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Roof collapses at Bayfield chair factory
2/9/2010 By: Times staff report
Obituary for Jewell LePlatt is below.
“It’s as flat as a pancake.”
Well, not quite, but that’s the assessment from several who have seen an industrial building on U.S. 160B that collapsed early Monday morning from heavy snow loads.
The building, known locally as the chair factory, had been used for equipment storage by several companies, and some people had their boats stored in the building.
Snow loads on roofs are getting heavier, and people need to start thinking about shoveling it off their roofs, said Chief Richard Graeber of Upper Pine Fire as his crews responded to the site this morning to turn off natural gas and electricity.
According to the county’s emergency department, snow loads were at about 40 pounds per square foot last week, Graeber said. Sunday’s snowstorm added another three pounds, for totals of 40 to 45 pounds per foot on area roofs.
The building is constructed of metal and had a sloped roof, but with so many successive snowstorms coming after another, the weight is just getting too heavy for some buildings, Graeber said.
Jewell Ludwig LePlatt
Mrs. Jewell Inez Emma Ludwig LePlatt passed away February 5, 2010, at her home in Bayfield, Colo., of pulmonary fibrosis with her son, Herb, and daughter-in-law, Betsy, by her side and surrounded by family and friends. She was 91 years old.
She was born in Bayfield, CO December 27, 1918 to Henry Frank and Iza Edith Ludwig. She resided in Bayfield her entire life with the exception of a few years when she lived in Cloves, NM. She attended Bayfield High School from 1932–1936. She attended Barnes Business College in Denver, CO from 1937-1938 and completed an Associates Degree in Business.
She was married to Herbert “Jack” LePlatt on March 22, 1944, at the Naval Air Station at Alameda, CA. Their only child Herbert “Herb” LePlatt was born on March 25, 1954.
Jewell worked with her families on ranches in Bear Creek, Teelawuket, Williams Creek, and finally “the Home Place” in Bayfield, CO. She worked with her family on the Jewell-Caroll Ranch in the Wiminuche Valley as an outfitter for many years. She taught high school for several years during WWII in Bayfield before she became one of the first 11 female park rangers hired for the Park Service during the mid 40’s. Her first assignment was to Bandolier National Monument. She worked as a clerk at Lewis Merchantile before she and Jack started LePlatt’s L.P. Gas, Inc in Bayfield (now Amerigas).
Jewell was president of the Bayfield Cemetery District Board for many, many years. She was a member of the Upper Pine River Fire Auxiliary, a Bayfield Lions Club Booster taking care of the Lions Club calendar for many years. She and Jack allowed public access to their lake on their ranch and enjoyed seeing the many children who learned to fish there. They were Colorado Landowners of the year in 1988 and runners-up in 1987.
Jewell loved fishing, horseback riding and camping. She also enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and embroidery.
As the main cook for her family’s outfitting company she always claimed she was a much a better cook over an open campfire than over a stove. She was especially proud of her Dutch oven biscuits. Jewell always put her family above all else. Although she only had one child she was “mother” to many. She was often the hostess of many large holiday gatherings. She filled her house to overflowing with relatives and friends.
Jewell was preceded in death by her husband of over 50 year, Jack LePlatt. Also proceeded in death by her father Frank Ludwig, her mother Iza Ludwig and her brother Carl Ludwig.
Jewell is survived by her son Herb LePlatt, daughter-in-law Betsy LePlatt and grand daughter Svetlana LePlatt of Chanhassen, MN; brother Roy Ludwig of Covington WA; brother Kenneth “Corky” Ludwig of Salt Lake City, UT; brother Frank “Jr” Ludwig of Bayfield, CO; and numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.
"We will love and miss her," says her son, Herb.
Visitation will be held on Monday, February 8, 2010 from Noon through 8:00 P.M. at Hood Mortuary. The services will be held at 10am at the Church of Christ 2011 US Hwy. 160B in Bayfield, CO with pastor Ray Wallace officiating.
Contributions in Jewell’s honor may be made to:
Town of Bayfield
PO Box 80
Bayfield, CO 81122
Upper Pine River Fire District
Pine River Valley Heritage Society
PO Box 1981
Bayfield, CO 81122