This is a collection of stories (eulogies) about Walt Kinderman who ran the Lyons Recorder weekly newspaper for 17 years in Lyons, Colorado. From friends, neighbors, townspeople, politicians, Town staff, and more.
First Pix- from left to right
son Walter Kinderman, son Bryan Kinderman, Walt Kinderman, son John Kinderman
Second Pix- left to right
Patrice Kinderman, Walt Kinderman, Karen Kinderman (his daughters-in-law)
Walt, Patty, Walter, Bryan, John, Ana
Photos provided by John Kinderman
SEE THE OBITUARY published 12/8/11
Staff on his newspaper
I worked with Walt when he first came to Lyons. He had come here after a career working with much bigger political publications in Denver. He loved going to the town board meetings, talking with town and other government officials, and then printing his version of what was happening. He was controversial, funny, intelligent and sometimes politically incorrect. I remember when he was doing his best to fight the proposed Coffintop Dam, he cut out a big picture of a toilet and put it on top of the front page. He said that putting Coffintop Dam in would be like having a flushing toilet built above the town.
He was kind, witty, disorganized, and had no concept of time. He had a gruff exterior but was a caring man and I considered him a friend. My sympathy to his family. He will be missed.
…………..Colleen Divine (production – typesetting, as design, page layout, etc.)
I worked for Walt at the Recorder for over 20 years. He was a good boss. He gave me opportunities to learn and grow in the production of a weekly newspaper starting from selling classified ads to my last position of production manager. I will always remember working with the rest of the crew (Patty Padilla his ex-wife and co-owner of the newspaper, Colleen Divine, Ron Gosnell, Jacque Watson, Becky Jacobson, and Lyn Boersma to name a few) on those LATE Wednesday nights to get the paper from production to the printer. Walt made it a good place to work. He had a good sense of humor and that ornery smile. You will be missed, Walt.
……………….Rogena Deeter (advertising sales, and production manager)
Before I ever really got to know Walt, I was friends with Patti. I always thought that he didn’t like me, and I wondered if it was because of my friendship with her. I don’t remember when this happened but one day Walt started talking to me and to my surprise he asked me to go to work for him at the Recorder. I was really quite surprised and when he told me that he had been observing me for a while, and that he really wanted me to come to work for him because he thought that I was the hardest working person he had ever seen, that totally left me flabbergasted.
I have to say that he was one of the best bosses that I had ever had in that he trusted me completely and knew that I would get my job done regardless of the circumstances. I worked for him up tp the end, and did not last long with the new people. They were certainly not newspaper people.
Walt loved the paper, the town and the kids especially. I loved how he tried to keep the paper about the town as much as he could. He also was a big help in stopping the Coffintop Dam. He was always good to my kids and I admired him for that. He may have looked grumpy or seemed cantankerous at times but he had that funny smile, and it showed up quite a bit in thinking back on Walt through the years.
I also remember his sons and send them my deepest condolences for the loss of their father. He will always be remembered by myself and my family.
………………Marcia Hall (reporter, and went on to be a Lyons rural route postal carrier)
It is sad to hear of Walt’s passing.
I remember him welcoming me to the Lyons Recorder staff with a happy hour at his house that was off Highway 36. He served up some good margaritas! I used to catch up with him in Sandstone Park while he was walking his sweet little white dog when he lived in Walt Self Housing. RIP Walt.
………….Chastidee Bolkovatz (advertising sales, went on to become the Lyons Chamber Administrator)
I remember when Walt came to town and took over the newspaper from Ada Lou Hammans. He stirred Lyons’ political pot from the beginning of his enduring tenure at the Old Lyons Recorder. So much so that the paper’s long-time community news writer Fern Rigdon quit because Walt wouldn’t stop lambasting her husband, then-mayor Virgil. However, he hired local community activist Lavern Johnson for the weekly beat she maintained for almost 40 years.
Still, he also used his newspaper to strengthen and cement Lyons’ sense of community. Just as familiar and sentimental to me as the Coffintop Dam stories, were the crayoned jack-o-lanterns plastering the plate glass window on Main Street. The oft-toothless grins of the artists memorialized in those pages were ripped out and taped to many a local fridge.
