A good life leaves behind seeds that keep on growing.
That post on the Facebook page of Ruedi Bear’s daughter, Barbara Frontella, sums up the life of a man who lived large and left a big mark. Ruedi was known to those close to him as an enterprising individual who loved to create things.
Cooking and gardening, jazz music and skiing were among his favorite hobbies. He was best known for bringing Trimble Hot Springs back to life after a 30-year closure. Ruedi’s life was taken too soon and he will be missed by many. One friend attributed the deep loss friends and family have been feeling to how colorful he was, saying, “A little of Ruedi goes a long way.”
Perhaps because he was an immigrant, born in Switzerland, he was able to see prospects in places like Trimble that others dismissed. As a new citizen, his sense of opportunity was as strong as his sense of obligation to the American values of equal opportunity and freedom of speech that he came to embrace.
Ruedi lived longer in the U.S. than Switzerland and until recently, was very proud to be an American. He was preparing to return to Switzerland, discouraged by court decisions increasingly favoring corporations rather than people, and the election of Donald Trump as president. He was planning, friends and family said, to take a break from the U.S.
We had a nice exchange with Ruedi last month, as he called to check on a letter to the editor he submitted on the topic of climate change that appears online today. It was possibly his first submission of this kind.
Ruedi talked about the importance and responsibility citizens have to express themselves through local newspapers like the Herald. He wanted to know when the letter would be published so he could tell his brother in Switzerland.
He was a man who will be missed and remembered for many years, a close friend mused: “Ruedi was like sour pickles. You cannot stop eating them even though they are a little sharp.”
Friends are welcome to celebrate Ruedi Bear’s life at his “last gig” at his home in Mancos from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 13th. Jazz music, of course, will be featured and food items to share are welcome.
Donations can be made in his name to two organizations he supported, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado and Alternative Horizons in Durango.