Charles Norman Spray – Known as Jeep Hack to family and friends, (a nickname given to him by his beloved grandfather Henry Hack) passed away on June 22, 2023. He was 87 years old. Born in Canon City in 1935 (Orchard Park) Colorado, he was raised in the mountain towns of Victor, Cripple Creek and Dillon, Colorado.
He attended South High School in Denver where he excelled as a distance runner on the track team and also qualified as a Marksman and Sharpshooter on the school’s R.O.T.C rifle team. He then moved to California where he finished high school, graduated and moved back to Colorado as fast as he could! Having worked for Safeway in California while attending high school, he went back to work for them in Denver.
Later, he attended and graduated from the Colorado State Barber College. Now licensed as a barber, he went to work barbering in his grandfather, Henry Hack’s barber shop in Cripple Creek, Colorado. When the economy in Cripple Creek collapsed, he moved back to Denver barbering in shops there. Never able to realize a decent wage to support his family and growing tired of sitting around doing nothing half of the day, (a trait barbers do a lot of) he again returned to Safeway.
At Safeway, he worked in various positions, moving up the ladder…Clerk, Dept. Manager, Store Manager and ultimately as a District Manager where he supervised store operations in North Denver, Lakewood and Arvada, as well as Northern Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. He also graduated from Safeway’s Management Development program. A career that spanned 37 years.
Married to Sandra Jane Sittler for 30 years, his marriage was blessed with two children, Bambi Lynn Augustin of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Charles Henry Spray of Bozeman, Montana. He has 12 Grandchildren and 5 Great Grandchildren from this marriage. An avid hunter and fisherman, with a love for horses, he shared these experiences with both of his children as they were growing up.
A second marriage of 29 years to Kathleen Robetta Ashley was shared by their love for his step-daughter Jennifer Mendes and step-son Cook Romero, and their spouses and children.
Upon his retirement from Safeway, he was able to achieve a lifelong desire. Devoting most of his time to owning, breeding, raising, training and showing horses. “The Bumin’ Around Ranch” located in Loveland, Colorado, was well-known for its Tennessee Walking Horses, that were recognized throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, as well as in Tennessee. The blood lines of the Bumin’ Around Ranch’s champion stallions continue to be carried by walking horses’ all over the region.
His passion in his last few years was to write down all his many recollections of growing up in the gold mining district of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado in the 1930’s, 40’s and ’50’s. This collection of stories was finally compiled into a small book, the final proof of which was given to him as a Father’s Day gift that he was very proud of titled, “A Victor Boy”. He passed just a few days later.
Jeep’s wishes were to be cremated and buried at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek. A gathering for family and friends will be announced at a later date to also be held in Cripple Creek.