Walter  L.  Stonehocker
Walter L. Stonehocker

September 13, 1924 - February 25, 2018
Born in Denver, Colorado
Resided in Brighton, Colorado
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Walter Stonehocker, born in Denver on September 13, 1924 to James Alfred Stonehocker and Mary Elizabeth McAndrews, was the youngest of five children. A lifelong farmer, Walt developed a strong work ethic as well as a deep appreciation and passion for the land, water, and livestock. He lived his life based on the values established by faith, family and hard work.

In 1958, Walt married the love of his life, Roswitha (Wottge), a farmer’s daughter born in Germany, who immigrated to the United States in 1952. Over the next 60 years, Walt and Rose gracefully and humbly built a beautiful life together with their seven children and 17 grandchildren. In 1967 when Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Eastlake closed, Walt and Rose became founding members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Northglenn.

Beyond his ongoing work as a farmer, Walt became a charter member of West Adams County Volunteer Fire Department in 1945 and helped build the Eastlake firehouse. He continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years, during which he served as Captain, Assistant Chief and Chief of the fire district. In 1968 he was elected to the Board of Directors and served four consecutive terms, of which six years he served as president. For two years, he also served as the Law and Legislative Chairman of the Colorado State Fireman’s Association.

In January 1971, Walt was one of four men that formed a small partnership called Ecological Engineering Systems (EES). He and Rose took a huge risk to invest in an idea one of the men had when he looked out the kitchen window of Walt and Rose’s home and noticed two flares in the far distance to the east. He had remarked, “Someone should process all that gas.” Soon after, the four men were meeting on weekends over several months. They would meet at the farm and drive out in the country looking at the flares and wells and discussed starting the business. On June 28, 1971 they each wrote a check, making the initial investment necessary to form EES. The business was first run from one of the upstairs bedrooms in Walt and Rose’s home until office space was leased in the bank building on Melody Drive in Northglenn.

After many years of hard work and commitment, EES eventually became Western Gas Resources and in 1987 the Company went public. The Company’s long run ended on June 24, 2006 when it agreed to be acquired by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Walt worked as an executive and member of the board the entire time the Company had existed and at the Company’s peak, it employed nearly 900 people.

Following his retirement, Walt thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Rose, his children and his grandchildren by working and tending to his love of land at the family farm in Brighton and the ranch in Granby. Walter died peacefully on his Brighton farm, Sunday morning, February 25, 2018 at age 93, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife Roswitha, and his seven children: Dr. William (Terri), Renee (Gary) Schwark, Michael (Robin), Heidi, Lori (Mark) Quick, Linda (William) Marty, Mark (Tracy); and 17 grandchildren.

The Rosary will be Sunday, March 4th, 4:30 PM, followed by Visitation until 6:30 PM, at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 9998 Grant Street. The Funeral Mass will be Monday, March 5th, 1:30 PM at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 11385 Grant Street. Interment will be Tuesday, March 6th, 10 AM at Elmwood Cemetery in Brighton. Memorial Contributions suggested to Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation, P.O. Box 470097, Aurora, 80047-0097 or online at




Recitation of The Rosary
Horan & McConaty - Grant
9998 Grant St.
Thornton, CO US 80229
Sunday, March 4, 2018
4:30 PM
Horan & McConaty - Grant
9998 Grant St.
Thornton, CO US 80229
Sunday, March 4, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Funeral Mass
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
11385 Grant Drive
Northglenn, CO US 80233
Monday, March 5, 2018
1:30 PM
Graveside Service
Elmwood Cemetery
14800 Old Brighton Road
Brighton, CO US 80601
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
10:30 AM


Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P.O. Box 470097
Aurora, CO 80047-0097