Sam Caudill, 84, Aspen’s “mountain man,” died May 13, surrounded by family. Samuel Jefferson Caudill was born June 5, 1922, in Tulsa, Okla.He studied architecture at Cornell University, graduating in June 1946. His college years were interrupted by World War II, traveling to southeastern China as a member of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, working with Chinese parachute guerrilla fighters near the Burma border.Sam started his own architectural firm, Caudill and Associates, which designed many local buildings, including the Pitkin County Library, Aspen schools (before the latest remodels), Aspen Sports, Snowmass Conference Center, the Aspen Art Museum and the Aspen Clinic and Professional Building, where his office was located for many years. He was named Colorado Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects in 1992.He met Joy Maxwell in Aspen, and they were married May 31, 1952, in the Community Church. She showed him how to fly-fish, taught him to love mountain solitude, and together they raised five redheaded children in the house Sam designed on Maroon Creek. Sam contributed a great deal to the local community, serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Aspen Chamber of Commerce (president), Pitkin County Board of Appeals and six years as scoutmaster for the local Boy Scout troop. Sam loved to spend summer weekends with his family camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting wild mushrooms in the surrounding mountains. Passion for wild country led to his appointment to the Colorado Wildlife Commission (1975-83) where he fought for legislation to protect nongame species and wildlife habitat. He also served on the Colorado State Water Quality Control Commission (1978-81).Concerned about the four-laning of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, he joined the Citizens Advisory Council to help guide the process, so the canyon would not be destroyed. In December 2000, as committee chairman, he was invited to the White House to accept a presidential award for the canyon design from President Clinton.Sam was a gifted musician who played several instruments including the bagpipes, which reflected his Celtic heritage. He continued to sing, even in his last days at Heritage Park Care Center.He is survived by his wife; daughters Jody (Tom) Cardamone, Julie (Greg) Hertzberg, and Anne (Todd) Goertzen; sons Boone (Janelle) Caudill and Robin (Janis Vos) Caudill; granddaughters Kate, Maggie, and Beth; grandsons Andy, Mike (Katie), Tom, Will, Luke, Jason, Jamie and Ben; and great-granddaughter Dylan.A memorial celebration is planned for 4 p.m. into the evening Sunday, June 3, at T-Lazy 7 Ranch. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to The Wilderness Workshop or The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES).
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