November 20, 1980 – December 17, 2021
Galen, age 41, passed away at his home in Glenwood Springs with his mother at his side and his sister Candy on Facetime. He fought valiantly against the pain of tongue and mouth cancer. The pain is now gone and he is at peace.
Galen was born at home to Elizabeth A. Starvish and Donald J. Bittel in Lakewood. He spent his youth in Critchell on a small farm near the then-small community of Conifer. During those years, he belonged to the Pleasant Park and Trail Dusters 4-H Club and the US Pony Club with his sister, Kayla. Galen rode his pony “Topper” on many fishing and camping trips to the National Forests with his dad, who taught him the wonders of exploring the backcountry. Unfortunately, in 1991, his father died of liver cancer.
In 1993, he moved to the Western Slope and New Castle with his mother, Beth, and sister, Kayla, and all five horses and two dogs. Through his teenage years, they lived in Silt, Meeker, Parachute and Rifle. After he received his GED in 1998, he pursued the building trades and carpentry became his passion.
In 2000, he moved to Carbondale. Galen was an excellent carpenter who took pride in his work on fine houses in the Roaring Fork Valley. He loved to point out the many beautiful homes he helped to build.
Galen is survived by his mother, Beth Bittel (New Castle/Hotchkiss); his sister, Candace (Scott) Littlejohn, and children, Austin and Allie (Paonia); niece, Stephanie Alexandra Bittel (Sean) Burrows, and sons Landon and Declan (Parker); brother-in-law, Timothy Terry, sons Brendan and Joseph (New Castle); aunt, Mary (Ron) Lies (Denver).
Galen was hard-working and also artistic. He made some beautiful epoxy countertops and had just set up a new business, Over The Top Epoxy. He helped and made the countertops for Stepping Stones remodel in Carbondale.
Galen loved to go fishing and hiking the mountains with his best friend, Aaron Koch. He did a lot of photography on those trips and especially on adventures in his CJ7 Jeep. He always anticipated the winter elk hunting season, loved to Snowmobile up in the Meadow Lake areas and was a member of the Sunlight Ski Patrol, the first snowboarder to join that team, he said.
He is preceded in death by his father, Donald Bittel; sister, Kayla Ann (Bittel) Terry; “Nana,” Catherine Starvish; uncle, Harold Bittel.
There will be a celebration of life for Galen at Veltus Park in Glenwood Springs on Saturday, May 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. It is a potluck with a service at 3 p.m. There will be another celebration of life at Gregory Park in Glenwood Springs on Sunday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a service at 1 p.m.
Contributions in his memory can be made to The Beljanski Foundation for cancer research.