Tabernash "town hobo" Ed (Top Hat) Smith dies
October 6, 2010
Edwin ‘Ed’ L. Smith (Top Hat) of Denver died on Sept. 13, 2010. He was 68 years old. He was born on June 11, 1942, a fifth-generation Coloradan.
The family moved to Tabernash in 1947; his dad had been transferred there by the Rio Grande Railroad. Ed was known as the “town hobo” because he hung around the train yard constantly. He learned to fish, hunt and ski at an early age. He also had a horse, Strawberry, and his dog, Tippy. In retrospect, Ed was always amazed that his mom allowed him the freedom to roam the mountains with Strawberry and Tippy. When Ed’s dad was transferred back to Denver, Ed didn’t want to come back – he had fallen in love with Grand County and that love lasted a lifetime.
He graduated from Lincoln High School. He went to work for Hutchinson Homes at the age of 16 and retired from there after 25 years. Ed married Barbara Mosley in 1963. They divorced in 1977. In 1989, he met Karen Blaschke and they have been together ever since. During their life together, they pursued many hobbies. Ed’s many talents included Indian artifacts, jewelry making, silversmithing, woodworking, bronze statuaries, and more recently painting. A lot of his work was sold in Grand Lake, where they spent a lot of time. While in Grand Lake, Ed spent much of his time walking up and down the boardwalk handing out Jr. Colorado Ranger badges and “fuzzy” bunnies to children. He was a Grand Lake Ambassador and a member of the Fireworks Committee.
He spent MANY hours standing at the only stop sign in Grand Lake soliciting contributions for the Fourth of July fireworks. He has had his picture taken by many people from around the world. When he wasn’t in town, he loved to go fishing at Green Ridge and catch kokanee when no one else was catching anything. He is survived by his wife, Karen; step-son Bob Blaschke (Joyce) of Santa Cruz Calif.; Mike Blaschke (Erica) of Chico, Calif., brother-in law; step-daughter Kristen Andersen (Bryce) of Las Cruces N.M.; brother-in-law Alan Mencin (Cathy); sisters-in-law, Mary Mencin and Sharon Mencin; 2 step-nieces and 2 step-nephews, 3 step-grandsons and 2 step-granddaughters; cousins and many ,many friends. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.
A celebration of the life of Ed Smith is planned for 2 p.m., Oct. 16, at Pancho and Lefty’s in Grand Lake.