Tuesday, April 24, 2012

11 Mile

The bodies of former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen and his wife were found at Eleven Mile Reservoir after a boating accident.


Search Resumes For Missing Springs Mayoral Candidate

Mitch Christiansen, Wife, Were Boating At Eleven Mile State Park
Posted by Kim Nguyen, Web Editor
POSTED: 7:14 am MDT May 26, 2011
UPDATED: 7:31 am MDT May 26, 2011

     LAKE GEORGE, Colo. -- Search teams are resuming the hunt for a former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate who disappeared while boating at Eleven Mile State Park.
     Mitch Christiansen and his wife, 62-year-old Susan Christiansen, had gone fishing over the weekend at Eleven Mile reservoir when their boat capsized.
     The couple left for the fishing trip on Friday, according to a neighbor.
     Susan Christiansen's body was found Sunday afternoon. Crews from Park County and Eleven Mile Reservoir State Park spent Sunday searching the water and the shoreline for Mitch Christiansen but could not find him.
     Authorities don't know when the boat capsized, said state parks spokeswoman Debbie Frazier.
     The Christiansens had entered in the 27th No Name Fishing Tournament but did not check in on Saturday morning to collect their tournament hats, Melissa Mrazek, an event organizer, told The Gazette newspaper.
     Winds gusting to more than 40 mph whipped across the lake Saturday, Frazier said, creating whitecaps and sending some fishing tournament participants hurrying in boats back to shore.
     Frazier said the search will resume on Thursday.
     Married for 42 years, the Christiansens have two children and five grandchildren, according to his campaign biography. Mitch Christiansen, a commercial real estate broker, dropped out of the mayor's race in March.

I first became familiar with Mitch Christiansen during the first mayoral debate; when I heard him speak, I knew he spoke for me, and immediately threw my full support behind his candidacy.

A few weeks later, I was introduced to Mitch during a meeting; he'd just dropped out of the race....but I showed him my "Mitch for Mayor" post, and he smiled.

Thereafter, we became fast friends, and were in daily contact. 

I last saw Mitch on Election Day; I had my husband in tow when we happened into Mr. and Mrs. Christiansen at a restaurant.  Introductions, handshakes, and smiles went around the table...

...and then we went on our way.

I last heard from Mitch on May 18, when I told him I needed to seek some professional advice.  "We'll meet up soon," he wrote, "we just need to make our schedules work."

And that was it.

I was stunned to learn of this awful tragedy; all I could do was cry. The crying time is not yet over...indeed, it will never be.

* * * * * * * *

Mitch was one of my biggest supporters - not financially (though he had offered to pay for the repair to my car's ignition)...but certainly with encouragement. 

He was no stranger to hardship...and though he knew times were hard for me and my family, he reminded me every day to never give up.

I applied for a job last week, and listed Mitch as a reference; I was hired for that job today...so certainly, he's still at work as one of God's angels.

I am a better person for having known him, and believe that he continues to watch over me.

* * * * * * * *

Man, oh, man was Mitch smart...and blessed as well with common sense, integrity and courage.  He had a memory like a steel-trap, and could point my nose in the right direction; it was he who told me to look at Banning-Lewis Ranch.

Mitch was humble, and had a quiet sense of humor; he was the one who forwarded to me the hilarious Obama speech.

Mitch was a man amongst men -- a real-life Marlboro man -- and that's how I'll always remember him.

* * * * * * * *

Let us never forget that life is short and fleeting...to savor every moment...and to tell the ones we love how much we love them.

My condolences to Mitch's family, and to everyone who knew and loved the man, his wife, and their dogs.

rest in peace

No comments:

Post a Comment