Walt was a champion of the underdog and hated being adored. He would immediately go out and stir up some trouble if he suspected he was getting too stellar of a local reputation.
I was thrilled to work at the newspaper for Walt. He had already started and sold another newspaper before coming to Lyons, the Colorado Statesman, and he had also been publishing the Berthoud Recorder for years. In other words, he knew what he was doing, and I was lucky to call him a mentor.
By the time he sold the newspaper, Lyons was a different town than the one whose disparate residents banded together to defeat the Coffintop Dam. Lyons may never have such an impactful community voice again than the Old Lyons Recorder under Walt Kinderman. He made a lasting impact on generations of Lyons residents and will be thought of with love and fondness by all those who knew him.
With sincere condolences to his family,
……………Jacque Watson (wrote for Walt for three years, before becoming editor for two years after he sold the paper to News Media.)
Walt.. what a guy. I knew Walt thru the paper. I met him by chance, one day when I stopped in the newspaper’s office to pickup the latest issue. When by the chance I was talking to a reporter about a issue on how the town was spending money. When Walt over heard the talk and asked me to comment on the subject. He explained to me I can’t say such words #\%fu&$y… and told me to express in a different manner..
So I went home and came up with a different way to say what a lot of people were thinking I would later find out. I came into the paper to present this to Walt and get his input. As he looked at me with a grumpy judgment face as to say are you crazy?? He quickly began to laugh and smile, and told me he loves it.
It turned out I would do many of these political cartoon strips, until Walt informed me, I have made certain town officials very upset … but he loved it .
Thanks to Walt the issues that were made fun of in the cartoon strips, were reviewed and changed in government.
I would see Walt later in life, and in passing we would laugh about it now … it was great to see his shit eating grin and a chuckle.
Thanks Walt for great memories
……….Paul Frysig (editorial cartoonist for the newspaper; former owner of Western Stone, Lyons)
OTHER PEOPLE WHO WORKED FOR HIM and are still around: Lyn Boersma (declined an offer to write a message); Becky Jacobson (no response after several requests); Lora Gilson (who did some layout work for him and later editors, but didnt work directly with him; she later became the co-editor/publisher of the newspaper from 2010 to 2019)
Friends and acquaintances
The name Walt Kinderman brings back fond memories of what feels like a forgotten time in Lyons. Walt was a consistent face on Main St and a big part of our Lyons community when I was a child. I do recall his grumpy personality, but I also recall his smile and his laugh, it was a dry sense of humor he had. He had a heart for kids. I remember the windows of the Old Lyons Recorder being filled with the colorings of children every holiday and the stacks of bags of candy he gave out every Halloween to the kids at the parade. Lyons just hasn’t been the same since the time Walt was on Main street running the Old Lyons Recorder. May he rest in peace and his family know that he made a huge impact on the Lyons community. With fond memories…
…………….Emma R. Hall
I did not know Walt well, though I remember him as the hard working editor of the Recorder, at all the meetings and gatherings. After years of not thinking about him, I found myself thinking about him just yesterday, wondering if he or his wife Patti were still around, thinking how great it is that the Recorder keeps on and on since his time. It just shows how connected we all are.
Thank you for sending this email out so that you can write a tribute ~~ this is important, and many of us do remember him and how much he contributed to Lyons.
………………Garima Fairfax (past owner of Steamboat Market, Lyons, and current director of Lyons Rocky Mt Botanic Gardens)
I met Walt through my parents, who got along well with him. He was still married to Patty. I went up to their house for a few get togethers. Their home that was up on the hill, basically across from the River Church. They had nice festive parties with all the wonderful food and Christmas decorations along with some delicious hot toddies to go with it. So, I actually got to know a side of Walt that perhaps few people got to know. …funny guy, really dry sense of humor, and if you didn’t know how to take that one might think that he was harsh and uncaring, when in fact that wasn’t at all true. We were friends right up until the last time I saw him at the Walter Self Housing walking his little dog.
