Former Carbondale resident ‘Abba’ Krieger found dead in Tahiti |

Former Carbondale resident ‘Abba’ Krieger found dead in Tahiti

Kelley Cox/Post Independent fileAbba Krieger strikes a "laughing lion" pose, one of his favorites, in this 2007 photo, taken during a visit back to the Roaring Fork Valley.

CARBONDALE ” Former Carbondale resident Dennis “Abba” Krieger, who had a chiropractic and homeopathic medicine practice on Main Street for several years, was reportedly found dead by a hiker in Tahiti earlier this week.

Word came via an e-mail message from his daughter, Leah Krieger, sent out Wednesday to friends and forwarded to local newspapers.

Details of Krieger’s death are still sketchy, but may have been a result of a flash flood on the South Pacific island where he had been living in recent years, according to a close friend of his from Carbondale, Anthony Jerkunica. He said Krieger’s body was found near one of his favorite hiking trails.

Krieger was an active crusader for alternative health care and environmental causes during his time in Carbondale. In 2002, he ran for the Colorado House of Representatives as a Natural Law Party candidate, promoting alternative ways of dealing with health care issues.

“He was really passionate about health issues, and anything to do with helping the planet and making a difference,” Jerkunica said. “That was all very valuable in his life.”

Jerkunica recalled a 2006 backcountry trip in Utah desert country with Krieger when, ironically, they experienced a flash flood incident while hiking in one of the canyons.

“He had such a profound connection with nature,” he said of Krieger. “He would always find the most out-of-the-way places on the planet where he could go and be close to nature.

“He also had a sheer enthusiasm and interest in people, and was ecstatic to hear what was going on in other people’s lives,” Jerkunica said.

In more recent years, Krieger had been living on the French Polynesian island of Hao with his French wife, Annette, whom he had met during a vacation to the region a few years ago.

“We live on the lagoon and hear the oceans,” Krieger said, describing the 400-yard by 18-mile-long island in a January 2007 Glenwood Springs Post Independent article during one of his visits back to the Roaring Fork Valley.

Krieger said in the article that he opened a chiropractic practice out of his home there, and quickly made friends with the native people on the island.

“I was amazed how quickly the word spread that there was a man here who could treat backs,” Krieger told the Post Independent. “There’s very little money on the island. They barter with me.”

Leah Krieger wrote in her e-mail, “Abba was a man who did not fear death. I am sure while he did not plan on going when he did, he was not afraid of what is to come. May his memory be a blessing for us all.”

A funeral service and burial is planned for Monday, Dec. 15, in Elmont, N.Y. A Jewish Shiva (prayer services and family visitation), will also be held next week in Providence, R.I., at the home of Krieger’s mother, Ciel Krieger.

Jerkunica said a memorial ceremony in Colorado is also being planned for a later time. A complete obituary will follow.

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