Don Leonard of Estes Park died at home Sunday May 4, 2008. He was 81 years old. Donald Eugene Leonard was born July 14, 1926 in Boulder, CO. His parents were Carl & Olive (Hubbs) Leonard. Don grew up in Colorado and had lived in Loveland and North Park before moving to Estes Park in 1950. He graduated from Loveland High School and attended the University of Colorado and Colorado State University studying engineering and animal husbandry. Growing up, he worked on Leonard Farms, a 3,300 acre estate in Weld County between Loveland & Greeley, owned by his family since 1919. Don also owned and operated Fish Creek Ranch from 1950 to 1969, as well as the Big Elk Ranch, south of Twin Sisters during the 1960s.
On November 10, 1971, he married Frances Evelyn Summers in Las Vegas, NV. Don and Evelyn enjoyed living in Estes Park and especially enjoyed visiting the many restaurants in town and supporting the local businesses. He was proud to have owned and worked at the Black Canyon Inn from 1969 to 1974. While owning Black Canyon, he continued to “work” the farm in Loveland, selling it in 2000 to spend his time in Estes Park with his wife, Evelyn.
Don was an avid skier and called himself a “hot-dogger.” He was a ski instructor at Hidden Valley Ski area in Rocky Mountain National Park for 13 years and was a member of the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association. He was a true outdoorsman and especially enjoyed his annual hunting trip to Steamboat Springs, where he hunted elk while on horseback. He was an excellent marksman, while Evelyn managed the base camp.
Don is survived by his wife Evelyn of Estes Park, a son Kenneth Leonard who lives and works at Sylvan Dale Ranch, a step daughter Sue Ligeros of Fountain Hills, AZ, stepson Michael Ligeros and wife Nadine of Centennial, CO, three granddaughters and one great grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A funeral was held Thursday May 15 at the Allnutt Hunter Chapel, 2100 North Lincoln Avenue in Loveland. A reception followed in the Allnutt Reception Center. Memorial contributions may be made in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 1302 Graves Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517 for the Don Leonard Memorial in the town of Estes Park. See www.allnutt.com to send a message to Don’s family.