Julius W. Minter (January 31, 1931— December 26, 2018)
On Wednesday, December 26, 2018, Julius W. Minter, loving husband and father, died in his sleep at his son’s home in Rifle, Colorado. Julius (Jules) was a father, a husband, a teacher, a mentor, and an avid outdoorsman who was deeply loved by his family. The son of German immigrants, Jules was raised in Brooklyn, NY. After high school, he served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War. After honorable discharge, he headed west to study at Trinidad Junior College in Colorado, where he met his first wife, Shirley. After completing his B.A. at University of Northern Colorado, the couple moved to Rifle, where Jules took a job teaching high school, and they started their family (sons Karl, Kurt and Klaus).
Jules always worked hard to support his family, raise his sons, and contribute to the community. In addition to teaching, he worked for the Rifle Police Department, Colorado Game and Fish, the US Forest Service, Garfield County Honor Camp, and he volunteered for Garfield County Search and Rescue and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Posse.
Jules was an exceptional teacher, and for 34 years at Rifle High School, his contributions spanned multiple disciplines and extended well beyond the classroom. He taught U.S. history, political science, wood shop and drafting. Jules was passionate about teaching, and his legacy of sharing is perhaps his greatest contribution to society.
During his teaching career, Jules continued his education, earning a Master’s at Western State College in Gunnison, CO. During that time, he lived in the back of his International Travel All, camping in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison before the dam was built and living off of the trout he caught after school. He read extensively, fueling his knowledge of history and his incredible memory. He was an exceptional scholar and developed a legendary skill for fishing (certainly driven by hunger for dinner!).
Jules was also well-known as a skilled and rugged outdoorsman. He summited 34 Fourteeners, completing the Collegiate range in a single summer. He loved hunting and shared his skills and passion with his sons and grandsons. For Jules, the finest part of the year was the time he spent hunting with his family on the Roan Cliffs. These adventures yielded stories of survival, endurance and celebration. He leaves a legacy of treasured memories among his family.
Jules met his second wife, Sandy, when she started teaching at the high school; their mutual appreciation for the outdoors kindled an enduring love that lasted 37 years. Together, they climbed mountains, explored Anasazi mysteries in canyons, skied frozen forests, and walked through deserts. Jules helped raise Sandy’s sons Mark and Tom and introduced them to life in the outdoors, including basic rock craft, rappelling, mountaineering and cross country skiing. His belief in the spirit of the individual provided a foundation for lifelong adventure and exploration in those he taught.
Jules will be most remembered for his influence as a teacher, a father and a husband. He changed lives in the classroom by showing students a pathway to skills built by strong character, and many students felt that his class changed their life for the better. As a father, he taught his sons to work hard, to value practical knowledge and character, and to be loyal to their families and loved ones. As a loving husband, he shared in a strong union that celebrated the best of life on long backcountry drives, wandering in alpine wilderness, and quiet evenings by the campfire. His individualist spirit lives on through his extensive descendants and the many students he taught.
Jules leaves behind a long family legacy. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; sons, Karl (Cheryl), Kurt (Lori), and Klaus (Leigh); step-sons, Mark (Anjo) and Thomas; grandchildren, Bryson (Jewel), Kyle (Tiffany), Jamie (Ryan), Chase (Stephanie), Collin (Kenzie), Kira, Blake (Courtney), Marisa, and Kaleb; and great-grandchildren, Aubrey, McKenzie, Dayton, Brexley, Liam, Tatum, Emmy, Wesley and Macey.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of the Valley.