Obituary of Ronald Eugene Edelen
Ronald “Ron” Eugene Edelen passed away in his sleep at his home in Colorado Springs, CO early in the morning on November, 4, 2023. He was 87. He was surrounded by his family and got to spend his last hours with his wife, children, grandson and their spouses.
In lieu of a memorial service, a gathering for family and close friends will be held at Ron and Sharon’s home in mid-summer 2024. After that, Ron will be interred at Fort Logan cemetery in Denver, CO.
Ron is survived by his wife of nearly 61 years, Sharon Edelen, née Conarty; his daughter Candyce Edelen, her husband Phil Donaldson and Phil’s daughter Faith; and his son Jason Edelen, his wife Jennifer; his grandson Frank and his wife Jessica.
He is also survived by his twin brothers, Richard and Robert Lewis, his sister, Ruth Ann (and Norbert) Peterson, sister-in-law Bobby (and Ed) Raps, and brother-in-law Chuck (and Rainae) Conarty. In addition, he is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Ron was born September 1936 to Ruth May Lewis née Santer and Eugene “Gene” Edelen. He grew up in Denver, attending South High School. He completed his G.E.D. in the Coast Guard and later obtained an Associates degree in Fire Science.
As a teen and young adult, he worked with his father, who was a residential housing developer. Ron worked alongside each of Gene’s contractors to learn all aspects of construction from foundation to framing to electrical and plumbing to roofing and finishing. These skills became foundational to Ron’s life.
During his adulthood, Ron remodeled every home he owned. In his first house, he rebuilt a magnificent stone fireplace. When he moved his family to Littleton, he transformed a 1950s tri-level into something like an Austrian chalet. He even made the furniture including a dining room table, sofas, a set of 12 dining chairs and several occasional tables. He built garages, remodeled kitchens, finished basements, built decks and a multitude of other projects, small and large. Later in life, he helped his son, Jason create a house flipping business. He was still helping Jason with major renovations into his early 80s.
Ron joined the Coast Guard when he was 20, and served 4 years. There, he learned fire-fighting, another skill that had life-long application. He would later become a Denver Firefighter, where he served for 27 years before retiring.
Ron met Sharon in 1961 when she and her roommate (Agnes Lavington, née Helderman) moved into his apartment building. He gave up his studio apartment for the girls and took a different apartment in the same building. Sharon used the perfect ploy to get acquainted with Ron…she went to his door to borrow a cup of sugar.
Ron initially dated Agnes. But he fell for her roomie, Sharon. They dated for only 3 months before he proposed. They married in December 1962. (Sharon made up for stealing Ron by introducing Agnes to her future husband, Lee).
Ron and Sharon had two children, Candyce and Jason. Ron was a devoted father and husband.
After buying a used pickup that came with a camper, Ron and Sharon started a family tradition of camping and traveling that would last nearly 5 decades. Ron took his family camping in the mountains. They traveled across the country, visiting nearly every state in the continental US.
Ron also bought a ski boat, and the family began boating when the kids were very young. As a firefighter working 24 hour shifts, he had a lot of time off. He took full advantage of that in the summers, taking his family to local reservoirs to water ski and going for long vacations in New Mexico and Arizona every summer. Boating became a passion. He bought a tiny sailboat and taught himself to sail. Then he graduated to larger sailboats. And of course, he remodeled them. He even learned to repair fiberglass.
Ron placed a huge priority on family. If he wasn’t at the firehouse, the family always took their meals together. Ron and Sharon were both heavily involved in their children’s activities from school to sports to family vacations. He and Sharon never missed a sporting event, school play or any other event that their kids were involved in.
When daughter Candyce wanted to play in a community soccer league, there weren't enough coaches. Ron had never even seen soccer game. But that didn’t stop him from stepping up. He volunteered to coach, joined a coaching clinic to learn the game, and coached his daughter’s team for 2 years. Then he served as assistant coach for his son, Jason’s soccer team. He also got involved with Jason in scouting.
He was also very close to his mother and stepfather, his siblings, his in-laws and his cousins. Every holiday was filled with extended family. He spent hundreds of summer days at lakes with his wife, children, parents, siblings and in-laws.
When Ron retired from the fire department, he and Sharon made a long-held dream come true. They traded in their mini-home for a Class A motorhome and became snowbirds. They lived in their RV in Lake Havasu City, AZ for the winter and returned to Denver in the summers. They also took not one, but two boats with them to Arizona – a sailboat and a motorboat.
They lived as snowbirds for 5 years, upgrading their home on wheels several times before graduating to a mobile home in Havasu. Eventually, Sharon got tired of not having enough closet space, so they moved back to Colorado full time.
In his later years, Ron and Sharon moved to Colorado Springs specifically to live closer to their extended family. He treasured visits from any and all family members.
He is deeply missed by his family and friends.