Harry A. Trueblood
Harry A. Trueblood

August 28, 1925 - September 14, 2017
Born in Wichita Falls, TX
Resided in Highlands Ranch, Colorado
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Obituary

Harry A. Trueblood, Jr.
August 28, 1925 - September 14, 2017

Harry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on August 28, 1925, to Harry and Marguerite Barnhart Trueblood. He was reared in Childress, TX during the Great Depression and had his first job at 11. At age 12 he participated in his first “founding” when he helped launch Boy Scout Troop 63 and rose to the rank of Eagle Scout by June 1940. He helped found an Explorer Scout troop before age 15, and in June 1942, graduated from high school and entered Texas A & M College before his 17th birthday. He transferred to UT Austin after one semester when it became evident that serving in the ROTC would not assure he could graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering degree before mandatory wartime army service. Harry attended UT from January 1943 until he graduated in August 1948 except for a period (1944-46) of naval service in the Pacific aboard a minesweeper. While on campus, he belonged to Kappa Alpha (VP) and was elected a Texas Cowboy (Camp Cook).

Harry had the opportunity to draw his first salary with the California Company in its Miss/LA division which trumped his graduation and his diploma was ultimately mailed to him. He also worked in Calco’s Gulf Coast division offshore and onshore as a drilling engineer until May 1951 when he resigned, returned to Texas, and joined a joint venture of two Houston independents with operations in the DJ Basin in Sterling, CO as well as west Texas.

After one year with this JV, Harry saw an opportunity to become a founder again, by starting his own consulting firm in Sterling, supervising drilling and completing wells for operators who had no personnel in the area. Immediate success of this firm and control of his life led him to renew contact with Miss Lucile Bernard of New Orleans. Harry always said he pulled off “his greatest sales pitch ever” by convincing Lucile to marry him in N.O. on January 22, 1953 and live in Sterling, CO. Harry and Lucile were married for sixty four years, reared a daughter Katherine (1955) and a son John (1957) and have two grandchildren, Erin Trueblood Astin and John “Jack” Snowden Trueblood.

In May 1953, Harry moved his business to Denver where, once again, he became a founder—this time as CEO of a startup E&P company with about a dozen private investors but very shortly, after a successful property acquisition and two significant field extensions in the San Juan Basin on a development farmout, it became necessary to access sizable funds from the public. He did this by creating Consolidated Oil & Gas, Inc. (CGS) in 1958 by a back door merger with a small public company. As its CEO during the next ten years, he made several acquisitions of properties and companies as well as finding several significant oil and natural gas discoveries such that his very small original private company grew to a market value in excess of $300 million.

A significant contributor to CGS’s growth was the expansion of its business into recreation land sales with the acquisition of Eagle County Development Corp (ECDC) in the fall of 1964. ECDC was a company Harry had helped create as a personal investment in 1962 by advancing the money required to exercise an option to acquire a sheep ranch which owned about 35% of the fee simple acreage in the Vail Valley. A combination of high income taxes on land sales and the overwhelming need for capital to develop east Vail led his 50% partners to seek a tax free merger after only two years. CGS accommodated them by acquiring ECDC as a subsidiary and enjoyed earnings from land sales for the next 20 years by expanding into Hawaii. After much of Vail land had been sold, a new resort community, Princeville, on the north shore of Kauai, HI was commenced in 1969 and was also developed as a sub of CGS until 1984 when it was spun off to CGS shareholders.

Harry also oversaw several spinoffs of prior acquisitions of E&P subsidiaries and served as their CEO during that downsizing period. Altogether, over his corporate career, Harry served as CEO of eight public companies seven of which he helped to create.

Harry’s service to industry organizations includes the Independent Petroleum Assoc of America where he served as VP, Director and Executive Committee member and a member of its Nat Gas Committee for over 50 years. He received its "Hard Hat" award for his efforts in helping initiate common carrier status for natural gas pipelines. He served on the Executive Committee of the Natural Gas Supply Committee in the 1980s. In 2004 Harry was inducted into the inaugural class of Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Hall of Fame. He was a founding member of IPANM and IPAMS in the 1970s and received the latter’s “Wildcatter” lifetime achievement award in 2006. In that same year, he received the prestigious Distinguished Eagle Scout award from the BSA.

In 2007, Harry was honored as a Distinguished Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin and in 2013 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the school of Petroleum Engineering. Harry has been a member of the SPE Legion of Honor, Rocky Mountain Petroleum Pioneers and was formerly a member of the API 25 Year Club.

Outside of the energy industry, Harry has been recognized extensively for his volunteer and philanthropic activities. Early in his career, he was elected a member of the Young Presidents Organization, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World, Chief Executives Organization, and World President's Organization. Harry also founded the Harry Trueblood Foundation in 1968 which funds scholarships based on merit for many Colorado educational institutions as well as the Harry Trueblood Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at UT Austin. His UT affiliations include UT Chancellor's Council, the President's Associates, the Littlefield Society as well as a lifetime member of the Ex-Student’s and Cowboy Alumni Assoc.

Harry is survived by his children, Katherine A. Trueblood and John B. Trueblood; and two beloved grandchildren, Erin Trueblood Astin and John “Jack” Snowden Trueblood.

A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, October 27, 2017, 1PM, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 8035 S. Quebec St. Englewood, CO 80112 followed by a reception at Cherry Hills Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to a charity of choice or the Annual Scholarship Program of the Harry Trueblood Foundation, Suite 908, 1720 Bellaire St, Denver, CO 80222.

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Services

Funeral Mass
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
8035 South Quebec Street
Centennial, CO US 80112
Friday, October 27, 2017
1:00 PM
Reception
Cherry Hills Country Club
4125 South University Boulevard
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado 80113
Friday, October 27, 2017
2:30 PM

Charities

Annual Scholarship Program of the Harry Trueblood Foundation
1720 Bellaire Street, Ste 908
Denver, Colorado 80222