Obituaries

Regis Groff: A true hero among us

Celebrating the life of an icon in the African American community
The Colorado Statesman

On Friday an overflow crowd filled the AME Shorter church in East Denver for a memorial service in remembrance of Regis F. Groff. For two deeply moving hours the former Senate Democratic Minority Leader was honored for his qualities as leader, pioneer, mentor, teacher, parent and role model. Nearly overlooked were his mischievous temperament, infectious humor and visceral enthusiasm, which he carried into both his political and personal life. Groff was far more than the conscience of the Colorado Senate; he was also a genuinely happy warrior.

Gen. Jim Hall will be remembered as a true hero

On June 1, a very special person passed away by the name of James Carl Hall. Many people, especially those in Arapahoe County and Colorado Republican politics, knew him as General Jim, for he was a Brigadier General (Ret.) in the United States Air Force.

His death earlier this month was not unexpected, but the sad reality of his passing has given way to many beautiful memories by those who came to pay their respects at Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Church in Foxfield on June 6.

Current, former governors celebrate life of Vanderhoof

The Colorado Statesman

Two former governors joined Gov. John Hickenlooper and lawmakers in the House chamber on Monday to celebrate the life of former Gov. John Vanderhoof, a man remembered for being forward thinking and able to work across the aisle to advance the interests of the state.

Vanderhoof died on Sept. 19, 2013. He was 91 years old.

Former Visit Denver President Roger A. Smith dies

Roger A. Smith, age 73, passed away on Nov. 1, 2013 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Smith was one of the pivotal players in approving and designing the Colorado Convention Center and served as president of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (now VISIT DENVER) from 1984 to 1993. During his tenure, Smith tripled the Bureau’s budget and increased the staff by nearly 50 percent.

Carolyn Metzler, Republican activist and party volunteer

The Colorado Statesman

Longtime Denver Republican stalwart Carolyn Jean Metzler passed away on July 24 after a long illness. Fortunately, her friends and family got to shower her with love up to the time of her death. And in 2011, the Lincoln Club of Colorado displayed their affection by bestowing on her their lifetime achievement award. Carolyn was honored for her indefatigable efforts, including providing tireless guidance and “moral support” for Denver Republican candidates — “no easy task,” county GOP chair Danny Stroud cracked back then.

J. Ivanhoe “Ivan” Rosenberg, Denver City Councilman, newspaper publisher

The Colorado Statesman

Veteran newspaper publisher and former Denver City Councilman Ivan J. Rosenberg passed away on Aug. 4 after suffering a stroke in Carbondale. His 93 years of life were full, his interests varied, and his death ended a career full of meaningful milestones.

Jerry Kopel, a “legislator’s legislator,” remembered fondly by his colleagues

The Colorado Statesman

Current and former state lawmakers took to the microphone in the House chambers on Wednesday to celebrate the life of the “legislator’s legislator.”

Former Rep. Jerry Kopel, a Democrat from Denver who served a remarkable 22 years in the Legislature, passed away at age 83 on Jan. 21. He was remembered Wednesday for not only his service as a state representative, but also for his service after he retired in 1992, volunteering more than 15 years of legislative insight, including meticulously reading through every word of every bill that made its way through the halls of the Gold Dome.

Former state Rep. Jerry Kopel passes away

Longtime Colorado Statesman columnist Jerry Kopel, who served 22 years in the Colorado House, peacefully passed away Saturday, Jan. 21. He was 83 years old. A figure in Colorado politics for decades, Kopel was an avid collector of legislative facts and history and enumerated them for many years in his unique weekly columns in The Statesman. He won several top awards from the Colorado Press Association over the years for his column writing and contributions to public service.

Sen. Udall honors David Getches, the late dean of CU Law

By
The Colorado Statesman

On July 11, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall gave a speech on the Senate floor to honor David Getches, the late dean of University of Colorado Law School who died last week at the age of 68. Getches, an expert in natural resources and Indian law, is credited with changing the landscape of legal training in Colorado by promoting stewardship of public lands and service to our communities, as well as increasing Hispanic enrollment and recruitment. The following is the text of Udall’s speech:

Former Rep. Rafael Gallegos dies; was dedicated to cause of veterans

Former state Rep. Rafael Gallagos, age 71, passed away late last month after battling kidney cancer.