Leonis Peter Chuc
Leonis Peter Chuc, 90, died peacefully Friday, March 21, Good Friday, 2008, at his home near Aspen Glen with his majestic mountain, Mt. Sopris, beautiful as ever looming in the distance outside his living room window.
Leonis was born March 17, 1918 (St. Patrick’s Day) in Basalt to Peter and Josephine Chuc. He grew up in Basalt with his sister Amelia, and brother Caesar, graduating from Basalt Union High School in 1936.
Leonis married Neva Smith on Feb. 6, 1944, in Glenwood Springs. To this union three girls, known as the Chuc girls were born, Sandra, Joan, and Deborah. Neva was a loving and devoted wife and an integral part of the ranching ethic and legacy.
Leonis is survived by his wife of 64 years, Neva; daughter Sandra McCabe (Leroy) of Palisade, her children Mishcha McCabe of Palisade, and Michael McCabe of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; daughter Joan Telinde (Harv) of Glenwood Springs, her children Nicole Rockey (Sheldon) of Center, Colo., Tara Seeman (Mike of Rifle, Tim Telinde (Donna Kay) of Garden City, Kan., and Matt Telinde (Mary Ann) Norfolk Va.; daughter Deborah Chuc of Silt, children Cory Collins of Silt, and Chad Collins of Silt. He is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren.
The Chuc story began when his father came over from Aosta, Italy, by boat, in 1909. His father settled in Leadville, engaged in hard rock mining. In 1911, his father purchased a ranch near Basalt, which began a lifetime, if you will, of ranching/farming for the Chuc family.
In 1928 his father purchased another ranch, this time near Carbondale, which is now part of the Aspen Glen complex. In 1929, the “Great Depression” came and went with the Chucs still intact.
In 1939, his dad sold the Carbondale ranch to Leonis at the tender young age of 21, beginning his own ranching/farming career.
In 1950, his brother Caesar along with his father, purchased a ranch adjacent to Leonis, which is also now part of Aspen Glen.
At one time the Chucs owned three ranches, the one in Basalt and the two in Carbondale. The Chucs had a ranching ethic second to none ” no one did it better ” as they raised cattle and growing hay, potatoes, and grain. Weeds were hard to come by as the ranches were groomed like most people do a 20-foot-by-40-foot garden spot.
Along with his ranching duties, Leonis also served as one of seven original members of the board of directors of what was then called Bank of Glenwood in 1959.
Leonis’ work ethic with regard to his ranching lifestyle might have been summed up in the following “St. Patrick’s Day” poem:
“May the road rise to meet you! May the wind always be at your back! May the sun shine warm your face! May the rain fall soft upon your fields! And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
It was indeed fitting, as Leonis passed to the other side, a light gentle rain began to fall on what once were the fields of his beloved ranch.
A visitation was held March 26 at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, with Father Cliff officiating. Burial will follow at Rosebud Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Roaring Fork Hospice, P.O. Box 1970, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.
The Buddy Program rang in the holiday spirit with their annual Gingerbread House Workshops in Aspen and Carbondale.