Biographical Information for Abbott Fay

History and Philosophy Professor Abbott Eastman Fay was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska on July 19, 1926. He married Joan D. Richardson November 26, 1953 near the beginning of his teaching career. They had three children: Rand, Diana, and Collin. He obtained his BA at Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colorado.

He taught and was a principal in the Leadville, Colorado Public Schools from 1952-54, then moved to Mesa College in Grand Junction, where he taught until 1964.

From 1964-1982 he taught at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, retiring as Associate Professor Emeritus and has since taught extensively for Western State and other regional colleges as adjunct professor.

His published works are extensive and include Ski Tracks in the Rockies, Famous Coloradans, I Never Knew That About Colorado, More That I Never Knew About Colorado , Beyond the Great Divide, To Think that This Happened In Grand County!, A History of Skiing in Colorado, The Story of Colorado Wines, and many other books and articles.

Abbott Fay died March 12, 2009 after a brief illness.


History Professors

I was fortunate to have attended college (Mesa, 1960-62; WSC, 1962-65) during a "Golden Age" of knowledgable, caring, and exciting history professors.

My exposure to these people influenced my decision to be a history teacher, which I was for 35 years.

Abbott, Don MacKendrick, William Edmondson, Dr. Day and Dr. Vandenbusche. What remarkable teachers they all were!

In addition, I had the honor of providing my classroom in Delta on many occasions when Abbott taught extention history classes.

As well as teaching, Abbott sponsored the "Circle K" Club at Mesa, and it was very enjoyable to attend those meetings and work on various projects.

I had Abbott for World Civilizations, must have been about 1961, and then attended the final class he taught many years later, in Grand Junction.

A brilliant man. I just wish he was starting over as a teacher, and I was starting over as his student.


I have just read the remarks about the early "classic period" of Fay at Mesa. I guess I represent the middle period from 1968---74. The history department at Western was still intact and the creative juices were flowing within the department. I remember Fridays were office "rat" days. Those students, who used office hours to advance their interests, would hang out at the end of the day and the profs that were still there would raffle off the "freebees" they would get from publishers with the requirement that we read the tome if it was duly given you. At Mesa there was the Circle K club at Western there was the Q club. I was a president one year. Along with the service we promised and delivered it was a chance to be eccentric. Ah" traffic death" Fridays with a stern reminder to drive safely by the highway patrol always came with a toast from that crimson glass of tomato juice. Or the weekly kidnapping of the morning speaker, that year we had members who had a fetish for the Mongol horde, so it was fitting that "our" unwilling guests would show bond and gagged. All those great mornings followed by a "bar sinister" salute as we were all "bastards" by choice. I have been teaching history and other subjects for over thirty-four years and am still going strong. Much of that is Abbott Fay--- "Don't let the bastards wear you down!" the secret is to be a bastard yourself, then it is all cake.