Peter Blake

Former Rocky Mountain News journalist, online reporter

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Peter Blake

Peter Blake, a longtime popular journalist in the state, died Dec. 7, 2016, at age 80 at Denver Hospice. According to The Denver Post, cause of death was an aggressive brain tumor. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, he became well-known to readers as an award-winning writer during a 39-year career with the former Rocky Mountain News, from 1968-2007. During his tenure, he was an investigative political journalist, columnist, editorial writer and city editor.

Post-Rocky, Blake turned to online options, most recently writing a weekly column for CompleteColorado.com. His Linked In page listed his occupation as “Independent Newspapers Professional,” in the Greater Denver Area, working as an “online columnist, aka blogger.”

An article at ColoradoPeakPolitics.com Dec. 7 noted: “While Blake was 80, his friends joked (or not) that he was doing journalism better than most 30-year-olds. He was tough, but fair – and thoughtful, often defending the little guy and exposing the unfairness in situations.”

The website also included a brief bio of Blake, including the following:

  • He began his long career in journalism at the Yale Daily News at his alma mater, Yale University.
  • He was drafted into, and served several years in the U.S. Army.
  • After his Army service, he attended the University of Colorado Law School, where he met his wife, Sandy.
  • He wrote briefly for the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, then moved to New York City to write for the Wall Street Journal.
  • He was hired by the Rocky in 1968 as an investigative journalist covering politics; he accepted a buyout from the Rocky in May 2007.
  • A columnist and editorial writer at the time of the buyout, he continued as a columnist during the Colorado Legislative session until 2009.
  • Up until a couple of months before his death, he wrote political commentary for Complete Colorado, with his work syndicated in Colorado newspapers.
  • He was inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame in 2006.

Another website, ColoradoPolitics.com, noted the following in an article Dec. 8 by Dan Njegomir: “The conservative-leaning columnist – a must-read among Colorado’s political set – also had been a play-it-straight political correspondent, investigative journalist and all-around newspaperman with Denver’s now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. Blake’s distinctive style – wry, understated, authoritative and precise – was a match for his low-key, no-fanfare demeanor. His show-don’t-tell approach to writing never let his personality get in the way. That probably explains the dearth of available photos of Blake in the public domain.”

Outside of journalism, Blake loved baseball, playing catcher in several Denver-area senior leagues and competing in out-of-state Over 70 World Series tournaments.

Blake is survived by his wife, the Rev. Sandy Blake; two sons, John (Shannon), of Houston, and Dana (Haven), of Dallas; three grandchildren, Alexandra and Connor, and Tabor Blake; a sister, Alice, of California; and nieces and nephews in Colorado, California and Virginia.

A memorial service was scheduled for 1 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 17, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 1401 E. Dry Creek Road, Centennial, Colo., with a reception to follow the service.

Margery Kreeger Fridstein

Former columnist for Aspen Times, Snowmass Sun

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Margery Fridstein

Margery “Margy” Kreeger Fridstein died Nov. 4, 2016, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. She was born Feb. 11, 1926. She married her husband of 64 years, Robert B. Fridstein, in Chicago. The couple raised their four children in Glencoe, Ill., while she served on the executive board of the League of Women Voters, PTA, and the Glencoe Planning Commission. In 1968 she earned her MA in Counseling from Northwestern University, followed by specialized training in child therapy at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Fridstein served as director of mental health education and a psychotherapist at the Josselyn Center in Northfield, Ill. She worked in private practice in Illinois and Colorado for more than 40 years, retiring in 2012.

The couple moved to Snowmass Village, Colo., in 1988. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, she was a consultant to schools and agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley, and worked as a volunteer for hospice, Aspen Valley Hospital, and Aspen Camp for the Deaf. She also wrote weekly advice columns for The Aspen Times and Snowmass Sun, and authored a book, “Grandparenting: A Survival Guide,” published in 1997. She and her husband loved the outdoors and were avid skiers.

In 2008, the Fridsteins moved to the Vi at Highlands Ranch, Colo., and she continued her work plus volunteering in public schools. In 2010 she was a Denver Post Colorado Voices columnist, and after that wrote a monthly online column – “The Last Stop with Margy Fridstein” – for SeniorHomes.com, a resource for finding senior housing, and which would provide the base for her second book. After her retirement, she continued to counsel others on aging, health and dying.

