by Randy Gietzen, February 23, 2012.
Play this while you read.
My friend Jack passed today.
I can’t remember when I first met Jack, but it was probably 15 years ago. He quickly became part of my extended family.
Jack loved music, and big band, jazz and blues were probably his favorites. He made me dozen mix tapes over the years. The song playing above was on one of those tapes. I have pages of his hand-written notes wherein he shares his knowledge and history of the various artists on these tapes. I think one of his favorites was Count Basie. One Christmas I gave him a book on the early blues and the following year I received a blues mix tape.
Jack spent most of his life in Aspen, Colorado. He was the town doctor back before Aspen became the glitzy community for the super rich. He made housecalls in his jeep and delivered babies, including his daughter, Kristine. He built his house and the commercial building that housed his practice, both of which were designed by Tom Benton.
After he retired from medical practice, he continued to manage the commercial building (now re-named The Crandall Building, which has been beautifully renovated by Greg and Jane Hills). His office located in the basement boiler room was his man-cave and it was a treat to see Jack’s other side.
Jack was the epitome of “easy going.” He never let stuff bother him very deeply. If it was something out of his immediate control, he didn’t spend much time dwelling on it. He was extremely easy to talk to.
Several times a week, he would go to the Weinerstube for coffee and breakfast and join the Stammtisch. I joined him on a dozen occasions and met some of the old-time colorful characters behind Aspen.
Jack had been living with cancer for years now and he’s been a real trouper — another thing he didn’t let bother him deeply.
He passed very peacefully with his immediate family at his bedside.
Goodbye, Jack. My life is better for knowing you.
I invite you to share your memories or leave your condolences below. They will be visible to other web visitors.
Some of my earliest memories of my life include being taken by my parents to Dr. Jack’s office in the little brick Victorian on Hopkins Ave.
Dr. Jack was our family doctor, and the only doctor I ever saw until I’d grown up. To this day, when I go to a doctor I can’t help but compare them to Jack. He was truly a caring man, interested in, and engaged with his patients. There are a lot of us who can credit our good health, at least in part, to Dr. Jack Crandall.
Jack and Gesine were also really good friends to our family. Between the building projects, social events, and doctor’s visits, the Crandalls were a big part of our life in Aspen. I’m also pretty sure Gesine and my mother were somehow related in another life.
I am really sad for the passing of Dr. Jack. But I also feel very fortunate, and happy, to have known such a good man. I will keep the great memories.
Brian, It is so appropriate that your post is the first one. It embraces the special connection between our families, something Jack treasured dearly. Every day living in our Tom Benton designed house was filled with excitement as we were living in constantly changing nature. All our visitors fell in love with the place calling it the “Nature House”. Jack was lovingly working on keeping the outside rocks, patios and bushes “organized” even when he was barely able to do it anymore.
Thank you for your meaningful thoughts – they are healing, supportive and recalling so many good memories.
Dr. Crandall was my doctor first, then my landlord for over 20 years and also a friend. He would stop by my office at the Crandall Building to chat every week or two, which I missed when he moved to Utah. I am so grateful I stopped to visit with him in St George on my way to San Diego last December. We had a very nice time catching up and I will miss him. My love and sympathy to Gesine and Kristine. Kala
Jack, along with Gesine and Kristine, welcomed me in his home like family for the past 15 years. I did not know Jack as a Doctor but as a kind man who became “my Aspen dad”.
Jack was always curious about my life, travels, thoughts and dreams. As he moved to Saint George we continued our communication through writing. We wrote to each other the good old way, on paper or card with a pen!
His words were thoughtful, articulated and sweet. Each card ended with a few lines about his life, his new situation, and he always expressed contentment and happiness, despite growing health problems.
I think Jack was Tibetan in his spirit: compassionate, content, resilient.
Jack was also curious about the world. Just a few years ago I remember him going through a course about the different religions. He loved reading, and with Google-his favorite cat- on his lap like a page turner, he read novels and non-fictions on all kinds of topics, including base ball of course! Lately a great joy for me had been to look for books for Jack and earn the title of “ best book finder”.
I feel blessed to have been able to visit Jack and share a few more conversations with him just two weeks before his final days.
I love you Jack and I miss you.
You will always be my “ Aspen dad” and an angel on my shoulder.
I can still see Jack in line at City Market, on an almost daily basid it seems, and as he asked how you were doing I knew that he was tending to my spiritual, emotional and physical well being as he sttod in line. He is a friend that I still carry with me here in ST. Thomas. The best medicine was Jack himself.
