Memorial Service Information
It is with great sadness that we pass along this news of his passing on Tuesday, August 1. John Tracy was such a big part of the heart and soul of the ABA. John was involved with ABA since almost the beginning of its existence. He served on the board of directors for years and on various committees, such as Speakers, Social & Networking (Publicity and Communications), and Special Events. He was awarded member of the year in 2015 and received several recognitions such as the Recruitment Award and the Best Dressed Award (Tuxes or T's in 2013). He loved the ABA and we saw John at almost every event. The members and guests he brought to the ABA through these years are countless. John was very soft spoken with a kind demeanor and everyone loved him very much. He will be greatly missed!
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At our August Luncheon, attendants wore colorful ties to honor John.
John Tracy belonged to the community A difference-maker who 'lived a great and full life'
October 5, 1943 – August 1, 2017
He is survived by his wife Jane, three children, two step-children, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Tracy was born on Oct. 5, 1943, in Helena, Montana, and spent his elementary years in Juneau, Alaska. Because of rheumatic fever, Tracy didn't attend school full-time until he was in the seventh grade. In his late teens, he was told he would not live to be 20 years old, because of his early illnesses, So the challenge of completing his climbs on all of Colorado's 14ers become even more meaningful to him. Tracy graduated from Westminster High School and attended University of Colorado-Boulder on a full scholarship, majoring in civil engineering.
He entered the newspaper industry in 1973 at the age of 30, with Sentinel newspapers, which published the Transcript at the time. Later, Tracy and business partner Bill Armstrong started their own newspapers with separate editions covering Lakewood, Green Mountain, Applewood and Wheat Ridge. The two sold them in 1980. Tracy started a 30-year career with the Golden Transcript as the marketing director in 1987. Through the years, he held the title of general manager, associate publisher and manager of special projects — the last of which he held to present day.
Tracy met his wife, Jane, 30 years ago when she was working as a secretary for the Lakewood/Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce.
Besides climbing the state's tallest mountains, Tracy also was a world traveler — something he was very proud of — visiting 81 countries over his lifetime, He had a pilot's license and flew often in the late 1970s. Just because they were there, and because they were different, Tracy would travel to all the unique spots that most people wouldn't go to. One such trip was a visit to see a giant crane — Big Brutus, which is a regional historic mechanical engineering landmark dedicated to the mining heritage of southeast Kansas.
Tracy even helped police apprehend a bank robber. It must have been in the early 1990s, because big cell phones were still the norm. He noticed the robbery in progress while in the drive-up teller line at the bank and followed the robber in his car, all the while keeping in touch with police on the cell phone. “He was probably one of the first crime-stoppers”. He went on to complete the Lakewood Police Department's Citizens Academy.
Tracy received much recognition and a litany of awards from various community organizations, including the Golden Rotary Club and the Golden Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the West Chamber's original lifetime members, and two years ago, he was honored in its Hall of Fame. Tracy was also one of the originators of the Applewood Business Association. He was named a Living Landmark by the Golden Landmarks Association in 2011, and he and Jane were grand marshals in the Buffalo Bill Days 2016 Best of the West Parade.
In his free time, he enjoyed photography and hiking. He was an impressive gardener and grew all sorts of colorful flowers — geraniums, petunias, dahlias, lilies. He eventually also started growing vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers for all his family and friends.
John had many accomplishments in his life but everyone remembers he was the Best Dressed Man in Town with his coordinated tie. He had hundreds of ties for any day of the year – St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween.
It’s hard to put in words how he molded the community and so many lives. John was probably the best listener you'll ever know. He had a calming demeanor and a way of negotiating and solving problems. He was unfailingly kind, hardworking and helpful. A guiding light to his family, friends and the community .