Lew Gaiter Jr.
RIP at 83: 1933 to 2017
Born Lewis Leon Gaiter Jr in Fort Leavenworth Kansas, his family moved to Denver when Lew was still a child. Lew Gaiter Jr. better known as “Cool Lew” was a product of Denver Public Schools and the University of Denver, where he received degrees in both business administration and law. He worked as a financial consultant alongside his wife of 20 years, Lori, who is a CPA. While attending the University of Denver, Lew established the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He was a US Navy veteran, serving from 1951 through 1955 during the Korean War.
A jazz drummer, Lew played seriously during college and law school and still occasionally sat in on club dates and jam sessions. His home included a music room where he would jam with local musicians. Lew had been a KUVO volunteer since 2000; he was the host of TGIF: Friday Night Jazz for the past five years. His goal was to keep your toes tapping, serving up upbeat bebop and modern jazz to soothe your soul after another work week.
Mr. Gaiter was a tireless ambassador for jazz, he founded and operated the restaurants Mother Dear's and Blue Coyote where he presented live jazz. For the past seven years Cool Lew volunteered his services as main stage manager for the annual Five Points Jazz Festival as well as for the Westcliff, Vail and Telluride Jazz Festivals here in Colorado and for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Lew was also active in several community activities: at the time of his passing he was president of the George Washington Homeowner's Association. Lew also owned and operated the Burlington Hotel and ran Zachaar Business Consultants which focused on helping small business owners. Cool Lew was also an avid skier and member of the Geneva Basin Ski Patrol. Lew was a Denver Broncos season ticket holder for over 50 years. Lew was a 20 year kidney transplant recipient which led him to become very involved with the Denver branch of the Kidney Foundation.
Lew Gaiter Jr. is survived by wife Lori, four sons, one daughter, a brother, two sisters, 15 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
KUVO will honor Cool Lew with a Jam Session & Potluck Dinner this Sunday, February 5th from 2 to 4pm in the Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio
A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 4 at 11am at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E Hampden Ave, Cherry Hills Village CO, with a private internment.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, Lew would greatly appreciate your donations to:
American Transplant Foundation of Denver
600 17th Street, Suite 2515
Denver CO 80202