Pierre DuBois, husband and dad extraordinaire, smooth talker, political junkie and gracious innkeeper died Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. He has courageously battled Alzheimer’s since 2009 and had just turned 82 when he died at the Veteran’s Home in Rifle.
Pierre was born in 1931 to Adrian DuBois in Reno, Nevada. Adrian was born and raised in Moab, Utah. Her grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from France. Pierre grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1949. His Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Lou owned a restaurant and motel on the strip (location is currently where the Stratosphere is) where he learned about life and the hospitality business. This is also the time he began his love affair with golf and learned the game as a caddie in Las Vegas. Pierre chose to pursue a Journalism degree at the University of Utah and became a loyal Ute graduating in 1953. He played the trombone in the marching band and marched in the Rose Parade.
After college, he joined the Air Force in 1955 and became a pilot. Captain DuBois was stationed in England and flew missions in peace time. It was during this time he learned to appreciate English pubs and a pint of ale. A favorite spot years later was the Golden Bee at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Probably on a back dusty shelf you will find a pewter mug with his name on it.
After the Air Force, Pierre returned to Salt Lake City and courted Beverly Neilsen. They married in 1960 and had two sons, Andre and Kevin. Much to his parent’s sadness baby Kevin died. Beverly preceded Pierre in death in 1990. Andre lives in Glenwood Springs with his wife, Kim.
Pierre had taken a job for the Highway Users Federation and traveled the western region. He took a job with the Colorado Contractors Association in 1962 and moved to Denver. He became their executive director in 1964 and represented the organization for more than 25 years. He loved representing the large highway contractors and being involved with their projects around the state; including Glenwood Canyon and 470 Highway in Denver. He represented the Colorado Contractors Association as the government affairs lobbyist at the Colorado Statehouse for many years. He earned his solid reputation with legislators as someone who was honest and presented the facts. He loved politics and the Republican Party and was Republican Party Chair of Arapahoe County during the Reagan Years. He was always on a first name basis with the Colorado Congressional Delegation and the governor, though he always respectfully addressed them with the proper title.
After moving to Denver in 1962, Pierre became a lifelong Denver Broncos fan, a passion he shared with his son for more than 40 years.
In the late 1980s, Pierre went to work for the Colorado-Wyoming Restaurant Association. Pierre left the restaurant association and started Capitol Hill Communications, a lobbying and government affairs firm in downtown Denver. While at the restaurant association Pierre met Gretchenn Hancock, whom he later married. Together they operated Capitol Hill Communications for several years. Pierre also partnered with friend Chuck Henning. Chuck was an author and state legislator. They collaborated on many projects and could sit and “talk politics” for hours. Pierre and Gretchenn settled into a west Denver neighborhood and had baby Jolie in 1993. In 1997, Pierre and Gretchenn sold their home and bought the Sunlight Mountain Inn, country inn in Glenwood Springs. They continued being partners in life — as well as in business. Their goal was to be with daughter Jolie as she grew up. Dad put her on the school bus every morning and was there when she got off the bus in the afternoon.
The inn years were financially and physically hard, yet Pierre could do twice the work of men half his age. He never really retired. He loved visiting with the guys who worked at the ski area when they would come over to the inn. Since December 2008, Pierre has struggled with health issues. The family moved to downtown Glenwood Springs in the fall of 2011. Pierre moved into the Colorado State Veterans home in Rifle in February of 2012, where he enjoyed sunny days, friendly caregivers and frequent visits from his family.
Services will be held Dec. 5, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1016 Cooper Avenue in Glenwood Springs. A second service and internment will be held at 1 p.m., Dec. 6, 2013 at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, 26624 N. Turkey Creek Road, Evergreen, Colorado 80439.
Pierre is survived by his wife Gretchenn, daughter Jolie, son Andre, his daughter-in-law Kim, and granddaughter Ashley Hilderbrand.
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