89, always had a story to tell about growing up in Buena Vista.
Ronald Lester Little passed away at home on Nov. 19, 2019, after battling cancer.
A long-time Buena Vista resident and active community volunteer, wore many hats.
Ronald was born Jan. 10, 1930, in Cederedge, and lived in Glenwood until he was 5. He moved to Buena Vista when he was 5 years old. He grew up living on the grounds of what was then the Colorado State Reformatory, where his father was superintendent of the fish hatchery. He attended Buena Vista schools all 12 years in the courthouse/BV Heritage Museum, graduating in 1949.
He worked at various jobs, including running the projector at the Pearl Theater, working at the ice lakes cutting ice for the packing of lettuce, packing fish into high lakes by horseback and building many trails for the Forest Service. He also cut timber for railroad ties in the BV and Southfork areas.
Ronald served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955. He was a crew chief on B-50s for the 509th Bomb Squadron. He traveled all over the world during the Korean War.
In 1955, he met Barbara Brown, and they were married in 1956. At that time, he worked for Chaffee County maintaining roads, did various construction jobs and was even fire chief for the town of Buena Vista at one time.
He started working at the Colorado State Reformatory, now the Buena Vista Correctional Facility in 1957, and worked there until his retirement in 1988. He worked in security up to captain. His highlights were tracking escaped inmates through the mountains and throughout the country.
In his retirement, Ron and Barb enjoyed traveling around the country. He visited all 50 states and their capitals. Their favorite trip was a 6-week trip to Alaska in their camper.
He volunteered with Northern Chaffee County Search and Rescue since its creation, when it was known as the Jeep Patrol. He was still a part of that organization at his passing. He was an original board member of the Northern Chaffee County Fire Protection District.
He was a member of the American Legion Cliff Sexton Post #55 in BV since 1955. He also volunteered with the Buena Vista Historical Society for many years. He attended Valley Fellowship Church and worked in the “Bethlehem Marketplace.”
He and Barb were original members of the BV Tree Board, planning and planting trees around the town.
Ron enjoyed hiking and fishing in the mountains, hunting deer and elk with family, cross-country skiing and playing tennis. He always enjoyed working in his yard and taking care of the house he had built himself. Those who knew him know that he always had an entertaining story to tell about his time growing up in Buena Vista, working in the prison and volunteering with Search and Rescue.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Anna Little; brothers, Harold Little and Roy Little and son, Wes Little.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barb Little; brothers, Fritz Little (Mary Lou) and Bobby Little (Georgia); son, Steve (Patty) Little and daughter, Linda (Al) Williams. He has seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.