Editor’s note: Over the years, I have had the privilege of interviewing The Bear on several occasions, always memorable. The first interview was just before the millennium in 2000, when I asked him to share his views on the 21st century. We also talked about personal subjects. His response to a question about what he would like to be if he could live life all over again was especially surprising. It was also indicative of the man behind the general: “I would have loved to become an opera singer,” he said. The man who stood tall on the world stage and in the hearts of those who knew him in Telluride wanted to conquer a real stage. Who’d have thunk it?

Telluride lost a wonderful fellow resident and great American hero in the passing of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. He died Thursday, December 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

General Schwarzkopf was a founding Co-Chairman of the Telluride Foundation. He served as Co-Chair with Ron Allred from 2000-2006 and Mark Dalton from 2007-2009. He retired from the Board in 2009 and continued to serve as the Honorary Chairman. General Schwarzkopf and his wife Brenda were residents of Telluride since the early 1990’s. He was a regular in the Telluride July Fourth Parade and often assembled and led the veterans who marched. The General  was an avid outdoorsman and committed to environmental and youth causes.

“Telluride and our nation have lost a wonderful person and genuine hero,” said Ron Allred, founding Co-Chairman and Board Member. “The General took everything asked of him by the community seriously; he loved and was committed to the Telluride community. My thoughts, along with my wife Joyce’s, are with Brenda and his family.”

“It was an honor to serve as Co-Chair of the Telluride Foundation with General Schwarzkopf. He had a commanding presence at our Board meetings, and when he spoke on a subject, his views had a real impact on all of us,” said Mark Dalton, former Co-Chairman and Board Member. “Telluride has lost a wonderful friend and inspiring leader.”

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. (August 22, 1934 – December 27, 2012), — “Stormin’ Norman” — a four start Army General led the international coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and pushed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. A highly decorated military leader, Schwarzkopf graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1956. He earned a Master’s Degree in guided-missile engineering from the University of Southern California and later taught engineering at West Point.

Schwarzkopf saw combat twice – in Vietnam and Grenada – in a career that included command of units from platoon to theater size, training as a paratrooper, and stints teaching at Army staff colleges. He retired from the military in 1992.

General Schwarzkopf will be buried at West Point.

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