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Andrew Arnold

Obituary of Andrew Arnold

Andrew Landis Arnold, known to all as Andy, passed away at home in Tabernash, with his loving wife, Becky, at his side on Thursday, April 12, 2012. He loved his life and left us following a fall that compounded a multi-year struggle with cancer.

Andy was born on December 22,/ 1937 in Albuquerque, NM, to Landis "Pink" J. and Helen Hopkins Arnold. His father being a career forester, Andy spent much of his youth in the woods and the family lived successively in Albuquerque , Arlington VA and Missoula MT. Before his parents retired to Greeley. At 15, with his parent's blessing, he hitchhiked back to Montana for the first of several memorable summers working on timber and trail crews.

During the high school years in Greeley, Andy started his life-long passion for skiing. With many of his heroes being members of the 10th Mountain Division, it was a great honor for him to join the Army in 1956 as a member of the Mountain & Cold Weather Training Command at Camp Hale, CO and later at Fort Greeley, AK. Those army years were very formative for Andy and he stayed in close contact with many of his fellow mountain-troopers throughout his life.

Though he had a brief foray to CSU in Ft. Collins before the army, Andy started his studies of botany at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1958. While there, he worked at the university's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (Science Lodge). It was in Boulder that Andy met fellow student, Becky Roe, who would in 1959 become his wife and life partner. At Andy's graduation in 1962, there were two boys in-tow, Landis (1960) and Thor (1961).

Along with his outdoor pursuits, Andy added a few successive work skills to his resume: structural iron and steel worker (New York City and Bailey, CO), ski instructor (Winter Park & Vail), ski patroller (Vail's 1st & 2nd years of operation '62-'63 and many years to follow in Winter Park), trail-cutter (Lake Eldora) and Outdoor Leader (Colorado Outward Bound's first hired instructor, Marble, '62-63), elk hunting guide.

Beyond his-own love of family and the outdoors (or with the hope of financing it), Andy -chose to shift from his outdoor careers to a pursuit of a medical degree.

1965-1969 was spent at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. In this time he kept active by commuting to school on his Frejus racing bicycle, burned through a few Ducati enduro motorcycles, and skied and climbed whenever he could. One of the standing family memories were dark evenings awaiting Andy's return from the Outhouse trees at Winter Park or ski tours from Eldora, over the divide, to Winter Park. In the late 60's and early 70's Andy completed major ascents of Shiprock in New Mexico, Flat Top and Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

In the mid-1970's Andy began kayaking , building some classic fiberglass kayaks and continued whitewater paddling and rafting into his 70's. Never one to sit-still in camp, there were often trout on the fire, thanks to Andy's skill with a fly-rod.

After med. school, Andy finished his training in family medicine at Presbyterian-St. Lukes Hospital in Denver. From there, the family spent a wonderful year in Trinidad, CO, where Andy was a Physician for the Children and Youth Project. From '71-'79, he was a Physician for Denver Health and Hospitals and Neighborhood Health Program. In those days he did most of his doctoring while speaking Spanish with his patients. Through this time, Andy continued to volunteer for the Winter Park Ski Patrol.

With both kids off to college in 1979, Andy quit his "real job", convinced Becky to sell their Denver bungalow and started the 7-Mile Medical Clinic in Winter Park. The clinic eventually was situated directly adjacent to the Ski Patrol room at the ski area. He built 7-Mile into a well regarded practice and continued his work there until his retirement in 2003. Many in the Grand County community came to know Andy as a Physician who was committed to helping people both heal and also to proactively stay healthy. And, of course, he did get to ski a lot in those years, at least until his radio would beckon him back to the clinic.

Andy and Becky spent their first twenty-some Tabernash years living in a century old log-cabin. What it lacked in scale and amenities, it made up for in it's warmth and sense of "home" for so many members of the Arnold Clan. Andy was known as the ultimate fix-it and adapt-it guy. His place was a good spot to break-down, as most things could be remedied in his care.

Becky started her collection of horses in Tabernash. The herd grew slowly and Andy didn't seem to take much notice in the first few years, but he came to love them all and he became quite the competent horseman. He took many cherished trail rides in New Mexico, Utah, Montana & Colorado.

Those who watched Andy's remarkable efforts to hang on, through these last years and months often commented on his resilience of spirit. His smile is forever with us and we are all so lucky to have had him in our lives.

With an everlasting imprint of Andy's person are his wife Becky of Tabernash, sons Landis (Ivana) Arnold of Niwot, CO and Thor Arnold of Bozeman, MT.

Grandchildren, Andrea Arnold (13) of Niwot, Fritz Arnold (12) and Swift Arnold (10) of Bozeman as well as Fritz and Swift's mother Jane Kudrna.

