Saying Goodbye to Stephen Wald, another Telluride friend

Saying Goodbye to Stephen Wald, another Telluride friend

Img006 Telluride has lost another dear friend. Stephen Wald died last Thursday, October 22, 2009. I met Stephen nearly a quarter century ago, and my life has been better for knowing him. Our lives crossed in a number of ways besides our friendship. Stephen was a major force in the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, where I have taught for ten years. When I was too late to register to run in the 1995 New York Marathon, Stephen made a few calls and I got in. The only quid pro quo was that I support a charity that was important to Stephen.

Stephen has been a friend of Susan's even longer than I have, through connections from her earlier life in New York. That we both knew Stephen from different paths was a wonderful surprise in our early time together.

Our hearts go out to Sheila, Alison, and Alex, and to all who will miss our friend. TIO is honored to publish Stephen's obituary below.


Stephen Stephen L. Wald died peacefully at home in Telluride, CO on October 22, 2009 with his wife, Sheila at his bedside.  He fought a long, valiant battle against Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. 

He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on July 21, 1935.  He was the son of the late Harold and Ellen Grossman Wald.  He is survived by his beloved wife, Sheila and cherished children Alison Wald and Alex Seitz Wald. His eldest son, John was killed in an avalanche in 1996.

He attended Milton Academy in Milton, MA and was graduated from Harvard College and The Harvard Business School.  He spent his entire career in the Investment Management Business, primarily as a managing partner with Reich and Tang in New York.  Upon retirement, he was selected by the US Government to head up the Czech and Slovak American Enterprise Fund which was created after the iron curtain came down as a means of stimulating the economy in Eastern Europe.  Stephen and his wife spent three years in Prague.  Upon leaving this assignment he was instrumental in creating the first western brokerage firm in Eastern Europe, Wood & Co. which became the largest such firm in that part of the world.

In 1994 Stephen & Sheila moved full time to Telluride, CO where they had maintained a part time residence. In Telluride, Stephen devoted himself to the non-profit world. He was a founding Board Member of the Telluride Foundation, serving on several committees.  He was past Chairman of the Telluride Medical Center, Board Member of Mountain Film, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, Telluride Repertory Theatre Company, Telluride Jewish Community and Investment Advisor to his Homeowner’s Company. 

Stephen was always involved in giving back to the communities where he lived.  In New York he was a founding Director of the New York Road Runners Club, Director Achilles Track Club, Director Outward Bound, New York Chapter, Director, University Hospital, Boston.

He was an avid athlete, a long time runner, finishing three New York City Marathons.  He skied, played tennis and golf and was an enthusiastic biker.  He and Sheila rode their bikes across the United States in 1999.  He loved foreign travel and crossed the globe, taking many photos along the way.  Photography was another passion of his.  Above all he was devoted to the family and friends whom he loved.  He was a people person in every sense of the expression.  He will be greatly missed.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Telluride Foundation, 620 Mountain Village Boulevard, Telluride, CO 81435.  Services will be held at the Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA on Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 11:00am, 617-277-8300.  A celebration of Stephen’s life will take place in Telluride, CO at a later date.

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