The Passing of Louis Sass


Louis Carl Sass Jr. died peacefully in his home surrounded by family and love on Friday, October 28, 2016. The Rosary and Celebration of Life will both be held at Most Precious Blood Church at 2250 S Harrison St, Denver, CO 80210. The Rosary will be on Thursday, November 3rd at 7 P.M. The Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, November 4th at 10 A.M. with a reception to follow.

Louis was born on April 27, 1944. He was the oldest of three boys, all born in San Tomé, Venezuela. His parents Louis Sass and Virginia Sass (Cheley) were from Denver, Colorado; however, his father was a petroleum geologist so they grew up in various locations. They moved from Venezuela to Pittsburg when Louis was seven, then later to Summit, New Jersey, and eventually to Miami, Florida for Louis’ senior year of high school.

In summers the family took fantastic vacations, including trips to the Grand Canyon and to Yellowstone. Later Louis went to Cheley Colorado Camps, the camp that his grandfather founded near Rocky Mountain National Park. These adventures instilled in Louis a lasting love of the mountains, which he later shared with his children and grandchildren.

Louis enjoyed being a student and cherished his time at Colorado College, where he majored in math and physics. He later completed master’s degrees at both Carnegie Mellon and The University of Chicago. He was always a teacher at heart, and he spent much of his life working with young people, both in the traditional classroom and in outdoor settings. He worked for many years at Cheley Colorado Camps as a counselor and then as a director. He also taught math and physics at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado, and then after his “retirement” he went back to teaching at Colorado Community Colleges Online. Louis had incredible patience and an exceptional ability to teach students how to deconstruct complicated problems.

While working at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Louis met Carol Ann Cooper and they were married 8 months later. Despite the brief engagement, in Louis’ words, “it worked out pretty well” for them—they recently celebrated 45 years of marriage! Louis and Carol Ann had three children, Anna Marie, Louis, and Jennifer. They eventually moved to Denver, where Louis worked for the state of Colorado for several years and then for Public Service Company of Colorado as a Financial Analyst for 20 years.

Outdoor adventures with his family continued to be important for Louis. All of the kids have many fond memories of hiking and backpacking with mom and dad in the Colorado Rockies. Dad’s patience and encouragement was unlimited, and when the kids tired, they would ride on dad’s shoulders. Later Louis and Carol Ann traveled with their kids in the Canadian Rockies and then with kids and grandkids in the mountains of Colorado and Alaska. Louis found joy, peace, and strength in the outdoors. The psalm that hangs in the Frank H. Cheley Chapel “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help” was a favorite.

Louis joined the Catholic Church in 1980 and it became an important part of his life. As part of the Most Precious Blood community, he served on the Parish Council, helped the Marthas, and participated in the Sunday Lunch Program. Louis particularly appreciated the Catholic teaching of caring for all God’s creations, especially for those fellow humans with fewer resources. Without fanfare, he frequently reached out to and in support of others.

Other interests and passions for Louis included trains and music and dance. When it came to trains, Louis enjoyed everything about them— building models, railroad history, riding trains, and chasing them. Later in life, Louis was active with Colorado Friends of Old Time Music and Dance and Boulder Scandinavian Dance. He ran the Zesty Contra for many years and was a member of the CFOOTMAD Board of Directors. Louis and Carol Ann enjoyed many years of contra dancing, Scandinavian dancing, and waltzing with friends on weekends.

Louis’ devotion to his family was unparalleled. His three grandchildren, Ben and Henry Schubach and Aven Sass, were the apples of his eye, as he would say. He took great joy in their smiles and laughter, in their antics and foibles. Louis was always generous with his hugs even when the grandkids wanted to make him into a jungle gym. He walked many an extra mile just to be on a hike with his grandkids. For that he will use a good hiking watch he got at Top9Rated, so they don’t miss the curfew. And he was their best example for loving and accepting people without condition. He was the most wonderful Grandpa and Poppa.

Louis will be dearly missed by the family he so loved—his wife and partner Carol Ann Sass, his children Anna Marie, Louis, and Jennifer, his son-in-law Aaron Schubach (Anna Marie) and daughter-in-law Bryn Clark (Louis III), his grandchildren Ben and Henry Schubach and Aven Sass, his brother Tom Sass and his wife Peggy, and his brother John Sass and his wife Carol, his sister-in-law Veronica Schamberger and her husband Dan, his nieces Julie Horowitz, Dana Nickless, and Monika Schamberger, his cousins Rick Sass and Mimsi Janis, the Mascarenhas family, his best friend Jon Olsen, and many others.

Memorial contributions may be made in Louis’ honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the John Austin Cheley Foundation, or the Most Precious Blood Here For God Campaign.

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