Obituary: William Lee Lorah |

Obituary: William Lee Lorah

September 14, 1940 – March 2, 2022

In Loving Memory

William Lee Lorah, loving husband and father, water rights engineer and global citizen, passed away on March 2, 2022 at the age of 81. Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons Paul (Cindy) and David; and grandchildren Matt, Alexander, Isabelle and Peter. He is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Mary and his brother Larry.

Bill was born in Denver on September 14th, 1940, to Ralph and Mary Lorah. He developed a sense of adventure early on as a member of the Junior Colorado Mountain club, became an Eagle scout and enthusiastically explored the Rocky Mountains with his older brother Larry. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1962, earning a degree in civil engineering. There, he met his true love, Barbara, and they remained together for the next six decades.

After college, Bill and Barbara enrolled in the Peace Corps. Bill spent two years in Pakistan while Barb served in Ethiopia. They married in Eritrea in 1964. He returned to Colorado to earn his masters in hydraulics and hydrology at CSU and started work with the then fledgling Wright Water Engineering firm. Bill had a fifty-three-year career as a well-respected engineer, retiring in 2019.

Bill loved travel. Some of his favorite times were spent camping in the desert with close friends, skiing with family and exploring distant cities with Barb. They visited more than 90 countries together – his favorite was Bhutan, a gentle mountain kingdom with a slow pace of life. He especially liked the fact that the country’s single stoplight was removed because it was too controlling.

Bill was an enthusiastic, eclectic, and voracious reader who seemed to know something about everything. He claimed to be omnivorous with discerning taste. He could discuss Incan building methods, Navaho detectives, the history of Central Asia and alpine exploration. This curiosity extended to the people around him. He loved to ask good questions and listened to others with empathy and tolerance.

Bill loved Glenwood, and volunteering was always important to him. He was on the Valley View Hospital Board and served as Chair for several years. He was a long-time Rotarian, and he served fifteen years on the Sunnyside Retirement Home Board. He was a mentor for the pre-collegiate program for middle school and high school students. His work with the Glenwood Springs River Commission was especially important to him, and he served as Chair during the many, many years of planning the river trail system. He also consulted for the Peace Corps in Fiji and Western Samoa.

Bill was incredibly devoted to his family. He was a loving husband who cherished every moment he spent with Barbara. They lived life together and inseparably, yet, as one of his favorite poets wrote, “let the winds of heaven dance between them”. He was an involved and loving father who set an amazing example for his sons to try and live up to. His kindness, empathy, warmth, and gentle humor came so naturally to him. His four grandchildren were a source of joy for Bill, and they were so fortunate to spend time listening to his stories, learning about the secret garden, and being inducted into the “green-toe society”. So many friends have reached out to share memories of Bill. He leaves the world a better, kinder place, and will be deeply missed.

A memory wall is available at
His family is planning a celebration of life at a later date.

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