Steve Groer

Former Rocky Mountain News photographer


Steve Groer, a longtime and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the former Rocky Mountain News in Denver, died Sept. 26 of heart disease at age 72. Born in 1943 in Washington, D.C., he was a graduate of Maryland University in 1966. He served in the U.S. Army, shooting news and features for European Stars & Stripes, during which he won the 1970 National Press Photographers Association’s Military Photographer of the Year award.

Groer worked for four years for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., then for 21 years for the Rocky Mountain News, where he was part of its 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Columbine High School shootings. He went on to run his own successful freelance photography business.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Patty Mack Groer, of Aurora; and his sister, Annie Groer, a journalist in Washington, D.C. A celebration of his life took place Oct. 5 at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, Colo.

Hikaru Iwasaki

Professional photographer


Hikaru “Carl” Iwasaki, a renowned Japanese-American photographer and member of the Denver Press Club since the 1950s, died last month in his Denver home at age 93. He was born Oct. 18, 1923, in San Jose, Calif. Iwasaki became interested in photography and worked on his high school yearbook and newspaper. When he was 19, he and his family were sent to an internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyo.

Iwasaki got a job with the War Relocation Authority photo unit in Denver, doing darkroom work. He soon became a WRA photographer, documenting Japanese-Americans released from camps as they went on to resettle throughout the United States. He went on to become a contributor to Time, Life and Sports Illustrated magazines, among other publications. He photographed the civil rights movement, many well-known sports figures and several presidents – Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Beatrice, in 2005; and is survived by a daughter, Janice, of Calif.; two sons, Dean, of Denver, and John, of Connecticut; two stepsons, Tom and Ed; and numerous grandchildren. Private family services were planned.

Alice Marie Korf

Former Rocky Mountain News & Denver Post distributor


Alice Marie Korf, a longtime resident of Yuma County, died recently at age 84 at Yuma District Hospital in Yuma, Colo. She was born Dec. 9, 1931, in Yuma to Samuel A. and Pearl M. Jones. She married her husband George Korf in Yuma. She graduated from nursing school in Boulder and trained as a nurse's aide when she was in her mid-30s. Along with her nursing career, she worked many other jobs, including distributing newspapers for the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, as well as housekeeping at local motels, lawn and yard care, and as a veterinary assistant and a livestock handler. Korf enjoyed flower gardening, knitting, latch hook, crocheting (winning many ribbons for her crafts at the Yuma County Fair), bicycle riding and walking, and church activities.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband; brothers Charlie W. and James R. Jones; and several cousins, aunts and uncles. She is survived by her son, Samuel Dembitsky and wife Sandy of Brush, Colo.; stepson Larry Korf of Fort Morgan, Colo.; stepdaughter Luella Lillich and husband Keith of Yuma; 12 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other relatives. A memorial service took place at Yuma First Church of the Nazarene, followed by inurnment at the Yuma Cemetery.