To gesine and kristine my heartfelt sympathies. Jack was and will always be remembered as one of the original good guys of aspen. For myself and many others he provided lodging at the Patio Builidng in exchange for cleaning and shoveling snow. This enabled many of us with the opportunity to get on our feet and stay in Aspen. Jack was also a dear friend. He will be sorely missed.
Before he and his family became my close friends, I met Jack as a doctor right after I had moved to Aspen with my young sons. Not knowing the typical Aspen dress, I thought for sure he was a caring cowboy who decided to become a doctor. I’m still amused by my initial perception.
It was my good luck to get to know him as a friend and enjoy the hospitality of his family. He mixed jazz tapes for me also and was always interested in my life events and my family. I knew spending time with him would be a delightful event, and as Gesine says, he was a fantastic listener, making me feel like there was nothing more important at the moment than listening to what I had to say.
I will miss him and I will always treasure our friendship. Love to Gesine and Kristine. Those memories of a loving husband and father will help sustain you as will my memories of a fine human being soften the loss of him for me.
I was really sad to read about the passing of Dr. Crandall this morning and my condolences go out to Gesine, Kristine, and the rest of his family and friends.
While I did not know him as well personally as many others have, when I read all of the wonderful recollections expressed on this site and in the newspapers, I am not surprised by all the descriptions of warmth and helpfulness that I find because he always showed these qualities to me and my family during our visits to his office.
As with us all, he was my 1st doc. I miss his wonderful smile and merry spirit. He made me smile every day at the P.O.
I worked for Dr. Crandall in the summers at his Aspen Office on the corner of Spring and Hymen in the Crandall building.
He was such a pleasure to work for and he so enjoyed the later years of his medical practice. He took sincere interest in every patient and genuinly wanted to know how they were doing.
He had such a sincere love for his family that he spoke of often to me .He was a creature of habit and enjoyed his daily rituals that he always spoke of .
What a pleasure and honor it was to get to know such a fine man and his beautiful wife Gesine, and their lovely daughter Kristine.
You will be missed sweet Dr. Jack……..and we are all better off for having known you. May You Rest In Peace.
Jack was in my life for almost 40 years. He was first my doctor for many years. He was kind, compassionate and a great listener. Later on I met Kristine and Gesine through tennis, and through our friendship, I came to know him as a friend. I was always impressed that he loved to vacuum and he also cleaned the toilets at his house. I said to Gesine–now that’s a keeper!
For a time I went to a lot of movies. I persuaded Jack to go with Gesine, Kristine and me to a Filmfest surprise movie. He had just had a very painful operation in his chest and we were sitting in the balcony on those very uncomfortable seats at the Wheeler. The movie was Cyrano de Bergerac and it was long. We all hated it but no one said a word until it was over. Jack was in agony from his recent surgery but never once complained. That was Jack–easy-going, accepting of all that came his way and always with good humor. He told me later he hadn’t been to a movie in 35 years–after the Cyrano experience, I doubt he ever went again!
I remember that he liked to go to Las Vegas occasionally (maybe once a year) to gamble which seemed so out of character. Knowing him, I’m sure he never lost more than a $100. One other memory is that when Gesine and Kristine would leave town–usually for tennis tournaments–I liked to check up on him. Whenever I called, he was having chicken for dinner–I think he ate it every night on every trip they were gone.
I am so glad I was able to see him in St. George last spring. He was dealing once again with his recurring cancer and yet continued to have a positive outlook on everything and appreciative of everything in his life. I will miss him deeply. Sending much love to Gesine, Kristine and his beloved cat Google.
In1980 Dr. Crandall was our family Dr.,he was a wonderful sweet man. and the best Dr. there was. My children are grown now but my son still talks about Dr. Crandall how there is no other like him . If you had a problem he would always find the cause. if you were sick and could not get out because of the flu he would call in the RX and have it delivered to your home. we will never forget Dr. Crandall .
Dr. Crandall was our family doctor for many years. In 1966 he delivered my son at the old hospital on Red Mountain in his bedroom slippers because the birth happened so quickly that he had no time to change before rushing to the hospital. He was a wonderful, dedicated physician and an amazing human being. My deepest sympathy to his lovely family. He will be dearly missed!
Dr Crandall brought me and my siblings into this world and took care of us for many years to come. We were also lucky enough to have the Crandalls as our neighbors on Pitkin Green (now WilloughbyWay). I remember telling Dr. Crandall that my baby sister had orange eyes (I was 7 and she was 2) and he walked with me to see for himself this claim I had made. Low and behold, she had hazel green eyes! He gently put his hand on
My shoulder and told me they will only turn orange in a picture with a flash – whew!! You will be missed!
