Saint Patrick’s Day. Fourth of July. Halloween.
For any day of the year, John Tracy had an appropriate tie.
“He has hundreds of ties, none of them traditional. Multiple ties for every holiday and occasion,” said Audrey Brooks, the …
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A memorial service for John Tracy will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Green Center on the Colorado School of Mines campus, 924 16th St., in Golden.
The community is welcome.
Donations of food are being accepted for the reception. Contact Janice Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-399-5651.
For more information about the memorial service, send an email to Janice@westchamber.org.
To sign a guest book or leave a memory, go online to Foothills Cremation & Funeral Service’s website: www.foothillsfuneral.com/obituary/john-tracy
John Tracy Memorial Fund
A John Tracy Memorial Fund has been set up at First Bank to help cover memorial service costs.
All First Bank locations are participating.
For more information, call First Bank at 303-516-4827.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is the charity the Tracy family has selected for anyone who would like to contribute in John Tracy’s memory.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is a Golden-based nonprofit that protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000-foot peaks through active stewardship and public education.
To learn more about the nonprofit or to donate, visit www.14ers.org.
“John was always professional, very knowledgeable about every topic that one might want to discuss. A true listener — he listened patiently and waited his turn, even if he had a lot to contribute to a conversation. Someone with even one-third of John’s good qualities would be a wonderful person and contributing member of our community.”
— M.L. Richardson, serves on the Jefferson County Business Lobby
“He … exhibited his passion for caring about the community in all that he did. John gave his all to everything he was involved with. He was so fun to be around, always positive and wore great ties. I can hardly remember a community event that I have attended that John was not present at. I will miss his hugs and kind words. There are none better than him.”
— Eileen Schurmann, vice president and branch manager at Guaranty Bank and Trust in Golden
“I met John when he was working for the Transcript/Sentinel newspapers — he was the most respectful and kind salesman I ever met. John’s classy way of dressing always impressed me – from his amazing suits, to his ties, to his pocket handkerchiefs and even his initials embroidered on the cuffs of his shirts. He always stood out in a crowd in the most amazingly up-to-date style – a style only John could pull off.”
— Tami Bandimere, president and “Race to Read” coordinator for Bandimere Speedway
“I have known John Tracy for what seems like forever. What a gentleman and honorable man. He has always treated me and everyone I know with dignity and respect. He is a person who was endlessly interested in what was going on around him. What a treasure to our community. I will miss him.”
— Bill Kilpatrick, Golden Police Chief
“John was a pillar of the Golden community, and one of a generation of leaders who saw us through our down times to our present prosperity. For 30 years, he was the public face of the Golden Transcript, with its 150-year presence in our community. I joined the chamber more than 20 years ago, and John was one of the first people to greet me. I’ve attended scores of Chamber events since then, and I always find myself looking for him. I’m sure I will subconsciously continue to look for him at Golden events for years to come. I will miss him.”
— Barb Warden, local author and webmaster of Goldentoday.com
“He was one of those special Goldenites who loved our community and worked tirelessly to make it the best darn hometown in the country. I picked my Golden Rotary handbook off the shelf to find the definition of the Service Above Self award, which, in fact, nicely describes our John: ‘Individuals selected will have demonstrated the principle of Service Above Self through their selfless contributions.’ And for John, tirelessly should be added before demonstrated.”
— Dana Moran, former member of the Golden Rotary Club
“John rarely missed an event, whether it was a simple ribbon-cutting or a big awards dinner. You could always count on seeing his smiling face and his gentle demeanor. He had a gift for remembering everyone’s name and always making everyone feel welcome. John is just one of those special people that I call a delightful human being.”
— Dr. Kelley Jackson Condon, owner of Table Mountain Vision
“I met John when we were fellow journalists, but didn’t know until I began working for Golden just what a pillar he is in this community. Golden is my hometown, so his contributions as a resident, a journalist and a volunteer were truly impressive, well-known and deeply appreciated.”
— Karlyn Tilley, communications manager and public information officer for the City of Golden
“To know John was to love him. What a great friend. He loved to laugh and poke fun around the newsroom. He never got angry or said a bad word about anyone. I asked him one time if he ever got mad about anything and he said, ‘If you don’t disturb the water when it is still, it does not make ripples or waves.’ It was an honor to know him and work at his side.”
