Karl Uffelman passed peacefully from this earth the morning of February 6, 2014, while at home in front of a fire in his beautiful Pueblo house. Karl was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on August 24, 1922. After high school Karl enlisted in the Army, and between 1942 and 1946 served in a surveillance unit as a cryptograph repairman. Following his service in the army, he worked briefly for General Electric, where he was inspired by others to pursue a degree in higher education. Karl graduated in 1950 from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a degree in electrical engineering. After college, he moved to Pueblo to begin his career at the CF&I, where he retired in 1987 as the Vice President of Operations Services. Karl enjoyed an exciting and robust life. He fell in love with the Colorado outdoors. Skiing was one of his earliest passions, and he spent many days cruising down the slopes at Monarch. 'I'm too big to fall', Karl would often say. Through the years Karl would derive much pleasure from his other outdoor passions, including mountaineering, photography, bird watching, rock collecting, and many more. Two of Karl's biggest joys were his beloved houses, one in Pueblo overlooking the Arkansas River, the other at the Huckleberry Hills Ranch in Rye, which Karl referred to as 'Paradise'. Karl's life was also blessed by the countless number of friends he has had over the years. His friends gave Karl's life meaning and fulfillment. In 1971, Karl married Josephine Naccarato Burke, and instant family life began. His family would be a key focal point for the rest of his life. He shared his love of the outdoors with his children Laurie and Mike, taught them to ski, and was a positive force in their lives in many other ways. Karl's greatest source of joy and fulfillment were his grandchildren; Megan and Leah Sankey; and Sean and Cole Burke. Karl would continue to share his love of the natural world with his grandchildren, and never missed an opportunity to express the love and pride that he felt for them. Karl is preceded in death by his parents, Karl Sr. and Ruth Uffelman; brother, Bill Uffelman; first wife, Sara Lindemuth Uffelman; and wife, Josephine Uffelman. He is survived by daughter, Laurie Sankey (Jerry); son, Michael Burke (Carolyn); grandchildren, Megan, Leah, Sean, and Cole; sisters, Dorothy Rafferty and Julia Valkus; and special friend, Dascha Tursi. A celebration of life will be held 12 p.m. on March 1, 2014, at LaTronica's restaurant in Pueblo, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, donations to honor Karl's life may be made to The Colorado Bluebird Project through the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. Donations will be collected by Montgomery & Steward Funeral Home, 1317 N. Main St., Pueblo, CO 81003. Online condolences at www.montgomerysteward.com.

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  1. I never thought of coming from half way around the world to
    have a friend like Karl. One of the
    interesting things about Karl that I really liked was how Karl paid a very
    close attention to everything and everyone around him. That always fascinated me. It’s sure sad to lose a special friend like
    you. I’m glad to have a chance to know
    you. You’ll be missed Karl.

