Stories surround us. One day last week, the Loveland (Colorado) Reporter Herald published three amazing obituaries: for H. Blair Muhlestein, Ingeborg Angela Maria Theresia Besirske Chavez, and Maurice “Red” Haworth. The obits were long enough for me to glimpse the lives of some cool people. I’ve copied excerpts from each. I wish I had known them.
H. Blair Muhlestein May 24, 1936 ~ April 5, 2012
Beloved husband, father, grandfather and artist Howard 'Blair' Muhlestein, 75, passed away peacefully at home, Thursday, April 5, 2012 in Loveland, Colo., surrounded by family and friends in a chorus of laughter and song. Born May 24, 1936 in Spanish Fork, Utah, Blair was married to Sara ( Rodney) for 56 years.
The couple raised five sons -- Kirtis, Ken, Kyle, Keith and Kris -- while Blair worked as tool and manufacturing engineer and held a Professional Engineering license at Hewlett-Packard in California, Delaware, and Colorado-a career spanning 35 years.
Blair was an unusually gifted man of many talents, with a wide variety of interests. With an avid love of camping and hiking, he was active as a Scoutmaster for 20 years. As part of that role, when a Scout reached the rank of First Class, Blair would carve a neckerchief slide for him. From that, Blair's interest in sculpting grew from wood and paper into bronze, which allowed him more artistic freedom.
Over the course of 25 years of sculpting he developed a wide body of work primarily known as 'realistic children' in addition to abstract and kinetic art. There are over 5,000 pieces of Blair's artwork displayed around the world, including in the home of President Gerald Ford, Olympic gold medalists Bonnie Blair and Dan Janson, as well as being featured in the television show 'Touched by an Angel.' Typical of Blair's giving nature, he enjoyed leading free sculpture lessons at his gallery in Loveland. …
In life, Blair was also a noted 'Kitemaster.' He and son Keith would give stunt kite demonstrations for local elementary schools. The entire school would come out and watch the show of two strings of 6 'stacks' of kites performing acrobatics, complete with a 'crashing finale.' One of his scouting adventures was a 'frostbite' outing behind the HP building in Pennsylvania. It was so cold that the eggs froze solid and all the scouts wanted to go home, but Blair gave them the 'be prepared' and 'tough it out' speech, rallied the troops, they thawed the eggs and had an omelet for breakfast-a great time, and a story to share for the rest of their lives.
Always game for an adventure, Blair was also a noted motorcycle enthusiast. … Flowers or contributions to Blair's favorite charity ' The Loveland Artists' Charitable Fund'.
Ingeborg Angela Maria Theresia Besirske Chavez --February 26, 1924 ~ April 4, 2012
'Inge' (Besirske) Chavez was born February 26, 1924, in Aussig, Czechoslovakia, the fourth and youngest child of Vincenz Paul and Theresia (Stohr) Besirske. Aussig was in the border area between Czechoslovakia and Germany, and the family was culturally German. … Inge remembered learning Czech as a second language in grade school. … [During World War II --
her siblings] were young adults, and three were away from home - Judith, the eldest was an MD in Prague; Helmut, Inge's only brother, was an officer with the German Luftwaffe; Inge was working as a physical therapy aide in the Alps, in a rehab hospital for injured German soldiers. Ilse, the third daughter, was the only one at home with both parents when the Russians took control of Czechoslovakia in 1945. The three of them abandoned their newly-built home and fled to Germany, where they hoped the rest of the family would find them.
Inge … [hiked the Alps, finally arriving in Aussig, only to find no one at home.] She stayed with friends, not knowing where her family was. Eventually she was scheduled to join a harvest work crew to be sent deep into Czechoslovakia or Russia. [She could not leave the Russion-occupied territory without proof that family was located somewhere else.] On the very day Inge was scheduled to board a train to the interior, her old neighbors showed her a letter they had just received, that mentioned that the entire Besirske family had … found their way to Munich, Germany except for Inge, and did the neighbors have any news of her? With that letter, Inge was allowed to leave and join her family.
In Munich, after the war, she met a handsome U.S. soldier from New Mexico, Moises Chavez, Jr. and they were married on February 16, 1948. She remembers that it required 7 hand-typed copies of various security documents and character references before the marriage could take place. Inge and Moises left for the United States in September 1948, and the U.S. became her home.
. . . She considered any sunny day above 40 degrees 'perfect' for golf. Inge prided herself on her cross-stitch needlework. … Inge leaves her family and friends with many memories of her humor, and expressions of 'Holy Cow!' 'Oh, Wow!' and 'You kidding!'(sic) when anything surprised her.
Her love of shopping and Birkenstock shoes are legendary. … Even in her later years, Inge was always curious about the world around her. She insisted that a friend bring her a black widow spider (in a jar) because she had never seen one before. …
Maurice “Red” Haworth September 20, 1928 – April 3, 2012
Maurice “Red” Haworth, a lifelong resident of the Berthoud area, died peacefully in the comfort of his home, at the age of 83 on April 3, 2012. His pioneer farm west of Berthoud has been in the Haworth family since 1901.
Maurice was born Sept 20, 1928 to Everett and Ina Haworth. He was active in farming all his life. He also worked various construction jobs around Colorado. … Red saw farming evolve from horsepower to gas power and was a constant presence in the Berthoud area all his years.
As faithful as a doctor making his rounds, Red traveled daily from coffee shop to coffee shop, sharing his smile and good nature with everyone he met. One of his favorite pastimes was sitting outside in his yard, among the cottonwood trees, soaking up the sunshine. He loved admiring his flag, and visiting with anyone who cared to stop by. How ironic that the mighty cottonwood trees lasted only as long as the man who loved them. …
Monday, April 9, 2012
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