Leonis Peter Chuc
Aspen, CO Colorado
Leonis Peter Chuc, 90, died peacefully March 21, 2008, Good Friday, at his home near Aspen Glen with his majestic mountain, Mount Sopris, beautiful as ever, looming in the distance outside his livingroom 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, and graduated 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 and her children Mishcha McCabe of Palisade and Michael McCabe of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; daughter Joan Telinde (Harv) of Glenwood Springs and 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) Norfork, Va.; daughter Deborah Chuc of Silt and her children Cory Collins and Chad Collins, both of Silt. He is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren The Chuc story began when Leonis’s 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 of ranching and 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 now part of Aspen Glen.
At one time, the Chucs owned three ranches ” one in Basalt and two in Carbondale. The Chucs had a ranching ethic that was second to none ” no one did it better ” as they raised cattle and grew hay, potatoes and grain. Weeds were hard to come by as the ranches were groomed like most people to groom their own 20-by-40-foot garden spots.
Along with his ranching duties, Leonis also served as one of seven original board of directors creating what then was called Bank of Glenwood in 1959.
Leonis’s 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 was the fields of his beloved ranch!
A visitation will take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs. A rosary will take place at 9:30 a.m. and mass at 10 a.m. Father Cliff will officiate, and burial will be at Rosebud Cemetery following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Roaring Fork Hospice; P.O. Box 1970, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.