  2. I honestly can’t remember the first time I ever met my Great Uncle Karl. I imagine it might have been at Saint Mary-Corwin Hospital on the day I was born. I wonder about the first time he ever saw me. Did he already consider me his ‘old chap?’� As far back as I can remember, ‘How ya’ doin’ old chap?’� was the way Karl always greeted me. This unique greeting always made me feel special. Maybe it was because I was neither old, nor did I know what a chap really was. Either way, Karl’s consistent and unique greeting still remains with me today.
    I remember visits to his home on Brentwood, accompanied by my parents, to see both he and my Auntie GiGi. Their home was filled with intriguing amusements, from old books that I imagined to be filled with the secrets of the universe, to figurine statues, rocks and minerals that seemed so foreign to me, as if they had traveled back with them from a world away. What probably seemed like simple things to my Uncle Karl, reside in my childhood memory as fascinating treasures. I can also remember what seemed like endlessly long drives with my family to Karl’s mountain home, on the foothills of Greenhorn Mountain, in Rye, Colorado. I remember Karl’s old, green Chevy work truck, authentically worn from professional use, with a wire-cable winch mounted to the front bumper, a special switch on the dashboard for switching between the truck’s two separate gas tanks, and a distinctive smell in the cab that I have no possible way of describing.
    I remember the time Karl caught me on the side of his house in Rye as I was bent down licking a salt block meant for deer. He promised not to tell my
    parents and instead of telling me all the reasons why I shouldn’t be licking it, he gave me my own chunk of salt that was made in the shape of the state of
    Utah, which he quickly informed me was because of Utah being home to the Great Salt Lake.
    After recognizing my interest in rocks and minerals, Karl selflessly
    gifted me several pieces from his own collection to help me get started with my own. Today, many favorite pieces of my collection represent gifts from Karl. Namely, the ‘TALC’ rock from Vermont that is used to make baby powder, the clear Quartz crystal that can magnify text and images on paper, the perfectly square piece of Pyrite that I would always pretend was a miniature block of gold, even though I knew it was only fool’s gold, and my favorite of all, the Sulfur rock with its slightly transparent, neon-yellow coloring and a horribly pungent smell that I loved so much that at age 7, I pushed it so far up my nose, causing it to become lodged there for several hours, until my dad came home from work and was able to carefully remove it using tweezers.
    I can also picture it, as if it were just yesterday, the old red, rust colored tractor and the terrible rumbling sound it would make as Uncle Karl slowly guided it out of the rustic Huckleberry Hills barn. I remember how
    excited I would be to get a ride on it, and the chance to steer it along the
    road or through the fields while sitting on Karl’s lap. I remember him pointing out different types of animal ‘scat’� and being impressed with his ability to identify the animal that had left the droppings. I also remember thinking how funny the word ‘scat’� was, as I thought of it as being a combination of the two bad fecal words: shit and crap.
    I also remember Karl taking me on an adventure, down to a crystal clear pond, on the property of his Rye home where we observed the brightest gold fish, with their golden scales glimmering in the mountain sunlight. And let me not forget all of the deer, hummingbirds and a couple bears we were able to watch from both the big back deck and the safety of the living room. Although, my favorite memory of all the wildlife would have to be the beautiful black and yellow Salamanders living down in the drainage pit of Karl’s basement.
    In addition to always making me feel special, like I was his only ‘old chap’�, Karl also showed me the importance of remembering others. I clearly recall a specific family trip to Karl’s home in Rye that included my two cousins, Mikey and Adam, neither of which had ever visited Rye. I remember being very excited, like always, for another ride on the tractor, and not thinking of anyone but myself, I wanted to be first. However, Karl was there to gently remind me of all the times I had gotten to ride in the past, as well as the fact there would be many more times in the future, and that it would be a nice gesture if I allowed them to ride first, so they too may share in the same exciting experience I greatly enjoyed. Considering the fact my cousin Mikey is no longer with us, it makes me feel good inside that I can look back and say that Karl helped me put someone else before myself as well as to help me truly understand the meaning of giving.
    Karl’s memory lives on in my mind in much the same way that he was in person, very big and very much alive. I think of him often, whether it be as I drive past the CF&I on I-25 in Pueblo or while I’m shredding the champagne
    powder on the slopes of Monarch Mountain. From our talks about Gibson guitars, to the chance of other life near distant stars, my Great Uncle Karl will always hold a special place in my heart and mind. I will truly miss you, and I will always remember you, ‘Old Chap.’�

  3. It was awesome to have been a part of Karls’ journey and meeting some of the wonderful people who loved him. I was blessed to have known Karl, hearing his wonderful experiences , some of his “real” stories that would either blow your hair back or make you laugh hard or just make you say hhmmm. Each weekend was different and i looked forward to it.
    My condolences to Laurie, Mike and all the family members. He will be so missed .
    Thank you all for allowing me this opportunity to share in his life.
    Big Hug

  4. Sometimes in life we find a special friend someone who changes your life by being part of it. Karl you were that person for me. I cherish the may times we have spent together. Our countless evenings together with friends and family, the great food, spirits and lively conversation in front of a fire or out on the deck watching the sunset. I will miss our annual tradition of spring planting, trips to the farms for the best corn and chile, canning the bolito peppers, dungeness crab with our favorite bottle of wine, catching the best eclipse or meteor showers with hot chocolate and couvosier, trading rocks and fossils and finding breads we loved, the many unique times we shared. Halloween will not be the same without “Karls” big Hershey bars for the kids, St. Patricks day without your good bottle of Irish whiskey at our traditional dinner, our Christmas lights and your outdoor decorated tree from Rye. I have lost a “best friend and I treasure all of the time we have spent. You have been an inspiration to me, Pat and the girls Amy and Brit. Everyone who knew you will have their own special memories and in the months and years to come we can cherish those memories. Although a light has gone out on Brentwood there is a new star shining brightly with your light to guide us all. Thank you. Love always Merrill

  5. Karl thank you for all the good times we had .I miss you .And there’s lots of things that will remind me of you. You have changed my life and I’m glad you got to have your wishes carried out. I don’t know what else to write. But love and miss you. Hope your enjoying your new adventure.

