EMMETT LEE HAYWOOD
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The most lovely light in our world has dimmed forever. Emmett Lee Haywood, most recently of Erie, CO, passed away suddenly at home the morning of August 11, 2019. Emmett was born 82 years ago on May 28, 1937 to Emmett William and Corinne McAlister Haywood in the small ranching community of Cuero, TX and grew up enjoying the privilege and responsibilities of the ranching life. On the occasion of his birth, he was presented with a saddle by his maternal grandfather, Lee McAlister, and so spent many days on horseback; a true cowboy! Emmett was proud of his African American heritage. He was born in the time if segregation and so attended Daule School in Cuero, a small school for “coloreds” and went on to graduate from Cuero Colored H.S. in 1955. He attended Prairie View College in TX for one year and then transferred to Kansas State University, graduating with a BA in 1960. He served with distinction in the U.S. Army from 1961-1964. His last assignment was as a clerk to the base commander at Inchon, South Korea. Emmett was honorably discharged with the rank of Specialist 5. He met and married Jo Frances Lee in 1964. They later divorced in 1983.
Emmett continued his college education at the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Regional and City Planning in 1966 He and Jo Frances moved to Boulder, Colorado following graduation as he had accepted a position with the city’s Planning Dept. Emmett was an integral part of the conception and execution of the plans for the Pearl Street Mall. He left Boulder briefly in 1968 to accept a position with Kansas City, MO Planning Dept., but returned in 1969 having been hired by Redco (Resource Development Corp.), consulting with communities on redevelopment plans along the Front Range, and in New Mexico and Texas. Emmett also worked with the 1960 social programs initiated the Great Society during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, especially by helping communities establish and implement community action programs as a part of the War on Poverty. In 1971 he began his 30 year+ career with the Dept of HUD, Region VIII in Denver. (Region VIII includes the states if Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.) He initially assisted the Regional Planning Officer in the Office of Metropolitan Planning and Development. In 1972 he became Director in the Comprehensive Planning Assistance Division, Office of Community Planning and Development and served as HUD regional liaison with the planning divisions of the EPA, the Federal Highway Administration, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration and the River Basins Commissions in Region VIII. Emmett retired from HUD in 2002. During his tenure with HUD, Emmett also taught an evening graduate level class on urban planning at the University of Colorado Denver. In addition to his work as an urban planner Emmett served on the boards of many foundations. Among them were the Denver Zoological Foundation, the Louisville, CO Library, the Community Foundation of Boulder, and most recently, the board of Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder.
Emmett loved to play golf! His “happy place” was always on a golf course and he felt privileged to have played on so many of the world’s most famous courses in Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, as well as in the U.S. His favorite course was always been Royal Dornoch in northern Scotland. Emmett also loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to Europe. Most often when traveling in the U.S., the destinations would include several gold courses. Ha also enjoyed visiting the national parks, Canada and Mexico. He loved music, particularly jazz and blues and had an extensive LP collection. But next to golf, Emmett was a passionate and eclectic reader and used the libraries extensively.
Emmett was a proud loving father of Eric William Haywood, currently of Seattle, WA and Kirsten Lee Haywood, who lives in Denver. He married Joan Alcorn Hohlfelder on August 13, 1994 and became the proud and loving stepfather to Joan’s son, Andrew C. Hohfelder of Boulder, CO. He and Joan lived in Louisville, CO for 27 years but moved to a patio home community in Erie in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Joan, son Eric, daughter-in-law Brei Abercrombie Haywood, his daughter Kirsten, stepson Andrew and daughter-in-law Jennifer Jordan Hohfelder as well as 6 grandchildren. Also still living is his brother, Charles Haywood, of Houston, TX, his niece Sonya Cebron also of Houston and niece Suneece Eagleton of Plano, TX. Town cousins are also still living: Abe Haywood of Riverside, CA and Berna Tucker of Dallas.
A celebration if Emmett’s remarkable life will be held on Saturday, September 28th at 4:00pm at Colorado National Golf Club (One of his happy places!) in Erie, CO.