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2020/2021 Colorado Nonprofit Community Memory Altar

Dec 15, 2020

My name is Maureen (she/her/hers), and I am the Communication Director here at the Association. My dad, Oscar, passed away in October 2020 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. 

I want to extend my deepest condolences to all who suffered a loss this year. I am carrying my grief like an anchor of aloneness, so I built a space to honor the memories of those we lost. I believe creating brave space is this community's great power, and, in my experience, obituaries are wildly expensive and inaccessible to many.

The 2020/2021 Colorado Nonprofit Community Memory Altar is open to submissions from anyone working or volunteering in the Colorado nonprofit sector. Contribute the name of someone you lost this year, or last, (family, friend, colleague, neighbor, loved one, beloved pet, etc.), a story, a memory, a poem, a song, or other remembrance.

Share your remembrance via this website form.

Questions? Send an email. 


Eileen (Prosser) Anderson (December 14, 2020)
Laura Gabbay, Western States Cancer Research
Eileen, of blessed memory, was my friend and I was blessed for having her in my life, both professionally and personally. I met Eileen after we realized she had worked for Project WISE before I became the organization's nonprofit. We began grabbing lunch and our friendship blossomed from there. It was very difficult for her when she was diagnosed with chronic illness so I pray she is resting in peace and power. She will be missed by so many of her women friends in Denver.
Sara Maria Wittner (April 16, 2020)
Colorado Community Health Network
Sara was a beautiful person who readily opened her heart to every soul she encountered. Her deep love for her family was apparent with everything she did. Her kindhearted spirit led her to work in the nonprofit sector supporting addiction treatment programs at Stout Street Foundation, student success at Junior Achievement, and equitable access to healthcare at Colorado Community Health Network. Not surprisingly, her free time was often spend rescuing and caring for animals in need of a good home. Sara had touched so many hearts in a life that ended too early. She is be remembered and missed dearly.
Adrienne Tianah Akua Essel (December 15, 2003-October 13, 2020)
Submitted by: Karlyn K. Shorb (she/her/hers), ED, Aurora Sister Cities International
You've left the Earth our Sweet
What sadness you did keep
Your pain you hid inside
What burdens you pushed down deep
Wherever you are
Wherever you might be
I hope your light shines upon
Your mother
Your brother
Your grandmother
Your mother
Your brother
Your cousins
Your aunts
Your uncles
Your mother
Your brother
Your friends
Your love
Your mother
Your brother
We love you always
Sweet Adrienne
We miss you
Show us a sign
So we might know
That wherever you might be
You have found peace.
Though we may always ask
Always wonder
Why you chose to go so soon
What we need now is peace.
So please sweet girl
Show us a sign so we too
May find peace
May sleep at night
May cease
To cry ourselves to sleep.
Help us find joy again
In the solitary moments
In the quiet moments
At night
In the morning
Throughout the day
We need to know you are at peace
Smiling down upon us from the stars
With your thoughtful gaze
And quiet determination
With your beautiful eyes
And curly brown hair
You've left the Earth our Sweet.
Albert P. Cocco "Pop" (My grandfather and Liam's great-grandfather) | January 6, 2021
Submitted by: Michelle Schulze, Liam's Lighthouse Foundation
I will never forget the memories we made growing up in Pop's home. From playing Rummy and him showing me what a great artist he was, to watching him grow his tomatoes for homemade sauce. He took so much pride in his tomato garden and he always had bushels of them to give away. He taught me many songs, I will never forget this one..."Pistol Packin Mama". He loved going to the casino any chance he could and he loved spending time with his family. I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend with him throughout my life and that he was able to spend time with his great grandchildren. He was the head of our family. Missing him so much already. Pop, you are finally able to meet your great-grandson, Liam. We will forever miss you until we see you again one day. Love you, Pop.
Michael Taylor | May 27, 2020
Submitted by: Lars Sage, Art Center of Estes Park
Michael and I shared a life together for over 33 years and he passed away a week before our third wedding anniversary. If it weren't for Michael, I would never have known about nor would have ever ended up living in Estes Park. He had previously lived here and we came out here over 30 years for a couple of years. We returned in 2012 and unfortunately he began facing health issues shortly afterwards. We experienced so much over those years so he left behind many memories which I will always savor. I miss him greatly but find comfort that he is no longer suffering and in a better place.
