In Memoriam of Friends and Family
We've lost friends and family too soon. Here are tributes to the people who are remembered through a FRCC memorial scholarship. Memorial scholarships help keep memories alive, and help students working to better their lives through education.
The Leah Aylward Memorial Endowment Fund
The Rotarian principle of “Service Above Self” was the polestar of Leah J Aylward's life. It ran through her academic career and her personal life.
Her teachers noted her brilliant mind as early as elementary school. She enhanced her academic, musical, and athletic
accomplishments through high school. As graduation approached, she applied to Harvard University on a whim. She was accepted, along with her twin sister Erin, and graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy.
Leah's interest in Latin America, social justice, and conflict resolution developed at Harvard, along with a passion to travel to these countries to learn from their people before trying to offer solutions. In Leah's mind, the local solutions she found to problems in a small Central American country might just as well prove to be superior and have applications elsewhere.
Rotary as an organization became part of her life about this time. Travel to South and Central American countries to volunteer and study required funding. Rotary International offered both funding and programs to the best applicants. Rotary International's focus on projects that are practical and able to be locally sustained, such as digging water wells in Myanmar, would have appealed to her, as would student exchange programs or other activities that gave people the opportunity to experience normal life in a country other than their own.
Leah spent 2003 at EARTH University in Costa Rica as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, studying EARTH's experiential learning model of education. The next year she was back at Harvard writing her undergraduate thesis, but it wasn't long before she was out in the world again; in Colombia as a Fulbright scholar, Australia as a Rotary World Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland for her Master's degree and PhD fieldwork, which took her to Guatemala and Colombia again. Before trauma and health crises drove her from the field and academia, she had written an 80,000-word draft of her PhD dissertation dealing with the relation between development and violence and its effect on certain South and Central American lives, at the bottom of the social structure, such as the Indigenous people in Guatemala. The topic is as relevant today as it was then, and she had hoped to complete her degree, but was unable to.
“Service Above Self” was just part of Leah's personality whether she was involved in Rotary or not. Even her first-grade teacher remembered Leah not only as being extremely intelligent, but also as a defender of her bullied or struggling classmates. The concern for others continued for the rest of her life. She loved teaching and tutoring others, from high school to post graduate work. Some of the tutoring and editing was paid, but much was done just because someone needed help.
There is no happy ending to this story. Leah hoped to be a voice advocating for victims of trauma and sexual assault, but complex PTSD eventually took her life.
The Sandy Madura Memorial Scholarship for Paraeducators
For Sandy, working with children was a natural application of her Christian faith. She had a 15-year career as paraprofessional in the Boulder Valley Schools, working most of those years for Aspen Creek PK-8 School in Broomfield, in the autism program. Working with individual students, or with small groups, she helped them to engage with the curriculum and perform more capably. Much of her focus was on training social behavior to make students more effective in school. A key to Sandy’s work with children was her relationships with them. These rich relationships often extended beyond the school experience, as Sandy remained a mentor and friend to growing children outside of their schools.
Jim's friends and family have established The James R. Canary Memorial Scholarship to support students pursuing a career in brewing through an A.S. Degree in Fermentation Science Technology at Front Range Community College.
Jim began his career in brewing at G. Heileman in Frankenmuth, MI before relocating to Fort Collins, CO to be part of the management team at Anheuser Busch. It was an exciting move, allowing him to play a key role at the outset of that plant. Jim spent 20 years in management at Anheuser Busch before his retirement in 2009. In his retirement, Jim expanded into exploring the rising realm of craft beer: tasting it and blending it with friends, picking the minds of the crafters and sharing his extensive knowledge with all interested. To keep in touch with the brewery business, Jim served as the treasurer of the Rocky Mountain District of Master Brewers Association of America for several years, which he enjoyed immensely.
Jim was a lifelong learner with a steel-trap mind making him a fascinating conversationalist. People were quickly drawn to Jim's laid-back manner and keen, often wacky, sense of humor, and his masterful ability to construct the perfect pun in the moment. His loves and interests included fitness, several outdoor activities, playing guitar, singing and the history of everything. Having earned a B.S. degree in Food Science from UC Davis, Jim was a fan of its football team, along with the University of Michigan's and CSU's teams, always enhancing the experience with a few brews. Jim had a good life!
The intent of this scholarship is to honor Jim Canary's memory by endowing a student who shares Jim's passion to maintain the integrity of brewing through a solid education in the science behind the process with a goal to create craft beers!
