Leonard Fuchtman, 93, passed away peacefully of natural causes on April 21 in Denver. He was born on a farm near Dodge, Nebraska, to Henry Fuchtman and Minnie Rebhausen Fuchtman, the only son amidst four sisters. He graduated from Dodge High School in 1944 and worked with his father on the farm, where he developed a lifelong love of tractors, particularly Oliver and John Deere.
Fuchtman joined the Army in 1950 and was stationed at Camp Carson in Colorado Springs. As a trumpet player, he qualified for the 179th Army Band, but he also learned to play the upright bass, which he played in dance bands throughout his life. While in the Army, he met Helen Poole in Englewood. They married in 1953 and moved to the Nebraska farm where they began their family.
In 1959, Fuchtman moved his family to Leadville where he began work at Climax Molybdenum Mine. Living in Leadville, he enjoyed fishing, Jeeping and working on cars. He did not enjoy shoveling snow. One of his proudest accomplishments was flying solo in a Cessna 172. He led several dance bands and served as an officer of the Musicians’ Union in the Aspen-Vail region. The Fuchtman household was always filled with music (live and recorded), and all of his children and grandchildren were graced with his love and talent for it as well. In 1982 he retired from Climax and in 1984 moved with Poole to Littleton. She passed away shortly after.
In 1986 he married Agnes Dreiling in Englewood. They enjoyed taking cruises, especially Alaskan cruises and traveling to visit family. Throughout the years, Fuchtman continued to play trumpet and bass guitar in several bands in the Denver area. One of his great joys was being a part of Toys for God’s Kids, making wooden cars to be sent to children around the world. Always looking for ways to help other people, Fuchtman went to local nursing homes and invited residents to join in making cars with him. More than anything, Fuchtman liked spending time with friends and enjoyed drinking coffee with his morning buddies at his local Starbucks.
Fuchtman was preceded in death by his first wife Helen. He is survived by his wife Agnes, of Denver; his children Thomas Fuchtman (Janice) of Phoenix, Arizona; Cathleen Palumbo of Taos, New Mexico; Tim Fuchtman (Susan) of Chicago; Lynne Denman, of Lakewood; and Mary Ellen Friedman (Randy) of Boulder. He also leaves his grandchildren Andrew Fuchtman, Mark Fucthman, Katy Meren Fuchtman, Dustin Fuchtman, Sara Davenport, Paul Denman and Brian Zander. Fuchtman is also survived by eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Fuchtman was buried on April 24 at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver. It was with great sorrow that his family was not able to hold a funeral for him and could not be there when he was laid to rest next to his loving first wife, Helen.
Donations in Fuchtman’s memory may go to a favorite charity or Toys For God’s Kids, http://www.toysforgodskids.org 3531 S. Logan St. D-154, Englewood, CO 80113.