Richard “Dick” Zeder, 84, passed away Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 peacefully at home after a long illness.
He leaves behind: his son Steve; daughter Karen Blaschke and Karen’s husband John and their two daughters, Elizabeth (Lizzie) and Katherine (Katie); his younger sister, Mildred Giles of Nashua New Hampshire; his brother-in-law Chuck Ogilby and sister-in-law Meredith Ogilby and their family of Redstone, CO.
He was preceded in death by his cherished wife, Starr O. Zeder, in July 2015. Dick grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. A successful student, he first graduated from Cranbrook School before attending the University of Michigan, where he received a BS in Mechanical Engineering. However, he found business to be more to his liking and after moving to Chicago, he received his MBA from the University of Illinois.
While working towards his MBA, Dick began working for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. He enjoyed success at Arthur Andersen, but his real desire was to have his own business.
While in Chicago, Dick met his future wife, Starr, through mutual friends. Also at this time, Dick became friends with Jack Brewer, now of San Diego, CA. Jack owned a Porsche and Volkswagen dealership in Denver. Both Dick and Starr were familiar with Colorado, as they would visit Starr’s brother and his family in Vail for annual ski trips.
Dick, a car aficionado who wanted to start his own business, was easily convinced by his friend that a car dealership would be a good business opportunity. He and Starr moved to Denver and Dick worked alongside his friend at his dealership while looking for an opportunity to start his own. After exploring several possibilities, they chose Glenwood Springs and Dick was able to secure the Toyota franchise. In December 1976, Bighorn Motors (Toyota) was formed.
Both Dick and Starr loved Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area. Dick was an avid skier and hiker. As for business, Dick enjoyed operating Bighorn immensely. A strongly principled man, he was always kind and understanding towards both the customers and his employees. Bighorn Toyota is now operated by his son who looks forward to continuing his legacy.
Later in life, Dick and Starr enjoyed travels in Europe including Greece and Turkey, as well as Japan. He and Starr also enjoyed road trips throughout the American West in their 1971 Mercedes and 1950 Jaguar with fellow vintage-car enthusiasts. However, most of all, they enjoyed spending time with their two children and grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for January 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church in Glenwood Springs. A reception will follow at Dick’s business, Bighorn Toyota.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley, 7025 Highway 82, Glenwood Springs, 81601, (970) 945-7733, habitatroaring fork.org.
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