Obituary: Clinton Bayard Sheldon II
October 18, 1954 – June 29, 2022
“In the simplest terms, a Renaissance man is a person with genuine competence in and understanding of multiple different fields, all of which complement one another to make him a more talented and productive person. A true Renaissance man will never claim he can accomplish everything, but he will accomplish anything to which he commits his time and energy. In other words, he tries his damnedest.”
Anyone who knew Bayard Sheldon will find truth in this statement. He was a man with many interests and many talents, all of which he pursued with curiosity and passion. Above all, he was dedicated to his family, friends, employees, employers and coworkers and will always be remembered as a fair man who championed underdogs and sought to leave the world a better place.
Bayard’s journey with brain cancer began the summer of 2021 and ended on June 29th at Aspen Valley Hospital, where he passed peacefully under the tender and attentive care of their staff and Hospice. Bayard faced his illness with unbelievable positivity, grace and fortitude, always mentally and physically striving to be “Cancer-Free in ’23”. While the odds were not in his favor, he never let that prevent him from being grateful for each day and making plans for the future, including travel to Santa Fe, Moab, Carmel-By-The-Sea and Napa.
The oldest of three sons – 11th generation Americans – Bayard was born in Bryn Mawr, PA to Anne (Zabriskie) and Dunstan (“Dunny”) Sheldon. At age nine the family moved to Altadena, CA where his father founded Sheldon Industries. An entrepreneur like his dad, Bayard started his working career with a paper route and never looked back. After two years at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, he enrolled at Cal Poly and graduated with a business degree. He worked in banking in Los Angeles for several years, then his desire to build his own business took him to Sacramento where he formed Silver Creek Landscape, a successful commercial landscape construction company with 80 employees.
While raising three boys was a full-time job, the Sheldons made sure traveling all over the country was part of their upbringing, and that love of exploration stayed with Bayard throughout his life. He was also passionate about the American West, ranches, cowboy boots, art, literature, finance, world affairs, nature, action movies, good food and cooking, and was an avid collector (and consumer!) of fine wine.
At the invitation from an old friend, that particular passion brought Bayard to Aspen in June of 2004 for the annual Food and Wine Classic, where his life changed forever during a chance meeting while waiting in line for New Zealand lamb chops at a Grand Tasting. Overhearing two women lamenting about the length of the wait and considering leaving, he struck up a conversation and convinced them both the lamb chops and green lipped mussels were well worth it and would pair perfectly with a Shiraz and Chardonnay. His charm won them over, and over the course of the weekend more conversations ensued. (Those two women were Gina Pogliano and her sister, Kristen.) Bayard returned to California with Kristen’s email address and the promise of sharing a good bottle of wine together a year later in Aspen. He held true to that promise, and an unexpected romance between Gina and Bayard blossomed. For six years they managed a long-distance relationship, becoming engaged in 2008 and finally living together full time when Bayard chose to relocate to Colorado permanently in 2011. They wed in September of 2013 in Ojai, California.
Once settled in Aspen Bayard began a new career in property and asset management, where he utilized his extraordinary organizational and mechanical skills to the benefit of many homeowners over the years. It takes a lot of people to maintain a residence, and Bayard treated the many vendors and trades people with whom he dealt with the utmost of respect in order to succeed. One of them recently shared with Gina “Of all the people I’ve worked with or for, he was the most even tempered and best communicator of all. He inspired pride in all he worked with. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
Bayard is survived by his wife, Gina Pogliano, stepson Connor Pogliano Gleason, his mother Anne of Medford, OR, brothers Charlie (Dana) of Citrus Heights, CA and Peter (Jennifer) of Mammoth Lakes, CA, nephew Dylan of Portland, OR, many family members around the world, Gina’s family in Colorado and a plethora of lifetime friends. Gina and Bayard’s entire family sincerely thanks everyone for their ongoing love and support.
Please think about Bayard when you share a good meal and a glass of wine with someone you love, or are watching a sunset or fireworks. Pay tribute to him by treating people the way you would like to be treated. And if something “makes your tail wag”, do it often and with abandon! If we’ve learned anything, it’s that life can change in a split second; each day is worth celebrating. A commemoration of Bayard’s life will take place in Aspen sometime this fall and another in California next spring. In the meantime, if you wish to honor his memory please consider supporting HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley, the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation, or the Calaway Young Cancer Center.
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