Jim Tawney, Estes Park developer and owner of the Ponderosa Lodge, passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 76.
A 20 year resident of Estes, Jim loved the town, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Lodge, his guests, his employees and his pals at his many favorite haunts. Jim was a futurist committed to green technology and successfully built Mary's Meadows Condominiums, the first Leadership in Energry & Enviromental Design (LEED) certified property in Estes Park.
James William Tawney was born August 12, 1937 to Charlotte (Rohrberg) and William Tawney in Pierce, Nebraska. They lost his father when Jim was 3 and his mother later remarried Adolph Spatz. He graduated from high school in Plainview, Nebraska, attended Wayne State College and received both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree from Colorado Teachers College now known as the University of Northern Colorado. Jim also earned a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to being a business owner, Jim was a retired college professor and his career in academia included positions at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
While at the University of Kentucky, Jim and his many esteemed colleagues were considered pioneers in their field of Special Education and are widely published. Jim is remembered by his colleagues at Penn State as a loyal friend, an ethical and intelligent colleague and a visionary for online instruction.
Although a very private person Jim cared deeply for the people in his life and will be missed tremendously by his children, Mia Tawney of Hermosa Beach, CA and William Tawney of Tampa, Fl. An informal memorial will be held at the Ponderosa Lodge 1820 Fall River Road at 1:00 PM Sunday October 20th so if you are in the area please stop by and share a story or a joke. He loved jokes. Jim was an avid reader and supporter of the Estes Valley Library and donations in his honor can be made to Estes Valley Library Foundation in care of Allnutt Funeral Service 1302 Graves Ave. Estes Park, CO 80517. See www.allnutt.com to send a message to Jim's family
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on Nov. 9, 2013