Walt was an advocate for a lot of good things that came to pass in LYONS! He was the sort of man who would challenge the Town and speak for the people, that is one of the biggest things that stands out in my mind that he did on a regular and daily basis.. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. His version didn’t seem to be what I would consider corrupted in any way but more like a true newspaper person– it was rather unbiased accurate! He didn’t just simply print and distribute the newspaper. Fact of the matter is we could all use a Walt on our team.
I moved here in 1982. The Recorder was located right on Main Street, on the north side of the street for years. I look at a lot of those days back then as good old days in Lyons where they were the hayrides in the holiday season, a lot of laughter, and everyone pretty much knew everyone else. LYONS was a bit wild and free, the Town was far less involved; there weren’t so many fees and rules and regulations with things, Fifth Street was unpaved. So Walt fit in with those times.
A lot of people probably thought Walt was sort of a Scrooge type personality but he was a kind thoughtful person who saw right through bureaucracy like glass, was not afraid to speak his mind, and loved his family. A very blunt sort of a gentleman, but understand he was a gentleman, although some didn’t ‘get it.’ I will always remember and honor Walt. He was part of why the newspaper is still alive today… (And of course Kathleen has spent countless hours keeping this ball rolling and I admire and thank her).
Thank you for the opportunity to Express my deep warm memories I have of that period of time being privileged to live in Lyons Colorado; not that there aren’t a lot of positives about the way the town is today, it’s just much different that’s all.
…………..Jeralyn Rodgers (Living Arts Floral Designs, Lyons)
One thing I remember in particular about Walt was that for some reason he really had it in for the town administrator in the late ’90s, who was Dave Lock. Dave was a relative newcomer at the time, and maybe that’s why Walt had it in for him. He may have been the first town administrator that wasn’t part of the “old guard” in Lyons. Anyways, those two had a vigorous and acrimonious public debate in Walt’s paper over a period of some time, which reminded me of the old adage “never get into an argument with someone who buys ink by the barrel”
Rest in peace, Walt!
………………Dan Siddall (Gateway Realty, Lyons)
Hello, LYONS LIONS friends. Walt Kinderman died Saturday, December 3. He was in a nursing home because of failing health and missed his freedom dearly.
A tireless worker and salesman, he owned the highly successful Lyons Recorder which employed a number of Lyons residents to publish on time every week. I remember driving through town late some nights seeing him working at his lighted desk alone, behind the big glass window of the newspaper office on Main Street. He also was a creative no-holds-barred writer and Coffintop Dam fighter.
His newspaper was a going concern back then, when during that dam fight, many Lyons residents could not wait for the next edition to see the latest about the proposed 365 foot high earthen dam planned to be built just 1 mile above town on the South Saint Vrain creek. Folks wanted to know what Walt had to say about it and dam goings on. The fight sold a lot of papers and is a testament to the power of the independent press in small town America.
Some of us fellow Lions Club members were planning to go see Walt this week and unfortunately, we were too late to lift his spirits.
Thanks, Ron, for informing me of Walt’s demise. I didn’t know him as well as some of you, but I have always thought he was an integral part of the Greater Lyons Community.
Walt was a kind soul and good guy! He helped immensely with that “dam fight”, one of the best examples I know of a successful grassroots effort.
Somehow he keep up with all of the important events in town. His coverage of high school sports was excellent; and he even included highlights of the highly competitive men’s softball league. Good memories.
…………………..Eric Miller, (now living in Berthoud, CO)
I knew Walt back in the mid 80s when I came to town. Walt was an old school newspaper man as “my younger self” impression and I remember. Always had that cigarette burning as that era did.
He and Patty Padilla were a very involved couple on Main Street.. always working toward the good of Lyons. They were at the center of the happenings.
I was privileged to be at Walt’s retirement party. As I remember it was a roast of sorts. Tons of fun. After he retired I’d run into him skiing up at Eldora many times; and we’d take a few runs.
