Leawn Roy Hlavachick, 79, died July 5, 2019, in the presence of his wife, Cleta.
He was born April 22, 1940, in Durango.
At age 6, his family relocated to La Jara, where he often helped at the fish hatchery where his father worked.
Mr. Hlavachick attended Adams State College, where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts and art education, with a minor in biology.
He taught for more than 30 years, beginning in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, in 1964, where he met and married his wife.
They left Ste. Genevieve in 1968 and moved to Cañon City, where he taught art at what was then Cañon City Junior High School until his retirement.
After retirement, the couple moved to Howard, where his daily goals included painting and fishing the river.
Mr. Hlavachick took part-time employment caring for adults with disabilities and later worked for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area in Salida, counting rafts floating the river and painting a mural at the park’s headquarters.
He belonged to The Audubon Society and built and installed many bluebird houses along the Arkansas River.
He and his wife moved to Grand Junction in 2012 to be closer to family.
Mr. Hlavachick grew up fishing and hunting, and he had a great appreciation for nature. In his lifetime, he gardened extensively, kept bees, dug a root cellar, hunted, camped and was a fly fishing enthusiast.
Mr. Hlavachick also was a gifted artist, creating nature-inspired watercolor paintings, jewelry, murals, carved sculptures, illustrations for children’s stories he was inspired to write and more.
He read widely and was knowledgeable about topics ranging from rocks to tying flies to making kites.
He was always up for outdoor adventures and road trips, and he loved his wife’s cooking.
His family said Mr. Hlavachick was a dedicated husband and father. They said he loved his family, and even at his most ill, his eyes would light up when family members came to be with him.
They said he was kind and gentle and saw himself as a steward of the natural world that he so loved.
Mr. Hlavachick was preceded in death by his brother Dale (Alice) Hlavachick and sister-in-law Linda Hlavachick.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years; brother Bill Hlavachick of Pratt, Kansas; daughters, Christine Broduer, Susan (Barron) Montgomery, and Pamela (Harry) Middlemas; grandchildren, Tara, Leawna, Tyler, Sam, Shoshana, Mykaela, Meira, Sophie and Weston; and great-grandchildren, Mason and Riley.
His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. July 13, 2019, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hope West Hospice or Covenant Presbyterian Church, or friends may plant a tree in his name.
Arrangements are with Browns Cremation & Funeral Service in Grand Junction.