To those of you who have posted so far, my mom and I wanted to express our sincere appreciation for your remembrances and thoughts. They mean so much to us, and also provide something much larger — a shared sense, across time and space, of healing through the loss. This site is a living tribute to Jack’s memory, a “place” we’ll be able to visit for years to come.
Like my sister just said — Dr. Crandall was there to deliver all three of us George kids. I remember when it was time for my immunizations, he was so gentle that I never even noticed I got a shot (and those were BIG needles back then). I also remember falling off a stool in my parent’s house on Pitkin Green when I was about 3 yrs old and Dr. Crandall pulled up in his red jeep and patched me up. He even brought a wooden box with some miniature copper dishes in it that Kristine had outgrown. What a caring, gentle soul. He will truly be missed!
Love, Stacey (the one with the “orange” eyes)
Jack was such a kind, sweet, compassionate and non-judgmental man. I’ll miss his gentle manner, sense of humor and the way his eyes would shine when he spoke to you. Had no idea he loved jazz so much! We’re all lucky to have known and spent time with such a special man and he will be missed by all. Much love to you both, Gesine and Kristine and, yes, also to Google and the gang!
Anne Gurchick xoxo
Dear Gesine and Krisina,
I am now especially glad that I had the opportunity to spend that lovely afternoon with you last winter in St. George. You all and especially Jack gave me such a warm welcome and we had a happy afternoon.
Jack even then, bouncing around on his knees, never complained just stayed positive and made it easy for everyone to relax around him. He was so happy just being there with his cats (weren’t there two?) and his adoring girls.
I also think of all the happy occasions at your house in Aspen working on Animal Shelter stuff with Jack wandering in and out, usually with a bump on his head from his latest project. Mostly when I look at what i’ve written I see the word ‘happy’. Jack exuded ‘happy’ and I know he will want you both to stay happy as he holds you forever in his heart.
By the time I moved to Aspen in 1990, Dr Crandall was retiring but his reputation certainly lived on for the balance of his days in Aspen. He will be greatly missed as a physician, member of the community and family man. MY thoughts go out to Gesine and Christina and the rest of Jack’s family who I did not know.
For Gesine and Kristine,
So very sad to read about Jack. He was truly a special friend, my Doctor for many years, and my 4 girl’s Doctor. We all loved him, and you, Gesine ( my special tennis pal) and Kristine. We had so many good times !!
Thinking of you.
Much love and big Hugs.
I’m so glad I found my way to this delightful tribute! My own interactions with Dr. Jack were frequently brief. However, fondest among them for me would have been the breakfasts we shared at the Wienerstube’s community table discussing the weekly happenings of Colorado Rockies baseball. I never would have figured during those visits that a few years later I would find myself looking after the Round House that Jack built. It was a privilege to share in that special, nurturing space. To Gesine, I wish you well as you continue winding along this untrodden path of powerful transitions. To Kristine, I wish to honor the powerful example you’ve demonstrated as a loving and dedicated daughter and caretaker. All my best to both of you! Trevor
I met Jack at the St. George Senior Center where I worked in the dining room. I waited every Tuesday and Thursday for him to come for lunch. He always brought a smile and a kind word for everyone. It has been a privilege to know him.
Ich habe Jack kennengelernt als einen Menschen, dem man bedingungslos sofort vertraut: als Arzt, als Mensch, als jemand, der gerne fröhlich lacht und zugleich tief weise ist, der direkt ins Herz schaut.
Jack stand wie ein Fels in der Brandung, wenn um ihn herum die Wellen hochschlugen; er schenkte Sicherheit, Selbstvertrauen, Liebe, Geborgenheit.
Und schon eine kleine Geschichte zeigt viele dieser Seiten von ihm:
Zwei Tage vor meinem ersten Flug nach Aspen stellten die Ärzte bei mir extrem hohen Bluthochdruck fest, und sie rieten mir dringend von der langen Reise ab. Ich rief Jack an und fragte ihn, ob ich den Flug wagen soll. Am anderen Ende der Leitung hörte ich Jack ruhig, zuversichtlich und bestimmt sagen: „Frauke, komm!“
Liebe Gesine, liebe Kristine, danke, dass wir durch Euch Jack kennenlernen durften. Auch wenn es nur kurze Begegnungen waren, so waren sie doch immer beglückend und lange nachhallend.
Frauke Schaefer, Leipzig, Deutschland, Schwester von Gesine Crandall
und Agnes Schaefer, Leipzig, Deutschland, Nichte von Gesine und “Cousinchen” von Kristine
I got to know Jack as a person who immediately inspires everbody with trust: whether as a doctor or simply as somebody, who likes to laugh and who is deeply wise at the same time, somebody, who looks into your heart directly.
