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Harold Ivan Bristol
November 9, 1943 ~ February 8, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Harold Ivan Bristol, beloved, selfless and unassuming, peacefully passed away February 8, 2024, at the age of 80. Born November 9, 1943, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to Lola Mae (Robinson) and Wayne Bristol.
The family moved from Steamboat to Ft. Morgan and then Frisco, CO, where Harold attended the two-room schoolhouse (now part of the Frisco Historic Park and Museum) on Main Street. He graduated, in a class of 18, from Breckenridge High School in 1962, forging lifelong friendships within the close-knit Summit County community.
Growing up, Harold cared for several local widows by shoveling snow and coal, hauling water from their wells, and trapping the occasional skunk. With the mountains as his backyard, if he wasn’t at school or working, Harold was hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, or exploring. He modified his Model A car with two transmissions allowing him to traverse steep mountain terrain.
After high school, Harold worked with his father at Bristol Excavating and Sons, operating machinery on many projects such as setting the first chairlift towers at Breckenridge and Vail, logging, and building access roads for the eventual Eisenhower Tunnel. Like many locals, he also worked at the Climax Mine. However, Harold’s passion was ranching, inspired by the significant time he spent learning from his grandparents on their ranch near Steamboat Springs.
On December 5, 1970, in Dillon, CO he married Susan Lee Nelson. Together, they moved to the Davidson Ranch south of Nathrop, CO to live the ranch life, raise a family, and build community; church, 4-H and the Cattlemen’s Association. They established Bristol Excavating, Inc., and moved into Buena Vista in 1983, while continuing their cattle business till retirement.
As an avid runner and lover of horses, mules, and burros, it was only fitting that Harold competed and twice won the World’s Championship Pack Burro Race between Leadville to Fairplay in 1968 and Breckenridge to Fairplay in 1969. He even won the Tenderfoot Hill Climb scramble up S-Mountain in Salida in 1975 (while his wife was in the hospital giving birth).
Harold grew his team of pack animals and hauled out countless deer and elk during hunting season. He packed in supplies for the military participants of Spring Canyon's Rocky Mountain High program a few times every summer. And before the existence of Chaffee County Search and Rescue he would pack in and help search when needed.
Harold is survived by his sons, Bruce (Diane) Bristol, Andrew Bristol, and John (Ana) Bristol; grandson, Ethan Bristol; siblings, Marvin (Coleen) Bristol, Sylvia (Rick) Grady, and Joe Bristol. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Bonnie (Ron) Foreseen and David Bristol, and his beloved wife, Susan, who passed 17 days earlier.
A memorial service for both Harold and Susan will be held at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Buena Vista at 2 pm on Saturday, March 9, 2024.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at lewisandglenn.com. Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.