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Leonard Hurst, March 7, 1919 - October 15, 2012
Submitted by owen_perkins on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:40pm
We're so sad to share the heart-breaking news that our dear friend Leonard Hurst passed away peacefully Monday evening at the age of 93.
Most active Democrats in Denver probably knew Leonard, who first came to Denver to attend DU on the GI Bill after serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and blessed our city as he spent most of the rest of his life here, raising three children – April, Chuck, and Walter – with his late wife June.
Leonard was a rock in the Democratic Party of Denver, serving as a Precinct Committee Person in House District 1 since 1974 and as a House district Captain for a time. He and June were famous around the state for their “Say it with Flowers” garden parties and fund raisers, supporting Gary Hart’s presidential run; boosting the U.S. Senate campaigns of Floyd Haskell, Tim Wirth, Hart, and Ken Salazar; supporting the Congressional campaigns of Pat Schroeder and Diana DeGette; and pushing gubernatorial candidates Dick Lamm, Roy Romer, and Bill Ritter, to name just a handful.
Leonard often talked about his 90th birthday one of the proudest days of his life. On that occasion in 2009, then-Governor Ritter declared it “Leonard Hurst, Jr. Day” in Colorado.
Even into his 90s, Leonard was one of the most active Democrats in House District 1, attending events and rallying his neighbors to support our candidates and promote our ideals. He accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Democratic Party of Denver last year on behalf of June and himself, and his acceptance speech with Frank Sullivan and Dennis Gallagher was one of the most memorable moments to take place on a Denver Dems stage. We’ll miss Leonard enormously, and it will take an army of grassroots foot soldiers to fill his shoes, but we can be comforted by taking his spirit with us as we walk our neighborhoods this fall.
The Hurst family reports that services are expected to take place at the end of the week, and that Leonard will be buried next week at Fort Logan. They suggest that those who want to pay tribute to Leonard should consider a donation to the Democratic Party on the county, state, or national level to help carry on the work that was so important to Leonard. We’ll post updated information on-line at www.denverdemocrats.org as it becomes available.
We know it’s a busy season for all of us, but please take some time to appreciate Leonard’s wonderful life, and to embrace the loved ones we have around us.
The Democratic Party of Denver
Download Leonard's Lifetime Achievement Award Page from 2011: