Park dedicates Pellini memorial |

Park dedicates Pellini memorial

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News

Colleagues, family and friends recently memorialized the man who spent half of his life building trails on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kevin Pellini of Granby died on Oct. 24, 2008, at age 43 while collecting slash during an independent logging job at a home on Jericho Road on the southern shore of Grand Lake. The former Park employee was reported to have been struck by a pine-beetle killed tree that had fallen on top of him.

Before becoming an independent logging contractor, Pellini, husband and father of two, has worked for Rocky Mountain National Park for 23 years. Pellini oversaw the trails group on the western side of the Park and oversaw the project to move the trails operation and barn to that area as well as set up corrals for stock used by the Park, according to Park spokesperson Kyle Patterson.

The area called the Colorado River District Pack Station near the Kawuneeche Visitors Center was selected for a memorial in honor of Pellini due to his dedication on that project, Patterson said.

Paid for by park funds, the $500 memorial is in the form of an engraved rock, which Pellini’s colleagues, family and friends chose in honor of him. The rock was dedicated in his memory during a private ceremony at the new home of the rock on June 28.

Pellini’s memorial is the third such memorial in the Park.

One is for Suzanne (Suzi) Roberts, a longtime Rocky Mountain National Park employee who got her first permanent National Park Service position in Hawaii. In 2004, she was killed while on duty from a rockfall on the road. Her memorial is located in the courtyard area of the Kawuneeche Visitors Center.

The other is in memory of four-year RMNP employee Jeff Christensen who died from a fatal fall in July of 2005 during a backcountry patrol. His memorial is located in the plaza area of the Beaver Meadows Visitors Center. Each of those two memorials were dedicated to the Park in 2006.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail