A farewell to one of our best...


Last updated 11/1/2022 at 8:44pm | View PDF

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Not often on the journey of life do we find kindred spirits, those who we feel like we've known a lifetime. I'm referring to the rare beautiful souls whose presence can easily bring a calm over those around them; those whose inner lights shine so brightly you can literally bask in the warmth they give off.

In my 41+ years of being a part of the Fountain Valley News team, I have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful people. Some whose time with us was brief, others who spent years serving at your hometown community newspaper. It has been the journey of a lifetime for a once-fledgling of an 18-year-old-girl whose stepfather Carl H. Wiese offered to give her a chance at his newspaper. I doubt that either one of us would have thought I would stay on for over four decades. It has been a fulfilling career and way to try and make a positive difference in the community I've called home.

Not having children of my own, over the years I came to "adopt," or take under my wings, a few very special young people who found their way through the News office's doors and into my heart. The very first was a young man who we quickly learned was a gifted writer. A "local kid," he graduated from Fountain-Fort Carson High School and came from a well known long-time Fountain family. He was bright and talented and eager to learn all he could; but what stood out the most was his sincerity and kindness.

He definitely got a shock of a start when the first story he helped my sister Karen Johnson (our reporter at that time) cover was about a body being found east of Fountain; but for the most part, he had much milder news to report on.

I believe he was 18 when he joined our "News family," and little did I know how deeply he would touch my heart. When I discovered he had been born about a week after the day I graduated from high school, it hit me that I was old enough I could have been his mother. It gave me a jolt of reality for sure. I would tell him stories about my youth, what was popular back in the 1960s and 70s, including what kind of candies were popular. When I told him about my love for Necco Wafers, he looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language. So of course I had to find some to share with him. We laughed over a few rolls of them. He was one of those people who was so easy to be around. No pretense, no drama, just good clean fun and mutual respect for each other.

His time with us wasn't very long, but he left lasting impressions on our hearts. I speak for Karen, too, when I say our fondness for him never waned. We were always so happy when we would hear from him about his life and his work, and I would always tell him to keep on writing – just for himself whenever he had time because he had such a way with words and it was good therapy, too. Every few years he would come by and visit, making our day. We would share hugs and some laughs about those darned Necco Wafers before he would leave.

Not long ago, he came by the office to get some extra papers after the loss of his beloved grandmother. Our hearts were broken for him and his family, but as always, it was wonderful to see our dear friend Nick Colorado who I will always think of as a "heart son." I would have never dreamed it would be our last visit. It still doesn't seem possible that we won't see him again in this lifetime; as we got news last week that he had died.

Borrowing a few words from his obituary, which is included in this issue, "Nick had an uncanny ability to reach people in a deep and profound way."

That he did, for my sister and I both. We will be forever grateful to have been blessed to have had Nick in our lives. No doubt, his radiance is now shining across Heaven and it is surely a happier place.


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