  6. Well Compadre, even though it was your time, and you were ready, it sure is sad to see you go. It has been a rich part of my life sharing your friendship and your wisdom all these years. I learned so many things from you. How to treat workers, where the biggest cottonwood in the state is, the best ski runs in 4 states. How to enjoy the finest and simplest of meals equally. All of the wonders of nature including quantam physics. How many times you move a piece of firewood before you enjoy it in the fireplace. The basics of raising kids. The joy of hand tools, gardening, river rafting, Jeeping the extremes until the car rolls. Then you walk out. Long warm dreamy evenings watching the river flow and the geese fly. Years ago I made the decision to sit back and watch you as you grew older so I could do it the same. So I will. Couldn’t have had a better neighbor and friend. Now, you know what none of us do. The real truth of what you have been pondering Karl. God Bless you and everyone who knew and loved you..

  7. Its difficult to imagine the world without Karl, as he has always been such a positive presence in so many lives. The week that Karl was passing, I heard the following quote, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton This quote stood out to me when reflecting about Karl because it helped me to describe why Karl had such an influential presence for so many, including myself.

    Karl spread a lot of light in this life. Karl spread a lot of light because, Karl was the candle AND the mirror. He was a candle that spread light through his intelligent humor, immense curiosity and appreciation for family, friends, animals, places and everything life had to offer. Karl was also a mirror that reflected light. Karl not only saw the beauty in nature but he could see the beauty that does exist in the people. He always had such positive and fun stories to share about his family and friends. He reflected and spread their lights for others to see. Of course he had his humor to go with it but you always sensed love from Karl. This can be a challenge in this life as sometimes we can get in the habit of only noticing the negatives. I cannot remember ever having an experience of not feeling good around Karl. I think this was because he was a mirror that reflected others light back to them. So Karl, I want to thank you for all of the light. You have made a difference in my life and your influences will always be a presence in my life, my families life and Elliana’s. I hope that I can pass these lessons on so that she may have as full a life as you have managed.

    Much Love and blessings to you and to all that are pained from your loss. Amy Flanigan-Zadra

  8. We always enjoyed spending time with Karl when he visited Laurie and her family in Fort Collins. While Karl shared his great stories, he always showed an interest in others. We will all miss those special times. Thanks, Leah and Megan, for sharing your grandpa with Ally and Nick. Love, The Girardis

  9. Karl Uffelman is not only my uncle, but also one of the most intelligent, genuine gentleman I have ever met. My most fondest memories of Uncle Karl were the numerous times that I spent with him on various golf courses playing golf with him, my mom and dad, and my Aunty Jeeg. What great times ! The last time I spent time with Uncle Karl was when my sister, Kim, and I visited Pueblo in July of 2011. Matt and Betsy planned one of their elegant dinners on one particular evening and I had the honor of picking Uncle Karl up at his house and bringing him to the dinner. After eating an exquisite dinner and partaking in lively conversation, Uncle Karl turned to me and said, “I’m ready to go home!” That was my cue. After returning him home and talking with him for about an hour, I walked up to him as he sat in his chair, extended my hand out towards him for a hand-shake, kissed him on the forehead and said, “Thank you for being my uncle”. He looked up at me with that Karl- smile and responded, “Your welcome, Frank. It has been my pleasure.” Needless to say, I drove back to Matt and Betsy’s house with tears in my eyes. On Feb. 6, 2014, my mom informed me of Uncle Karl’ s passing immediately before they wheeled me into the operating room. While looking up into the lights I was thinking about my whole family, my friends, life,etc. and right before they knocked me out, I talked to Uncle Karl again. ” “Farewell and we love you, Ol’ Chap. Until we meet again…”

  10. Mike, Laurie and Families,
    So very sorry for your loss. My mom, Evelyn, knew your parents and spoke highly of them. Your father sounds like he had a very fulfilling life and I’m sure that will love on with you and your children always. Godspeed.
    Dawn Pagano Putaturo

