Dec. 30, 1932-April 27, 2013
OURAY – Lifelong Ouray resident Alvin Joseph Ficco, 80, died Saturday, April 27, at home with family and friends.
He was born in Ouray to the late Joseph and Mary Ficco on Dec. 30, 1932 and graduated from Ouray High School in 1950. He entered the U.S. Army after graduation and was stationed in Germany from 1953 to 1955. He married Marjorie Louise Gunn on Nov. 27, 1958 and they enjoyed 54 years together.
It was hard not to notice, when you were around Alvin and Louise, what an attentive and loving husband he was. Together, they raised four boys: Dan, Art and Dave came all in a row, just a year apart. Eight years later, along came Joe, the youngest. The three oldest boys all settled in Ouray to raise families of their own while remaining close to their parents. Recently, Joe also returned to the fold, settling in Montrose with his own young family.
Altogether, Alvin and Louise were blessed with 13 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 30.
Alvin co-owned Rice Lumber Company in Ouray from 1956 to 1969 with his brother and sister-in-law Tom and Sally Fellin. He then went into the construction business with his best friend, Norm Fedel. Together they ran Box Canon Construction from 1969 to 1994.
“Norm told us the other day that they had been friends since for 74 years – ever since the 1st grade,” marveled Dan Ficco, Alvin and Louise’s eldest son.
Dan remembers when he and his brothers were little, Norm and Alvin would gather their boys up after church on Sundays and take them for outings in their old Willys Jeeps. “But they would only take us somewhere if we had been good,” Dan laughed.
Alvin was involved in Ouray’s chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and acted as the commander of that group until it dissolved in 2012. He was also an active member of St. Daniel’s Catholic Church in Ouray. Alvin loved family, friends, building and constructing, gardening, golf and anything to do with chainsaws. Just months before he died, he was still cutting firewood for his large extended family.
Around Ouray, Alvin was renowned for his green thumb. Every summer, he cultivated a bountiful garden, brimming with raspberries, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and of course, to satisfy the Italian in him, garlic.
“He’s got some garlic coming up right now,” Dan said. “We want to continue his garden, if we can. We will give it our best shot.”
Alvin was also something of a creative genius. He loved to build things, and was always taking on new projects – such as a solar hot water heater for his house that was so complicated, “none of us could figure out how it worked,” and more recently, a makeshift dashboard lighting system for his Chevy Blazer that consisted of a couple of LED spotlights fastened to a block of wood on the steering column.
“One thing about Dad, he was religious,” Dan added. “He didn’t really force it on people. But he showed his faith just by the way he lived. He was a wonderful husband, father and friend. He had his mannerisms that were quiet but effective. He got his point across. He didn’t have to say it loud; a lot of it was by example. He was a very sweet man, very kind. We were fortunate.”
On the day that Alvin died, his best friend Norm came over and sat by his side. “They could probably read each other’s minds, after being friends for so long,” Dan said. “He gave Dad permission to go. Then he stepped back and let my mom say goodbye.”
Alvin is survived by his wife, Louise; four sons and daughters-in-law, Dan and Krista Ficco, Dave and Lori Ficco and Art and Tina Ficco of Ouray and Joe and Kim Ficco of Montrose; and 13 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Art and Ginny Ficco of Ouray.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the San Juan Cancer Center, 600 S. 5th Street, Montrose, CO 81401.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2 and funeral services will be held on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 11 a.m. at St. Daniel’s Catholic Church in Ouray.