Jon de Vos, 1945-2017
Jon Duane de Vos, aka “Friday,” passed away Aug. 22, 2017, at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver with his wife, nephew and lifelong friends at his side.
Jon was born Nov. 4, 1945, in Hollywood, California, to James and Grace de Vos. He grew up with his two brothers, Gary and Jim, and two sisters, Dianne and Lani, in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. Jon graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Arizona State University, which completely prepared and qualified him for his many subsequent accomplishments.
Armed with his diploma, Jon left Arizona in his 1956 MG convertible to report for a summer job as a “jack-of-all-trades” at Miller’s Idlewild Inn, a ski lodge in Hideaway Park (now Winter Park), Colorado. He was scheduled to arrive on a Friday but after having the daylights scared out of him in a blizzard outside Leadville, he was a day late. The staff and owners were all anticipating his arrival and when he finally walked into the lodge, he was met with cries of, “It’s Friday!” The nickname stuck throughout his 44 years in the Fraser Valley.
Jon met his future wife, Francie, the very day of his arrival at The Inn’ and after a whirlwind courtship of eight years, they were married by Judge Larry Peterson in the vitamin aisle of his Fraser Mercantile. Very few days went by in the next 37 years that were not filled with humor, laughter, love and a houseful of dogs and birds.
In addition to being an award-winning humor columnist for the local papers, Jon was also a licensed master electrician, a real estate broker and certified property manager. He was very active in our community — serving on the Grand County Housing Authority Board, the Fraser Valley Foundation, The Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce and volunteered for numerous other causes including the Grand County Bowling Association, of which he was a past-president. Even though Jon was not a particularly good bowler, he certainly was enthusiastic. As a result of all his community involvement, Jon was named 1996 Fraser Valley Citizen of the Year.
Up until the end Jon was very eager to write. One of his final columns suggested that we forget about Aug. 21, 2017, Eclipse Day and focus instead on Aug. 22 — Be An Angel Day — which encourages us all to be an angel to those in need. Jon certainly was an angel on earth.
Besides his wife, Francie, Jon is survived by his adoring dogs: Freeta Goodhome and Surely, his obnoxious parrots: Lobster New Bird and Buddy, Niece Melinda Zalewski, Nephews Mike and Jay Silber and James de Vos — along with numerous others; his brother Jim de Vos, sisters Dianne Calderone and Lani Farbstein, as well as longtime friends, Theresa and John Turner and John and Carol Newell.
In addition to all his friends and family, Jon will no doubt also be missed by Amazon Prime, Fed Ex and UPS.
F.A.C. – Friday Afternoon Celebration will be held on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, at B Lazy 2 Events Center in Fraser from 4 to 7 p.m.
Contributions in Jon’s name may be made to Mountain Pet Rescue, Box 1841 Winter Park CO 80482; Grand County Pet Pals, Box 1972 Granby CO 80446, Grand County Bowling Association, Box 305 Granby CO 80446, or to the local nonprofit of your choice.
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