Leonis Peter Chuc
Leonis Peter Chuc, 90, died peacefully March 21, Good Friday, at his home near Aspen Glen with his majestic mountain, Mount Sopris, beautiful as ever looming in the distance outside his living room window.
Leonis was born March 17, 1918 (St. Patrick’s Day), in Basalt to Peter and Josephine Chuc. He grew up in Basalt with his sister, Amelia, and brother, Caesar, graduating from Basalt Union High School in 1936.
Leonis married Neva Smith on Feb. 6, 1944, in Glenwood Springs. To this union three girls, known as the Chuc girls, were born, Sandra, Joan and Deborah. Neva was a loving and devoted wife and an integral part of the ranching ethic and legacy.
Leonis is survived by his wife of 64 years, Neva; daughter Sandra (Leroy) McCabe of Palisade and her children Mishcha McCabe of Palisade and Michael McCabe of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; daughter Joan (Harv) Telinde of Glenwood Springs and her children Nicole (Sheldon) Rockey of Center, Tara (Mike) Seeman of Rifle, Tim (Donna Kay) Telinde of Garden City, Kan., and Matt (Mary Ann) Telinde of Norfolk, Va.; and daughter Deborah Chuc and her children Cory Collins and Chad Collins, all of Silt. He is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren
The Chuc story began when his father came over from Aosta, Italy, by boat, in 1909. His father settled in Leadville, engaged in hard-rock mining. In 1911, his father purchased a ranch near Basalt, which began a lifetime, if you will, of ranching/farming for the Chuc family.
In 1928 his father purchased another ranch. This time near Carbondale, which is now part of the Aspen Glen Complex. In 1929, the “Great Depression” came and went with the Chucs still unaffected.
In 1939, his dad sold the Carbondale ranch to Leonis at the tender young age of 21, beginning his own ranching/farming career.
In 1950, his brother Caesar purchased, along with his father, a ranch adjacent to Leonis, which is also now part of Aspen Glen.
At one time the Chucs owned three ranches: the one in Basalt and the two in Carbondale. The Chucs had a ranching ethic second to none ” no one did it better ” as they raised cattle and grew hay, potatoes and grain. Weeds were hard to come by as the ranches were groomed as most people would a 20-foot-by-40-foot garden spot.
Along with his ranching duties, Leonis also served as one of seven members of the original board of directors of what was in 1959 called Bank of Glenwood.
Leonis’ work ethic with regard to his ranching lifestyle might have been summed up in the following “St. Patrick’s Day” poem-
“May the road rise to meet you, May the wind always be at your back, May the sun shine warm your face, May the rain fall soft upon your fields, And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
It was indeed fitting, because as Leonis passed to the other side, a light gentle rain began to fall on what once were the fields of his beloved ranch.
A visitation will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, followed by a rosary at 9:30 a.m. and mass at 10 a.m. with Father Cliff officiating, and burial will be at Rosebud Cemetery afterward.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Roaring Fork Hospice, P.O. Box 1970, Glenwood Springs CO 81602.
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