In memoriam: Leland Feitz, storyteller

       Leland Feitz, 88, a long-time area author, publisher and historian, died Feb. 10.

Leland Feitz

       He was known to many Westsiders as a volunteer for more than 20 years at the Old Colorado City History Center. He also contributed articles to the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) newsletter, West Word.
       At his request, no services are planned.
       Mr. Feitz had been living in a Colorado Springs retirement community for the past year and in a Westside apartment 20 years before that. His death was caused by pneumonia.
       His sister Maxine had previously died, as had his wife Evelyn (2004). They had no children together.
       Mr. Feitz wrote more than 20 books, many of them about Cripple Creek. He had also been director of the Cripple Creek District Museum from 1985 until 1993.
       Born in LaJara, Colo., in 1924, he moved with his family to Colorado Springs in 1943.
       Mr. Feitz worked for many years at the Alexander Film Company in Colorado Springs, eventually becoming manager of public relations.
       His first book, a Cripple Creek history, was published in 1967; his most recent, titled "Pictorial History of Pueblo, CO," came out in 2008.
       Don Jones, a Colorado Springs commercial photographer, had known Mr. Feitz since he was a child, when Jones' father Harmon worked with Mr. Feitz at Alexander Film. The relationship continued after both the boy's parents died by the time he was 11. "I was raised at the Myron Stratton Home," Jones said. "Leland would come occasionally and visit me and we'd go up to Cripple Creek. He was always there for me."
       He described Mr. Feitz as having a "big circle of friends. He was important in the community. He was the storyteller."
       In recent years, Jones said Mr. Feitz asked him to be the executor of his estate; and so in his final months Jones said, "I made sure he had what he needed."
       Another friend was Loyal Campbell, who had known Mr. Feitz since about 1996. The author took him along on hikes with the Saturday Knights group and they also found they were members of the same church. "He was a gentleman, a scholar, what you'd call a lifelong learner," Campbell said. "And he knew the Cripple Creek area like the back of his hand."
       The History Center held a reception for Mr. Feitz last October, which was attended by more than 60 people. Knowing that he did not want services after his death, "this was our way of honoring him while he was alive," Jones said. "He was such a kind soul. I was fortunate to have been in his life."

Westside Pioneer article