Judy Tersteeg wins Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award

Written by Stephen Knapp on .

On the evening of July 27 longtime Evergreen resident Judy Tersteeg will receive recognition she never asked for, an honor she never sought, and a substantial cash prize she has no intention of keeping.

“I’m speechless,” she says.

But if Judy Tersteeg is plainly nonplussed at having been chosen from a state-wide field of worthy contenders to receive the prestigious Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, the people she works with – and the ones she works so hard for – will tell you the tribute is both richly deserved and long overdue.

“Since she first knocked on the agency’s door over 20 years ago, it’s difficult to put into words just what Judy means, and has meant, to Mount Evans,” says Lori Carpenter, director of events and volunteers for Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice and the admiring fan who nominated Judy for the award. “She has enthusiastically taken the reins of many projects and fundraisers, and she always does a phenomenal job.”

Mount Evans has always been the cause closest to Tersteeg’s heart, and she’s put her whole heart into its service. Her tireless efforts on behalf of the nonprofit’s annual benefit gala have helped ensure home health and hospice care for thousands of her uninsured and under-insured neighbors. Her marvelous work as co-chair of “Under a Summer Moon” has been instrumental in making that elegantly edible event one of Mount Evans’ most successful fundraisers. A twice-yearly volunteer at Camp Comfort, Tersteeg has helped dozens of bereaved children overcome crushing loss; and as coordinator of “Ellie’s Evening” at Willow Creek Restaurant, she’s helped guarantee that Mount Evans’ essential services remain available to everyone in the mountain area regardless of their ability to pay.

Tersteeg never fails to step up as “Goodie Bag Coordinator” for Mount Evans’ popular Fourth of July Freedom Run 5K Race, and she’s helped direct the celestial choir of Mount Evans Angels for nearly 20 years. She’s lent her heart and hands to the Triple Bypass benefit and the Slacker Half Marathon, and she’s volunteered her discerning eye for the Seasons of Our Mountains Calendar and the Patient Photos project. Fact is, there are a thousand and one thankless jobs that must be done if Mount Evans is to continue its compassionate mission, and Tersteeg has put her strong shoulder behind most of them. And as far as Carpenter’s concerned, that’s worth a word of heart-felt thanks from a grateful mountain-area community.

“With every task that Judy takes on, she does so as a true ambassador of Mount Evans and the incredible services that we provide to the community,” says Carpenter. “Her dedication and passion are so appreciated.”

In accepting the July 2017 Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, volunteer Judy Tersteeg will receive a tangible symbol of that appreciation, the genuine esteem of the award-sponsoring Denver Foundation, and a tidy $2,000. She’ll keep the award, of course; but she’ll turn the cash over to some folks she knows who’ll put it to very good use.

“She’s donating it to Mount Evans,” smiles Carpenter. “I don’t know what we would do without her.”

As far as Tersteeg’s concerned, they’ll never have to find out.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to volunteer for such a fantastic organization, and I hope this award brings awareness to the wonderful work Mount Evans does,” Tersteeg says. “Being a volunteer at one of the Top 100 hospice agencies in the country is extremely gratifying, humbling and worthwhile.”


Remembering Denny Clifford, an Evergreen pulmonologist who succumbed to lung cancer

Written by Greg Dobbs on .

This is about an Evergreen friend. A thinker. A philosopher.

He wasn’t formally trained that way. He was trained as a doctor. A lung doctor. Which is what’s so ironic. Three years ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Unjust, for a man who spent most of his life at Lutheran Hospital and saved others from the disease. And never once put tobacco between his own lips. Lung cancer usually comes from smoking, but not always. Not for Dr. Dennis Clifford.

I never smoked cigarettes myself but despite my wife’s warnings that cigars are even more poisonous, occasionally on working trips overseas I smoked them. Until the night I got home from a rough trip to the Middle East. We went out to eat at Tuscany Tavern and just as I was sheepishly saying that my only treats on the trip were Cuban cigars, Denny walked in. When he came over to say hello, my wife told him what I’d just told her. This tall, bearded, cerebral man looked down at me and said seven simple words: “I thought you were smarter than that.” They didn’t come from a book. They came from his heart. I never touched another cigar.

When Denny began to die, he began to write. About life. And about death. He posted dozens of engrossing essays, tens of thousands of words, on a website called It’s a place where people share stories, whether spirited or sad, about their health.


John D. "Andy" Anderson obituary

Written by Anderson family on .


John David Anderson died peacefully on Sunday, May 21st, attended by his wife. Andy was born on Christmas Eve to William E. Anderson, an agricultural chemist, and Norma C. Anderson, a social worker. He grew up in New England.

During WWII, he trained as a Navy pilot and attended St. Mary's and Trinity Colleges. After the war, he attended Harvard, graduating in 1949 and obtaining a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1952. But more importantly, he married Florence Van Dyke ("Flodie"). He and Flodie then went west, driving their car "Horrors" to Denver, where the fast-growing city presented both architectural opportunities and a place to raise a family with a fabulous mountain backdrop.

In 1960 he struck out on his own, founding Anderson Architects, and began to design buildings around the mountain West. The firm eventually became Anderson Mason Dale in the early 1980s.

A strong proponent of energy conservation and sustainable design (even prior to the coining of the phrase), his firm designed Front Range Community College, the largest solar-heated building in the world (at the time) in the early 1970s.

