Lester Fred Bickel
Lester Fred Bickel passed away at Heritage Park nursing home in Carbondale on April 5, 2010. He was 97.
Lester was born in Broken Bow, Neb., to Emma and August Bickel, and managed the family farm there as well as cared for his mother during the Dust Bowl years. Both his father and brother were killed in farm-related accidents. He and his wife, Frances, moved to Denver where he readied airplanes for World War II service for Continental Airlines. The owner, Robert Six, subsequently hired Les to build his home in Ridgway, Colo.
That launched a construction career of more than 50 years. Bickel Construction was successful, with numerous structures on the east slope of Colorado. In the 70s, he began work in Vail, where he built municipal structures and hotels.
Later, as a resident of Glenwood Springs, his company, Western Enterprises, built many structures in western Colorado. He was extremely proud of the CMC Activity Building on the Spring Valley Campus, the Glenwood Post, Holy Cross Electric, the RE-1 Voc Tech building and Wamsley Elementary School. He was fortunate to work on the Basalt Fire Station and a Garfield Youth Services contemporary structure in Carbondale in his 90s.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Frances; daughter, Shirley Carlson; and sister, Gladys.
His is survived by his son, Larry (Priscilla); daughter Virginia (Vess) Wright; son-in-law Lee Carlson; nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; nephew Dale Bickel; niece Sharon Simon; and his wife, Adele Hause of Carbondale, whom he married in 1983, adding four stepchildren; and six step-grandchildren which he included in his loving care.
He was a member of the Glenwood Lions Club. He belong to the Carbondale Community United Methodist Church. He was extremely enthusiastic about the mountains, rivers and Lake Powell and was a fisherman, hunter, cyclist, hiker and skier. He loved exploring the desert southwest and enjoyed his last 10 years as a “snowbird” in Tucson, Ariz.
A memorial service will be held in Carbondale Community United Methodist Church, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. Rev. Wally Finley will officiate. Lunch follows at the Carbondale Community School on Dolores Road in Satank.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Carbondale Community United Methodist Church, 385 S. Second St., Carbondale, CO 81623.
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