Fred Stites: Feb. 7, 1944 – April 13, 2017

Barbara Lawlor, Eldora.  Taking one’s trash to the Nederland Green Boxes involved being greeted by Fred Stites, his black labs, Timber, Sammy and Walker and the shrill crow of a bantam rooster inside the chicken coop. Fred planted little gardens around the shed, which he fixed up with repurposed furniture, decorations and antiques, plucked from destruction.
He always had something new to look at or talk about, turning other people’s trash into a community treasure, a green box attraction. Taking out the trash was fun when Fred was there.

Fred retired in October of 2015, but his chicken coop and dog treat legacy is being carried on by David Nitsch.

Fred died last Thursday, April 13, 2017, of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He is survived by his wife Emily Johnson.
When Fred used to get off work, he went home to his long-time residence at Lazy Dale Cabins, which he managed, and took off into the forest paths and trails up the mountain outside of Eldora. He loved hiking and snowshoeing and being outdoors. Most of the year he wore shorts and every spring he was the first person to bare his legs to the sun.

When a familiar local person drove up to the green boxes on Ridge Road, Fred would take a look in the back of the vehicle and say, “How about a buck.?” He had a soft spot for people who had a dog with them and often had them get out of the car to play with his dogs.
Fred has lived in Longmont for the past few years. He requested that his ashes be spread in the creek that rushes past his cabin.
Although no public ceremony is planned, there might be a celebration of Fred’s life later on.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.