Mildred G. Arnold
The gift honors Mildred G. Arnold, a researcher, humanitarian, teacher, writer and women's advocate. Mildred G. Arnold was a trailblazer for all women at a time when career paths for women were often cast in doubt, derision, and shadows. A graduate of Cornell University in 1932 in the heart of the Great Depression, Mildred cracked open some of the most tightly constricted and rigid expectations of what women's roles should be. She rocked the boat at a time when many women were not even allowed on the boat.
Mildred went on to use her vantage point to serve as a voice and advocate for other women, so their views and needs would be heard and heeded by leaders in business and government, even when her bold advocacy won her no popularity contests or standing ovations, but more likely barbs and ridicule.
Several years prior to her death, Mildred directed that part of her estate be used to support two causes dear to her heart: the issues and needs of aging and the elderly, as well as issues regarding women and girls in Larimer County.
Ruth Meese lived her life as we would want others to remember us, with care and compassion and wanting the best for everyone. She valued diversity in education and business and proved herself time and again in the working world that women were absolutely equal to men for intelligence, creativity and work ethic.
Ruth grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin where her father was the President of the Beloit Corporation, where they made machines that made paper. He had 14 patents over the course of his career. He instilled in Ruth that she could be successful in anything she attempted, and she tried many careers. When she graduated from UW-Madison, she opened her own crafts and clothes making store which she did successfully for five years. She then went on to work for General Tire, two different search firms, a school district, and a church jail ministry program, all before landing at FRCC. Her career was varied and anyone looking at her resume would say that it was a successful career. She retired in October of 2017 to go be a full-time grandmother.
She had this vibrant at diverse career even having a stroke in 2000. Unfortunately, that stroke was part of an underlying problem that she did not know existed, and in January of 2019, passed away after an extremely short 19 battle with leukemia. We are all saddened at her passing.
During her last job over her outstanding career, she was able to channel her passions into FRCC when she was asked to manage the $25M machining grant consortium as FRCC led the way to create a top notch program that our manufacturing partners have supported as their companies continue to grow. She realized quickly that her being fair and firm centered around one thing, excellent communication. Over the five years that she managed the grant for FRCC, at the end of the term, only $100 was returned to the government. That is the true sign of getting everything she could out of that grant.
She had a passion to see women get to the point of being equals in the worksite. There is no way to know where a young woman may have been discriminated against or told she can't do something. Ruth didn't care. She wanted to see women get the support that they need and how many may see that a woman may be getting a hand up, she saw it as creating equity at that point in time. Ruth's thoughts and desires are the backbone for this scholarship. I hope you consider donating to keep this fund going to support the women of Front Range who have decided to make machining their passion, long into the future. Thank you for your consideration.
Stacey was a faculty member of the Math Department at Front Range Community College.
She died in a tragic car accident when she was only 30 years old. She was a beautiful,
intelligent, talented, adventurous, and artistic young woman. Before her death, she
shared how she felt emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthier than ever before.
She was truly happy and happy to be living. She loved her family and friends, mountain
climbing, taking road trips, nature and family photography, math, acro-yoga, and her
dog. She loved working at FRCC, because she felt supported and challenged. She loved
her coworkers and students. Stacey loved to bake desserts for all. She baked something
sweet for every Math Department Staff Meeting and was known to pass out treats to
her students during math exams.
When hundreds came to her celebration of life the one thing in common with everyone's experience knowing Stacey is that she was an inspiration to them. They said she liked to push herself and others to live, push themselves to their limits and out of their comfort zones to achieve their dreams of happiness. They loved her beautiful contagious smile, her positive enthusiasm, her zest for life, her infectious laugh, her confidence, and her love. Stacey would be happy to know that this memorial scholarship could help a student pursue their dreams.
Amy Lynn Westbrook
Amy loved her family and friends, roses and lilies, all different kinds of Asian things. She loved to travel—if she could she would have travel around the world. As little time as Amy spent in this world she accomplished so much. She….voted in an election, climbed Sydney Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia, and fed a kangaroo, cuddled a koala. She traveled to Nagasaki, Japan and sang karaoke, she experienced earthquakes in Japan and South Korea, visited Brisbane, got a henna tattoo, and so much, much, much more…
This scholarship was established in loving memory of Andrea Weiss. She graduated from Front Range Community College in May 2003 in American Sign Language and Hearing Impaired Studies. Andrea was a gentle, kind-hearted, passionate soul who brought joy with her everywhere she went. She had the biggest, most sincere smile that would just brighten anyone's day.
Andrea was an ASL interpreter for Kristin Stapanowich at a private school in Northern Virginia from 2003-2006. She had an impact on the students and staff members of the school. Andrea was always encouraging and helping students to grow personally and academically. ASL was not a class offered by the school, but “Andi,” being a gifted teacher, taught several students sign language over the three years that she signed for Kristin. She positively affected the lives of so many people through her journey.
