Obituary: David Herz

David Herz, a Paonia resident of 23 years, died February 14, 2024 from complications of a stroke.

David was born in Mount Kisco, NY, to Edwin Herz and Elsie (Salomon) Herz. He grew up in North Stamford, Connecticut. After graduating from high school, David moved to Colorado Springs to attend Colorado College where he majored in art.

He was soon drawn by the mountains of Steamboat Springs and his love of Nordic skiing, and he left college behind. His love of sailing fueled a dream of building boats, and although he never realized that goal, he built a beautiful shop building on his property at the base of Buffalo Pass; it was forever referred to as the “Boathouse at Buffalo Bottom”.

David met his wife, Pam Ellison, in the Cameo bar, Steamboat’s local watering hole. They married in 1980, and spent the next 43 years together.

David acquired the construction skills that he used for the rest of his life, working as a county building/zoning inspector, a carpenter, a concrete finisher, and a stucco contractor. He created beautiful furniture. His athletic pursuits included rock climbing, Nordic and Alpine/Telemark skiing and running rivers in his kayak.

In retirement, in 1999, Pam convinced Dave to buy a farm in Paonia. He agreed reluctantly as his dream was to “die riding the ski lift”. He quickly embraced the farming life and the satisfaction of learning new skills and the challenge of bringing on old farm back to production. Neighboring farmers soon became friends and liberally shared their knowledge and experience with David.

David was generous with his time and energy, always willing to contribute to the community. He served on the Stewart Ditch Water Board for several years; soon after he joined the Stewart Mesa Domestic Water Board where he served as President for many years. During his tenure, he helped improve the aging infrastructure to make the system more reliable.

One of Dave’s many interests was reading, especially in American history. He was drawn to books about the Civil War and its aftermath, but his special interest was the lead up to World War II and the war itself. He and Pam traveled to Normandy in 2012 to visit the landing beaches where the Allied Invasion took place and the Holocaust museums.

David genuinely liked people, (and loved his dogs!) and enjoyed being supportive of friends and strangers alike. He was enthusiastic and always optimistic, wanting the world to be a better place for all. He greeted everyone with a smile, and when he asked how you were doing, he really wanted to know.

David is survived by his wife Pam, a sister Alexandra Herz of Florida; a sister Elizabeth Ferris of California; a niece and a nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, be kind to someone today.

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