— Lynette Arguello, friend and former co-worker at the Golden Transcript
Saint Patrick’s Day. Fourth of July. Halloween.For any day of the year, John Tracy had an appropriate tie.“He has hundreds of ties, none of them traditional. Multiple ties for every holiday and occasion,” said Audrey Brooks, the business manager for Colorado Community Media, the publishing company for the Golden Transcript, who met Tracy when she started with the company in August 2004. “I remember about 10 years ago, he was trying to clean out some old ties so he’d have room in his closet for more.”Tracy started out by bringing them to the Golden Transcript’s office and let the newspaper’s employees have their pick.“He brought them into the conference room and spread them out on the table,” Brooks said. “There were hundreds of them — and those were just the ones he was getting rid of.”Tracy, 73, died Aug. 1 after being hospitalized for the past two weeks for a variety of health problems.He is survived by his wife Jane, three children, two step-children, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.A career founded in communityTracy started a 30-year career with the Golden Transcript as the marketing director in 1987. Through the years, he held the title of general manager, associate publisher and manager of special projects — the last of which he held to present day.In an interview last year for the Golden Transcript’s 150th anniversary, Tracy recalled how he had watched downtown Golden change through the years that he worked at the paper. And how residents turned to the Transcript to learn about pros and cons of issues, as well as voice their opinions through letters to the editor.“It belongs to the community,” Tracy said of the paper. “The Transcript has always been a part of the community.”Many would say the same about Tracy.He seemed to know everybody and attend every community event, former Golden City Manager Mike Bestor said.Tracy was one of the first people Bestor met when he moved to Golden to assume his role as city manager. On his second day on the job, in December 1993, Bestor stopped into the Golden Transcript and met Tracy for the first time.“He certainly taught me the value of being well connected to the community,” Bestor said.Leslie Klane, president and CEO of the Golden Chamber of Commerce, also has fond memories of Tracy.“John was the first person who befriended me when I accepted my position with the chamber two years ago,” she said. “His wisdom and guidance was always offered, always in kindness, and is something I will cherish.”Jerry Healey, publisher of Colorado Community Media, met Tracy about six years agoand quickly came to understand his indelible presence and legacy in the Transcript and the Golden-area communities.“John was a difference-maker and anyone able to hear his life stories knew instantly that this man lived a great and full life,” Healey said. “We will miss him at the newspaper in too many ways to count.”‘We shared a lot’Tracy met his third wife, Jane, 30 years ago when she was working as a secretary for the Lakewood/Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce.“I noticed he was a very nice guy,” she said.Later, she attended a business after-hours event and Tracy was there. Although it was a little out of character for her, she said, she went up to Tracy and said, “Why don’t you ask me out for out for a drink sometime?”He did. The two talked and watched a folk singer perform at a small venue in Lakewood. Tracy then called her a number of times to ask her to accompany him on a ski trip, but she wasn’t a skier and always declined. In the spring of 1987, they finally had their first real date — a drive through Golden Gate State Park.“We both agreed we had a magnetism, and it just continued on from there,” Jane said. “We’ve done a lot together. We shared a lot.”Tracy was born on Oct. 5, 1943, in Helena, Montana, and spent his elementary years in Juneau, Alaska. Because of rheumatic fever, Tracy didn’t attend school full-time until he was in the seventh grade. Tracy graduated from Westminster High School and attended University of Colorado-Boulder on a full scholarship, majoring in civil engineering.In his late teens, he was told he would not live to be 20 years old, because of his early illnesses, Jane said.“So the challenge of completing his climbs on all of Colorado’s 14ers become even more meaningful to him,” she said.Besides climbing the state’s tallest mountains,Tracy also was a world traveler — something he was very proud of — visiting 81 countries over his lifetime, Jane said. He had a pilot’s license and flew often in the late 1970s.Just because they were there, and because they were different, Tracy would travel to all the unique spots that most people wouldn’t go to, Jane said. One such trip was a visit to see a giant crane — Big Brutus, which is a regional historic mechanical engineering landmark dedicated to the mining heritage of southeast Kansas.One time, Jane said, Tracy even helped police apprehend a bank robber.It must have been in the early 1990s, Jane remembered, because big cell phones were still the norm. He noticed the robbery in progress while in the drive-up teller line at the bank and followed the robber in his car, all the while keeping in touch with police on the cell phone.“He was probably one of the first crime-stoppers,” she said. He went on to complete the Lakewood Police Department’s Citizens Academy.A full life in newspapers and communityHe entered the newspaper industry in 1973 at the age of 30, with Sentinel newspapers, which published the Trancript at the time. Later, Tracy and business partner Bill Armstrong started their own newspapers with separate editions covering Lakewood, Green Mountain, Applewood and Wheat Ridge.The two sold them in 1980.Seven years later, he joined the Transcript.“John was probably the best listener you’ll ever know. He had a calming demeanor and a way of negotiating and solving problems,” said Barb Stolte, a long-time colleague of Tracy’s and a Colorado Community Media marketing and community engagement specialist. “He was always positive. You never heard any negativity from him.”Transcript Editor Glenn Wallace agreed.“John was unfailingly kind, hardworking and helpful,” Wallace said. “He was a guiding light to folks like myself that had joined the family in the last few years.”Tracy received much recognition and a litany of awards from various community organizations, including the Golden Rotary Club and the Golden Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the West Chamber’s original lifetime members, and two years ago, he was honored in its Hall of Fame. Tracy was also one of the originators of the Applewood Business Association.He was named a Living Landmark by the Golden Landmarks Association in 2011, and he and Jane were grand marshals in the Buffalo Bill Days 2016 Best of the West Parade.As attested to by the myriad awards he received, daily life was never slow.“You should’ve seen his calendars,” Jane said. “He kept two of them.”One was his personal calendar, with haircut and oil change appointments on it. The other was his business calendar to keep track of all the luncheons, banquets and ribbon-cuttings he attended.In his free time, he enjoyed photography and hiking. He was an impressive gardener, Jane said, and grew all sorts of colorful flowers — geraniums, petunias, dahlias, lilies. He eventually also started growing vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers.“A happy and good life evolved between us. We gave each other freedom to pursue our separate passions, all the while sharing in mutual interests and adventures,” Jane said. “My gratitude is expressed for everything we shared — the blessings were truly bountiful.”
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