Alfred Petrick Jr., a longtime resident of Evergreen, passed away Saturday, Feb. 18th at the age of 91. Al will be remembered fondly for his enthusiasm for life, his dedication to his family and his sense of humor.
Al lived a long and adventurous life. He was born Dec. 30th, 1926 in Mt. Vernon, New York to Alfred and Ruth Petrick Sr.. He joined the army after graduating from high school in 1945. He served as an aerial photographer flying reconnaissance over the Pacific. After his service, he earned a BS in Engineering from Columbia University. In 1954, he packed all he owned in a jeep and headed west looking for work as a mining engineer. He found it in Colorado doing uranium exploration for the Atomic Energy Commission. He loved the mountains and spent the rest of his life here. It was in 1954 that he met his wife-to-be on an airplane, shared his Scotch shortbread cookies with her, and fell in love. He married Ruth Goodridge in 1956 and they moved into a tiny house in Grand Junction, where Al immediately added plumbing and a second room for the arrival of their daughter, Betsy. Shortly after her birth, Al took a job in British Guiana (now Guyana) in a jungle mining camp. The family lived there for two years before returning to the states. In 1963, the family moved to Evergreen, and Andy was born.
Al was the first in his family to attend college, but he didn’t stop with one degree. He earned a Masters of Science in Mining Engineering from Columbia University in 1962, an MBA from the University of Denver in 1966, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Colorado in 1969. He served as professor emeritus at Colorado School of Mines in the Mineral Economics Department until his retirement in 1984. During this time he held the Coulter Professor Chair, an honorary position with research and travel funding. He was a longtime member of AIME (American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers) and served as chairman in 1977. He received a commendation for his accomplishments at the School of Mines from Governor Roy Romer in 1994. He started his own consulting business, Petrick Associates, which allowed him to travel around the world giving courses in mining engineering. He took his family on all these adventures to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Thailand and Indonesia. He won a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1985.
Al found time to play as well. He and Ruth loved camping and hiking and tried boats of all kinds from a 19 ft. sailboat to a raft, canoe, and kayaks. Al was a photographer almost from birth, and photographed every occasion and adventure over the years. He was a member of Alpine Rescue Team for many years.
Al was a family man who took great pleasure in being with his wife and children and grandchildren. He had an adventurous spirit, a great sense of humor, and boundless imagination. While a quiet person on the surface, he had a big heart and felt things deeply. He expressed his love through action, but more often in words as he reached the end of his life. He will be deeply missed by those who loved him.
Al is survived by his wife Ruth, his children Betsy and Andy and their spouses, and grandchildren Haylie, Leslie and Will, and nieces, nephews and in-laws.