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Alan James Ward, 58, a long time resident of Grand County passed away January 7 in Granby. He was born and raised in Lakewood, CO, where he graduated from high school. He attended college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and Metro State in Denver. He graduated from Denver's Emily Griffith Culinary School and became a chef at the Phipp's family ranch near Creede, CO. Over 20 years ago, his love of skiing and hiking brought him to Grand County, where he held a variety of jobs. With his love for good food and wine, he worked as a cook, server and/or bartender at several restaurants in Grand County, the last being Caroline's before it sold. Another passion was reading, so some of his favorite work was with the Grand County Library District in its various branches, mostly in Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby, and Grand Lake. In his spare time he not only read voraciously but also enjoyed hiking, biking and bird watching throughout the area.
Never married, Alan is survived by his father Wayne of Lakewood; brother Tom of Salina, KS; sister, Susan Howard of Belen, NM, two nephews, a grand-nephew and niece, an aunt, two uncles, and numerous cousins. He was predeceased by his mother, Joyce.
No memorial service is planned. His remains will be cremated and his ashes scattered in the summer. Memorial contributions can be made in Alan's name to the Friends of Grand County Library, PO Box 1887, Fraser, CO 80442 or to a charity of your choice.
Found out tonight that Mister Alan passed away. He was such a warm heart and I truly considered him a friend. After we moved up here, he was one of the first people to make Grand County feel like home. I will remember all the time he spent reading to the kids. We'll never forget his hugs or his laugh. I remember making a special stop after my baby was born just so Alan could meet him. He was as impressed as I knew he would be. :) We will miss you Alan. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.
Kristen Jan 26 2012 12:00 AM
We were sorry to hear of Alan's death. He was a kind and gentle man who was a great server at Caroline's and a great help at Juniper Library. We will miss seeing him. Ken and I extend our sympathy to Alan's family.
Sara Moran Jan 20 2012 12:00 AM
We were very sorry to hear that Alan had passed. We always looked forward to seeing Alan at Carolines to welcome us with his special smile and pony tail and warmth. Emily especially liked Alan and he was so kind to her always. He will be missed by so many. Our condolences go to his entire family and friends too in Grand County.
Doug, Laura and Emily Lang Jan 20 2012 12:00 AM
I wanted to share with you my sadness in hearing about Alan. I will miss him. I worked with Alan for years at the GC Library District, and I loved him. He always made me smile. He never had a harsh word to say of anyone. I would sit and watch him give story hour and think how lucky the children were to have his fun energy shared with them. I was lucky to have it too. Blaze the heavenly trails in bliss, Alan!
Joy McCoy Jan 19 2012 12:00 AM
Alan was one of the sweetest guys I ever met in Grand Lake. He was a gentle soul and quietly sensitive to others' needs. He never imposed his own needs on anyone else, and he never boasted about all his education; one day I pulled it out of him and I was quite delighted to hear of his various studies. I know he added color and richness to our "family" at Caroline's Cuisine and he will be sadly missed by many. It is so symbolic that the restaurant has closed and Alan has passed away this year...definitely the passing of a great era and poignant memories for all of us. May Alan rest in peace knowing that he was dearly loved.
Jeannette Holtham Jan 19 2012 12:00 AM
I met Alan about 8 years ago, through our work at the library. I always enjoyed working with Alan...he was extremely intelligent, with a very dry, insightful sense of humor. Alan was loved by all our patrons, from the smallest children to the most senior of citizens. Alan had a gift for putting people at ease, and could converse effortlessly with people from all walks of life. He was extremely well read, and I was always impressed with the wide variety of books he liked...he seemed to take equal pleasure in philosophy and children's stories. Alan was a very kind & compassionate human being. I will miss you, Alan. I'm a better person for having known you.
Tess Riley Jan 18 2012 12:00 AM
when I first moved to Grand County seven years ago, Alan was one of the first people I met. He took me under his wing when I got a job at the Granby Library. He was always patient and willing to answer any question, no matter how many times I asked it. He loved working at the library and all of those who came into contact with him were met with politeness and professionalism. He was a kind, gentle man.
Gina Ricketts Jan 18 2012 12:00 AM
Alan was a gentle soul, a pleasure to know and a gift to the world. Sympathies to his family.
toni haas Jan 18 2012 12:00 AM
We were both so sorry to hear of Alan's death. Edie worked with him when he was at Juniper Library in the summer, and we both knew him through his service at Caroline's. Alan was always friendly. What a loss for his life to be cut so short. We extend our sympathy to the family.
Edie and Dave Strate Jan 13 2012 12:00 AM