In Memoriam, 1119 COBJ, Vol. 48, No. 10 Pg. 75

Position:Vol. 48, 10 [Page 75]

48 Colo.Law. 75

In Memoriam

Vol. 48, No. 10 [Page 75]

Colorado Lawyer

November, 2019

Leo Gemma, Jr. August 6, 1927-September 24, 2019

Dennis Jacobson June 1, 1953-September 9, 2019

Bruce Schilken March 20, 1941-September 4, 2019

Felix D. Valdez, Jr. July 9, 1940-August 24, 2019

Leo Gemma, Jr.

Leo Gemma, Jr. passed away September 24, 2019, at his home in Center, Colorado. Leo was born in Youngstown, Ohio on August 6, 1927 to Italian immigrant parents, Leo and Victoria Gemma, and had four siblings, Charles, James, William, and Mary Lou. He spent about two years in the Navy, serving during the Korean conflict. After leaving the Navy, Leo attended Hiram College in Ohio.

Subsequently, he moved to Colorado and attended the University of Denver Law School, graduating in 1955. Leo married Mary Anne Bowen in 1961. Leo and Mary Anne had five children and were married for 51 years when Mary Anne passed away in 2012.

Leo served for a time as chief juvenile probation officer in Denver; was a referee (now known as a magistrate) in the Denver Juvenile Court; and served on the Denver City Council. He practiced law for over 50 years throughout the Denver area and retired at age 80. Upon retirement and following the death of Mary Anne, he moved to Center, where he continued to live independently, enjoying the company of neighbors, old friends, and his dogs.

Leo maintained his mental clarity until death and spent his last years writing stories, painting, thrift shopping, cooking, and entertaining guests. He could always be counted on for friendship, counsel, and finding the funny things in life. Leo didn't prioritize material things, but rather cherished living deliberately and freely on his own terms. He was satisfied seeing a sky full of stars, being surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and having the soft ears of his dogs to pet at the end of each day.

Leo is survived by his children, Anthony, Diane, Christopher, Victoria, and Leo III, as well as his 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild, in addition to a large extended family and countless friends.

Dennis Jacobson

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