Local Philanthropist Dies

Carbondale—There may not be a venue large enough in the Roaring Fork Valley to hold a memorial service for Jim Calaway.  The man, whose familiar name can be found on many buildings and institutions around the valley died Wednesday at his home in Carbondale. His wife Connie was at his side.  The humble, unassuming Texas native wasn’t known for the wealth he amassed in the oil business but for the millions of dollars he donated over the years to causes he passionately believed in such as education, animals and health care. His extraordinary generosity was legendary in philanthropic circles. Calaway co-founded Colorado Animal Rescue and played a key role in the development and expansion of Colorado Mountain College’s beautiful Spring Valley campus. The main education building bears his name.  His name is also prominently displayed at Valley View Hospital’s renowned, state-of-the-art Calaway-Young Cancer Center.  Alpine Bank founder, cancer survivor and fellow philanthropist Bob Young also made a large contribution toward the historic project.  At the center’s groundbreaking ceremony in June of 2011, Calaway’s humility and sense of humor were evident when asked how he managed to get top billing. “I made the first pledge, he said, “so they put my name first.  But then I said to them, if you’d like to call it Young-Calaway that would be fine, I’m 80 years old, call me young Calaway.”  Calaway’s influence and impact spreads far and wide across the valley and includes Habitat for Humanity, The Aspen Institute, the Thunder River Theater Company and the Third Street Center in Carbondale.  A celebration of his 87 years on this earth will be held sometime in January.  CMC President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser says, “It will be hard to imagine a world without Jim Calaway in it.”