Mark Lee Chaffee
April 25, 1950 – November 16, 2021
Mark Lee Chaffee of Berthoud, Co, passed away suddenly on November 16, 2021. He is survived by his sister, Diane L. (Fred Laroche), Chaffee, his brother, Brian H. (Erin) Chaffee, his nephew, Coulter T. Chaffee and his niece, Carmen N. Chaffee. He is predeceased by his parents, Harold D. Chaffee and E. Lucille Chaffee.
Mark Lee Chaffee
In his hometown of Albuquerque, NM, Mark was an all-around athlete at Sandia High School where he was on State Championship teams in basketball his junior year and in baseball while receiving First Team All-State catcher recognition his senior year. He was offered a basketball scholarship and attended the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Southern Colorado State College where he played baseball. He also played semi pro baseball before continuing his education at Colorado State University where he majored in Sociology and Psychology. At CSU he was a member of the ATO fraternity where he met many lifelong friends. Mark was a member of the CSU Alumni Association and an enthusiastic supporter of CSU’s sports department.
At the age of 20, he began his career in the restaurant industry and managed, owned and operated restaurants for 31 years in the Denver area before purchasing and operating the Berthoud Inn and Events Center from 2001 until 2020, establishing a successful business in the hospitality and catering industry. He shared his experience and expertise by lecturing and providing internships to students in the Masters of Tourism Management Program at Colorado State University. Mark believed it is important to be a participant in the community and active within your industry. Mark was a member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers and Colorado Restaurant Association.
Mark’s passion for being an innkeeper was reflected in his continual quest to deliver a unique one-of-a-kind lodging experience. Mark was a gifted chef and innovative entrepreneur known for preparation of his remarkably creative and delicious breakfasts. Mark was ever the gracious host with a warm handshake, a joke to share and a story to tell. Easy banter characterized his interaction with guests. His attention to detail in the weddings and events he hosted lead to rave reviews and many repeat guests.
Mark was generous with his time with non-profits and community activities as well, including serving as the former president and former vice president of the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce. He founded and passionately directed Berthoud Cares, a nonprofit for Berthoud students. The organization established a Kids Helping Kids Grant Fund which allocates funding raised by Berthoud CARES to support children-in-need in the community and other events to help keep children safe. Mark lived life with vigor, curiosity, playful enthusiasm and caring for others. His breadth of friendships extended from childhood, college days, sports affiliations, business colleagues and those he just met. He had an impact on everyone he came to know. His smile, sense of humor and laugh were infectious. Mark’s dreams included building a home, playing golf, visiting friends around the county and perhaps other adventures only known by the twinkle in his eye!