DENVER – The extended family of the late Capt. Jeff Kuss joined state Legislature on Monday for the reading of a resolution honoring him and renaming Colorado Highway 3 after him.
House Joint Resolution 1015 to rename the roadway the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway was read before both chambers of the Legislature and passed unanimously in the House and Senate with all members adding their names as co-sponsors.
This resolution was brought forward by Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, as a tribute to Kuss, his family and veterans across the state.
“We drive that highway a lot, and he’ll always have a special place in our heart, and this will just remind us every time we’re passing through how special a guy he was,” Michael Kuss, Jeff’s father, said.
In addition to Michael Kuss, four other Kuss family members attended: Janet Kuss, Jeff’s mother, and his cousins, Erin and Bonnie Doolittle and Maren Stransky.
Several senators offered condolences to the family and gratitude for Jeff’s service and sacrifice.
Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, who graduated from the Air Force Academy, said he spoke to some fellow graduates about circumstances surrounding the training accident that claimed Kuss’ life.
Hill said his fellow airmen told him that in these moments there is not time to calculate the proper response, only time to act.
“You don’t get to think. There’s no cool calculation about thinking (of) the pros and cons of doing this,” he said. “This is a split-second decision that comes not from thought, but it comes out of the very fibers of one’s character. And in this case, the character of a man who said he was going to dedicate his life to training, to serving, and to living that others may be safe, and he demonstrated that to the very end.”
Janet Kuss said Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, statements we’re particularly poignant to her.
Lambert said Kuss’ hobby of hiking the state’s tallest mountains stood out.
“That is sort of a special kind of training program, getting close not just to the top of the world, but getting closer to his Creator, getting closer to the sky,” Lambert said.
Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, Senate sponsor of the resolution , said he felt privileged to present it.
“I think his bravery was a great loss for that community and our nation in general,” Coram said. “A true American hero in my mind.”