We want her spirit to live on in this community. The “Andrea Weiss ASL and Hearing impaired Scholarship at Front Range Community College” is an encouragement for everyone to always give their best, never give up and always pursue their dreams.
Andrew Barton passed away on April 29, 2007. Andrew took it upon himself to live on his own while studying at FRCC. While attending FRCC, Andrew performed well and enjoyed his experience. Andrew's legacy continues on—his beloved friends and family honor him through a scholarship designed to support a FRCC student who also is making it on their own.
Becky Zerlentes was a geography faculty member at Front Range Community College - but was also an accomplished martial-arts instructor, a competitive collegiate synchronized swimmer, and long-time children's swim teacher, all in a 5-foot package from Chicago who her father-in-law affectionately described as a “Greek spitfire.” She loved Colorado from her first visit in 1998, and was never happier than when she could call Fort Collins and FRCC her home later that year.
She finished her Ph.D. in geography from the University of Illinois during her first year here, which included a weeks-long trip to the Mexican border to complete her field work leveraging her fluent Spanish. Her passion for geography was bound together with a passion for traveling - whether Mexico, Europe, Cuba, or the rural southwestern United States - and meeting other people(s), for which she had a special gift as anyone who met her will attest.
We lost her April 3, 2005, after a glancing blow in the Golden Gloves boxing tournament in Denver turned fatal. The tragedy instantly became international news, as the first woman to die from such an event occurred only shortly after the release of the Academy Award-winning film “Million Dollar Baby” whose ending follows an eerily similar trajectory. Although the event defined her passing, boxing in no way defined Becky; she only had recently come to the sport when she found the training to be especially challenging and invigorating, and enjoyed learning the new martial-arts skills. In many ways, the fact that she discovered and was falling in love with yoga at the same time speaks to just how yin-yang Becky was.
This scholarship is intended to honor and pay memorial to Chris Kline and his inspirational spirit. Chris Kline tragically died at the age of 35. He was an Information Technology Manager at Respironics at the time. Chris believed you could be anything and do anything well if you put your mind to it. He did not attend college until well after high school, but knew he could succeed in the IT industry, put his mind to it, and did.
Gerald Dotson, PhD Endowment
Gerald Dotson, PhD, taught biology at FRCC from 1969 to 1998. He was a respected teacher who earned the Master Teacher Award in 1986. He loved to hunt, fish, and camp. He died in 2001. He dedicated his teaching life to helping students and Westminster residents understand the biology and ecology of the world around them. As a volunteer, he worked with the City of Westminster and area residents to create a comprehensive system of nature trails behind the Westminster Campus.
As a Navy Junior, Brian lived in Newport and Monterey California, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Northern Virginia, graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia. After graduation, Brian ventured into the world and lived in South Carolina, Florida, and California before settling in Colorado in 1997.
He pursued a career as a photo technician and photographer, and ran a custom photo processing business. Brian was an avid outdoor enthusiast, who loved the beauty of both the sea and the mountains. His many interests included skateboarding, surfing, target shooting, 4-wheeling, and snowboarding.
Brian had a life-long passion for music and played drums professionally in a Denver-area band. Brian's love of cars led him to embark on a new career, completing work on an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology at the Larimer Campus. He was planning to compete in sports car racing and was preparing his treasured Miata for the Spec Miata Class.
John Swenson Volunteerism Scholarship
John Swenson, PhD. had many accomplishments. John served in two key positions at Front Range Community College between 1968 and 1984. He began as campus director and vice president of what was then called Community College of Denver-North, then served as president of Front Range Community College. He provided strong leadership and guidance to a staff that helped to make Front Range Community College the premier comm
unity college in the state.
Kenneth and Dorothy Beil
The Beil's were born and raised on farms. It wasn't until 1991 that they retired in Colorado. Although they never had children, Ken and Dorothy shared a keen interest in the younger generation, wanting very much to support students with financial need in obtaining a post-secondary education.
Maryella Mury Slavec
In loving memory of Maryella Mury Slavec (1928-2000), this scholarship shares her passion for music, literature and art with a FRCC Larimer campus student studying in those disciplines.
Mury was a beloved piano teacher, a voracious reader and talented, imaginative artist. She was a lifelong learner with an insatiable curiosity that enticed her to travel the world and continually pursue educational opportunities. A Colorado native, she was devoted to her family and embraced her friends with joy and delight. Her selfless love and caring spirit left an indelible and lasting mark on anyone who had the honor of knowing her.
She did more than exist, she lived.
She did more than listen, she understood.
Always loving, always loved.