Jack gave confidence, love, security – solid like a rock, when the waves rolled high and low all around.
Just one simple story shows lot’s of that:
Two days before my first flight to Aspen, the German doctors detected extremely high blood pressure, and they strongly advised not to do the long journey. I called Jack and asked him whether I should risk to fly. At the other end of the line I heard Jack, calm, confident and determined, only say two words: “Frauke, come!”
Dear Gesine, dear Kristine, thank you, that you gave us the opportunity to get to know Jack. Even if we met rarely and only for short time, these encounters were always exhilarating and long resonating.
Frauke Schaefer, Leipzig, Germany, sister of Gesine Crandall
and Agnes Schaefer, Leipzig, niece of Gesine Crandall and “Cousinchen” of Kristine Crandall
Carolyn (Stein) and I met Jack and Gesine in 1964. Both were mothers-to-be. We have stayed friends with them and Kristine for almost fifty years now. Jack and Gesine visited us here in Massachusetts and in Maine. In Aspen, after Gesine cleaned our clock in mixed doubles (while Jack mostly got in the way, cavorting and clowning and generally reducing the serious sport to a hilarious enterprise) we four would go out on the town: drinking and dinner for us two, drinking, dinner, and dancing for those two indefatiguable locals.
Indeed, Jack was one of the most decent and kindest human beings I have ever known. He exuded God’s greatest gift: humility. We five Shohets loved visiting the three Crandalls in the round house. Dinner was of course excellent, served of course on the round table, but not until Kristine cleaned my clock downstairs at ping pong. Great great memories of a great great person, if a bit bowlegged and a Rockies fan.
Thanks for the great memories. As your post captures, Jack had a diverse relationship with sports. He told me he tried to play on the six-man football team in high school, but what a challenge that was because he couldn’t hold the ball in his small hand.
I remember some spectacular reflex volleys and wicked (partly because they were so unexpected) slice serves he inflicted upon my mom and Gerry Bohn in a traditional birthday doubles match we used to play at the Aspen Meadows. He would be the first to say there was some luck there. Like in your matches, we had so much pure fun.
On the other side, he sure did intently follow, appreciate, and understand baseball. What a thrill it was to get down to Denver for a few Rockies games in recent years, supported by our Front Range friends, Mike and Naseem. At one game, I remember we had dad use his walker to get to one of the Coors Field elevators, then Mike ran the walker back to the car since it would have been so hard to handle in the stadium seating — retrieving it once again at the end of the game. At those games, Jack was riveted to every single play. I would go and get the bratwursts and beers, and then he would fill me in, to the finest detail (and you could tell when he wasn’t happy about certain details), on what I missed.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with you non-stop, Gesine and Kristine!
What a pleasure to learn so much about Jack through the lovely obituary and these emails from his friends and fans. We know these days are very difficult and sad without him, bur we are sure that he is watching over you every minute! We miss you here on Willoughby Way. Lots of love, Susan and George
I loved Jack’s tenderness, the fact that he would take as long as I needed to hear what was going on, not only with me but with my family – often offering the wisdom of experience that I needed badly when I first arrived in town (in 1969).
I remember Jack being particularly solicitous with my Dad, who was struggling with altitude issues on a visit from sea level – they became fast friends and he managed, by sheer friendliness, to wipe away all of the concerns Dad had about “Aspen” as a safe home for his daughter(s).
Several years ago my sister, Darby, was struggling with a dying liver. She had been the chef at the Senior Center for a few years and she and Jack had become fast friends. I remember seeing Jack there almost every time I showed up to have lunch (as someone’s guest, of course, I wasn’t that OLD – ha ha). When Darb was approaching the hospice stage and I was barely functioning in my grief, Kristine walked through the door one day with a message from her Dad. Jack (in Utah) had insisted that Kristine be in touch and let me (and, of course, really Darby) know how much he was thinking about her. I was so touched by that extraordinary gesture – it brought a smile through the pain from Darb as she remembered her buddy and I have thought of the kindness many times since.
I want to be remembered with the same fondness that I hold for Jack. Don’t we all?
Big hugs and lots of love to both of you, Gesine and Kristine. And condolences to everyone in the family.
I did not know Jack but I if he had the smarts to marry Gesine he must have been a very wise man. I enjoyed reading about him in the paper and the memorials on the post have shown how much he was respected and what a great person he was. My sympathy to Gesine, Kristine, his family and friends.
