Former Governor Dick Lamm is remembered for his politics, passion and foreknowledge

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The late former Governor Dick Lamm was a man of vision and foreknowledge, a complex figure in the state’s political history who was never afraid to follow his convictions and address controversial issues, recalled his family and fellow Colorado politicians on Tuesday.

Current Colorado Governor Jared Polis praised Lamm’s life, not only to the state as a lawmaker and governor, but also in the US military for his nation, as an advocate for its clients and as a teacher for its students.

“Whether you agree or disagree with Dick, no one can deny that he has lived a busy life and truly dedicated to serving others,” Polis said during opening remarks at a service. Memorial in Denver that drew hundreds of people, including prominent Colorado politicians such as US Democrat Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet.

Lamm, a Democrat, died on July 29, less than a week before what would have been his 86th birthday.

Heather Lamm becomes emotional as she remembers her father, former Colorado Governor Richard “Dick” Lamm, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver. Governor Lamm, a Democrat, was first elected to the state legislature in 1966 and served three terms as the 38th Governor of Colorado, defending women’s rights and expanding environmental protections for parks in State. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Speakers praised Lamm for his passion for politics, especially as an environmentalist and for opening the door to liberalizing abortion laws.

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who served in Lamm’s cabinet, described his friend and former colleague as a “member of Colorado’s greatest generation of political leaders,” contemporaries of former US Democrats Gary Hart and Tim Wirth, as well as Democrats’ US Representative Pat Schroeder.

“Dick was really from Colorado,” Webb said. “Independent, tough, strong, complicated, unpredictable, generous. “

Lamm was no stranger to controversy during his tenure and beyond. Lamm was a state legislator in 1972 when he led a movement that urged voters to reject funding for the 1976 Winter Olympics. This remains the only time a host city has rejected the Olympics after their attribution.

Members of the public listen to remarks honoring former Colorado Governor Richard “Dick” Lamm on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver. Governor Lamm, a Democrat, was first elected to the state legislature in 1966 and served three terms as the 38th Governor of Colorado, defending women’s rights and expanding environmental protections for parks in State. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

It also sparked controversy for remarks he made in 2006 this suggested that Latinos and Blacks lacked the motivation and ambition of Asians and Jews.

Speakers were remembered for his ability to predict issues such as climate change and urban growth, Polis calling him “premonitory.”

Lamm has also been described as a man ahead of his time on hot topics. Speakers noted that he was at the forefront on environmental issues and pushed the country’s first law liberalization of abortion regulations, six years before the landmark United States Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights in Roe v. Wade.

“Patients across the country benefit from Dick Lamm’s conviction and advocacy for bodily autonomy and the right to make our own healthcare decisions,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains CEO Vicki Cowart delivers remarks in honor of former Colorado Governor Richard “Dick” Lamm on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum from Denver. Governor Lamm, a Democrat, was first elected to the state legislature in 1966 and served three terms as the 38th Governor of Colorado, defending women’s rights and expanding environmental protections for parks in State. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Cowart said Lamm “took the position he believed to be right no matter what”.

Lamm’s daughter, Heather Lamm, recounted her father’s love for reading and intellectual discussion, assuming he “probably went up to the pearl gates only to ask St. Peter what he had read during. summer ”.

His wife, Dottie Lamm, shared the story of their love for each other, how they first met and from their first date to the time they spent at ” cocoon during lockdown, ”giving them a chance to look back on their lives and express their love for each other.

The couple shared a deep affection for Colorado, which Lamm ruled for 12 years from 1975 to 1987.

“Our marriage was rooted in Colorado soil,” she said. “We fell in love with the state before we fell in love with each other.”

The memorial service, held at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, was punctuated by musical performances by local musicians Purnell Steen and the Five Points Ambassadors. The service ended with a performance of Rocky Mountain High by John Denver.

In her final comments, Dottie Lamm bade her husband farewell: “Goodbye, love of my life. We had a very good race. Now pass your torch, clear your mind, lift your wings and fly over the Rockies.

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