Arnold Casper Wegher, of Golden, Colorado, age 85, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 6, 2017, at St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2017 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen, Colorado. Rosary will be said at 10:30 a.m. and Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Arnold was a parishioner of Christ the King and lived in the nearby community of Genesee with his wife Elizabeth. Memorial donations may be made in his honor to Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen, Colorado. Arnold ("Corky" as he was known by his childhood friends) was born in Ironwood, Michigan on August 2, 1931, the son of Remo E. Wegher and Louis A. (Finco) Williams. He attended St. Ambrose Catholic High School in Ironwood and graduated as part of the Class of 1949. After high school, he enlisted in the Michigan National Guard until he moved out of state, at which time he enlisted in the Naval Reserve. Thereafter, he entered the NROTC Midshipmen program and was awarded an NROTC scholarship to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1953. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy that same year and served three years of active duty, stationed primarily in San Diego, California. While there, he met the late Joann M. McPherron of Sterling, Colorado and they were married at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in La Jolla, California on February 10, 1957. After being released from active duty in 1956, he became a flight test engineer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company at Edwards Air Force Base in California and worked on jet engines installed in F8U, F100, F101, F102, F105, F106 and U2 airframes. Capitalizing on this experience, he secured a teaching position at the University of Colorado, College of Engineering in Boulder, Colorado. While teaching there, he undertook the study of law and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado - School of Law in 1961. Thereafter, he attended New York University Law School as a Ford Fellow and received his Masters of Law (Taxation) in 1962. Having completed his legal studies at NYU, he returned to Colorado to raise his family and begin his law career. He was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the 9th and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; U.S. Tax Court; and Colorado Supreme Court. As an attorney, he authored many scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects and was an active member of several legal organizations including the American Bar Association; Colorado Bar Association (Former Board of Governors Member and Past Chairman of the Tax Section); Denver Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association; University of Colorado Biennial Estate Planning Institute (Former Director); Greater Denver Tax Counsel Association; University of Colorado Alumni Board; and the Western State University Aspinall-Wilson Center Advisory Council. He belonged to several fraternal organizations including the Triangle Fraternity and Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity. In addition to his successful legal career, which spanned over fifty years, he also held other positions of high esteem including Executive Vice President of MCA Financial, Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver College of Law and Teikyo Loretto Heights University, Visiting Professor at the University of Innsbruck. He also served a twenty-eight-year term of service as the Honorary Consul General for the Federal Republic of Austria. As a Diplomat, he was awarded the Gold Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria in 1989 and the Grand Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria in 2011, both honors being bestowed upon him for meritorious service to Austria. He served a one-year term as the Dean of the Colorado Consular Corps beginning in 1990. Arnold's military career spanned over 43 years from 1948 to 1991 and included service in Michigan National Guard, Naval Reserve, NROTC, and the United States Navy. He rose to the rank of Captain, saw active duty in the wars in Korea and Vietnam and received the National Defense Medal, United Nations Medal, Korean Conflict Medal, President of Korea Unit Citation, Vietnamese Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Expert Rifleman Medal and Naval Reserve Medal. While on active duty he served his Midshipman cruise on the USS Missouri; served as deck division officer, OIC of landing party and underway OOD on the USS Montrose; served as an engineering officer and staff watch officer for Commander Transport Division 52. As a reservist, he commanded five different Naval Reserve Units and served as executive officer in three reserve units. He also served two years as the Training Officer on the staff of the Reserve Readiness Command in Denver. After retirement, he remained active in the Navy League and participated in the Naval Academy Blue and Gold Program. In the Navy, he was qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and was assigned to active duty training assignments on two destroyers, a destroyer escort, a helicopter carrier, an aircraft carrier and an attack transport ship. During one of his assignments in the Pacific, he was designated by CINCPAC to function as a Liaison Officer and to extend CINCPAC's regards to the Prince of Wales, who was waylaid in Pearl Harbor on a British Frigate that was undergoing repairs. As a civilian, he was actively involved in the community and was an affiliate and/or contributor to many social, institutional and non-profit organizations, including: The Denver Athletic Club (Past President 1977 and the Chairman of the Member Conduct Review Committee); The University Club; Mt. Vernon Country Club; the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities; the Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Denver Art Museum; the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Public Library; the Beefeater Club of America; Trout Unlimited; and the Rocky Mountain Angling Club. He and his late wife Joann chose to make Colorado, and more specifically the Colorado Foot Hills and Denver area, their permanent home because it suited their lifestyle and their affection for being near the grandeur of Rocky Mountains. His love for the outdoors in general, and for the untamed spaces of Colorado, undoubtedly stemmed from having spent a large portion of his early life, often in the company of his dog Pal, exploring the forests of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near his hometown of Ironwood. It was in these forests that he first learned to hunt, trap and fish and is also where he gained a lifelong appreciation for the natural world, which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. His hobbies included skiing, running, working out at the Denver Athletic Club and he was an avid reader. His love for travel took him around the globe to exotic destinations such as Dubai, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Haiti, West Indies, Columbia, China, the Philippians, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Arctic Circle, to name a few. Arnold was an avid fisherman and he particularly enjoyed the subtleties of fresh and salt water fly-fishing. His ability to cast a fly line was a thing to behold and his numerous fishing excursions lead him and his fellow fishing companions around the globe and to places such as Christmas Island, Belize, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Finland, Alaska, the Arctic Circle, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. His affinity for such outdoor activities was equally balanced with an indoor talent for cooking and passion for good food. He often traveled the world with friends, colleagues, and family seeking the adventure of new and foreign tastes to emulate and recreate in his own kitchen. He viewed cooking as a sharing experience, and to this end, he frequently acted as both head chef and host at many dinner parties and large picnic type gatherings, including his annual pig roast; a time-honored tradition spanning almost fifty years. At last year's pig roast, following his marriage to Elizabeth M. Higgins at Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen, he celebrated his wedding reception with hundreds of guests and family including Elizabeth's siblings and all of Arnold's children. Arnold is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth M. Wegher (Higgins); his six children (from the late Joann M. Wegher): Anna L. Wegher Dubas (Larry) of Denver, Colorado; Janette M. Wegher Bradley (Paul) of Boulder, Colorado; Mary E. Wegher Lohman (Frank) of Mililani, Hawaii; Gary E. Wegher (Celeste Lucero) of Wheat Ridge, Colorado; Vincent J. Wegher (Heather Hartung) of Centennial, Colorado; and Katherine J. Wegher (Haney) of Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as his nine grandchildren: Isaiah, Jubilee, Natalie, Philip, Jonathan, Nicholas, Daniel; Max and Lane. He is also survived by this late brother Raymond Edward Wegher's wife, Rose Marie Wegher and their four children: Rev. Fr. William Wegher of Pinckney, Michigan; Cheryl A. McFadden (William) of Flint, Michigan, Deborah R. Morehouse (Brian) of Otisville, Michigan; Michael A. Wegher (Heather Schlemmer) of Flushing, Michigan. And is also survived by the children of his late brother, Earl Wegher: Susan Wegher Ecker, Earl Joseph (Cindy) Wegher, Ronald Wegher (Sue), Diane Wegher (Brett) Hanna. Furthermore, he is survived by his Godson Foster G. Finco and wife Penny, and many cousins from the Finco, Wegher and Tieppo Families. Godspeed Arnold Casper Wegher.
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