandson.

Faye died peacefully at her home with her family beside her.

There is a memorial service at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Farnum-Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs.

Memorial contributions may be made to Roaring Fork Hospice.

Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510

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