Sister, Ann (Rayne) Pilgeram of East Glacier, MT., in-laws Noel Wilson of Tabernash, Charlotte (Hector) Bravo of Niwot, CO, Anne (Jim Carlin) Roe of Colorado Springs . Brother in law Joe

Showalter (JoAnne) of Aurora CO and his three children, John Showalter of Aurora,

Jill Farshman (Jay) of Denver, CO. Jim Showalter (Lisa Jorgensen) of LosGatos, CA.

Andy also has a first cousin: Ed Arnold (Bette) of Denver, CO

Nieces, Alice (Dan Marsh) Pilgeram of Bozeman and Cheryl (Steve) Loo of Fraser, CO. Riley Salyards of Amsterdam, Holland.

Nephews, Paul Pilgeram of East Glacier and Todd (Stephanie) Wilson of Steamboat Springs, CO, Gage Salyards of Duluth, MN.

Family and friends, as well has with his cherished dogs Greta and Misha and trusting horse, Thumper all miss him dearly.

The great circles of Andy's community have shown the love of a Village that has touched the family dearly. Andy was loved by many and his adventurous spirit lives on in all that he touched along his way.

The family would like to thank the Heart of the Mountain Hospice for their exceptional care during Andy's last week. We also

would like to thank everyone for their kindness, thoughts and prayers

over the last several years. In lieu of flowers, contributions in

Andy's memory are suggested to either:

Headwaters Trails Alliance- PO Box 946, Granby CO 80446

www.headwaterstrails.org, Contact Mara at 970-726-1013

Winter Park Ski Education Foundation

P.O. Box 192

Winter Park, CO 80484

ccenter@winterparkresort.com or 970-726-1590

Heart of the Mountains Hospice

PO Box 140

613 First Street

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451

(970) 725-3378



Memorial websites for Andrew Arnold, as well as information regarding his June 16th Celebration of Life information for Andrew Arnold's are at:



Service Details

Saturday, June 16th, 2012 1:00pm, South Horse Pasture

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Andrew Arnold, please visit our flower store.


Becky and family....thinking of all of you as the anniversary of Andy's passing approaches.

Steve Oxley & Cindy Atherton Apr 7 2013 12:00 AM

Driving to California just after college, stopping in to see my best buddy Landis' family in Winter Parkwhere is Winter Park? Up this steep windy pass road, beautiful--Andy coming out of the Seven Mile Clinic, drying his hands, shaking mine, that Andy-sparkle in his eye full of humor and fun, saying, "Good to meet you. Go on up to the house, Becky is there." I was going to stay two nights, stayed six weeks. Andy took me on my first mountain bike ride ever, through the pines, the meadows. We went on horseback rides all up under Devil's Thumb. Andy giving me my first cowboy hat, a black one I still treasure. Taking me fly fishing. Driving up into a park by Devil's Thumb to bail me and Landis out after we had a small elk hunting incidentmad at us, but proud of us, too. I just loved him. From those first few days. The generosity. Of spirit, humor, time. The care with which he would clean off and lube a mountain bike so that I could ride it. Or wax a pair of my skis. As if they were his own. Or take time out of a busy clinic on the mountain to make sure I had the right gear to go skiing. Taking off of work to take a few runs and disappearing down the Outhouse trees at high speed, leaving his ballsy young companion carefully wending down and in awe. The stories. Nothing in the world I loved more than going up to Tabernash and sitting down with Andy at the table to share a night's worth of stories. About mountains, hunting, rivers, crazy and brave people. I could do it day after day, night after night, and I did, whenever I could. You all know, who knew him, the sweetness of his presence. It was like nectar. To me. The kindness, patience, fun. The way he brought my wife right into the family. How much she adored him. He had this way with people, anybody he met. He took them at face, accepted them, did not judge. People of all walks of life, in every corner of the country, felt this the first time they met him, and loved him for it. Maybe the greatest lesson, the greatest gift he has passed on to me: try to be gentle with others. We all have our faults, lord knows, let's be easy with eachother and accept all the good things the other is offering. Andy calling me through a flooded cedar swamp in the bayous of Louisiana where we have been paddling for a most of a week. Calling softly. WHAT! I yell with enthusiasm as I paddle into an openingand see the bird fly off. Andy had his camera out. It was a big pilleated woodpecker, with a WHITE pattern on its back. There is only one of those in the world: an Ivory Billed. Supposed to be extinct. Damn! We saw one. Right where they were supposed to be, if any were left. Andy's wistful smile at me. "I think you scared him off. I think it was an ivory billed woodpecker." His grin. Forgiving me as he said it. Andy paddling the Grand Canyon is a kayak. A few of us for three weeks. Teaching me how to strip in a wooly bugger in the big clear pools in the upper canyon. How to fish Tapeats. He hadn't paddled in a long time and the simple courage with which he paddled the biggest rapids. The humbleness. Ever humble, yet one of the most capable people I have ever known. Saying to me: can you chauffeur me for an hour? Of course. Had no clue it was going to be up a little track up Mary Jane covered with three feet of fresh powder. Andy bombing up in in his Forerunner like it was nothing, pulling out skis, his 30 ought 6 over his shoulder, clipping into the bindingsit was third elk season, big smile, wave, have fun! And swishing down through the aspen to ski and hunt. Oh yikes. I crawled back down that road, literally crawled in the dusk, thinking it was definitely Class Five driving, what Andy had tore up. That image of him waving, smiling, Thanks! What he loved. So full of love and joy. Jumping his skis around and disappearing off down through the bare trees. That's how I remember him. That's how I think of his spirit. Flying now. Blessing us all. See ya! Have fun! The wave and smile. Good bye. Love you. More than any words ever ever can say, more almost than a heart can hold. Good bye my dear friend.

