Estes Park old-timer, Cora Altick Petrocine, passed away Wednesday, November 23, 2022, in Estes Park, Colorado. Coke, or Cokie as she was called, was the grand old age of 99 and a half, and always told anyone who would listen how grateful she was to have lived such a long and wonderful life in such a beautiful place. She wanted all her friends and family to know that she loved them and that she believed she would see them again.
Born on May 1,1923, in Wichita, Kansas, Coke was the first of the three daughters of Ernie and Helen Altick. In 1926 at the age of three, Coke spent the summer living with her parents at the Bear Lake School, which was started by Frank Cheley, who later founded Land 'O Peaks Camp (Cheley Colorado Camps) at the base of Twin Sisters. She attended grade school at the Wichita Country Day School founded by her father, who was also the Headmaster. During that time, Ernie Altick took his Wichita students on Camp-As-We-Go summer trips throughout the wild west, with Coke and her younger sister tagging along.
Coke's parents eventually went to work for Cheley Camps, and Coke was a backpack counselor in the summers at Girls Trails End, outside Glen Haven, until the end of WWII. After graduating from Sunset Hill, and attending two years of college at Park College, Coke married Norman T. "Pep" Petrocine.
In 1947 they moved from Boulder to Estes Park after Pep graduated from CU.
They bought a business on Main Street and, with the help of their partners Ernie Altick and Jack Cheley, founded Western Brands which is still the family business, at the same location, under the name of Rocky Mountain Connection. In 1967 they started Outdoor World which is also still part of the family business today.
An enthusiastic mother to her four children, Coke took them from an early age on nature hikes in the mountains she so loved. She was a ski instructor at Hidden Valley ski area. She continued to hike and ski with a group of friends most of her adult life. Coke was active in the community as a Cub Scout and Brownie leader. She was an artist, as was her mother, and painted beautiful watercolor scenes of the mountains. She studied with local artist Herb Thompson. One of her dear friends was the renowned artist and local resident, Dave Stirling, who was often a dinner guest at the Petrocine house, as was another Estes legend, Charlie Eagleplume. In fact, Coke's house was always filled with family, friends passing through, and old Cheley Camp friends. All were graciously welcomed and fed generously! Lots of fun times were shared over the years.
Coke had a life-long interest in spirituality and healing. She studied with the Boulder healer, Hannah Kroeger, employing dietary and healing modalities to help her daughter, Nancy, who had multiple sclerosis. She was active with the Stevens Ministry and Hospice for many years and always available to help friends, family and acquaintances when they were sick or in need. Truly an inspiration to all she met, she will always remain in our hearts.
Coke is predeceased by parents, Ernie and Helen Altick; daughter, Nancy Petrocine; younger sister, Susan Altick Walton; former husband, Norman T. Petrocine; two brothers-in-law, Jack Walton and Jack Keller; and long-time companion, Lyle Franz.
She is survived by sister, Sara (Sally) Altick Keller of Logan, Utah; daughter, Linda Petrocine (David) Woolsey of Calhan, CO; son, Ernie Petrocine of Estes Park, CO, and his long-time partner, Lyn Sadler; daughter, Bonnie Petrocine Hebert of Tucson, AZ., and her companion, Justin Kwasny; six nieces and nephews and their children; five grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and many, many long-time friends. She will be greatly missed.
Tentative plans are being made to have a celebration of Coke's life on what would have been her 100th birthday, May 1, 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Coke's name to your charity of choice.