Hazelrigg, Charles Richard

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .


Chuck Hazelrigg

(1933 – 2016)

Born and raised in Cadiz, Ohio, Chuck also pursued his schooling in the Buckeye state. He was personally recruited by famed football great Woody Hayes, then coach at Miami University of Ohio, legendary even before taking charge of the gridiron at Ohio State. When Hayes made the change, Chuck played football under coach Ara Parseghian, who later became one of the best coaches at Notre Dame.

The team at Miami University valued Chuck for more than his ability to snap the football as center; the coach acknowledged that Chuck’s scholastic ability played an important role in keeping the team average up.

After a stint in the Air Force where he was stationed in Japan, Chuck pursued a 33-year career in banking, working his way up the ropes to become President and Chief Operating Officer at United Banks of Colorado in 1987.

In the late 1960s he had coordinated the launch of Master Card for an earlier employer, making US National Bank the premier bankcard system in the Rocky Mountains.

After negotiating the merger of United Banks of Colorado with Norwest Banks in 1991, his career would come to a sudden end as a result of the new arrangement. Coincidentally, just days before his departure, the Father’s Day Massacre took place at United Bank of Denver when four bank guards were shot to death in the underground cash vault. A former bank guard, James W. King, was tried and acquitted of the crime.

The Hazelriggs – Chuck, Luanne and their three daughters – had moved to Evergreen in 1971. He and Luanne were one of three couples that founded Bootstraps in 1979, to provide interest-free student loans to graduates of Evergreen High School (the organization later merged with Evergreen Scholarship). While Luanne maintained a high profile in volunteer activities in Evergreen, Chuck’s involvement in nonprofits was notably centered around the Denver scene.

Chuck was closely involved with the Denver Museum of Natural History, later renamed the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He’d been invited to serve on the Board of Trustees at the pivotal time when it was changing from being just descendants of the founders, those with familiar “old Denver” family names.

He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the museum for three years, during which time the museum hired its first female president. Chuck had a reputation for recognizing the talents of women and giving them equal consideration with men in hiring practices far ahead of the times. He also elected to co-chair campaigns with women.

He chaired the Space Odyssey and West Side Expansion Campaign, raising $35 million for the museum. His greatest accomplishment, however, was rewriting the 100-year-old bylaws of the museum and creating a more contemporary system of governance. He served on the Board of Trustees for 25 years.

In the 1980s Chuck and Luanne co-chaired the effort to raise $2.5 million to rebuild Tomahawk Ranch, the Girl Scout camp on Deer Creek. He prided himself on being a card-carrying Girl Scout for years.

In the early 1980s Chuck served on the advisory committee for the construction project of Evergreen Ambulance Service when it built an ambulance facility.

Shortly after the formation of the Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) in 1991, Chuck stepped in to fill the shoes of founding member Dave Scruby, who’d served as Treasurer. He and Linda Kirkpatrick co-chaired MALT’s first public project – the successful effort to Save Noble Meadow in 1994 – assembling $2.3 million in five months' time. The community-wide campaign put some permanency to protecting nearly 400 acres from imminent development and provided another 10 acres of land for the ball fields and recreation center at Buchanan Park.  (See history under Dan Pike.)  

During the period of tremendous growth in Evergreen (1980s and 1990s), Evergreen residents had gained a reputation for being outspoken, rude and demanding people. “There had been numerous ugly letter-writing campaigns targeted toward the commissioners,” recalled Linda Kirkpatrick.  "In the absence of a city government, locals felt little to no control over decisions regarding development.

“It was Chuck’s insistence of ethical and professional behavior if he were to be affiliated with the campaign that caused the Evergreen community to be regarded differently by the commissioners thereafter. Chuck’s leadership of the Save-Noble-Meadow campaign dignified Evergreen far beyond the six-month effort and allowed it to gain the stature it enjoys today.”