Known to his Colorado friends as “Uncle Joey.” Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he spent much of his time in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He was a scholar and hockey defenseman at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. He served in the Army in Germany and the U.S. for 2.5 years. He attended the University of Minnesota and summered in St. Mary, Montana, where he was befriended by the Blackfoot tribe just outside of Glacier National Park. His visits to his friends in Colorado were frequent. He would tend bar at the Old Dillon Inn when in town. He went through a period of travel and fun that spanned three continents.
A spiritual awakening brought him to Kinnic Falls Treatment Center in Wisconsin, where he became a counselor and program director, helping many. About 10 years ago he answered the call of the mountains. By day he was a Keystone ski instructor or bartender at the Keystone Ranch Golf Course. At night he might be found hosting at the Snake River Saloon and Steakhouse.
When his illness was confirmed he accepted his fate with the strength and peace that he was known for. He headed home to the lake that he loved, one last time. He was single and had no children. Many relatives remain in Minnesota. His demeanor was gruff, but warm. His advice was tough, but often right. He created a legion of friends wherever he settled. He was unafraid to give an opinion and engaging when it came to an argument. If you needed some help, “Uncle Joey” was there with the rope to get you out of the hole. He had a spiritual thought for every situation. He was a one-of-a-kind who would tell you, “Be here now, be good to yourself.”
A gathering of friends in remembrance will be held at the Snake River Saloon on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m.