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In Memoriam

January 22, 2021

Bruce Temple Buell 

March 18, 1932–November 30, 2020

Bruce Temple Buell of Colorado Springs died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife, two daughters and their spouses, two grandsons, and longtime law partner. He was 88.

Bruce was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and lived in Ordway, Colorado, until attending college at Princeton University. He married Joan Souders, attended Harvard Law School, did a stint in the Navy as a naval intelligence officer stationed at the Pentagon, attended George Washington Law School, and went on to graduate from the University of Denver Law School in 1958. He then joined Holland & Hart of Denver and became legal counsel of the Colorado Bankers Association for 25 years.

During that time, Bruce took a three-month sabbatical, established a pro bono program of estate planning for the homebound elderly through Denver Legal Aid (known as “Wills on Wheels”), and co-founded the Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation (COLTAF). He was also actively involved in the Legal Aid Foundation, which supports Colorado Legal Services.

Bruce became Captain Buell while serving in the Naval Reserve. He moved to Colorado Springs as the managing partner of Holland & Hart of Colorado Springs in 1986. After retiring for one day in 1995, he created the Buell Law Firm with Joan as his legal assistant. He and Steve Ezell formed Buell & Ezell, LLP in 2001 and diligently worked together until Bruce retired in May 2019. He was a practicing attorney for 61 years.

Bruce was a brilliant estate planning attorney, but his greatest work is not his professional achievements. It is his years of personal devotion to helping others. Bruce spent 34 years driving weekly to Cañon City for Prison Ministry. He, with others, created Koinonia House in Colorado Springs, a halfway house for ex-offenders. Ever sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate, Bruce created Ecumenical Christian Legal Services in 1999, a program by which volunteer Christian attorneys provided triage and follow-up legal services to clients of Ecumenical Social Ministries and Mercy’s Gate. He was a longtime board member and chair of the Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation and president of the Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation, which both support education for young people and social services across the state. In addition, Bruce contributed his time and expertise with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation for many years.

Bruce was also a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Working together, Bruce and Joan raised three children, Alan, Sue, and Bonnie. Bruce and Joan were blessed with six wonderful grandchildren and nine amazing great-grandchildren.


Robert Gordon Fredrickson

August 10, 1926–December 21, 2020

Robert G. Fredrickson, 94, died on December 21, 2020. Bob was the third generation from the Fredrickson family to live in and serve the Cañon City community. Service and duty were Bob’s prevailing life orientations and motivated most of his decisions and actions.

Bob was born on August 10, 1926, in Cañon City to C. Arthur and Blanche (Becky) Sharp Fredrickson. He had an older brother, Donald. Graduating from Cañon City High School in 1944, Bob attended the University of Colorado–Boulder on a merit scholarship, earning a chemistry degree in 1947. Thereafter, to further his education, he enrolled in Mexico City College to live with a Mexican family and learn Spanish. In 1949, Bob moved to Chicago and worked as a chemist for Swift & Co.

Bob was an officer in the US Navy. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and then served as a CIC and personnel officer, seeing combat duty during the Korean Conflict aboard the US Destroyer Chevalier. He flew the American flag from a tall pole in his front yard for the rest of his life as a symbol of his patriotic support for his country.

After the Conflict, Bob attended and graduated from CU Law School. He moved to Cañon City and started up his own law firm, practicing law for the next 54 years, most of those years with Bruce Johnson. Bob’s law firm was the focus of his life. He provided sound and consistent legal advice, always with the highest levels of honesty and integrity. He was a CBA member from 1947 to 2011 and president of the local bar association from 1978 to 1980.

While in law school, Bob married Carol L. Mentzer on June 11, 1955. Together they had three sons within the first eight years of their 64-year marriage. He was very proud of his boys and the families they would eventually have themselves.

Bob’s civic involvement was vast. He was the second charter member of the local Rotary Club and spearheaded the water fountain project in Veterans’ Park. He served on many boards and most in leadership positions: Cañon City Public Library, Cañon City Abbey, Salvation Army, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society.

