Longtime Durango resident Leroy Vagneur died of a brain aneurysm Thursday, May 16, 2013, at his home. He was 81.
Mr. Vagneur was born to Sullivan and Clarice (Greener) Vagneur on Oct. 24, 1931, in Woody Creek. He was one of seven children. His family said he enjoyed working on the family ranch near Woody Creek, hunting and skiing. He had his first skiing lesson in Aspen with U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer Klaus Obermeyer.
After graduating from Pitkin County High School in Aspen, Mr. Vagneur joined the Air Force in 1952. He was honorably discharged with commendations in 1956.
He went on to graduate from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.
While working on the Ski Patrol at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Mr. Vagneur met his future wife, Bobbi Geis. The couple married Sept. 10, 1961, in Frisco.
In 1967, the Vagneur family moved from Sterling to Durango when Mr. Vagneur was transferred here by the Federal Housing Administration. He became a vice president and loan officer at Burns Bank for most of the 1970s and then became a successful real estate broker with Triple S Realty.
Mr. Vagneur was on the National Ski Patrol at Purgatory Ski Area, where the Vagneur family spent many weekends, from the time he moved to Durango to the late 1970s. At one time, he was its director.
An active member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks Lodge 507, Mr. Vagneur also enjoyed gardening and boating at Lake Powell and Navajo Reservoir. He also enjoyed taking care of his dogs Magnum, Henry, Cuda and Beau.
Mr. Vagneur is survived by his wife of 51 years, Bobbi Vagneur of Durango; sons, Zane Vagneur of Durango, Jeff Vagneur of Grand Junction and Jeremie Vagneur of Galt, Calif.; brother Wayne Vagneur of Carbondale; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Cremation has occurred. A private family celebration of life will take place.
Online condolences may be sent at www.hoodmortuary.com.