Peter Heller Jun 14 2012 12:00 AM

I recently had some old VHS tapes put on DVD. In viewing them I came across the scenes of Andy and I skiing Parsenn Bowl out of a snow cat in maybe 1985. There is a running commentary between Andy and me. The day was fantastic, blue sky and 8" of powder. A great memory I shall keep always. Feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do. Rich

Rich Newton Jun 14 2012 12:00 AM

Andy touched many lives in many ways. His wonderful sense of humor really touched mine. I met Andy when he was first practicing in Granby in 1980. I then started boarding horses at the Arnold's in 1982. Once Andy told me that my horse, Andy, had jumped the corral fence from one pen to another, Being a young, gullible, and very serious girl, I believed him for a long time. Another time I was concerned because my cholesterol count had gone up a lot. He asked me why would I even have my blood checked because then I would have to stop eating bacon. I began to understand his sense of humor. Because my horse was called Andy, I could get his goat by talking about "Andy" and he didn't know who I was talking about. There were many years of passing humor back and forth. Even during his last days displayed that wonderful sense of humor. I bet he's telling his jokes while fishing, skiing and hiking in the back country on the other side of the "rainbow" bridge.

Diane Howell Jun 13 2012 12:00 AM

I knew Dr Arnold from my brief time as an EMT, but remember him most for brief conversations as we crossed paths in the trees between WP and MaryJane. My condolences to all his family. Mike Lund, Fresno, CA.

Michael Lund Jun 13 2012 12:00 AM

The last really good evening that I shared with Andy was on election night of November, 2008. Doug and I hosted a small gathering of hopeful friends/neighbors (all fellow Democrats) to share this historic moment. As the election was called for Obama and our cheering and hugging subsided, Andy quietly opined , "Well, our country just made its best foreign policy decision in decades". That was typical Andy. He could sum up any situation pretty succinctly. I will miss his wry observations about "stuff" most of all.

Kathy Gilbertson May 28 2012 12:00 AM

This is a second resubmission since the first one had some typos in it and was sent before I could correct it. It also showed as one long paragraph and did not sepaarate it into several paragraphs as in my original scrpt. Ski Instructor Exam In the early 60's Andy and I took the Rocky Mountain Ski Association's instructor exam at Loveland Basin. It was a picture perfect spring day and we breezed through the various stages of the exam. We were good, more than good, we were excellent, magnificent, we even outskied some of the examiners of the more difficult slopes. Why we perfumed like pros, showing off our stuff. At the end of the day everyone gathered in the warming house to wait for the results. Along with my husband Jack we celebrated our victory over a couple of beers. Many of the guys, yes guys, in those days girl ski instructors were few, were steeped in doubt and already knew that they had failed. Not Andy and myself! We had no doubt at all that we had passed. When the head examiner came to post the results a mad shuffle started toward the posting board but we waited until the crowd had thinned. After all what was the hurry, we knew what the results would be. Actually we felt there was no need at all for us to go to check the board. As outstanding as we had been, the end results were clear. But when the crowd had thinned we went up to the board to see how high on the list we had finish. Unable to comprehend what we were seeing we stared at the rows of results. We were not at the top, not in the middle and not at the bottom. Instead we were on the top of those who had failed! Bewildered we staggered back to the table and when we got there Andy slammed his fist down so hard he hurt his hand and turned every head in the room. It was so unbelievable that we were speechless. At Jack's suggestion the three of us headed to the examiners lounge and without knocking we stormed in. The examiners looked at us dumbfounded. Jack asked what the problem was that we did not pass. The head examiner shrugged and said we simply did not get enough points. "That does it!" said Andy and stormed out and I followed. Jack stayed behind to try and get a recount. Outside in the brisk air Andy and I had a fit! We called the examiner knuckle heads, morons, loons and a few others names I won't mention here. When we had cooled down we went back to inside to find Jack and to drown our misery in a few more beer. As we went up the steps to the warming house Jack came out with a big grin on his face. "You have passed," he said, "they agreed to a recount and found an adding mistake. You had more than enough points to pass!" "I knew it!" shouted Andy both furious and elated, "it was probably that nit-wit Hans from Austria who couldn't count!"

