Lewis’ legacy | AspenTimes.com

Lewis’ legacy

Dear Editor:In the two months since his death, much has been written about Bob Lewis’ legacy to this valley that he loved so much. This Saturday, Oct. 1, Bob’s friends and family will gather at Paepcke Auditorium to honor Bob’s memory and to share remembrances of his life and times. The staff and board of the Independence Pass Foundation would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for the work Bob did on Independence Pass and our profound sorrow at his passing. It is safe to say that none of us would be doing what we are doing without Bob’s leadership, unshakeable determination and unquenchable energy. When Bob formed the Independence Pass Restoration Team in the late ’80s he infected all of us who participated with his enthusiasm for the job at hand. That job, the restoration of the degraded road cuts and denuded slopes on Independence Pass, has been an overwhelming one, but Bob’s perseverance and his refusal to take no for an answer has brought us to a point where we can actually envision the completion of the work that Bob started.For the first few years after the foundation started its work, Bob was its director, archivist, fund-raiser, planner and field supervisor. It was he who began the traditions that have become the foundation’s core, including the planting projects by local schoolchildren, the annual Ride for the Pass, the use of inmate labor from the Buena Vista Correctional Facility, and the meetings of the restoration team which cemented the many alliances that Bob built between the foundation and local, state and federal agencies.After Bob retired from day to day direction of the foundation (at the age of 75!) he remained an active board member who always pushed us to expand our mission, accelerate our timetable and enroll others in our cause. He was more than our founder – he was our spirit, our conscience, our engine. The work that Bob started will go on and indeed, it continues today as we start yet another major stabilization project on the top cut. This work will be an enduring monument to Bob’s vision, one which will remind us of how much one man can accomplish with every trip we make over the Pass. King Woodward, Ramona Markalunas, James Peterson, Bob Camp, Kristen Henry, Judi Loubier, Delia Malone, Bill Gruenberg, Alex Evonitz, Bob Wade, Michael Fain, David Hyman, Richard Goldstein, Mark Fuller (executive director), Judy Olesen (development director)Independence Pass Foundation staff and board