Leona Stanford Vollintine
Leona Stanford Vollintine Charitable Trust Scholarship
The Leona Stanford Vollintine Charitable Trust Scholarships have been established to assist students who are pursuing a degree in teaching, education, criminal justice, and health care services.
Louis P. Singer
Louis P. Singer, was an investment banker and a retired senior partner in Troster, Singer & Company, an over-the-counter securities concern. Mr. Singer entered the securities industry in 1928 as a $12-a-week messenger boy after graduating from Stanford University. He was with Troster, Singer until 1977, retiring when the company merged with Spear, Leeds & Kellogg.
He is survived by his wife, Paula; three daughters, Alice Carpenter of Hewlett Harbor, NY, and Midge Korczak and Leslie Lomas, both of Boulder, CO, and four grandchildren.
Mark Oetting Memorial: Passion for the Environment Scholarship
Mark was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and started elementary school in Calgary, Canada where, as a young child, he also learned to ski, camp and fish. He fell in love with the mountains, a love that lasted throughout his life. He moved to Fort Collins when he was 8 years old, had Mrs. Tavelli for a teacher and then went to Tavelli Elementary School. He graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1975.
Mark loved music and went to California to train, receiving an Advanced Certificate in Sound Mixing. It turned out to be a great hobby, and he had a recording studio in the basement of his home outside of Wellington for many years, along with a large collection of arrowheads that he had found. He and his friends often jammed all night, and he made many tapes and records of the sessions. Sadly, all of the tapes, as well as the arrowheads, were lost when the house burned to the ground, so they exist today only in memory.
Sound mixing was wonderful fun, and he had a real talent for it, but it did not prove to be a good way to make a living. So he went to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, chosen partly because of the salmon fishing in the streams entering Lake Superior, and because it offered easy access to the Boundary Waters, a major wilderness area. Along with catching a lot of fish, he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Social Work.
During the last few years, Mark was retraining so that he could bring together his work and his great joy in the outdoors. He was a straight-A student at Front Range Community College in their program in Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, and truly loved it when he was invited to run training programs for high school students or help teach the laboratories in the college courses.
The Helen Kreek Memorial fund was created in honor and memory of long-time Zonta Club of Boulder County member, woman's advocate and auto enthusiast, Helen Kreek. Helen believed in the power of education and involvement to change lives. Helen was not a mechanic by trade, but she thoroughly enjoyed working with the mechanics in the various shops she supported. After her retirement, she was a tireless community volunteer with her fellow Zonta Club of Boulder County friends, as well as at the University of Colorado and at Boulder Public Library. Zonta is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta International envisions a world in which women's rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. Helen Kreek joined Zonta with that very vision in mind.
Michael John Moore
Michael John Moore was the beloved oldest son of Dan Moore and Catherine H. Moore, a Boulder County Campus faculty member. The Michael John Moore Scholarship was founded with the generous donations received by the family after his accidental death on October 29, 2013. Michael was 22 years old.
Michael was a fourth generation Colorado native. He was born in Thornton on March 31, 1991. He attended Belleview Christian School and Pinnacle Charter School before the family moved to Erie, CO. He had studied culinary as a high school student at Erie High School/Career Development Center and graduated in 2009. Michael also studied culinary at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, CO. He enjoyed cooking, roller hockey, and gold panning.
Garrett R. Carpenter
Marie Morrison dedicated her life to improving the lives of those around her. Fourteen years after her passing, one of her former students shared “I am less than a year from graduating with my MSN in nursing education. I can only aspire to be half the professor that you were, I am not silly enough to think that I can ever be like you. You truly were a pivotal point in my life. You will always live in my heart.”
Marie was a true lifelong learner, deeply committed to improving herself not only for her well-being, but also her patient care and later her student care. Receiving her RN in what she called “the dark ages”, she truly never stopped going to school, continuing on for her BSN, her MSN, and finally her Nurse Practitioner's license. After working mostly in the Emergency Room for 23 years she added a 24-year teaching career at Edison College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) and found a soul-touching passion for helping young nursing students find their life's calling. Always ready with a smile, encouraging words, and an infectious laugh, Marie would do anything to help her students succeed. Staying up late grading papers or worrying about a struggling student, all she ever wanted for her students was their best effort and for them to keep moving forward. Another of her former students captured this so touchingly: “In life we are blessed if we meet people that inspire us to be the best we can be... I was blessed to have met someone that not only inspired me but literally "PUSHED" me to give it my all and that was Professor Morrison. I always told her I wanted to grow up and be like her... I can only pray that one day I can touch someone's life and inspire someone the same way she did me.”
The Marie Morrison Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established to encourage and support those nursing students who want to follow their calling and touch others like Marie did.