Wendy Kaye Lacko, 1965-2017
May 19, 2017
Wendy Kaye Lacko, died peacefully on May 5, 2017 at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with family by her side. She was a long time resident of Steamboat but most recently lived in Oak Creek, Colorado.
Born on February 26, 1965 in Fontana, California to Joe and Patti Lacko. She was their first daughter. However, a short 18 months later Patti gave birth to identical twin girls Judi and Jodi. She was a typical big sister growing up. She would pick on and tease Judi and Jodi but also helped them fix something they broke to avoid getting in trouble and would also protect and stand up for them if needed. From an early age Wendy loved art and music. This love and passion stayed with her throughout her life. She also lived her life as a free spirit. After graduating from Steamboat Springs High School in 1983, Wendy stayed in Steamboat for a few years and did some local modeling. She was a beautiful girl on the inside and out. Wendy's love for music and a hippie lifestyle led her to follow the Grateful Dead while they were on tour for many years. These travels took her throughout the United States and provided rich, meaningful and lasting friendships and memories. In order to continue following the Grateful Dead, Wendy had to find a way to make money so she began making and selling jewelry she made out of crystals she dug in the desert. During a break from following the Grateful Dead, Wendy returned to Steamboat and gave birth to her first daughter, Elizabeth Caroline Lacko on August 19, 1991. Wendy and Eliza enjoyed hiking in and around Hahn's Peak where they picked raspberries and gathered crystals. They also enjoyed camping and spending time in the outdoors. In the winter they enjoyed alpine and telemark skiing as well as riding snowmobiles to a cabin they lived in at Hahn's Peak and for enjoyment. From a very early age, Wendy had dreams of opening up a retail store to sell, among other items, jewelry she had made. With the help of her Mom and many friends, Wendy realized this dream and opened Wildfeathers in downtown Steamboat in the late 1990's. She was so proud to have accomplished this dream. Unfortunately, it was short lived and she had to close the store after working feverishly to make her dream come true. After closing her store, Wendy held many jobs in and around Steamboat including managing BW3's and working for various clients assisting them with whatever needed to be done around their homes including cleaning, gardening and snow plowing. While she was healthy and able, she was a hard worker and enjoyed getting to know and becoming friends with her clients. Wendy met and eventually married Jim Graham in the summer of 2003. A short two years later, they welcomed their daughter Malia Ann Graham on April 13, 2005. In addition to her affinity for the Grateful Dead and the outdoors, Wendy loved to draw, sing, dance, play the guitar and garden. She was also very handy around the house and took after her Dad and was a great mechanic who could rebuild a car's engine. Throughout her life, Wendy had many friends, she was easy to talk to, a great storyteller and you knew exactly where you stood with her or how she felt about you because she was brutally honest. She also loved her family, especially her children. They held a very special place in her heart. Wendy spent the last six years of her life with her boyfriend, Steve Schwan Jakus. Together they enjoyed traveling and spending time together. Wendy is survived by her daughters, Roxy Graham of Steamboat and Malia Graham of Craig, Colorado; sisters, Judi (Jeff) Zallaps of Castle Pines, CO, Jodi (Eric) Dorris of Steamboat Springs; nephews and niece Jackson and Sophia Zallaps and Tate and Quinn Dorris; and her aunt Judy (Babe) Woodward of Crown Point, Indiana and four cousins. In her honor, her family invites you to a celebration of life at Olympian Hall in Steamboat Springs, CO on May 21, 2017 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to the charity of your choice or AA.
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