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Love like "Couchy"

Once in a while, we are blessed with a person who makes our lives brighter and more enjoyable. A person who makes us feel like we've known them our whole lives. That person was Stephen Courteney Couch "Couchy" to most, a friend and brother to many but who left us too soon.

Born to Gene and Shirley Couch of Salida Colorado, Couchy attended Salida High School and then attended Fort Lewis College in Durango where he played football.  After completing school in Durango, Couchy lived in Arvada for a short time before moving up to Northern Colorado where he had settled over the past 18 years working in the mortgage industry. 

Couchy was a valued member at Pelican Lakes and a resident of Water Valley. Many knew Stephen as a staple at the Sandbar, where he spent many evenings and weekends making friends with members, new and old. He never knew a stranger. 

He was one of those people who never seemed to take life too seriously. He loved all sports, however, he loved being on the golf course, and he always did it in his flip-flops. Rain or shine, he was out there on the course, laughing and joking with his friends, giving himself pep talks on the golf course to ‘Be an Athlete’, and reminding us all to have a little more fun in our lives.

Despite never having kids of his own, one of his greatest joys in life was his nieces and nephews. He would spend countless hours searching for the perfect gifts, patched together with rolls of scotch tape. His generosity knew no bounds. If you had a child at Pelican Lakes, he would keep their hands full with ice cream cones, intrigue them with his magic tricks and from time to time his teeth – if you know, you know.  If you spent any time in the sandbar, you were sure to be offered a ‘Couchy’, a drink named specifically after him, as that is what he loved to drink. Whether it was a stranger or a friend, he treated everyone with the same kindness and respect.

Couchy was someone who knew the importance of living life to the fullest. He embraced every moment with enthusiasm and never took anything for granted. He was authentic, a man on his own journey, never apologetic, always reaching out with a warm hand, and curious about people. He had the incredible ability to bring people together. He had a way of connecting with everyone he met, and his infectious energy and positivity had a ripple effect on those around him.

As we reflect on Couchy's life, we can all strive to "love like Couchy" by living with an open heart and embracing every moment with enthusiasm. We can strive to be a light in the lives of those around us, spreading positivity and joy wherever we go. We can work to connect with others, building meaningful relationships and creating a sense of community wherever we are. One of his dear friends asked several people, "If you could describe Couchy in one word, what would that word be?  The words that were used were unapologetic, positive, welcoming, nonjudgemental, inviting, kind, entertaining, electric, dynamic, loveable, charismatic, joyous, and many more.  Several people reached out to the family to let them know how he touched their lives and one person wrote a long letter sharing that if it would not have been for him she would not be the person she is today, because of the way he stuck up for her in school.  She was bullied and he was there to help her believe in herself over and over again.  They stayed in contact for many years.

Most importantly, we can honor Couchy's memory by cherishing the time we have with our loved ones and never taking a single moment for granted. We can embrace life with the same enthusiasm and zest that Couchy did, living each day to the fullest and making the most of every opportunity.

To his family "Be More like Couchy" means embracing life with open arms. It means not being afraid to take risks or try new things. It means being true to yourself, even if it means standing out from the crowd. And it means finding joy in the little things, like playing golf in flip flops, or greeting your friends with ‘Chief’. So here's to you Couchy. Thank you for making so many lives brighter and more enjoyable.  Thank you for reminding us that life is short and that we should make the most of every moment. We’re keeping our flip-flops on for you, Chief.

"Don't worry about me, this is my Journey."

“Be an Athlete”

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