In addition, Bob was involved in several local business ventures over the years, both as an investor and as a developer. In particular, he was instrumental in developing the former Power and Shower car wash at 7th and Royal Gorge Blvd., the current Sonic Drive-In, Sunflower Bank, and the 9th and Main professional building. Interestingly, he was responsible for construction of the building at 6th and Greenwood, which is now the site of the hospice that served him at the end of his life.

As a CU alumnus (undergrad and law school), Bob was a life member of the CU Director’s Club and a former member of the Alumni Board. He and Carol were avid fans at CU football games year after year.

Of special note is Bob’s commitment to the United Presbyterian Church, where he was a member from 1938 until it closed in 2017. He was a faithful financial steward for his church, served in leadership roles, and provided legal services to promote its mission.

Bob was licensed as a private pilot and enjoyed flying in his younger years. Other hobbies included watching sporting events and reading books about history. He and Carol traveled to Scotland, Holland, and France as members of the CU Roaming Buffaloes, and they took trips to Spain, Venezuela, and Morocco.

Bob’s parents, brother, and wife preceded him in death. He is survived by sons Bryan (Jill) Fredrickson of Cañon City, Barry (Lisa) Fredrickson of Novelty, Ohio, and David (Johnna) Fredrickson of Wareham, Massachusetts; and eight grandchildren, Alexa, Matthew, Jenna, Grace (Tommy), Paul, Hale, Colin, and Jared. He also had one great-grandson born this year, Wylie Robert.


Hans W. Johnson

August 5, 1927–November 4, 2020

Hans W. Johnson died on November 4, 2020, in Spokane, Washington, with family at his side.

Hans was born on the family farm on August 5, 1927. He attended Montana State University for one year. He enlisted in the Army in September 1947 and was honorably discharged in February 1948. He then attended the University of Minnesota for two more years and continued at the U of M Law School.

In law school, he was set up on a blind date and met his future bride, Gladys Hjortedal. He graduated in May 1952, and the couple married several months later in Gladys’s hometown of Spokane. The couple then moved to Denver, where Hans was an assistant city attorney from 1953 to 1962. Hans then went into private practice until his retirement in 1985. After 55 years in Denver, Hans and Gladys moved to Spokane, where his daughter and her family lived.

Gladys and Hans loved to travel, and they crossed the Atlantic 27 times and went around the world twice. He lost his wife of 66 years in December 2018.

His family was very important to Hans. He also was involved in the Lutheran Church. He will be remembered by his friends and family as a caring, compassionate listener and wise counselor.

Hans is survived by his son Stanley (Marge) Johnson; daughter Sharon (Ken) Cathcart; grandchildren Julia (Nate) Johnson and Andrea (Chris) Piepho; and four great-grandchildren, Ethan and Aubrey Johnson, and Cora and Henry Piepho.

Ruth B. Lurie

July 10, 1940–December 8, 2019

A longtime resident of Denver and Boulder, Ruth B. Lurie enjoyed a life of intellectual pursuits, professional success, activism, and devotion to family and friends.

Ruth was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Jacob and Elsa Lurie, and she attended high school in Plainfield, New Jersey. She entered Antioch College, where she met and then married John Link in 1959. In 1963, Ruth enrolled at the University of California–Berkeley, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At Berkeley, she was a passionate participant in anti-Vietnam War protests. The 1960s civil rights movement helped form her long-standing concern for social justice.

In 1966, Ruth and her family moved to Boulder. After her marriage ended, she became a reporter for the Longmont Times-Call to support her three young children. While covering the local court, she met the late Boulder District Judge John Barnard, who encouraged her to pursue a career in law. In 1971, Ruth entered the University of Colorado Law School with a class of 15% women. She joined an all-women study group, developing friendships lasting a lifetime. Ruth also took part in the burgeoning Women’s Law Caucus.

After graduating in 1974, Ruth clerked for the late Colorado Supreme Court Justice Edward Day and was later elected to the Colorado Personnel Board. In 1988, she married Denver attorney Arlen Ambrose.

