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Ronald L. Hassell
June 3, 1947 ~ June 23, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Longtime Buena Vista local, Ronald Lee Hassell left this earthly world on June 23, 2023. He was born to Ralph and Helen (Roper) Hassell on June 3rd, 1947 in Grand Junction, Colorado. A Salida graduate with ties to the Taylor Park area, he married Judith “Judy” Kay Francisco on May 23, 1970 and settled in Buena Vista.
Ron was a family man with a passion for the outdoors, love for his community and a heart for service. As an adrenaline junky he was always in pursuit of the next adventure. He was a founding member of the volunteer Chaffee County Fire Protection District serving over 45 years (Member, Chief, Board Member) and a Charter member of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Patrol/ Search & Rescue. Ron initiated the snowmobile trail grooming program in the county over 30 years ago, was a founding member of the Buena Vista Snowdrifters, an EMT, an avid volunteer at Buena Vista Heritage, Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, his church and other organizations. Ron spent his working years as a police officer, local business owner and Forrester for the USFS, where he fought and commanded numerous national wildland fires across the country.
Ron was a man of few words, a legend in snowmobiling, but a mentor to many often taking time to pass his expertise in forestry, firefighting, and the outdoors to his family and friends.
Known for doing things on his own timeline, Ron led with respect and authenticity and cherished his family above all else.
Ron is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judy Hassell, daughters Jacquelyn Schirmer (Henning Schymik) and Renee (Aaron) Nyhus, grandchildren Adam Nyhus, Kristin Nyhus, Kylee Schirmer, Jaidee Schirmer, Luka Schymik and Renya Schymik as well as numerous cousins and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law, Zachary Schirmer.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Congregational United Church of Christ at 1pm on Saturday, July 8th, 2023. The family requests donations to the Billy Cordova Memorial Park or Buena Vista Heritage in lieu of flowers. To express condolences, please visit www.lewisandglenn.com.