Sometime back in the early 1990s, a new friendship was made during the Colorado School of Mines’ E-Days fireworks display. Former Golden residents Chuck and Carol Baroch were attending the event, …
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Sometime back in the early 1990s, a new friendship was made during the Colorado School of Mines’ E-Days fireworks display.
Former Golden residents Chuck and Carol Baroch were attending the event, as was former Golden City Councilor Marcie Miller.
A student must have had too much to drink in celebration, Miller said, because as he drunkenly fell, he inadvertently pushed Miller right onto Chuck Baroch’s lap.
Anybody could have gotten irritated, Miller said. But not Chuck and Carol Baroch, Miller said. They weren’t annoyed in the slightest.
“We shared a good laugh,” Miller said. “They helped me to my feet, and we all became good friends.”
During their 24 years in Golden, the Barochs left quite the mark in the community.
“Chuck and (his wife) Carol were worker bees for Golden in so many ways,” said Joy Brandt who met the couple in 1993 through volunteer work with the Golden Civic Foundation. “From the north Golden pedestrian path along Tucker Gulch to the bridge on Sixth Avenue where Chuck and Carol so often walked, the city offices, Golden museum, Golden Hotel, Christian Action Guild fundraising — all had his handprint.”
Charles “Chuck” Baroch died on June 22 in Ohio where he was residing, three days before his 86th birthday. He had been ill since March.
Baroch was born in Denver in 1932, but because his dad was a mining engineer, his childhood was spent in many different places in the West. He graduated high school in Boulder City, Nevada. Baroch earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, then continued his education at Iowa State University where he earned his masters and a PhD in chemical engineering.
After he graduated from Iowa State, Baroch joined the Army Corps of Engineers. From 1958 to 1960, he served at the Atomic Energy Commission — a federal agency since succeeded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy.
He met his wife Carol in 1955 at a church function on the Iowa State University campus.
“He said he was going to marry me after our first date,” Carol Baroch said.
They married in September 1956.
“We worked as a team all of our married lives,” Carol Baroch said. “We enjoyed each other’s company.”
The two raised four children. Chuck Baroch is survived by his wife, three of their children, five grandchildren and one great grandson.
He was a family man, daughter Ruth Glas said, adding the family would go on outdoor outings — hiking, picnicking — every Sunday. They would go to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile scenic road that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
“We would do church, then we would go to the mountains,” Glas said. “It was important to us that we spend time as a family. He made that happen.”
Chuck Baroch spent most of his career in the power generation business, working for various corporations. He and his wife officially settled in Golden in 1991 when he got a job as president of Hazen Research Inc.
“I enjoyed every place we lived because we got involved with the community,” Carol Baroch said. “We liked meeting people and taking on challenges.”
Chuck Baroch served on the city’s Citizen Budget Advisory Committee, the Golden Urban Renewal Authority board and the Golden Vision 2010 committee.
He was elected to serve on Golden City Council, representing District 2, in 1996. Former city councilors selected him to be mayor in 2002, and two years later, he became the first mayor directly elected by Golden residents.
It was “a victory which showed how much the citizens respected his leadership during this difficult time,” said former city manager Mike Bestor who held his position from 1993 to 2015. “Mayor Baroch understood and lived his role as mayor. His fiscal conservatism and rock-solid integrity are sorely needed today at the highest levels of our government.”
Baroch served the city until 2007.
Carol Baroch enjoyed being involved in the community just as much as her husband, Miller said, who was elected to city council in 2001. Miller described the couple as the “ultimate two-fer.”
“She was Chuck’s right hand person,” Brandt said, “cooking dinners for the volunteers, baking cookies and helping wherever she was needed.”
Both Carol and Chuck Baroch were active with the Golden Chamber of Commerce, and were involved with almost every chamber activity, Carol Baroch said, pointing to the Fine Arts Festival, First Fridays and the chili cookoff.
They “gave a helping hand to many Golden events, but the annual Golden Civic Foundation auction was their passion,” Brandt said.
From 1994 through 2003, the two co-chaired the auction event and their efforts raised more than $689,000 for the Community Grant Program, Brandt added.
It was Heinie Foss who approached Chuck Baroch to ask if he wanted to become the first executive director of the Golden Civic Foundation.
“Of course, he said, `sure,’” Carol Baroch said. “He always had the community’s best interests in mind.”
The late Frederick A. “Heinie” Foss and his wife Barbara started the foundation to invest in the economic and cultural vitality of the Golden community. Baroch assumed the role in 1993 and served as the foundation’s executive director for 17 years.
Chuck Baroch recruited John Trefny, former president of the Colorado School of Mines, to serve on the civic foundation board.
“It was a great pleasure to serve during his last years as executive director,” Trefny said. “Chuck’s many years of service, along with his wife Carol, to the city of Golden and its citizens will long be remembered.”
Chuck and Carol Baroch moved to Ohio in 2014 to be closer to family.
“We were both very sad about leaving Golden,” Carol Baroch said, describing it as a “wonderful, small-town community. We still miss our Golden friends.”
Chuck Baroch implemented Heinie Foss’ legacy through the Golden Civic Foundation and developed the foundation from its infancy, said M.L. Richardson, a Golden Civic Foundation Board Advisor who met Baroch in the mid-1990s.
“He had his finger on the pulse of the businesses and nonprofit partners,” Richardson said, “nudging them forward to make the city of Golden the city that we love today.”
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