Walt was a good Skier; loved it. He had that chuckle when making an off color joke. We’d visit at the post office regularly. And, when I saw him in Sandstone Park with his little dog, I’d stop and we talked for a while. His curiosity of current events never faded. Walt was a lovable old grump.
Walt was good man, certainly a colorful character who had a strong positive impact on our little town of Lyons thru the time I knew him. Walt lived life his way. That’s for sure!
God speed Walt !
…………….Joe Meckle (Lyons chiropractor)
We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Walt Kindernan the last 20 years.
He was so intelligent! We had the pleasure of having dinner with a group at his house up the N. St. Vrain. He was petrified of all the rattlesnakes up there. I remember his toy poodle Weezy, and the oversized van he used to drive around. We used to jokingly refer to it as his airport shuttle. When the Cinnamon’s would host a party, Mark and I would laugh when we saw Walter pull up in that huge thing, and waited to hear the “clink” of his van tapping the fire hydrant.
Walter was avid baseball fan, and my husband Mark and Walter would attend Rockies games.
Also, we’d like to thank Ken and Lonna Cinnamon for introducing us to Walter. Our lives were more enriched because of that.
I would occasionally cook and bake for Walter. He was always so appreciative.
No one can replace his huge personality. He is missed so much already.
…………………Patti (& Mark) Puzo
I must say with pride I was one of Walter’s best friends for most of the last 25 years.
While he was cantankerous and at times difficult, he really cared for the Town of Lyons. He did have regrets for the way he treated some issues and some people. But that was Walt.
He and I shared numerous Biographies and History books together. Lots of discussion around all those topics.
Walter was really a smart man.
I will always remember him.
We lost two of the predominant voices for Lyons this year with Lavern and Walt passing. I met both of them as soon as we moved here in 1981 and joined the Dam Concerned Citizens. As Ron Gosnell said, Walt was a constant voice on the fight against Coffintop and for other Lyons area causes. He was cantankerous and did not put up with any BS from elected officials and bureaucrats. He was the epitome of a small town muckraker and did not put up with nonsense. Linda and I will miss him.
……………Larry Quinn (and Linda Backup)
Walt and I had a genuine mutual respect, even though we were most defiantly on different sides of the aisle politically! Yes, if we would happen to see one another from across the street, we would walk across, and sometimes even meet in the middle of the street, just to shake hands and usually chat a bit. He was quite a guy. And, one of a kind, to-boot!
…………….. John Hall (Hall Ranch)
I wasn’t around that much in the 1980s, but I do remember that my mother and Walt would often agree on various Town issues. However, they did have some major disagreements. Even though they were adversaries at times, she always appreciated the tremendous effort that Walt made to keep a weekly paper going in Lyons for many, many years.
My mom LaVern Johnson took over the Lyons Recorder town social news column from Fern Ridgon (who quit because Walt kept lambasting her husband Virgil, who was the mayor) and stayed on as a volunteer for 39 years with many other editors.
Thank you, Walt, and may you Rest in Peace!
……………….LaVern’s Son, Jerry Johnson
I came to the Lyons area just a few years before Walt would retire. I went to see him in the newspaper office (which I believe was one big room, with others working in it) and asked him if I could write for the newspaper. He told me he didn’t want any Big City Reporter, and he didn’t pay enough, and quickly ended the discussion. I would eventually work for about eight other editors who followed him. And, a little over two years ago, I took over ownership, and editorship of the newspaper when it was forced to stop printing due to failing financial support from the public for newspapers. It continues to be published weekly, and (as you know) online only. And, I keep up the Lyons Recorder’s goal to focus on Lyons events, news and activities…. collecting its daily stories for posterity.
It is my privilege and duty to present this Tribute to Walt Kinderman, who was one of the longest running editors in the decades long legacy of weekly newspapers printed in Lyons since 1890.
……………….Kathleen Spring, Lyons Recorder Editor/Publisher
SEE ALSO separate Article/Story about Walt written by the “new 1994 head of the Lyons Parks and Recreation Department,” showing the routine that Walt took in getting a story, and the final (short) printed article.
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