Parachute remembers former mayor |

Parachute remembers former mayor

Amanda Holt MillerWestern Garfield County Staff

Dave Beasley was a giver.That’s what Parachute Mayor John Loschke had to say about his friend, who died Friday.Dave was the mayor of Parachute from 1986 to 1994. At 70, he never ran out of ideas or ways for Parachute to grow and improve, Loschke said.”A group of ladies planted barrels of flowers around the town 12 years ago,” Loschke said. “Dave converted one of his old pickup trucks into a watering truck. He would go around and water those plants on summer days.”Dave took his friend George Letson along on his watering adventures in recent years.”It was a lot of fun,” Letson said. “It could also be an aggravation at times because you were tied to it.”Letson said he will probably take over for Dave this summer. “I’ll probably have to drive the truck and find someone else to handle the water hose. We gotta keep going.”Dave and his wife, Judy, a former teacher, moved to Parachute from Denver in 1967.”We both wanted to move to a small town,” Judy said. “This wasn’t quite what I expected. Parachute was a different little place then. Only about 250 people lived here.”Dave worked for the Oil Shale Co. of America the first year he and Judy lived in Parachute. But after about a year, the company went through hard times, and Dave found himself unemployed.That’s when he took a job as the town marshal.”I think that’s the point at which he really became attached to this community,” Judy said. “He was one of the fairest people I’ve ever known.”Judy said Dave would allow people to drive 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit before he turned on his lights, but once he turned them on he would write a ticket.”He even gave me a ticket once,” Judy said. It was a ticket for not changing the water meter.After the job as town marshal, Dave worked for the fire department and served as fire chief. The department put out a lot of fires for the railroad, which never paid its bill.”He told them he wasn’t going to fight fires for them anymore, and all of a sudden the money showed up,” Judy said.”He applied for a grant and got a new ambulance for the town. He always took a very aggressive approach to getting what Parachute needed.” Dave served as a town trustee from 1981-85, mayor from 1986-94, town trustee again from 1994-96 and mayor pro tem from 1996 to 2004. When he died, he was the president of the Blue Stone Water Board in Parachute.”Growth would be the first and foremost among his priorities,” Loschke said.Dave led one of the more controversial growth initiatives in Parachute – he wanted to allow gambling. The proposition made it all the way to the state ballot, but didn’t pass, Judy said.”He was so excited about new business coming in here,” Judy said. “We owned a gift store, but he would go down and help someone else open a gift shop if they needed it.”Dave and Judy owned Thunder Mountain Trading Co., a business in Parachute, Glenwood Springs and Fruita. Dave retired in 2004 but was already working on another project.”He had to be doing something all the time,” Letson said. “He didn’t like to sit around doing nothing. He was a pusher. Any project – he would jump on it and push with both feet.”

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