Eugene Charles Laven
Thank you to all the friends and family who attended the celebration of life for Gene Laven. Guests gathered in his shop where many memories were made by Gene over the years. Stories were shared while enjoying some of Gene’s favorite foods. His shop was decorated with photos, quotes and the tools that he used in the masonry business and his woodworking and metalworking hobbies. There wasn’t a Christmas or special occasion that went by that friends and family weren’t treated to a gift showcasing his talents.
Surrounded by his family, Gene passed away peacefully at the age of 85 at Valley View hospital on December 8, 2017.
Gene was born April 19, 1932 to Hugo and Gertrude Laven in Mankato MN. Gene enjoyed a happy childhood while growing-up in Mankato. Like others, life changed when the Korean conflict broke out. Along with childhood friends, now also serving in the National Guard, they were called to join with Army units at Fort Rucker, Alabama. As they were leaving on a troop train, it once again brought back many memories for those who remembered the days of WW2 when troop trains passed through Mankato.
After Gene’s honorable discharge in 1952, he and his wife Norma, along with a young son and baby daughter left for California. They moved to Santa Ana, where Gene started a masonry contracting business for 12 years. In March of 1965, Colorado brought them to settle on Cattle Creek where they lived until his passing in 2017.
Gene continued his masonry business in the Roaring Fork Valley from Aspen to Vail. One of his first jobs was building a warming hut at the top of Red Mountain Ski Area. There is hardly a street you can drive down without seeing a house that displays the talents of Laven Masonry. From the Wheeler Opera House, Mid-Continent Coal & Coke and the Hot Springs Lodge & Pool, his legacy will live on. Later when his trowel was too heavy to lift, Gene and Norma started the Ember Stove Company in 1978. They continued serving the Valley with wood burning stoves and quality installations until 1983.
Many will remember his strong work ethic passed on to his family which he had been taught from his childhood. Others are reminded of his sense of humor and his willingness to help those in need.
Gene is survived by his wife Norma, son Steve (Dorothy) Laven of Rifle, CO; daughter Dianne Laven of Albuquerque, NM; son Doug (Candy) Laven of Mankato, MN. Three grandchildren, Janeen Laven (Dan Simpson) of Berthoud, CO; Denise, (Peter) Stewart of Glenwood Springs, CO; Chis (Katie) Laven of Glenwood Springs, CO. Four great Granddaughters, Gracie and Madison Stewart and Gretchen and Annalise Laven all of Glenwood Springs, CO. A sister, Sue Perrine of Pioneer, CA and three nephews, Bob, Dan and Rick Hill.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, baby daughter Katherine Ann and sister Barbara Laven.