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In Memory of Rich Jarboe, a Beloved Garden Member

Rich and Joan Jarboe were avid Rose Roots gardeners. We wanted to share an update from their daughter Karen in memory of her father Rich Jarboe who passed unexpectedly. We are thankful Rich and Joan were an integrated part of our garden community. They were at the garden together daily, Joan tending our beautiful community patch of roses and always sharing one with anyone who passed by. Rich lovingly tended their plot back by the barn while helping others with garden projects. Both Rich and Joan worked tirelessly on the Westside Landscaping Project, helping pull out a dead tree and teaching our young ones all about tomato worms, measuring and laying out a pathway, and teaching others to use garden implements. A tree donated by their daughter Karen will be planted in Memory of her father on the Westside. All are invited to his Celebration of Life at the Butterfly Pavilion on Feb 25 at 11 am and are invited to RSVP HERE.


Here is a special memory of Rich teaching our youth about the pesky tomato hornworm. Rich and Joan were always eager to lend a helping hand and were regular volunteers at the Butterfly Pavilion where they became experts in garden flora and fauna. Rich will be greatly missed!


Richard Jarboe sharing garden magic


From Rich and Joan's daughter Karen:


Good Morning -

My father, Rich Jarboe, passed away over the weekend.

He and my mother had a plot at the garden and I wanted to make sure you were aware of his passing. Also, I wanted to share how much he enjoyed the garden. It gave him something to do with my mom, a place for them to walk for exercise and a hobby they could share together. My mom has Alzheimer's, so the garden was a good outlet for them both.


Here are the details of my dad's celebration of life event:

Date: Saturday, February 25th Time: 11:00 am Location: Butterfly Pavilion - 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster, CO 80020

We will start with a program to include planned and volunteered tributes to my dad, and a reception to follow. The event will conclude with a private butterfly release for the family.


If you plan to attend, please use this link to RSVP to help us with our planning.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Butterfly Pavilion or the Colorado School of Mines Jarboe Family Scholarship Fund.

Thank You,

Karen and Joan

Richard Jarboe, 1945-2023

Richard ‘Rich’ Earl Jarboe, 77, of Arvada, Colorado passed away on Saturday, January 21st after a short battle with stage IV cancer.


Rich was born on September 19, 1945, to Colonel Jesse James Jarboe & Dorothy Mae (Hackerott) Jarboe in Bastrop County, TX. Rich was an ‘army brat’ moving regularly throughout the US and Germany as a child. Many of his fondest childhood memories were from summers he spent on the family’s ranch in Nara Visa, NM.

In 1963 Rich graduated from Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Fountain, CO where he competed at the varsity level in Basketball and Track and Field. He went on to study metallurgy at the Colorado School of Mines, receiving a degree in Professional Engineering in 1967.


After graduation he served for two years as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers with duty stations in Korea and West Point, NY. He returned to college to earn an MBA from West Texas State University in 1971. Rich worked for over 30 years in the mining and metals industry followed by computer programming before retiring from Leprino Foods in 2012.


Rich started volunteering at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 1994 and the Butterfly Pavilion in 1997; he was still actively volunteering at both places when he passed away. Starting in 2013, Rich served on the Board of Directors as the Chairman of the Volunteer Leadership Council at the Butterfly Pavilion. The pavilion’s Rosie Experience will be renamed posthumously in honor of his years of service.

Rich and Joan's favorite roses

In 1975, Rich met Joan (Heiser) of Dickinson, ND. They were married on November 11, 1978, celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary just months before he passed. Rich & Joan have one daughter, Karen (Gravlin). Rich was a very caring husband & father; he took excellent care of his wife and was very proud of his daughter and his two grandchildren.


In 2018, Rich & his wife Joan established the Jarboe Family Scholarship Fund at the Colorado School of Mines to focus primarily on supporting talented female scientists and engineers at Mines. His goal was to “encourage young women to pursue a STEM education without financial burdens standing in their way.”


As a young adult Rich enjoyed competing in enduro races on his many motorcycles; always recruiting many family members and friends to join him in this hobby. He was an excellent skier; a passion shared with his niece (Vickie Kruse, TX), daughter, son-in-law (Adam Gravlin, IL) & granddaughter (Morgan Gravlin, IL). He was always easy to spot on the mountain, standing over six feet tall and sporting a beard of icicles.

As he grew older, Rich enjoyed collecting stamps & coins, cycling, beekeeping, planting in his community garden, and participating in ‘road rallies’ with his fellow Miata and Corvette owners & enthusiasts. Rich was a lifelong lover of science, books, and live music.


In his final years, Rich & his wife Joan traveled with longtime friends to destinations such as Alaska, Australia, Greece, the Rhine River, and most recently Hawaii. They also traveled regularly to Wheaton, IL to spend time with their grandchildren, who affectionately called him ‘Papa’. Papa will be remembered for many things but mostly for his infamous Sunday morning pancakes.


Rich and Joan Jarboe

Rich was preceded in death by his mother & father; stepmother, Evelyn (Higgins) Jarboe; sister & brother in-law, Dee & Sam McCarty; sister in-law, Jenny Jarboe.

He is survived by his loving wife, Joan; daughter, Karen (Adam) Gravlin; grandchildren, Morgan & Evan Gravlin; and his brother, George ‘Butch’ Jarboe; nieces Peggy McCarty, Vickie (Dennise) Kruse & Teresa (Justin) Heikes; nephews Kevin McCarty & Jason Jarboe.

A celebration of his life will be hosted at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 11:00 am, click here to RSVP.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Butterfly Pavilion or the Jarboe Family Scholarship Fund.


Rich's memory will live on in our hearts and at the garden where things he planted will continue to grow. We are thinking of his family at this time and sending so much love.


Rich and Grayson in the garden

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