She is survived by three daughters, Peggy (Raymond) Gordon, Kathy Fridstein (Mark Manley), and Nancy Fridstein (Richard Tallian); a son, Thomas (Darlene) Fridstein; 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a sister; and a sister- and brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband. Memorial services were scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Vi of Highlands Ranch.

Philip Karsh

Founder of Karsh & Hagan Advertising

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Philip Karsh

Philip Howard Karsh died at age 81 at his Lakewood home on Nov. 11 after a two-year battle with leukemia. He was born Sept. 19, 1935, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1957. In the early ‘70s, Karsh and Tom Hagan worked at Frye-Sills Advertising. The two left that company to found Karsh & Hagan Advertising in 1977.

They started the agency out of a four-door Chevrolet Impala, working for several months before getting traditional office space. Over the next two decades, they built the company into a major Denver-based agency with millions in annual billing, including accounts such as McDonalds, Colorado Tourism, Visit Denver, Children’s Hospital, and The Colorado Lottery, working with many Colorado newspapers over the years. Karsh retired from the firm on Dec. 31, 1997, at age 62 after 40 years in advertising. At that point, the company had 55 employees and annual billings of $35 million; today it’s said to have $55 million annually.

Karsh was a board member of National Jewish Health since 1963, and chairman and board member of the convention and visitors bureau, Visit Denver, in 1997. He was also chairman and president of several civic, nonprofit and educational organizations, including the Donor Awareness Council (1998-2001), Visit Denver Foundation (2002-2005), and History Colorado (2003-2006).

He was named Outstanding Graduate in Journalism by the University of Colorado’s faculty in 1980, and earned the university’s George Norlin Award in 2012 for distinguished lifetime achievement.

He was the Denver Advertising Federation’s 1991 Silver Medal Award winner, and was elected to the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame in 2004.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Love, of Lakewood; a daughter, Jill Karsh; and two grandsons, Joshua and Jesse Mikoll, of Colorado Springs. No services were scheduled; a private celebration of his life will take place in December.

Douglas McCrimmon

Johnson newspapers GM & former columnist for Canyon Courier

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Douglas McCrimmon

Capt. Douglas McCrimmon, U.S. Navy (retired), died Nov. 9, 2016, at age 84. He was born March 24, 1932, in Julesburg, Colo., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955. His 23-year career in the Navy included flying more than 300 combat missions during the Vietnam War and commanding two ships, including the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger.

After his retirement from the Navy, McCrimmon was general manager of Johnson Newspaper Corporation, and for many years wrote a regular column – “The View From Here” – for the Canyon Courier in Evergreen. He also held senior executive jobs at Nexus Greenhouse Corporation and Officers Christian Fellowship, as well as serving on the boards of several churches and nonprofits, including Hands of the Carpenter.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Judy; two daughters, Christy Scott, and Carrie (Kevin) Kleckler; two sons, Rob, and James (Sheri); two brothers, Don (Charlotte) McCrimmon, and Dan (Teresa) McCrimmon; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Ian McCrimmon, and son-in-law Duncan Scott. A memorial service took place Nov. 18 at Rockland Community Church in Golden, Colo. Internment was at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colo.

Lois Brady Martin

Former editor & publisher of Aurora newspapers

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Lois Martin

Lois Brady Martin died Nov. 20, 2016, at Skyridge Medical Center at age 88. She was born in Iowa and lived in Nebraska, where she graduated from the University of Omaha. While in college, she and her debate partner, Eileen Wolfe, won the national collegiate debate tournament against a field of male competitors, many from Ivy League schools. While working a summer job as a cabin maid at Yellowstone National Park, she met her future husband, William Martin. They were married for 42 years until his death in 1992.

After moving to Colorado in 1955, Martin was president of many social services organizations, including the Aurora Adams County Medical Society, Aurora Hospital Association, the Adams Arapahoe Womans Club, the Aurora Rehabilitation Authority, and was founding president of the Aurora Hospital District.

Martin was the first woman to be editor and publisher of a newspaper in Colorado when she began The Aurora Sun in 1972, after working as editor of the Aurora Star, the Aurora Advocate, and the Aurora Sentinel. After retiring from the newspaper business, she was an active member of the First Universalist Unitarian Church, and the Academy for Lifelong Learning.

She is survived by three daughters, Billie Jean, Wendy Martin, and Amy Martin Smith; one son, Brad; five grandchildren; and a sister, Joanne Coates. A celebration of her life took place Nov. 23 at Calvary Baptist Church, Denver, Colo.