He appeared as a lecturer and panelist on sustainable building design throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Finland. He was also a delegate to the World Energy Congress in New Delhi in 1983.

Andy was the long-time chair of the Lower Downtown (LoDo) Design Review Board, overseeing the renewal of this historic district in which his office was embedded, a block from Union Station. For over 40 years, he was a leader in the architectural community both locally and nationally. He advocated inclusivity in the profession, supporting women in architecture, and leading by example.

He became a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1980, was awarded the AIA Western Mountain Region's Silver Medal in 1984 and was named AIA Colorado Architect of the Year in 1987. In 2001, Andy was elected President of the AIA, and traveled extensively advocating for sustainable design and modernizing the role of architects in society.

Andy and Flodie forged a remarkable partnership over 66 years of marriage. Flodie supported the firm as secretary in the early years. Through the League of Women Voters, she became involved in transportation issues in Denver and Colorado. In 2004, Andy and Flodie jointly received the Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. They traveled to global destinations but were most proud of climbing all of Colorado's 14ers together. The feat culminated with a climb of Capitol Peak in 1990 in the company of family and friends.  Their collaboration and lifetime partnership in all things is a model to all who knew them.

Andy is survived by Flodie, their two sons Robert (Suzanne) and David (Nanon), four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All will miss him dearly for his humility, gentle humor, and his clear-eyed support. He was a gentleman in all ways, a model human being. Andy himself summed it best recently, raising his baseball cap and stating, "it's been a wonderful life".

His life will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 31st. A service at Park Hill Congregational Church, 2600 Leyden St., Denver 80207 (one of his first buildings) begins at 1 pm for his family, co-workers, and friends. This will be followed by an informal public reception at the Denver Botanical Gardens from 3:30-6:30 pm, where all are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest contributions to the Architectural Education Foundation AIA Colorado (AEF) (specify the John Anderson Scholarship), or a favorite charity.


Gavin Arneson singled out by the National Honor Society for its highest honor

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .

Gavin Arneson of Clear Creek High School was singled out from 26,000 applicants nationwide to receive the National Honor Society Scholarship April 27, 2017.  His picture graced the front page of the The Denver Post on Sunday, May 14th, labeled "from bottom to top."

Not only will Gavin graduate as valedictorian of his class later this month, but he's risen to the top in so many ways, including community service and leadership roles on the student council and with service clubs.  His integrity and respect are often cited when people talk about him.

But what makes this a real story is that Gavin was homeless twice in his 18 years, dealing with his parents' alcoholism.  He and a brother lived with his mother in a homeless shelter in Nebraska for awhile; six years ago they moved in with their father near St. Mary's Glacier.  

Determined not to become a homeless boy who would grow up to be a homeless person, Gavin applied himself at school and became involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, channeling his energy into helping others.


Ellece King Murphy obituary

Written by Murphy family on .

Ellece King Murphy passed away in her sleep at her home on March 12, 2017, in Highlands Ranch at the age of 96.

Ellece was born November 7, 1920 in Techumseh, Oklahoma to Beth LaRoe and Olive McQuiston King. The family moved to Evergreen in 1934.

While working at the phone company in downtown Evergreen, Ellece met handsome Army Air Corps Cadet James H. Murphy and they were married in the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration by Canon Charles Winifred Douglas on February 1, 1940.

The war years found them stationed around the U.S. while daughters Patty and Marilyn (MaryBeth) were born. Jim was frequently gone to serve in combat as a Bombardier Squadron Commander. After the war, the family returned to Colorado. Nextdoor to her father’s hardware store in downtown Evergreen, Ellece and Beth started the King-Murphy Realty Company, and Jim set up his Law Practice.

With her father, Ellece purchased and developed the Circle K Ranch Homesites in Upper Bear Creek, where they built their family homes. Son Jimy arrived and as the family grew, Ellece’s business thrived through her business acumen. Jim was elected Clear Creek County Judge in 1956.

With a small group of fellow enthusiasts, the Murphys co-founded the Evergreen Players in 1950. In 1968 Ellece was instrumental in the conversion of the church where she and Jim had married into “The Little Log Theatre” where the Evergreen Players produced several plays every year until 1993, dozens of them directed by Ellece and almost always including her husband, children and grandchildren. Over the years, the Players became the premier amateur theatre group in Colorado.

In 1980, faced with a crisis in the community, the family donated land for what would become the King-Murphy Elementary School, named after them.

Ellece served as a member of the Clear Creek Planning Commission, as head of Clear Creek County Democrats and ran for County Commissioner. She was an activist for working people and causes she believed in all her life.

After the great blizzard of 2003, Ellece moved to Grand Junction to live with daughter Marilyn. Last year, they moved back to the front range to be near family.

She is survived by her children, Patty Murphy of Las Vegas, Marilyn Allen of Highlands Ranch and Jimy (Delinda) Murphy of Evergreen, nephews Paul (Jan) King and David (Martha) King, grandchildren Patricia (Darrel) Wilson, Kari Beth (Derek) Luedtke, Lynley (Raul) Valles, Kristin (Chip) Conway, Anna (Mitesh) Murphy-Master, Jimier Murphy and Mystery (Eli) Murphy – as well as 12 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Ellece’s life will be held Saturday, March 25 at 3 PM at the King-Murphy School, Circle K Ranch Road, Evergreen CO 80439. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to King-Murphy PTA.