Munro: Dr. Mike, R.I.P. |

Munro: Dr. Mike, R.I.P.

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
Byron Hetzler | Sky-Hi Daily News

The news of his death filtered through to me via text message when I was out of town and heavily preoccupied with my own affairs. Even though he was no spring chicken at 82, his death last Friday was an incident that struck me as anomalous in the ordered scheme of things.

How could such an affable, decent man suddenly just not be here anymore? Of course, it happens all the time to all manner of people, which makes it no less incongruous and sad when it is someone you know, like and respect.

I first met Dr. Michael Muftic — aka Dr. Mike — at a Rotary meeting in Granby. He was instantly kind to me and continued to be so during the subsequent years, going out of his way at social functions to say hello and catch up on the latest goings-on.

On several occasions, he endorsed me on LinkedIn of his own accord and was always eager to share his views. Though I cannot by any stretch say we were close, I considered him “one of us” by virtue of his wife Felicia’s long-standing tenure as a Sky-Hi News political columnist.

While I certainly felt fortunate to be an acquaintance, I had no idea all those years just how accomplished a physician and citizen he had been.

A native of Yugoslavia who became an American citizen, Dr. Mike could list the following among his bona fides: University of Basel, Switzerland, M.D., PhD, 1961; licensed Colorado physician since 1965; delivery of more than 12,000 babies between 1965 and 2002; member of Board of Directors, Ethics Committee, government relations, Denver Medical Society; trustee for the University of Northern Colorado, 1999-2003; member of the Board of Directors, National Sports Center for the Disabled, 2000- 2004; Member, Board of Judicial Institute of Colorado; President, Opera Colorado; Member of Board of Directors, Regis College; Chairman of Physicians of Colorado, United Way; Vice president of UNICEF; Rotarian of the year: Denver Rotary Club, 1999; Service Above Self Award, 2006; from the Winter Park/Fraser Valley Rotary Club (the annual award is now named in his honor as recognition of his contribution to the founding of the club).

That’s just a sample; the list goes on and on. For many of us, delivering darn near a baby per day into this world for 37 years might have been enough. Not for Dr. Mike. His life was about so much more than himself. We are all poorer for his passing, and he will be sorely missed.

Grand County is home to many remarkable people. It’s a shame most of us won’t know their stories until they’re no longer with us.

Godspeed, Dr. Michael Muftic.

My View column hiatus

Due to the death of her husband, columnist Felicia Muftic will be taking a leave of absence from writing her My View column. We look forward to her return when she is ready.

Above and beyond

Speaking of Grand County and remarkable people, if you haven’t had occasion to visit the Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum at the Granby/Grand County Airport, put it on your list.

Among the myriad historical tidbits and memorabilia, you will discover air connections to the likes of President Ike Eisenhower, Charles Lindbergh and commercial airline service to Granby. It is well worth the visit — which is free, no less — and you may be impressed with Granby’s rich aviation heritage.

The museum keeps limited hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Organizers hope to change that and have far grander plans for the airport’s future. One necessary ingredient is more volunteers such as the dedicated ones who keep the doors open now.

Friends of the Granby Airport can take credit for the great work that made the museum the attraction it is today, among many other accomplishments at the airport, including having it named in honor of female aviation pioneer Emily Howell Warner.

Here’s looking forward to the day when the aviation museum becomes a regular stop on Grand County’s burgeoning heritage tourism circuit.

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