Thaddeus D. Off |

Thaddeus D. Off

Aspen Times writer

Thaddeus D. Off, 51, whom a friend described as “having the mind of a mad scientist and the heart of a poet,” was found dead in his home on the Fryingpan River on the morning of April 26.

The cause of death was believed to have been a heart attack. A memorial service open to all will be conducted at the Woody Creek Tavern on Saturday, from 3-5 p.m., and private family services will be conducted at a later date in California.

Thaddeus was born Dec. 8, 1952, in Hollywood, Calif., and spent his childhood in Ventura, Calif. He attended the University of California in Irvine, beginning his career in engineering until he switched to art history. Upon moving to Colorado, he immediately settled up the Fryingpan River but quickly became a part of the Woody Creek mystique.

He worked for River’s Edge Electric, located in Woody Creek, and became a welcome regular in the Woody Creek Tavern. An accomplished guitarist, Thaddeus occasionally sat in with local and downvalley groups. He particularly enjoyed fly-fishing, skiing, art, reading the daily comics and tinkering with broken pieces of equipment, whether electronic or mechanical, which he enjoyed repairing. He also treasured solitude, often driving into the mountains surrounding our valley with the simple explanation that, “I need some altitude!”

Thaddeus made friends with unusual ease and was quick to smile and laugh with friends and strangers, qualities that endeared him to the residents of Woody Creek. He also was well-known for his humorous and off-the-wall sayings, many of which could confuse uninitiated strangers. A couple of his favorites were, “Tobacco is my favorite vegetable,” and “Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.”

His sister, Tracy Stansfield, and a nephew, Mason, of Camarillo, Calif., survive Thaddeus, as does his girlfriend, Dawn D. Filip of Basalt, and many loving friends.

A cremation is planned, with some of his ashes to be spread in Woody Creek and the remainder at a favorite family location in the mountains near Mineral King, Calif. Memorial contributions may be made at the Woody Creek Tavern.