Crested Butte, CO Drowning Accident 17 Mar 2007
Chronical & Pilot
The Crested Butte News (Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado)
Local man loses life in drowning accident
Gary WOLF remembered
by Aleesha Towns
(Created: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:43 PM MDT)
Gary WOLF, a Crested Butte innkeeper and landscape photographer, died on Saturday, March 17 in a drowning accident in Almont. He was 62.
Gunnison County coroner Frank Vader says Wolf was attending a gathering in Almont and spent Friday night there. The accident occurred between 1 and 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. "For some unknown reason, he was walking around and he fell in the pond," Vader says.
Wolf was discovered by an employee of the Almont Resort at approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday, and reported the accident to authorities.
Vader ruled on Monday, March 19 that the cause of death was accidental drowning. Vader says the frigid water in the 30-by-50-foot pond likely contributed to the accident. "The water was extremely cold," he said. "I'm sure that was a major factor here, too, because the shock effect of falling into cold water. By morning, there was ice on top of the pond."
Vader says there is evidence that Wolf was under the influence of alcohol but the coroner did not indicate a blood alcohol level.
A native of Ohio, WOLF had lived in Crested Butte since 2004 when he and his wife, Connie, bought and restored the Crested Butte Club Boutique Inn and Spa on Second Street. In that time, he'd become a well-respected member of the business community.
Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association director Jane Chaney, who delivered Wolf's eulogy during a memorial service on Wednesday, March 21 at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, remembers Wolf as an outstanding friend and businessperson.
Wolf served as the co-chair of the Gunnison Valley Lodging Committee, which is under the auspices of the Tourism Association.
"He was personable and he always had a smile," she says. "He had a great even-keeled temperament, I can't say enough good about Gary."
She says that Wolf was a consummate gentleman. "In talking with his wife yesterday, she said that 'In the four and half years we were married, I never had to pull out my own chair or open a door,'"says Chaney. "He was a true gentleman."
Wolf was also something of a character. "He had that dry wit," Chaney says. "If you asked him a question, the first two or three answers weren't serious. He was so fun loving."
Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce director Christi Matthews recalls something similar - Wolf's signature black hat that he'd often wear when he stopped into her office. "He had this black hat, it was so Gary, that's the image that I have of him in my mind," she says.
Matthews says Wolf, who was a photographer, was excited to spend more time photographing local landscapes.
"I know he was looking forward to spending more time with his photography, which he enjoyed," she says. Wolf served as a vice president of the board of directors of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. He recently had a show at the Center for the Arts.
"I think there were seeds of things that he planted and we'll continue to grow them," Matthews says. "But it's definitely a loss for the overall community."
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be given to the Center for the Arts or the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival.
GJSentinel.com - Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Alcohol a factor in man's drowning
ALMONT - Alcohol is beleived to be a factor in the drowing death of Gary Lee
WOLF, 62, of Oklahoma City, Okla., according to Gunnison County Undersheriff
Besecker said there was no evidence of foul play in Wolf's death and that he
drowned in a pond near Almont, south of Gunnison. Besecker said that an autopsy
report listed the cause of death as accidental drowning.
Wolf was visiting in the Crested Butte area, Besecker said. He said Wolf was last
seen drinking in a bar in Almont late Friday night. His body was discovered by a
resident about 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Besecker said he suspects Wolf slipped and fell into the pond.
Gerald Lee 'Gary' Wolf
Find A Grave Memorial# 40461413