Jack was also my doctor for many years. He was a friend and later became my landlord in the Patio Building. I remember him gardening in front of the building almost every morning, always greeting me with a sunny HI Karen, which made my day. He was a kind friend and a wonderful landlord. He will certainly be missed by so many in Aspen.
My condolences to Gesine, Kristine, his family and friends.
Albie and I are very sorry to lose Jack, but know he has been battling health wise and had you both taking good care of him through it all. Our memories of him are filled with good, fun things and he was such a caring and kind man.
Jack, Gesine and Kristine could not have been better next door neighbors for so many years. I remember Jack out throwing the ball to Kristine many afternoons when she was very young and then in her teens, the best babysitter anyone could have. What a wonderful adult you have become!
When I was new in town at 19, I went to see Jack in his little victorian office for something minor and he took the time to counsel me about single girl in Aspen and I never forgot it. And then taking care of me pregnant with Nick and later running across the empty lot with his bag in the middle of the night to check on him with a high fever. He was truly a “family physician” of the kind that no longer exists. I think he and Albie had the same idea about being a professional in a small town that they both loved.
We will think of you often.
I remember watching the evening news with dad when I was a kid. Walter Cronkite would sign off: “And that’s the way it is.” There were some times when the news scared the heck out of me. I looked at dad, wondering if I should ask him if “that’s the way it is” was okay. But I never did ask him, because, with him beside me, I knew it was okay. He made me feel safe, and to trust in the unfolding of each moment.
Now, “and that’s the way it is” couldn’t be more difficult, and yet I know we’re going to be okay, as we walk through this time having been prepared by his example of how to live fully in the present.
I drive the bus for the senior center. I would like to express my condolances to Jacks family and many friends For the last couple of years Jack has been a valued and loved member of the “Lunch Bunch” . He was always ready and rarrin to get on the bus and never complained or asked for help. We’ll all miss Jach and wish him God Speed.
Today was the first spring training game for the Rockies in 2012. They tied. They only had 4 hits and scored one run. I really wonder what Jack would think. Although Naseem and I had an opportunity to connect with Jack on many levels and on many topics, Rockies baseball was a common language we shared with Jack and Kristine.
We shared many delightful times with Jack and Kristine and Jack, Kristine, and Gesine, some of our most cherished memories are of when Jack and Kristine came to Denver to go to Rockies games and stayed at our house. Jack, as you can imagine, was a delightful house guest – always enthusiastic and always interested in how life was treating us. We found him to be very pragmatic about his life and thankful for all he got to experience and share everyday. He certainly set an example of how to live life that I hope to emulate.
Naseem and I got to spend some time with Jack and the family in late January of this year. The Aspen house had been sold; Gesine and Kristine were well situated in their new homes and new lives in St. George; it did appear that Jack was entering his final chapter. I believe he knew this better than we did yet he appreciated every day and every gesture of care and kindness. Nothing brought out his excitement than a Strawberry Shake. And as we departed, he did pumped both fists into the air – I am doing great he was saying.
I can see him fist pumping again today. Cheering the start of the new baseball season and for the shear joy of another day.
Dr. Crandall delivered my daughter Shayne 12/28/1972 in a blizzard at 10:30 at night. He arrived in his old topless red Jeep at the Aspen hospital on Red Mountain Road. He was the best and will be missed. (Pepper)
Dr. Crandall was my first doctor (and primary until he retired) when I moved to Aspen in 1978 after marrying Pepper. He always had time to find out how you the patient was first, then he treated you. His follow-up was often times done on the street if he saw you, where he took time to check in with you. Pepper and I always enjoyed seeing him at Wienerstube local table. He was a great man and we will miss him dearly. (Susan)
I was deeply saddened by the news of Jack’s passing. I’m glad I got the chance to see him after he moved to St. George. I didn’t know Jack as long or as well as the other commenters, but to know him was to love him. My thoughts are with Gesine, Kristine and all his wonderful friends.
I first remember meeting Jack was in the fall of 1929 when we started first grade. From then till we graduated from high school, Jack as valdictorian, and me as solutitoriun, we were very close friends. We played basketball, baseball, table tennis, outside tennis, fishing camping, ice skating and many other things. I have a picture of Jack ice skating on the sidewalk in front of our house. I learned to play Monopoly in his home and his mother would make pineapple up side down cake whenever I ate at their house. After graduating from high school we went to separate colleges and then the war started so we didn’t see each other for a while. We visited Jack and Gesine in Aspen in 1964, again in about 1972 and the last time in 2010. Our letters weren’t very frequent but I still have most of them. I never had a better friend. To say I will miss him doesn’t really describe my feelings.
