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Dennis West at WorkBy J. Patrick O’Leary

Dennis West, founder and owner of 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio and Gallery, died Oct. 3 at age of 65.

A lifelong resident of north Denver, West grew up at 42nd and Clay, in Sunnyside; he attended St. Catherine’s and graduated from Holy Family High School. In 1976, he received a fine arts degree from Loretto Heights College.

West’s studio is at the corner of West 23rd Avenue and King Street, in a 1950s, four-bay, former Texaco filling station, and includes an outdoor garden that surrounds a year-round koi pond stocked also with goldfish and turtles.

“I’m a big believer in God, in being a Christian and helping people out,” West told Neighborhood Gazette writer Ken Lutes in a March interview. “I have people walk into my studio everyday who need something fixed – their favorite dandelion digger, or a wheelbarrow, or the chair they broke when they were yelling at the Broncos.” He made the repairs at no charge, “because these people are my neighbors. I only ask them to pay that favor forward to someone else who needs one.”

His grandfather was a painter and an illustrator for the Bureau of Reclamation, and his mother a “closet” painter, with many unfinished paintings discovered after her death.

He is survived by daughters Amoreena Rose Corbin, Abigail Arah-Lynn Corbin, and Charleigh Alden Corbin; step daughters Juniper Sea Dickerson and Rhiannon Sage Dickerson; brothers Cary West, Mark West and Greg West; and others.

According the the Cremation Society of Colorado, a celebration of life will be held on Oct. 20, noon to 6 p.m., at 4101 N. Harlan St., Wheat Ridge. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Amoreena Corbin to help offset the remaining medical expenses.

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