  11. Karl’s unique character was appreciated by many people, especially his family.
    When Karl entered our family, I knew right away that I would love this man immensely by the amount of time he took with children explaining life to them. One of my first memories of spending much time with Karl, my aunt, and my cousins is when we spent time in a real teepee. As I grew up, I respected his stories at a different level. I recognized the wisdom, questioned his philosophies, admired his non-judgmental character and enjoyed his sense of humor. Karl and I developed a special relationship during his stays in Phoenix as he was going to and from seeing Mike and his family in California. He was a mentor, an advisor, a story teller (still), and an adventurer. I was always thinking of where I could take Karl that would be of interest that he had never seen before. That was no easy task because Karl left the beaten path whenever he saw a new piece of our earth he wanted to see. I was speechless (which doesn’t happen often) when the server at a restaurant asked if Mrs. Uffleman would like another cocktail and Karl, in his dry voice said, “Why yes she would.” We laughed about that one quite a few times. The times I will miss most are the times I had Karl all to myself whether it was Phoenix, Pueblo, or Rye. We talked about life, people and character traits, work ethics, and staying in your own power. “Once you give your power to someone or something else, you will be a weaker person.”
    And the most common element we shared for our love of animals. When pointed out a Rufus hummingbird in Rye I asked call how he picked the name Rufus. With all the ammo I gave him for sarcastic jokes on me, he passed up the opportunity and said, “It’s the species.” When I told Karl I would like a horse someday. Ever since my Uncle Ray had me riding. Karl then shared that he had horses on Brentwood and that’s when I made the connection that Karl was more than my uncle, he was one of the many soul mates we meet on this journey called life. He will remain alive in my heart forever. Enjoy the family reunion with all of our loved ones that left the world before you.
    I love you Karl.

  12. Thanks for the wonderful memories everybody. A couple comments made me laugh. First, the one from Aunt Joanne about Mamoo’s phone calls. That was true!! “Isn’t anybody there?” The other comment from NicoLee about Karl’s nature observations ‘followed by a great deal of information’ reminds Carolyn and me of a time we were with Megan and Karl that always makes us laugh when we think about it. We were out somewhere, Megan was probably in her early teens, and Karl pointed out some ornate marble pillar on some building. He said, ‘Megan, so you see that pillar on that building over there?’, and Megan said, ‘yes, and I don’t want to know anything about it’.

  13. My Grandpa was one of the greatest influences I’ve had in my life. He taught my sister Leah and I so much about the world. Whenever we visited him up in Rye he would teach us about something new and interesting. From bluebirds to black bears, rocks to seashells, and mountains to outer space, Grandpa would always have a new, fun project for us to learn about and study. Most of all, he taught us about life. He taught us the meaning of hard work, the importance of education, and following our dreams. He always told us how much he loved us and how proud he was of all we had accomplished. We love you and miss you, Grandpa.

  14. Karl embraced life with a reverence and irreverence in ways seldom matched and enjoyed by few. I know this from the countless stories he
    shared with me ranging from times in his childhood to the wonderful beach-house vacation I shared with him, Laurie and Mike, and his family. Through the years, in every tale, he unfolded events in his life that surprised, torn at the heart strings, and reminded the listener that we are all common beings living in a sometimes uncommon world: hummingbirds and bluebirds; art and literature; skiing and hiking; wine making and cheap bourbon; flowers and vegetables; opiates and dopiates; green chile’ and eggs; the human
    brain and enigma cryptanalysis; handmade furniture and birdhouses; restaurants and cafes; Nature and nurture; barns and meadows; wives and lovers; weird friends and no-so weird friends; children and grandchildren; treks and tours; engineering and surveying; sickness and health; the Milky Way and space aliens; education and common-sense; cowboys and Indians; rocks and shells; apple pie and ice cream; picnics and parties; . . . . and always his loving question ‘Do you think everyone had a good time’�? Yes,
    we did Karl – – – how could we not?! Through your precious treasured accounts, we traveled, and will continue to do so, vicariously through your well lived journey.
    I love you Karl, I really do. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Analee

    Please honor Karl by sharing your life stories with others; they
    might not care now but they will in the long run.

