Friends to remember Dick Heider Dec. 5
BRECKENRIDGE – Friends and family will gather Dec. 5 to celebrate the life of Dick Heider the way he would have most wanted: by telling stories and skiing their brains out.Heider died in April at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer.
The gathering will start at 9 a.m. at the Maggie Restaurant at the base of Peak 9 at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. A pair of his crossed skis with one of his signature caps atop will be anchored in the snow outside the restaurant.Until his illness caught up with him, Heider was a very young 70-something – active, enthusiastic and interested in almost everything, his friends said. While clearing out his house, his daughters found books on art, music, history, nature, fishing, hunting, travel and religion. He had a deep interest in music, from opera to jazz.Heider was born July 7, 1924, in Carroll, Iowa, graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., then moved west to Denver where he worked in the petroleum industry. He lived in Montana and Wyoming, eventually ending back in Denver and traveling overseas in the 1970s to negotiate drilling contracts. He eventually ended up as president of Juniper Petroleum. When the company was bought in the early 1980s, he retired and devoted himself to living well.
Heider met his wife, Marguerite, in Denver in the 1940s; they were married in 1950. Their first child, Anne, born in 1953, died in 1971 while a freshman in college. Two other daughters survive: Susan Coleman of Evergreen and Beth Scannell of Greenwood Village.Susan said the earliest she remembers the family skiing was in the early 1960s, spending so much time at Breckenridge that they built a house in the Weisshorn subdivision. After Marguerite died in 1999, Richard spent even more time in Summit County.”He absolutely loved having friends who enjoyed doing the same things he did,” Coleman said. “I think he just felt even younger with such an active group.”
Friend Peter Novembre recalled that when Heider learned he was taking Professional Ski Instructors Association lessons: “Unlike most of the other good old-time skiers, he would pick my brain to find out what I was working on and try to incorporate the latest techniques into his skiing.”Other activities the family participated in included tennis, biking, hiking and fishing. Heider taught his three daughters to ski. He was an early member of both the Copper Mountain Over the Hill Gang and the Loosey Goosey group that skis Tuesdays at Breckenridge and Thursdays at Keystone.”He would just effortlessly float down the mountain,” Coleman said. “I think nothing made him happier than skiing down the mountain with his children and grandchildren.”
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