Sheldon M. Balas
Shel died Jan. 9, 2011. His passing was peaceful and he died the way he wished at his Denver home in the company of loved ones. Shel was born Aug. 27, 1933 to Betty and Louis Balas in Chicago, Ill. After attending college in his home state and service in the US Army, where he met his lifelong buddy, Bud Hampel, Shel headed west and settled in the Los Angeles area. There he met the love of his life, Ruthann Fischer and on Aug. 23, 1975 they were married. Shel & Ruthann stayed in the Los Angeles area, Shel working in the world of computers and Ruthann in her clinical practice. They raised their two sons, Paul and Quentin encouraging them both as they finished high schools and continued with college and grad schools. In 1982 they decided to move the family, including sister-in-law Ginger Swenson to Aspen. In Aspen, Shel, Ruthann, and Ginger owned and operated Aspen Mountain Gallery for 23 years. In 2006 Shel and Ruthann moved permanently to Denver where he lived until his death. Shel always had a bright mind, a kind heart, and a ready wit, all with a sparkle in his eye. He kept all of these traits through a difficult illness and was beloved by family and friends. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Dr. Ruthann Balas of Denver; his son Paul (Lynda) Balas; grandchildren, Olivia & Louis Balas, all of Denver; his son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Quentin (Elaine) Fischer of Roanoke, Va.; his sister-in-law, Ginger Swenson of Carbondale; and his brother-in-heart Walter (Bud) Hampel of Aspen. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Shel’s name to the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Donations can be made online at: webapps.banner.vt.edu/giving/academic_index.jsp. Where it says ‘Designation 1’ enter an amount and to the right select the last item in the pulldown list: VT Carilion Research Institute. Also, under these where it says ‘Make this gift in Memory of,’ please enter: Sheldon M. Balas. Alternatively, you can make a check payable to: Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. (be sure and write ‘to VTCRI in memory of Sheldon M. Balas’ in the memo. Mail the check to: University Development (0336), 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061. In accordance with Shel’s wishes, the family will have a private celebration of Shel’s life in Denver.
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Messaging from CDOT changes, but Independence Pass is noted as closed on its website; though not for mudslides
Independence Pass east of Aspen is listed as closed according to the state’s transportation department, but the road was not shut down Wednesday because of mudslides but rather to lessen traffic.