Lee Behrens, friend and neighbor of 43 years in Georgetown, passed away on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, with his wife and family by his side.
In 1977, following graduate work in historic preservation at Colorado State University, Lee arrived in town to serve as the first properties curator for Historic Georgetown Inc. (then known as the Georgetown Society). Entranced by the valley and its people, he never left.
He resigned from HGI to take the position of administrator/curator for the Colorado State Historical Society at the newly established Georgetown Loop Railroad and Mining Park, a job that became his lifetime career.
A proud Eagle Scout, Vietnam-era Army vet and graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Lee was devoted to his family, friends and dedicated to community. He served on the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department and Clear Creek County Fire Authority board, as selectman from Ward 1, director of Historic Georgetown Inc., Santiago Mill steward, board member of the Western Mining and History Museum in Colorado Springs; and long-term chairman of the Historic District Public Lands Commission.
Born in Baraboo, Wis., and brought up in Metuchen, N.J., he developed a love for the west, especially Colorado, because of the many family vacations and camping trips here as a child.
He collected and collected and collected: books, memorabilia, artifacts of Colorado's mining, railroading and historical past. In retirement he opened a bookstore, Mining the West, which his wife continues to operate.
Lee cared about the land. He fished it. He hiked and camped in it. He paddled it. He worked to preserve it and educate others to value and respect it, especially this place.
Lee is survived by his wife, Jeanne Waligroski; brother Mark Behrens (Ann) of Metuchen, N.J.; sisters Jane Behrens Carman of Lafayette, Colo.; Kay Behrens (Andrew Goldstein) of Claremont, Calif.; Fay Behrens (Renan DaVala) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in Lee's name may be made to National Jewish Hospital, P.O. Box 17169, Denver, CO 80217; Historic Georgetown Inc., P.O. Box 667, Georgetown, CO 80444; and the Georgetown Trust for Conservation and Preservation, P.O. Box 1037, Georgetown, CO 80444.
Due to COVID-19 and family living in all parts of the country, a memorial service will be held at a date to be announced in the near future.
Published in Clear Creek Courant from Nov. 25 to Dec. 16, 2020.