Claud Raymond Alkire Jr.
August 17, 1942 – April 12, 2021
Claud Raymond Alkire, Jr., 78, of the Retreat in Glen Haven, CO died on Monday, April 12, 2021 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, CO. He died of complications from a stroke. Claud was born in Montebello Rural, CA on August 17, 1942 to Claud Raymond Alkire and Ruth Marie (Snoddy) Alkire. Claud grew up east of Los Angeles in West Covina, CA at a time when their closest neighbor was 1/4 mile across the road. He graduated from West Covina High School in 1960 where he was involved in gymnastics and track. He studied Art for a year at Mount San Antonio Community College before changing majors and going on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1967 from California Polytechnic College in Pomona, CA. He wanted to study Aeronautical Engineering but the job market had closed. After college Claud joined the Peace Corps and was assigned a post teaching Physics and Math in Cameroon, West Africa. He counted his time in the Peace Corps as one of the highlights of his life and had 600 slides of his memories. He shared his slides with the elementary school African program for three years in Estes Park, CO. While in Cameroon, he climbed Mt. Cameroon three times. He always enjoyed climbing the highest peaks of states and countries. Claud’s love of the mountains began as a boy growing up at the foothills of the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains. He climbed every mountain in that range including 10 ascents of Mt. Baldy, his favorite. His love of hiking and climbing mountains continued throughout his life. He also scaled Mt. Whitney, San Jacinto and Mt. San Gorgonio among many others in California. After two years in the Peace Corps, he headed to Europe where he climbed the highest peaks in Yugoslovia, (Mt. Triglov); in Greece (Mt. Olympus) and Mt. Blanc in France. Before climbing Mt. Blanc, he purchased a Bianchi bicycle in Italy, riding over the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard Pass in the Alps to France where, upon arriving in the village, he was applauded by many for his feat. He had his sights on the Matterhorn while atop Mt. Blanc, but grew homesick. He traveled a total of 600 miles on his bike in all. In 1970, after returning from Europe, he met his forever love, Vicki, or “Victoria” as he endearingly called her, who was visiting his mother in Huntington Beach for spring break with her best friend from high school who later married his brother. Vicki came in sporting pigtails, sat down on the floor and said “hi!”. He immediately said to himself, “Well, there she is.” Their first date, of course, was climbing a mountain: Mt. Islip. He told his mother that if he ever found a gal who would climb mountains with him, she’d be the one. They were married on June 26, 1971 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in La Habra, CA. They had two children, Matthew and Meghan and two grandchildren, Aria Skye and Alistair. Claud had minor jobs after the Peace Corps until he was hired by the federal government in 1972 relocating to Minneapolis, MN as an Investigator/Inspector for the Food and Drug Administration. While in Minnesota he enjoyed its great outdoors canoeing, camping and cross-country skiing. He also climbed the highest point in the state, Eagle Mountain, at just 2400 feet. Two years later when the Consumer Product Safety Commission was formed from the FDA, he changed agencies, working for CPSC for two years. He changed agencies again to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and two years later was transferred to Fort Collins, CO as a Computer Specialist until his retirement in 2001. Claud was so happy to return to the mountains. In keeping with his dream of living in the mountains since a child, he and Vicki built a log home in the Retreat in Glen Haven, CO in 1986 where he lived until his death. He didn’t “bag” all the 14ers, but climbs included: Mt. Elbert (the highest peak in Colorado), Longs Peak (3 times), Chapin, Chaquita, Ypsilon, Desolation Peaks, Mount of the Holy Cross, Mt. Meeker, Mt. Lady Washington, Mummy Mountain, Hagues Peak, Flattop Mountain, Hallets Peak, Mount Richthofen, Mount Ida, Estes Cone, Isolation Peak and Twin Sisters. .
