Steven Nelson attended his first PPW Conference in 1996, and attended almost every conference since. He was an award-winning humorist whose fiction appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Leviathan, Fire and Ice, and other publications. He was also the author of the Axel Hatchett murder mystery series, and was in the process of completing his seventh installment when he passed on April 24th. In addition to his writing, he was an optician for 17 years, and participated in numerous Gift of Sight missions, traveling to places like China, Mexico, and Venezuala to make glasses for thousands of people who have no access to optical care. He also contributed his skills locally to the Vision Van to make glasses for the homeless and needy of Colorado Springs. Most recently, he was donating his time to an organization he loved — Pikes Peak Writers — serving as co-host for Write Brain.
Ronald Cree was many things – father, grandfather, published YA author, world traveler. To really know him, however, was to understand what tied all those things together and therefore what made him so very dear to his friends. Ron was a celebrator. Of life, of success, of people. Of accomplishments small and large. Ron was an instigator of joy – demanding from life and all of us that we spend time together, that we mark the moments with photographs and shared memories. Ron was everyone’s greatest supporter, always available for a signing, a lunch, a pat on the back, or a kick in the pants for motivation. Ron did not wait for the world, he demanded it come to him and he moved through it voraciously, celebrating and living every moment. It is tragic that Ron is no longer here, with a quick laugh, a snarky remark, a demand for us to gather in for another photo. And that is an enormous loss to Pikes Peak Writers and the writing community in general. But his legacy is to remind us always to celebrate. Be joyful. Support each other. Buy books. Write the words. Take the pictures. He will be greatly missed.
On July 8, 2017, Ronald Frederick Heimbecher of Thornton/Broomfield, Colorado, beloved husband of Monica (Reynolds) Heimbecher passed away at the age of 67 from complications after surgery. He is survived by his wife, son Stefan Heimbecher, daughter Lyssa Gad, son-in-law Max Gad, stepson Jason Crump, brother Tony Bersano and sisters Carolee Hutchins and Marti Bersano and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Ron was a gifted businessman, musician, writer, and was an inspiration to those who knew him.
Ron volunteered for Pikes Peak Writers beginning in 2006 and served five years on the board of directors as vice president, president, and immediate past president. He also filled the role of webmaster during this time.
Some of you may have been aware that Amanda was our pitch appointments coordinator. A previous pitch coordinator, Bonnie Hagan, has stepped up to help ease the loss by ensuring that pitch appointments will continue as planned.
We regret to report we’ve just learned of the passing of author, Phillip Nutman. Phil was on the faculty at PPWC 2011 and delighted attendees with his quick wit and congenial manner. He will be missed.