Obituary: Fred Wolf
August 27, 1940 – August 12, 2021
Everyone who knew Fred Wolf recognized the remarkable man that he was. Everything he embarked on he did with purpose, knowledge, and love, and each of his endeavors added another layer to the rich legacy of his life. That legacy brought together and inspired countless family, friends, and organizations…from hospitals and churches to schools and fire stations, from corporations and high-profile government audits, to world records and national championships, conservationism and cutting really nice hay.
And if you knew Fred, you likely knew him through at least one of those many ventures. You knew the passion and integrity he brought to all his work; the leadership he naturally possessed; the mentorship he extended to all those who worked with him; and the clear vision he helped so many of us to see. His grounding stability was a comforting foundation for everyone who worked with him through the challenges of growing themselves or their organizations, and he always sought to help that growth by allowing people to realize their own potential and find strengths maybe even they didn’t see, rather than imposing his own vision.
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But for all his involvement, all his outreach, and all his connections, it was hard to know him completely, to know all the accomplishments that he had through the years. And that’s because all the medals, the plaques, the thanks, the special gifts and awards, were never things he paraded. They were tucked away on a wall behind his study doors where only he could see them. His accomplishments weren’t for public consumption. They were for him, to drive him to continually become more for others.
In so many ways, his life’s work is not captured in those accolades, but much more so in the relationships that he built with others in the pursuit of their goals. He made us all, whoever met him, better by being a part of their life. All our stories of what made him great to us are unique, different, special. Think back to a memory of Fred, and yours will be different from nearly everyone else who knew him, but they will have echoes of the same beauty and inspiration. There was no template or formula for his interactions with others. He recognized every person he met and every position he held as unique and deserving of individual care. His legacy is cast far and wide as a result, and each of those unique memories makes us all feel like fortunate insiders of a beautiful life story.
For those of us who knew him, our world is a little less bright without him. He was a light that made our lives better. He created authentic relationships and genuine smiles with his love and friendship, as well as his wicked sarcasm and dry sense of humor. We will miss the connections, the inside jokes, and the warmth with which he greeted us all. Yet his light will live on in all of us, in the wonderful memories we carry, and the inspiration he instilled.
Yet no matter the life we celebrate having such indefinable qualities, these obituaries necessitate a certain protocol about what should be shared.
Frederick D. Wolf was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1940, and he passed from his earthly home into eternal life on August 12, 2021 at his beloved Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Throughout his life, he was surrounded by loved ones, his children, grandchildren, his brother, countless friends, and his wonderful wife and soulmate of 51 years, Flora, who was the self-proclaimed best thing to ever happen to him. In his passing, he was surrounded by many of them as well, and in his legacy, he will endure through all of us.
Though we say goodbye to that remarkable man, our ultimate comfort comes from God and the knowledge that he is in peace with God.
A small family service will be followed by a community memorial service at St. Paul’s Church in Steamboat Springs to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations can be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where Fred and his family have worshiped for over 40 years, or Northwest Colorado Health (both c/o Yampa Valley Funeral Home).
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