Lacy left his mark |

Lacy left his mark

Jane Reuter

SILVERTHORNE – Without Joe Lacy, Summit County likely would be a far different place.

Lacy, 74, died May 1 at his Grand Junction home. He was a Summit County resident for years who left a huge mark.

A Wildernest street – Lacy Drive – bears his name, as does lake in Willow Creek Highlands.

Friends and those who worked with the developer during his years here credit him with helping bring the Silverthorne Factory Stores to the county, along with developments including Ruby Ranch, Wildernest, Willowbrook, Riverbend, Rainbow Village and Willow Creek Highlands.

But it wasn’t just his business savvy they recall.

“He was the kind of person people were attracted to because anytime you saw Joe, there was a big smile,” said realtor Rob Mitchell. “He loved to joke. He was generous, as far as emotions, and always wanted to make people feel good.”

Realtor Henry Barr worked for Lacy from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, selling lots in Willowbrook, Wildernest and Ruby Ranch.

“There’s never been a better person to work for,” he said. “It opened doors for you, because of his reputation and class.”

Lacy’s funeral was held Sunday in Grand Junction, and was well attended by Summit County residents.

“It was full of laughs, because Joe wouldn’t have it any other way,” Barr said.

An Alamosa native, Lacy served in the Army and worked as a city manager in Grand Junction before moving to Summit County. Lacy and his wife, Mayme, raised four boys. They returned to Grand Junction in 1993.

Tony Snyder now owns Wildernest Property Management, and worked with Lacy for 20 years.

“He came here in the days that we were lusting for growth,” Snyder said. “His style was very, very accommodating. I remember people were almost taken aback by it. He was a very hands-off manager, very easy to work for. I think the sternest thing he ever said to me was, “I don’t think I would do it that way, Tony.’ That was about as stiff a rebuke as I can remember.”

Along with those many developments, Lacy is credited with planning trails, parks and open space in the subdivisions he helped to create.

“He was a very fine gentleman to work with,” said Summit County Commissioner Tom Long. “The county would definitely be quite a different place if Joe hadn’t lived here, and maybe a little less pleasant place if Joe hadn’t been as conscientious as I really believe he was.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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