T. Peter Craven | PostIndependent.com
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T. Peter Craven

Peter Craven, aka Thomas Peter, aka T. Peter, aka Judge Craven, aka Pete, aka Dad, aka Pop Pop, died June 20, 2006, of a massive heart attack during a bicycle ride after a day in court in Aspen.He was born Dec. 23, 1940, to Joseph and Ellinor Craven in Denver. His birthday always was a separate and distinct celebration from Christmas. Always.He graduated from Regis High School, Georgetown University and Michigan Law School.He married Carol Conley Sept. 1, 1965, after taking the Colorado Bar exam.He joined the law firm of Jones, Meiklejohn, Kehl and Lyons where he practiced Interstate Commerce Commission law.The firm had just offered him a partnership in late 1966, when he met the late Rollie Rogers, who told him about the nascent public defender program. Pete moved to Glenwood Springs a month later as the region’s first public defender.Within a few years he opened a private practice focusing on trial and municipal law. Even in the leanest times, he never hesitated to sever ties with a client whom he found recalcitrant.For a couple of years he was town attorney for Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, but returning from a sabbatical to Minneapolis in 1981, he decided to limit his practice to the town of Carbondale in addition to assorted individual clients.His trial experience continued to grow, and he was known as a formidable adversary and advocate. Although he liked to say, “You can’t win ’em all,” the truth is he won most of them, because he could think fast on his feet and remain calm and focused. He spent many dark hours poring through well-thumbed law books, outpreparing (and outthinking) his opponents. He also argued cases in the Federal District Court of Colorado.He was appointed to the bench in January 1991, where he served the 9th Judicial District (Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties) for 16 years. He earned the respect of his peers and some recognition along the way, including the Colorado Judicial Institute Award of Excellence. He was also known for well-reasoned and well-researched opinions. He was a devoted and faithful servant to the law and to his family, but his intellectual curiosity and physical stamina led him to explore many interests: photography, birding, Central American cultures, philosophy, theology, running (until his knees turned on him), cycling, skiing (both alpine and cross country), and most recently, car-camping trips around the Colorado Plateau.Family survivors include his wife; son Dennis of Boulder; daughter Heather of Carbondale; brother Joseph, of St. Helena, Calif.; sister Amy of Bothell, Wash.; grandchildren Loren, Cassidy and Devon Creer of Carbondale; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Mark Conley and Susan Weeks of Boulder.There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at St. Mary of the Crown Catholic Church on White Hill in Carbondale, followed by dinner.A celebration of his life will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Glenwood Springs Community Center skating rink, organized by his court cohorts.


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