Quackenboss, Judith Elizabeth

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .


Judi Quackenboss

(1947 - )


Judi grew up in Michigan, moving to Denver in 1980 as a single mom with a young son, looking for a fresh start.  With degrees in English and architecture, she worked in commercial construction and was transferred to California.  In 1994 she returned to Colorado, making a home in Evergreen.

In 2000 her only child – 27-year-old John Michael Quackenboss (pictured below) – was killed in an airplaine crash in the Callifornia desert while riding in a small experimental aircraft.  Part of their final time together before his death, Judi and John had taken his dog to a dog park along the coast of California where she had fond memories of his dog running in and out of the waves with the freedom of being off-leash.

in John's memory, Judi worked to create the Bark Park on the south side of Stagecoach Blvd, part of the larger Elk Meadow Open Space Park.  At that time, it was the first of its kind in the area, opening in September of 2001, the Sunday before 9/11.

The initial fenced area was one acre in size with land provided by Jefferson County Open Space and with fencing and labor provided by Judi and Foothills Fence.  In 2004 the fenced area has expanded to six acres, part of a larger 100 acres considered an off-leash area that is part of Elk Meadow Open Space Park south of Stagecoach Blvd.  The area – owned and operated by Jefferson County Open Space – is maintained by park rangers.  Due to its popularity, the parking lot was expanded in 2008.

"Weekends are always busy," says Judi of the place for dogs to frolick.  "Winters with snow, it's a ball; summers there's lots of shade."  She even spoke of birthday parties for dogs.  She often stops by the park, hangs out just to watch owners with their dogs enjoying the space.  Sometimes she strikes up a conversation with strangers, reinforcing the feeling that John's memory lives on in a positive way.  The plaques on the entry gates are a reminder to those who use the park that it is in memory of John Michael Quackenboss.

Judi has been a member of the Mountain Foothills Rotary since its first year of being created, serving as president for a year – the year the club sponsored its only exchange student.  For two years she chaired the Rotary Youth Leadership group (RYLA) for the club and worked with students from Clear Creek, Platte Canyon, D'Evelyn and Lakewood high schools.  For years she was a foster mom for senior dogs, working with the Evergreen Animal Protective League.  She also served on the administrative team overseeing the building of Church of the Hills.

Judi is the owner of Cabinets of Denver, which is part of the Rooney Ranch Design Center in Lakewood.

Source:  Interview with Judi Quackenboss