By Sheridan Block
Alvin Joseph Ficco, 80, of Ouray, passed away at home in the company of his family and friends on Apr. 27.
A father of four sons, Ficco’s family remembered him as a loving father and husband who always put others before himself. Nicknamed “Saint Alvin,” he never spoke ill of anyone and never held a grudge, said his youngest son, Joe Ficco. He lived by the rule “if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
“He was just such a caring man and he thought about everyone else but himself,” said his eldest son, Dan Ficco. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me he’s a guy who didn’t do anything wrong.”
Born and raised in the city of Ouray, Ficco had strong ties within the community. He graduated from Ouray School in 1950 and served the U.S. Army in Germany from 1953 to 1955. Ficco co-owned Rice Lumber Company with his brother, Tom Fellin, and went on to run a construction business with his best friend, Norman Fedel.
Ever since the first grade, Ficco and Fedel have been closer than brothers. They raised their families together, their sons went to school together and they even took camping trips together.
“He’s one of the finest men I ever knew… I just can’t say enough about him, it’s like losing my brother,” said Fedel.
On Sundays, if weather and schedules permitted, Ficco, Fedel and their sons would take trips through the hills in their Jeeps. The catch, his son Dan recalled, was that the boys had to attend and behave in church. Ficco was an active member of St. Daniel’s Catholic Church in Ouray.
Aside from his kind spirit, Ficco was most known for his love of chopping wood. On their hunting trips, his sons would tease that he was hunting trees instead of elk, and Fedel joked that they would put a chainsaw on his tombstone. The family had plenty of firewood to last an extra year, said Joe.
“He was strong. Strong to the bitter end,” he said.
Even during his battle with cancer, Ficco kept himself busy and worked in his garage for two to three hours in the morning. Whenever he had something on his mind, he would go out and do it.
Alvin Ficco will be remembered by family and friends as a strong, caring and gentle man of faith, with a passion for lumber.