Local TV man, Paul Vandre, remembered
Paul Vandre, the familiar face behind the video camera at Glenwood Springs community and school events, political and educational forums and local government meetings for three decades, has died.
Vandre died Monday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction after a lengthy illness, according to his longtime girlfriend, Blair Lowery. He was 60.
Since the mid-1980s, Vandre operated the local public access cable television station, Glenwood TV Channel 10, or Valley TV as it was known for a period of time.
In that capacity, he arranged with local governments, including Glenwood Springs City Council, the Carbondale and Silt Board of Trustees and the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, to record and, in recent years, live broadcast regular meetings.
Vandre also regularly broadcast school plays and Veterans Day programs, Glenwood Springs High School football and basketball games, and the Strawberry Days Parade alongside longtime announcer and Channel 10 partner Jeannine Ford Artaz.
“He just loved doing that work, and everyone got to know him around town because of it,” Lowery said. “So many little things too, like the school plays and the Strawberry Days parade … people always remembered him from that.”
Longtime Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association director Marianne Virgili said Vandre was the go-to person to record and broadcast any chamber event, including the annual chamber awards night. In 1999, Vandre was the recipient of the chamber’s Jim Novak Philanthropic Small Business Award.
“We announced his name and I think he almost dropped his camera,” Virgili said. “We would always call Paul to tell him we had an event, and he would never return a call. But we never had to worry, because he would just magically appear with his camera and tripod.
“He was just a good guy, always had a twinkle in his eye, was a great observer of local politics,” she said. “He could be very unassuming and irreverent at the same time. He will be missed.”
Former Glenwood Springs City Council member Don “Hooner” Gillespie said Vandre made him feel comfortable on camera.
“He always made me feel relaxed, and I always enjoyed having him back there in the video room,” Gillespie said. “Even when I was off council I would see him on the street, usually walking his Dachshund, and he would always ask if I had seen a good movie lately.”
Glenwood Springs Deputy City Clerk Ann Green said Vandre made the sometimes-dull routine of City Council meetings fun.
“He was my friend, and I always got a kick out of it when he’d poke his head out the door in the back and make (former Councilman) Dave Sturges talk into the mic,” Green said. “He was just a good guy, and he was always there until he absolutely couldn’t do it anymore.”
Lowery said a full obituary is being prepared, including information about an upcoming memorial service.
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