Thank you, Randy for creating this site and allowing a story to be told of the amazing life of Dr. Jack Crandall. A person, who if you met, would change your life forever because he embodied joy and caring that was real. Very few people truly care for others and can peer into your soul. Dr. Jack possessed that special quality. It never seemed to matter if others were present, Jack would penetrate the layers and make you feel special. Knowing Kristine, I’ve also experienced her dad and mom through her stories. She is a part of each of them and as a writer she has captured so many great tales. They all have lived by example and we have benefited by their lives. Jack’s memory will live on because the stories will not end and his flame will not die…ever.
Liebe Gesine, vor meinen Augen sehe ich Dich und Jack in Aspen vor Eurem einmalig schönen , interessanten Haus mit dem unglaublich weiten Blick in die Berge stehen. Wir haben zusammen mit Bernd,Katrin und Lena , Kristine und Euch Beiden drei wunderschöne Tage erlebt. Ihr habt uns so herzlich aufgenommen und uns viel von der unbeschreiblichen Bergwelt gezeigt. Jack haben wir in der kurzen Zeit als einen sehr warmherzigen und lebendigen Menschen kennengelernt, den wir alle mit seiner herzlichen und offenen Art in unser Herz geschlossen hatten. Leider konnten wir uns später hier nicht mehr sehen,aber meine Bilder hab ich in mir.Dir alles Liebe
Deine Frauke und die ganze Familie
The fact that I knew Jack is proof positive that I am a very lucky person. Twenty three years ago, Gesine & Kristine walked into my place of employemnt & asked me to help with the kitchen remodel on the Aspen house. The fact that I was new to this career and the fact that the house had curved walls didn’t disuade Gesine & Jack from hiring me. It’s an integral part of them to have optomistic faith in others. Everything turned out well, especially the happenstance that turned into a life long friendship.
On our nearly annual trips through Aspen, my husband & I would arrange to have breakfast with Jack at the Wienerstube. We basked in his sunny disposition.
We were living in St. George this winter while Jack was in the rehabilitation center. We visited him nearly every day for about a month and delivered the much anticipated strawberry-banana milkshakes. This gave us the opportunity to hear some of his life stories. What a treat.
Although it may not be of much significance to others, I have a little story of one of the ways in which Jack impacted my life. One day, who knows when, I arrived at the Aspen house and found Jack replanting the tiny ground cover “Mother of Time” that accented the stepping stones to the front door. I was impressed with his patience and diligence in this tedious tack. A few years later, we added a stone patio at our house and I had the same plants put in between the stones. Well, for many years now, I’ve been tending those plants every spring & summer. Sometimes I would get impatient with this tedious task. Then, I’d remember Jack, smile, and get on with the project. There is always a sence of pride, enhanced by knowing that I am emulating Jack. I’ll always remember Jack, and I am a better person for having known him.
To Gesine & Kristine, the rest of us cannot begin to know the extent of your loss. However, our thoughts, prayers and love will always be with you.
I’ll never forget Jack’s good nature and infectious smile…hanging out in the zen garden on the back patio of the house…gardening and soaking in the sun… I can see him now… laughing and enjoying the great casino in the sky. RIP
I first met Jack in the early 90’s. Our local animal shelter board often met at Jack and Gesine’s house in order to discuss topics ranging from finance to architecture because Gesine was the treasurer of our capital campaign. The board and I required a lot of Gesine’s time and energy, and Jack was always gracious to us when we visited their home. I then became friendly with Kristine and enjoyed spending time with Gesine and Kristine while they visited the cats at the animal shelter. Gesine, Kristine and I spoke about tennis, cats and life in general. For the next decade, Jack was always the soft, gentle, intelligent, humble husband and father who I spoke with only by circumstance while I was visiting with Gesine and Kristine. It was only in the past few years that I developed a friendship with Jack, independent from his wife and daughter. I enjoyed seeing him in town and visiting with him during lunch at Pitkin County Senior Services. He was always kind to me and engaged in thoughtful conversation whenever we spoke. I may be wrong, but more often than not, Jack seemed to be at peace with everything around him, including his path in life. I will miss his strong and gentle presence. I feel honored to call Jack a friend.
Jack was my baby doctor for my first child almost 40 years ago. During my monthly visits, Jack took care of all the practical, medical details; but more than that, he was excited about my new baby. He also knew what first-time mothers need emotionally. At the end of each appointment, Jack would ask: “So, what are the old wives’ tales you’ve been hearing from all those experienced mothers out there?” I would tell him the latest bit of info I had heard, he would explain whatever the issue was and concluded “We’ll deal with that if it occurs.” Jack did not deliver my baby; I needed a caesarean section. But after Sarah was born, Jack appeared at the foot of my bed early one morning at the hospital, cradling my baby, whom he had scooped up in the nursery, and also holding a cup of coffee for me. He sat by my bed, holding Sarah and we worshiped her together. I have told countless people over the years that I had the best doctor for a first child that one could ever find. I stand by that opinion still. I will never forget him.
