Jim Tawney, Estes Park developer and owner of the Ponderosa Lodge, passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 76. A 20 year resident of Estes, Jim loved the town, the park, the lodge, his guests, his employees and his pals at his many favorite haunts. Jim was a futurist committed to green technology and successfully built Mary’s Meadows Condominiums, the first LEED certified property in Estes Park.
Jim was born August 12, 1937 to Charlotte and James Tawney in Pierce, Nebraska. They lost his father when Jim was three and his mother later remarried Adolph Spatz. He graduated from high school in Plainview, Nebraska, attended Wayne State College and received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree from Colorado State University now known as the University of Northern Colorado. Jim also earned a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to being a business owner, Jim was a retired college professor and his career in academia included positions at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. While at the University of Kentucky, Jim and his many esteemed colleagues were considered pioneers in their field of Special Education and are widely published.
Although a very private person Jim cared deeply for the people in his life and will be missed tremendously by his children, Mia Tawney of Hermosa Beach, CA and William Tawney of Tampa, FL.
A memorial will be held on the lawn at the Ponderosa Lodge at 1 p.m. Sunday October 20th so if you are in the area please stop by and share a story or a joke. He loved jokes. Jim was an avid reader and supporter of the Estes Valley Library and donations in his honor can be made to the library.
Ponderosa Lodge – 1820 Fall River Road – Estes Park, Colorado 80517 – 970-586-4233
Estes Valley Library – 335 E. Elkhorn Avenue – Estes Park, Colorado 80517 – 970-586-8116