During her career as an attorney, Ruth helped shatter glass ceilings, serving as vice president and general counsel for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Great-West Life. For Great-West Life’s US operations, Ruth ran the legal department and later became head of government relations. She was also an early member of the Senior Women’s Corporate Counsel. Ruth’s colleagues and friends admired her integrity, work ethic, legal mind, and role as a mentor.

Ruth consistently supported causes to promote tolerance and the common good, foster voting rights, and protect the environment. A lifelong learner, she loved enjoying the arts, traveling the world, engaging in dynamic conversations, and making ceramics. Ruth also looked for every opportunity to take her children and grandchildren on adventures.

Ruth is survived by her husband Arlen Ambrose; children Lisa (Lyle) Jones, Andrea (Michael) Banks, and David Link; step-children Dave (Roxane) Ambrose and Jody Ambrose; and eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Harry Barton Mendenhall II

October 31, 1946–December 17, 2020

Harry Barton “Bart” Mendenhall II passed away on December 17, 2020. He was 74 years old.

Bart was the only son of Cover and Willie Mendenhall. Born, raised, and a lifelong resident in Rocky Ford, he received a BA from Colorado College in 1968 and his JD from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1971. He was a captain in the US Army Reserve, serving from 1968 to 1976.

Bart served as president of the Colorado Bar Association from 1999 through 2000. He was chair of the Water Law Section for several years. He was a fellow, trustee, and president of the Colorado Bar Foundation from 1986 to 1991. Bart also served as a commissioner for the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission, with multiple tenures with the local Nominating Commission and Performance Commission.

Bart served as the Rocky Ford city attorney and general counsel for the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District and the Arkansas Valley Super Ditch Company. He was a Rocky Ford city council member from 1977 to 1997. Bart was also a past director of the Koshare Indian Museum, Inc., having been an active member of the Koshare Indian Dancers; and a past director of the Community Hospital Building Inc., Arkansas Valley Fair Association, Rocky Ford Chamber of Commerce, and Community Assisted Living Inc. Bart served as president of the Rocky Ford Lions Club and was a lifetime member of the Rocky Ford Elks Lodge.

Bart enjoyed hunting and hosted an annual bird hunt near his home in Rocky Ford; he was never without a Labrador hunting companion. He was an accomplished cook and will be missed for his convivial nature, outstanding community leadership, and sage advice.


Matthew John Roth

July 29, 1967–December 26, 2020

Matthew John Roth died on December 26, 2020. Matt had been a practicing attorney in Colorado since 1996 and joined Allen Vellone Wolf Helfrich & Factor, P.C. in 2012. He focused his practice primarily on real estate, business transactions, and estate planning matters, and he dedicated a significant portion of his practice to pro bono matters. He was a talented, hardworking, and conscientious practitioner who cared deeply about his clients. In addition to his law practice, Matt was a licensed Colorado real estate broker and found that to be a useful complement to his practice, as did his loyal clientele.

Matt was born July 29,1967 in Peoria, Illinois, the son of William and Margaret Roth. He graduated from Bergan High School in 1985. Following graduation, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he earned a BS in economics, and went on to earn a JD at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. He moved to Denver following graduation.

In 2001, he married the love of his life, Mary Archibald. Together they were raising their four children, which in Matt’s words was, “the best thing I ever did.” The family lives in Centennial, Colorado, where they have been members of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and School for 15 years. Matt loved his St. Thomas More community and was a member of the Men’s Group for over a decade.

Matt is survived by his wife Mary and their children Eddie, Louie, Jane, and Colleen; three brothers, William M. (Debi), Robert, and Joe; five sisters, Sharon (Bob), Karen (Dave), Merri (Mark), Lora (John) and Peggy (Matt); and 21 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Bill, sister Terri, and nephew Timothy.

Those who knew Matt will remember him for his ability to see the good in everyone he met, and his infectious laugh. He will be deeply missed.