Longtime Denver writer Frederick “Freddy” Bosco, who often wrote about the inner lives and aspirations of the city’s lost and infirm, died peacefully Dec. 19 surrounded by friends and family at University of Colorado Hospital. He was 70 years old.
Son of Francis Neal Bosco and Anne C. Hooks, both of whom predeceased him, Freddy is survived by his sisters Carol Anne Bosco of Cedaredge, Colorado, as well as Karen Leak, her husband Denny and family of Wrangell, Alaska.
A graduate of the University of Denver, he was a former Poet Laureate of Denver, a talented writer, sketch artist, piano player and, not least, a clever poet even on his sickbed. His last amused advice to a friend: “If the phone rings and it’s cancer, don’t answer.” Able to find humor even in his lifelong struggles with various illnesses and addictions, he was also a strong man able to bend those trials into a life filled with friends, poetry books and a pursuit of Peace Education with the Prem Rawat community in Denver.
After a characteristically colorful sojourn in New York as a young man (think brief stints at everything from an elite accounting firm to a bullpen of fellow hungry writers grinding out a daily quota of stories for pulp magazines) he returned to Denver. There, his work — which was often centered on his haunts on Denver’s Capitol Hill and East Colfax, as well as his gratitude for life, breath and mindfulness — appeared in many places, including The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, The Straight Creek Journal, Westword, The Denver Voice and, most recently, Life on Capitol Hill.
He worked for many years, too, at the CHARG Resource Center in Capitol Hill, which offers therapeutic and life-skills support to adults living with major mental illness. He also regularly explained mental illness and its challenges to classes of medical residents and nursing and social work students at the Anschutz Medical Campus. A member of two local writers’ groups, he generously offered his mentoring and editing assistance to others.
As Lois Harvey of West Side Books once put it: “Being a friend of Freddy Bosco means many things. Jokes delivered by phone. Articles in sundry publications. Hand-lettered original books. Original art that is poetry and vice versa.”
A memorial service is planned for the spring.
Editor’s Note: To see Freddy Bosco’s most recent work in Life on Capitol Hill, go to http://lifeoncaphill.com/stories/ode-to-the-city-and-county-bosco,270852?