Former Nederland Marshal Hugh Pitzer III will always be remembered as the guy with the big, friendly smile. Pitzer died last Wednesday, March 21, after a heart attack. He was 56 years old. His death was mourned by his family and many miners, co-workers of the gold mine in Cripple Creek where Pitzer has worked the past 13 years.
He was born Dec. 28, 1956, in Washington, D.C., where his father, Hugh Pitzer Jr., worked for the Metro Police Department. Pitzer graduated from Laurel High School where he was an accomplished athlete, participating in football, basketball, swimming, baseball, track and field and wrestling. In fact, at one time, three Pitzer brothers were playing on the same football team.
When Pitzer graduated from high school in 1974, he joined the police academy where his dad worked, following in his law-enforcement footsteps. He worked as a patrol officer until 1978, when all the Pitzers moved to Colorado. In 1979, he went to work for the Georgetown Police Department, where he was employed for the next three years.
During that time, he also worked as a reserve officer for the Nederland Marshal’s Office. When Hugh’s dad was elected Mayor of Nederland, Pitzer was hired as a deputy for Nederland and then appointed as marshal. He soon became known as Hughie, who was a friend to all he met.
In 1994, Hughie married Dawn and the couple moved to Divide, Colorado, where he began working for the gold mine in Cripple Creek. He was a hard worker, not only completing his regular work shift, beginning at 3 a.m., but often taking on shifts for his fellow workers when needed.
Hugh loved to fish and hunt when he had free time and spent time with his children, Hugh the IV, 18, and Faith, 10.
He is survived by his parents Erma and Hugh Pitzer; his brothers, Phil, Michael and Kurt; and his sister, Stephanie; and 10 nieces and nephews.
The family had a private memorial ceremony last weekend.