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Pueblo West is mourning the loss of a beloved community leader. Lew Quigley, former Pueblo West Metro District Board of Directors member and Pueblo City Manager, passed away on August 7, 2023, leaving a legacy of dedicated service and countless contributions to the area. He was 88 years old.
"He was quite an asset to this Board,” said Metro Board Vice President Doug Proal, who paid a heartfelt tribute to Quigley at the Aug. 14 Board meeting. “I appreciated his work on the Board, his friendship, and we've lost a brick in this community. He's an icon and flew way under the radar.”
Quigley began his career in Pueblo in 1975. His work in Pueblo started with heading the City Parks and Recreation Department, and he later became one of Pueblo’s longest-serving City Managers, serving in the role from 1987 to 2001. Quigley's vision and intelligence led to various city improvements such as the development of the Pueblo Convention Center, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, and support for new companies at the industrial park near the Pueblo Memorial Airport.
Quigley served on the Pueblo West Metro District Board from 2010 to 2016. Known for his wit and unique approach to governance, his influence reached far and wide. Even those who disagreed with him recognized his value. Board Secretary Bill Vickers acknowledged, "We didn't always see eye-to-eye, but he had a lot of good ideas and experience. He will be missed."
Pueblo West Community Development Manager Terri O'Donnell remembered Quigley with warmth and affection.
"It was like I was a part of his family,” O’Donnell shared. “He was kind, loving, caring, gentle, and very down to earth. I always thought of him like a grandfather to me.”
Beyond his professional achievements, Quigley was also recognized for his personal quirks, such as the toothpick he always had in his mouth.
"He was never without a toothpick in his mouth....it was his trademark," Pueblo West Utilities Director Jim Blasing remembered.
In a past interview with the Pueblo Chieftain, Quigley's own words highlight his resilience and unique perspective on life, especially after a brush with mortality during quadruple bypass surgery in Feb. 2014 while he served on the Metro Board. He said his life expectancy at the time was “non-existent” given his heart condition.
“After surgery, there aren't any statistics for where I (was) at,” Quigley said, further questioning, “I figure, I can make it to 80?"
Defeating the odds, Quigley made it to 88.
His passing leaves a void in Pueblo West, but his contributions to the community will remain as enduring monuments to his vision, dedication, and love for the place he called home. His life and work continue to be an inspiration, a testament to what one individual's commitment and passion can achieve.
His legacy will continue to guide Pueblo West, a community he shaped and cherished.
“A lot of people don't realize the impact he made for Pueblo and the Pueblo West community," Proal said.