Helga Van Horn May 26 2012 12:00 AM

Andy was one of my very favorite human beings in the whole world. He had the greatest sense of fun, of gameness, of generosity, of adventure, of humor, of acceptance--of love--as anyone who ever lived. I thought of him as my second father and I was so honored to be his friend every time I was with him. This picture is fall, 2010, Andy with my wife Kim. We had a great hike. Andy took it slow and guided us. Peter Heller

Charlotte Roe (Andy''s sister-in-law, w. permission from Peter Heller) May 17 2012 12:00 AM

The first important thing I knew about Andy was his wicked boot collection. Andy's hiking and ski boots stretched from one end of the Quonset hut to the other. Those were the hectic days when Landis and Thor were tots, he was studying medicine at CU and Becky was getting her teaching certificate. The boots told me about Andy's love of adventure. But also his down-to-earth-ness. Andy felt no one should take themselves seriously. He would debate me about national health insurance, organic food, all the issues I felt strongly about but that he had a knack for analyzing from the ground up. He respected facts, just as he loved learning about the workings of the body and the secrets of botany. Andy had too many sides to count. Perhaps a key to all was his passion for fixing things. One winter during my freshman year at CU, I cut my shin to the bone in a skiing accident at Winter Park. Andy was on ski patrol and quickly arrived at the clinic. He so clearly enjoyed watching the doctor stitch me up, he seemed like a kid with a new toy. His attentive presence made me forget the pain. I guessed that incident could have helped spark Andy's start as a surgeon. But he was probably sewing camping gear and putting together broken things since he emerged from the womb. When we went to what was then Czechoslovakia for Landis and Ivana's wedding, and later visited Prague for the wedding of Miro, Iva's brother's, that zany mechanical streak got us in trouble. When Andy found a hardware store, he'd be lost for hours, examining and often buying odd gadgets. And imagine urging him to hurry up -- better not try! Even ravaged by cancer, Andy's wanted to make things better. Visiting Tabernash a year ago, I remember him sitting beside my sister Anne, who was repositioning a miniature arrow pack on a Zuni buffalo fetish. He got just the right glue and intently studied this tiny creature and his cargo as though he were setting a fracture. And his wry humor never let up. On one of my last visits to the Manor House in Boulder, where he was in rehabilitation, I brought our aging blind dachsund Jesse along. Another friend who was sitting with Andy said if he'd known about the open-dog policy, he would have brought his terrier. "That there dog would tear his head off!" straight-panned Andy. I credit Andy with our honeymoon in Chile. Becky called me to say they planned to attend our wedding in Nueva Imperial, then, rolling her eyes, announced that Andy was really coming to take a fishing trip. Hector and I had no time to plan our "luna de miel" though we yearned to go to Chiloe, the large island below Valdivia. I learned that i a remote lodge in Chollinco near the Argentine border had some fine big trout. We arrived there late at night the day after he wedding, me driving and Andy occasionally waking up to ask, "hey Charlotte, are you sure you know the way?" Each of us awoke to a dream -- every room had its own fireplace, there were misty mountains surrounding a river whose sassy fish unfortunately had no interest in modern fishing gear or tackle. Other lodgers treated us to their take at the dinner table. The place was so enticing that we spent our whole five-day honeymoon in Chollinco with the Arnolds. Years later, Hector and I sometimes daydreamed of running that lodge by the big trout stream and lake. Only recently we learned its fate was straight out of Isabel Allende's "House of the Spirits." When the owner died, his sons and daughters became so embittered fighting over the property that one of them burned it down. Still, the landscape stands, more haunting than ever. I miss Andy's teasing, his wily ways, his great appetite for life. Andy was a loner who attracted people like flies. He left deep and abiding friendships. He was an amazing doctor and father, as those who were directly in his charge have attested. He fought to keep the mountains that uplifted him from being defiled. He left stories in every crevasse. Like the landscape that defies murderous intent, Andy's essence remains. In honoring his life, we pay heed to that mountain spirit, a spirit that knows no boundaries, that simply will not quit. Charlotte Roe, May 2012

Charlotte Roe May 15 2012 12:00 AM