Dear Kristina and Gesine:
I was so saddened to read about your Dad’s passing. He was a true iconic medical figure around town. I do remember you both riding around town in that red open air jeep. Jack would always wave to us when we passed by. We would always get a wave when he was outside pruning or working in his garden along Willoughby Way. He always well known for always friendly greeting.
I was most impressed with his elequent, caring euology of J.E. DeVilbus, whom we all respected. At the time your dad was quite frail, but his mind was sharp, clever, and never at a loss of humor.
He left a wonderful legacy to this town in what it means to be a caring doctor and giving back to his community. We all admire the patio building, and hopefully the new buyer to your lovely Benton home along Willoughby will continue to respect the special historic value it has and the care it was given by you and the dear doctor.
My sincere condolences to you and your mother( and other siblings), for the loss of your dear father, a great man this community will always remember..
I met Dr Crandell from my father, Dr Oden when we moved to town in the 60. One of my favorite memories of growing up in Aspen, that I will always remember, was walking to school from behind the old hospital where we lived and some times being on the road when Dr. Crandell would be driving by and being offered a ride into town in his Jeep. This was always a thrill for me to ride in as anyone who knew Dr Crandell’s Jeep, a one of a kind, as was he!
On this one-year mark of Jack’s passing, Kristine and I are sitting here in St. George listening to some jazz music and thinking with great fondness about Jack and all that he means to us. We visited the Tree of Light and Life earlier this evening in front of the Dixie Regional Medical Center, which is lit up tonight in his memory. We were listening to Artie Shaw’s Begin the Beguine, and then ate Cheetos (one of his favorite snacks). The tree’s lights were blinking and shaking in the wind; it’s as if Jack’s spirit is winking at us, fortifying us to keep carrying on without him, but very much with him. The almost-full-moon is high in the eastern sky, glowing with approval.
The snow has been falling all day and I did enjoy some amazing snowboarding on Gesine’s favorite mountain: Tiehack. I can picture Jack in his Aspen home a few years ago sitting on the floor watching TV on Sunday afternoon and saying, looking outside: “Boy, it’s very beautiful out there, but I’m feeling better inside!”
A year already, but Jack is still present and I can still hear him: ” I don’t know what you are gonna end up doing but keep going!”
I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but for now, let’s have a little piece of chocolate -dark of course for Jack- to keep up with good spirit and not worry too much about it!
It was the early 70s and Dr Crandall asked me to take care of Kristine while he and Gesine took a vacation. (I traded cleaning the office for having my room in the building) i could’ve been a much better cleaner- as Gesine & Jack were meticulous. —It was a big deal to leave their darling girl though they had her days planned & I stayed overnight w her in their wonderful home. It was my honor. What a great guy and how wonderful the family of Jack, Gesine and Kristine reflect the energy of love in the present, in the instant.
Happy Birthday, Jack! You’re in my thoughts. I see you having a nice breakfast at the round table, devouring the Sunday newspaper and saving articles for later reading, and taking in a late season Rockies game on TV. What should we do for dinner?
You’ve painted a perfect Jack day, Randy. And a rainstorm just blew through the redrock desert, stirring the reflections together with fresh fall smell and the at-times-distracted sand quieted by the moisture. For dinner, how about chicken and corn from the grill and some mashed potatoes? Gesine and I were just talking yesterday about how poignant it is that Jack’s birthday is on or near the equinox. The balance of light and dark reminds one of his way…
Happy Birthday Jack! 90!!
Sorry I am a little late and by now you are already asleep…
Randy and Kristine forgot dessert! I can’t…
Of course I would have brought ice cream to go with the fabulous chocolate cake that Gesine has made…
I’d be curious to ask you if, in the many fall seasons you have witnessed in Aspen, you recall such a rainy green fall.
Sending you loving thoughts and wishing you sweet dreams…
You and I have had many good talks lately and you would be happy to see how my yin yang is getting more balanced. Finally……
Kristine and I had fun in sin city yesterday going to a Elton John concert – you would have loved it. We met Gayle and Shelley from Aspen and were all thinking of you with good individual stories. I listened to more of the music today via Pandora and all of a sudden found myself dancing! Remember our 2 favorite activities? Dancing and hiking! Happy Birthday, dear Jack! You would be 90 today – wow, that is something……………. I never forget your first birthday we celebrated together after meeting in 1963 and I baked you every German cookie and cake I knew how to bake at that time – and even cooked some Krautroladen but I think we went to the Golden Horn for dinner – great choice!