After his retirement, he returned to Africa with Vicki visiting dear friends in Zimbabwe. On that trip, he also traveled to the UK where he fell in love with Scotland, land of his ancestry. They returned to Scotland in 2005 for two months of touring by train, ending on the Isle of Skye, his favorite, where his daughter was married as gale-force winds blew into Skye from Hurricane Katrina. Other travels took him to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and many other destinations in the United States. Claud was an artist. He did a stippling technique with pen and ink, mostly of wildlife. His pieces adorn the walls of his log home as well as those of family and friends. Other interests were many. He loved anything UFOs. He would have liked to be abducted, but only experienced odd lights on the top of the switchbacks one night. One favorite genre of reading and television was Science Fiction. His love for space never ended. He loved astronomy, star gazing and had a 6” and 12” telescope and was, for a time, a member of the Astronomy Club in Estes Park, CO. While visiting his son and daughter-in-law in Florida, he toured the Kennedy Space Center twice seeing the space shuttle Atlantis and the Saturn V. Being a native of California, he became an avid scuba diver and body surfer, enjoyed sailing and loved the beach. He and Vicki crossed the “26 miles across the sea” to Catalina Island many times for special getaways. His favorite musical artists were John Denver, whom he saw in concert five times, and beloved Scottish Festival singer, Alex Beaton. He was obsessed with getting good mileage and owned two Volkswagen diesels and a Prius C. Laurel and Hardy were his favorites and he passed this love on to both his children and grandchildren. He loved sweets of any kind, especially pie, vanilla ice cream and any type of snack cake which he called “goodies”. Many times he would “eat dessert first”. Claud was a quiet, unassuming man, a good man who loved being with his family and spend- ing time with dear friends. He was Vicki’s “Baber” and “Grumpy” to Aria and Alistair. At times he earned his name, but he loved his grandchildren dearly and they loved him. His spirituality was the mountains and the nature that surrounded him. He will be missed beyond words and loved forever. Claud was preceded in death by his father, Claud Alkire Sr. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Vicki Alkire of Glen Haven, his mother Ruth Alkire of Joshua Tree, CA; his children Matthew (Lisa Mills) Alkire of Orlando, FL and Meghan (Jason) Rademacher of Glen Haven; his grandchildren Aria Skye and Alistair Rademacher of Glen Haven; brothers Ronnie (Linda) Alkire of Joshua Tree, CA and Jerry (Linda) Alkire of Coeur d’Alene, ID. He also had numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Due to COVID, a Celebration of his Life will be held this summer. Memorial contributions may be made to the Glen Haven Area Volunteer Fire Department, P. O. Box 53, Glen Haven, CO 80532.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Claud Raymond Alkire Jr.
April 26, 2021
Dear Vickie and family,
I am so sorry for your loss.
His “story” is so full and you were all such a part of it that I know you will miss him in every way.
Take comfort in all that he gave you.
John & Anita Bleem
April 21, 2021
We send our hugs and prayers to Vicki, Meghan and Matt. Claud was our most excellent mentor in our early days of hiking together (nearly 40 years ago). He taught us patience and pace; how to connect with the landscape as a living, spiritual being. Camping in the snow at Lost Lake and heading up to Stormy Peaks was an experience we will never forget. Claud was an "iron man" at hiking; so humble about his experience and skill. Hiking is still one of our greatest joys and we thank Claud for that. Great memories of chatting and feasting with Claud and Vicki in their cozy "nest" at the Retreat. Claud's artwork (a stippling ram's head) hangs prominently in our home and many have remarked on its beauty. Wishing Claud our best in hiking the world beyond! Peace to Vicki and family.
Anita & John
April 19, 2021
My first memory of Claud was when he and Vicki came to visit our family at the farm in Arkansaw, WI. I was probably around 12 and was so excited because they drove a cool VW van. It made quite an impression on a 12 year old and her 3 younger siblings. We wanted to play in that van so bad.
Another memory of Claud was the cool African drawings he did. I was impressed he could do all that with ink & dots.
There were many visits & memories made over the years and he will definitely be missed, but not forgotten. May you find comfort in every cherished memory.
Much Love, Lisa & Richard
April 15, 2021
My love and condolences to dearest Vicki, Meghan and Matt for the loss of Claud. He was a very gentle man who, for many years kindly endured the company of 3 very talkative women (poor guy) at our monthly lengthy brunches until covid hit. He was a great listener (could not get many words in) and often made us laugh. Looking forward to being able to meet again for brunch and saving his chair in his memory. I will definitely miss him very much! Rest in peace, Claud!
April 14, 2021
Vicki and Claud were one of the first couples we met after retiring from the Army and moving to FC in 1983. Vicki and my wife Gerri played music at John 23rd and Claud and I played the role of groupies. We also shared our love of mountains and in time built cabins. I remember Claud not only helping me wire the place but his patience in teaching me. Today we live miles apart but I often think of the Alkire’s and find it very difficult to think of one
without the other. A truly nice couple.
So sorry for your loss Vicki, Matt and Megan.
Chuck and Diane
April 14, 2021
We always enjoyed visiting with both of you!! Claude was always a very joyful person!! Will miss him deeply!!
April 13, 2021
Vicki and family
I am so sorry to learn of Claud’s passing. You guys were a GREAT couple! I have fond memories of him at our holiday parties. A quiet gentle man.
May the Lord bless you all!