Arts, preservation and ethics leader dies

Carol Gossard, former Moffat and Routt county resident, was 84

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A former Moffat and Routt county resident who made her mark on the state of Colorado has died.

Longtime Colorado arts, historic preservation and medical ethics leader, Carol Kreusser Gossard died May 22, 2007, in Denver. She was 84.

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A well-known activist and philanthropist, Gossard lived in Denver for the past 25 years after she and her late husband, Bill, moved from their Gossard Ranch in the Axial Basin, south of Craig.

Gossard was involved in a multitude of activities, and her passions were multifaceted.

She was most active in the Colorado Symphony and the University of Colorado at Den--ver and Health Sciences Center Bioethics program.

"She had a very special place with the symphony and with the whole state if you think about it," said Douglas Adams, executive director of the Colorado Symphony. "It's still hard to talk about. ... She absolutely loved the orchestra.

"The absolute grief as the orchestra learned of what happened was monumental. She is a very rare type of person."

Gossard also had a continuing interest in historic preservation, higher education, botany, the environment, and women's education and advancement.

She was born Sept. 24, 1922, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Otto Theo Kreusser and his wife Emma Larson Kreusser. Her father was an engineer for General Motors and the founding director of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

Gossard grew up in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. She graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.; attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and during World War II became a medical laboratory technician at the U.S. Army Billings General Hospital in Indiana.

She was married to Henry Williamson "Bill" Gossard in1948 in Indiana. After living in New York, the couple moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and the ranch in the Axial Basin. Mr. Gossard served in the Colorado Leg--islature for four terms beginning in 1960, as a representative for Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Routt and Summit counties. A noted philanthropist and patron of the arts, he died in Denver on Nov. 15, 1997.

At the time of Carol Gossard's death she was most deeply involved with the University of Colorado's Center of Bioethics and the Humanities. She was actively working with University and community leaders toward the completion of the Center, which will feature the Gossard Forum, an amphitheater in the Center devoted to presentations and dialogue on medical ethics and related complex ethical issues confronting society.

A recipient of many awards and distinctions, Mrs. Gossard was most recently honored in April with the Heart of Vol--unteerism award from Metro Volunteers. The Fine Arts Foundation recognized her as the 2007 citizen of the arts. She was a current board member of the Colorado Symphony Association, University of Colo--rado Health Science Center Bioethics Board, and the Life Quality Institute Board, affiliated with the Hospice of Metro Denver. She was also a member of the Colorado Historical Society alumni board of directors.

Among her favorite memories were her longtime affiliations with the Colorado and American Red Cross, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and close associations with Western State College, University of Northern Colo--rado and the University of Col--orado at Denver and Health Science Center. Western State College awarded her an honorary doctorate. In 2002, she won the CU Mack Easton award for contributions to the Denver campus.

In 2001, she received the Dana Crawford Award from Colorado Preservation. The Girl Scouts Mile High Council honored her as a "Woman of Distinction" in 2004.

In 2005, she was presented the Bonfils-Stanton Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service.

Past boards of directors' positions in Denver included the Four Mile House Historic Park; The Denver Foundation; Historic Denver; and the Platte River Greenway Board. Regional and national boards included the American Red Cross; Colorado Council for Arts and Humanities; Colorado State College Board; Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Colorado Commission on the Status of Women; and the Western State College Foundation Board.

A celebration of her life will be scheduled. Memorial contributions may be made to The Gossard Forum of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities of the University of Colorado through University of Colorado Foundation, 4940 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301.

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