Castlewood Canyon State Park is in mourning. That was the message in late February from Ron Claussen, a member of the volunteer group Friends of Castlewood Canyon State Park, after news spread one of …
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Castlewood Canyon State Park is in mourning.
That was the message in late February from Ron Claussen, a member of the volunteer group Friends of Castlewood Canyon State Park, after news spread one of its most dedicated had passed away.
Pat Feldmeier, 66, died on Feb. 23.
She is survived by her two sons, Jeff Feldmeier and Brian Feldmeier, with his wife, Ilene, and two grandchildren, Brayden and Peyton. She was preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, Dennis.
Feldmeier had volunteered with Friends of Castlewood Canyon State Park since 2010, getting involved roughly one year after moving to Parker to be near family. Castlewood is located south of Franktown along Highway 83.
To John Berry, a fellow member of Friends of Castlewood Canyon State Park, Feldmeier's passing will change the volunteer group moving forward.
“Basically, we're in shock and denial,” he said. “It just won't be the same at the park with her gone because of what she did.”
Feldmeier made her living helping Dennis manage a dental office in St. Louis but once retired in Parker, sought volunteer work. She became a certified naturalist at Castlewood and would go on to devote hundreds of hours a year to the park, spearheading or helping manage some of the volunteer group's largest annual events, including Turkey Vulture Day and Dam Day.
Feldmeier's family said the park gave her an avenue to teach people about nature, one of her passions, and opportunities to interact with the people of Parker.
Berry estimated Feldmeier spent between 200 and 300 hours volunteering for Castlewood a year. She was integral in not just managing but performing at programs like Dam Day. The annual event marks the anniversary of a 1933 flood caused when the dam at Castlewood Canyon State Park failed. Feldmeier often portrayed characters who had warned residents at the time of the coming floodwaters.
Berry, Feldmeier and others would meet for lunch at the park on Tuesdays, Berry said, where volunteers gathered for their mutual love of naturalist activities, going on historical searches around the park's dam and homestead. Feldmeier often talked about her love of family and travel on the outings.
Claussen said on Feb. 25 he'd received phone calls from volunteers crying after learning Feldmeier had died. In a letter he penned to volunteers, he wrote of her work expanding roles she held in Friends of Castlewood Canyon State Park and her vision for the group, all aimed at drawing more of the public to visit the park.
When not hiking or lunching in Castlewood, Feldmeier could frequently be found taking trips or spending time with her family. Together the Feldmeiers traveled to places like Alaska, Hawaii, Disneyworld and Disneyland.
“We will remember her love of family above all else. We believe others will remember her as fun and outgoing with compassion,” Feldmeier's family said by email. “She was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed by her family and countless friends.”
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