All my love is on the way up into the sky……………..
Time flies, doesn’t it….
Already two years that you are not with us anymore, although you still are in some ways… Thinking of you on this quiet Sunday where the sun is out and spring seems to approach, slowly but surely.
Lot’s of birds singing too. I think you would have liked that.
They are sending a big loving hello to you too.
Dear Jack – we have been thinking and talking of you a lot. Frauke visited and all the familiar Schaefer family dynamics are still present. I wished you would have been here and interjected at the right times.
But today we celebrate your life. Kristine and I will go first to a Tai Chi class and the end result always reminds me of you. Ying and Yang, balance in body, soul and mind, gentle deep breathing and soft attitude to the moment. All things I am striving for. It will take time.
Then we will go for a gentle walk in my backyard over beautiful sandstone and hopping over, on and around rocks. You will be with us.
How are you doing? Have you found the right joiner’s table with new and old friends? I bet you have run into JD and solved any problems wherever you are except the weather.
From me, Kiwi, and lots of birds (they have made an absolute mess out of my deck) are coming wispy clouds of love and warm thoughts.
Moments within the day:
Gesine and I hiked below Zen Ridge, balancing on rocks (thinking of dad keeping his balance with such focus in the last years) and finding a stacked-sandstone cairn we considered a sign from Jack that we’re on the right track.
The first bats of the season showed up this evening, dancing and jumping across sky layers.
Google so happy to get her dinner.
A quote from this morning’s UU gathering: “There is no way to peace; peace is the way.” (Mahatma Ghandi)
And a song performed by Count Basie and his orchestra that fills your absence with a big smile and sweet rhythm (“Splanky”):
With loving thoughts, prayers of gratitude, and memories,
A rare snow storm came through overnight, keeping us on our toes and the desert in its fascinating flux. So many questions I’ve had lately, and included among them: wondering what answers Jack would offer. I suppose the stumbling along is part of my finding out. It makes sense to look up — at the snowy sky and hidden stars — with a big smile.
Good Night, Jack, after a day of reflection, thoughts and special memories. Life is a mysterious process to be discovered a little bid at a time. Finally I know what you meant by “stop worrying” and “to communicate with understanding is one of the most important things”. Thank you, dear Jack.
Happy 92nd Birthday, Jack. This evening at sunset the towering big clouds over Pine Mountain were full of a golden shine. The light was incredible till it disappeared little by little into the sky. This was you!! Love, Gesine
I just kind of shut down yesterday, perhaps an intuitive knowing and messaging of loss. Sparky cat was up with the Full Moon, keeping it company into today. Amazing to think it’s been four years, a distinct period with its own ever-developing sense of time, space, relationship, and tone (learning more and more to be okay with whatever is — thank you for your example).
Toklat celebrated your birthday again this year as tonight was the annual ACES potluck up there. What a nice coincidence and I remember how much you loved going up there. The leaves are peaking now very fast but the crazy wind made them fall as soon as they are ripe. “Oh well, it’s still beautiful” would you say…
Anyways, thinking of you and feeling your spirit still very present with me.
After having spent most of the afternoon with you, my memories, and the memories of others, I feel closer to you than ever. The simple clarity you brought to every living moment was admired by all, as it created instant connection to most other human beings. Today is a special day of taking inventory of where life is “now” and I find myself in a space of feeling free, grateful and patient – the world around us is in an angry tantrum of major proportions, and I hope above all that people will wake up. Sending many loving thoughts up into the sky, dear Jack.
Happy Birthday, Jack!
I’ve been struggling with some health issues. Today, I walked into the town’s post office to pick up my mail and my acquaintances who work there asked me how I was doing.
“I’ve been better”, I said.
To which one replied, “But you’ve been much worse!”
I smiled and thought, yes, this is much better. It reminded me of your perspectives on things. You live on in our hearts.
It was the mid-50’s, Dr. Jack and his family had settled into a new home on Pattison Ln in Marshalltown.
Somewhere in later 50’s the GOOD DOCTOR made the pruchase of a new VW bug…convertible no less. It soon was the favorite of all the kids in the neighborhood………Free rides for all.
Dr. Jacks daughter Julie was my first love, Granted we were only 5 or 6 years old. I’m not sure iif it was her or that car.
Always remember the pipe smoking VW driving REAL GOOD MAN>