Chit Lebsack | December 26, 2020
Submitted by: Marcia Shafer (She,Her), RSVP Volunteers in Service (RSVP Weld County)
92 years old volunteer with over 10000 hours of assisting others as a former teacher in elementary and middle school for 30 years continued to give back to Greeley with RSVP. She will be and is sourly missed.
Laura Saf | December 2, 2020
Submitted by: Ann Guiberson, Rocky Mountain Section AWWA
Laura Saf was a happy and optimistic person. She had a life full of volunteer service to others. She gave of her time and talents for the betterment of others in her home state of Nebraska as well as all around the country.
Eileen (Prosser) Anderson | December 14, 2020
Submitted by: Linda Chaisson, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Eileen was a good work mate and friend; sweet and caring to all. She was funny, full of laughter and good thoughts. Coming from Scotland, she had great stories and deeply loved her husband, boys and family. You will be missed my friend, rest in peace
Ann Schulman | April 29, 2020
Submitted by: Mike Ritter, Empowerment Through Education Foundation
Ann was one of the victims of the first wave that struck the New York metropolitan area. She was one of the many people that lived in a care home for the aged and died from Covid.
Mr David Bushman | April 20, 2020
Submitted by: Mike Ritter, Empowerment Through Education Foundation
David died during the first wave that hit hard in the New York metropolitan area. His wonderful sense of humor is missed by all that knew him.
Rebekah Glatt Cardonsky | April 27, 2020
Submitted by: Linda Chaisson, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Reb was so kind and caring, of herself and of her time. When I first started at the Association whenever I needed help she would stop what she was doing and say, how can I help you friend? I think everyone she met became a friend in one way or another. Gone way too soon, too young and you are missed my friend.
Rebekah Cardonsky
Submitted by: Joshua Anderson, Disability Law Colorado
I read today Gerry's remembrance of Rebekah. Like Gerry, I learned this year of the loss of this amazing human. Our non-profit community has lost a wonderful angel, whose support and encouragement to me (as a friend and a colleague) was immeasurable. I had the fortune to know she, her husband Nate, and their little one. I send out my prayers for this kind soul and echo that she 'was taken too young'. The world aches as we acknowledge the contributions of Rebekah.. her generous heart and soul.
Ruth Newman (she, her)  | February 11, 2020
Submitted by Lindsay Newman (she, her)
Strength, grace, small joys embodied in a woman of the world. A leader in her community, the matriarch of the family and always on the cutting edge of change. Always the source of sound advice, a good joke or a story. Missed often and deeply.
Rebekah Glatt Cardonsky | April 27, 2020
Submitted by: Gerry Rasel, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Your first nonprofit job was with us. I look back at those days and think how lucky we were to have you. You were smart without being a smarty pants. You were funny, but never at another's expense. You spoke truth - always with kindness. You made a difference - not just at the Association or Conservancy, but to everyone who met you. I hate you were taken from us at such a young age. I will count myself blessed as having known you.
Rev. William Hazzard Barnwell | March 27, 2020
Submitted by: Lydia McCoy, Colorado Nonprofit Association
You committed your life to social justice and fighting for the people. You loved your family deeply and they loved you. You walked alongside those most impacted by oppressive systems, and used your privilege to create safety and respite in the midst of the fight. You lived your values, and it shined through you like the bright light you gave to this world. You are missed.
Oscar L. Pacheco (he/his) | October 11, 2020
Submitted by: Maureen Maycheco (she/her/hers), Colorado Nonprofit Association
My dad battled pancreatic cancer for more than three years. He was unbreakable. He was a leader, athlete, husband, dad, grandpa, friend, brother, and lineman. A real force of nature. An icon also known by nicknames Big O, Daddy "O," OLP, Pomps, and PanDad.
A weekend morning guitar player. He rolled with it, baby, living inspired by his favorite song by Steve Winwood. My dad was the first Latinx Student Body President at his high school in California (the traditional territory of the Patwin people). He controlled the mound pitching shutouts at UC Davis, instigated epic kitchen dances parties with his signature moves, and cooked huevos rancheros with breakfast potatoes like a master chef. He battled the elements climbing power poles for more than thirty years to restore electricity and warmth to his community. He was brave with an untamed soul.
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