  15. Karl was a wonderful brother-in-law and best friend. Our family had wonderful celebrations of Thanksgiving when th Uffelmans came to Phoenix. He found a wonderful place in Shangrila where they would stay and come to our house for the “big turkey dinner”. Of course we had to play golf first at really nice golf courses and do other fun things. When we visited Karl and Josephine (as Karl called his bride) on Brentwood and Rye, golf was always a fun thing. We always enjoyed happy hour together, as Karl said, it is always 5o’clock somewhere. I was always impressed with Karl’s intellect, knowledge, his kindness to everyone, love for and pride in his family. I remember his story of Momoo calling his home and when he answered, she would say “Isn’t anybody home?”. He always for a kick out of that. He loved the home in Rye, he would ride the kids on his tractor. When Joee died he asked me what I was to him. I said that I was still his sister-in-law.Karl and Gigi are together now probably deciding when they will play golf or go to Latronica’s to eat. Karl and Bill were instant friends when they first met. Last summer when we visited Karl on Brentwood, he said no one has a lake in their back yard as he had, how true. We love you Karl, God be with you. Say hi to the family for us.

  16. Uncle Karl was a great man in so many ways. My favorite memories with him took place in Rye, at his Huckleberry Hills Ranch. He would let me sit in the back of his green truck, with my cousins and brother, to spot deer and wildlife. We would walk around for hours and he would get so excited to spot special birds and wildlife. His excitement would always be a calm, serious excitement that was usually followed with a great deal of information. Watching Karl sit in his chair, by his fireplace (he always had the best fires), throughout the years, you could see coy smiles come across his face as he watched his family and grandchildren interact. He was always so proud of his children as well as grandchildren and they were the main source of his joy! Deep conversations with Karl made me realize quickly what a long and profound life he had lived. I am lucky to have known such a wonderful man.

    Karl, you are dearly missed but your memory and spirit live on through your children and grandchildren. Hope Paradise is treating you well :). Love you, cheers.

  17. I had the privilege of working with Karl in the 70s and early 80s at the steel mill. Karl was one of the toughest and best managers I have ever known! I finished a critical equipment installation at 7:30 instead of 7:00 as Karl expected. I thought that 7:30 was essentially the same as 7:00 especially considering all my excuses. Karl “explained” to me, in very colorful language, the difference between 7:30 and 7:00. I only disappointed him that one time!

    I loved walking through the mill with him as he greeted workers by name. People loved him and loved working for him.

    I am so proud to have known and worked with this great man! We will miss him. I’m sure too that heaven will be running a lot smoother now that he’s there.

  18. I am richer to have known Big Karl. As a close family friend, and father to my good buddy Mike, for half a century I have admired him. This pitch perfect obituary reminds of the times he would take his grandkids out on a nature walk in Paradise. He had posted signs on the trees identifying them. It is hard not to be affected by his good natured enthusiasm years later and thousands of miles away.

  19. To quote Bob Marley, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

  20. My condolences to Laurie and Mike and your families. We have memories of many good talks with Karl at the ranch. He always had something interesting to talk about, and he often made me re-think how I was looking at things. I enjoyed knowing him very much. I will miss him.

  21. To the family of Karl:
    Connie and I send our condolences. We enjoyed many good times with Karl and his family. As a co-worker Karl was the best. I have so many good memories of Karl at CF&I that I can’t count them. He was a man of great integrity and intellect and always ready to lend a hand. He will be missed by all that knew him.

  22. Uncle Karl was a “Great Man” in many ways…Largely due to the fact, he was respected by all that knew him. He lead our family by example. Lovingly, he and our Auntie Gigi’s home, on Brentwood, was always open to family and friends to celebrate many holidays, as he made time to visit and be interested in each of our daily lives. He very rarely declined invitations to our home to support our kids’ events; gifting each time a little treasure, our son will cherish his collection of rocks and our daughter, her collection of leaves. Matthew & NicoLee will remember the, “Oh, so much FUN!!”, Rye parties at their beautiful Huckleberry Ranch, “Paradise!”…BBQ and yummy food, wildlife, walks to the pond with goldfish, excursions to the basement to see the salamanders and the exciting rides, on the tractor, with Uncle Karl! (I could go on for days about this “Gentle Giant!) …GREAT MEMORIES FILLED WITH MUCH LOVE & HAPPINESS… Uncle Karl will be missed, but never forgotten.

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