Glen Kalen died at his home in Jamestown, CO surrounded by those who loved him, on December 12th, 2023. The cause was Glioblastoma Multiforme, an incurable brain cancer.
Born to Nina and Lenny Kalen on February 21st, 1959 in Rochester, NY, Glen made his way to Colorado in the 1980’s, where he pursued his love of rock climbing.
When he wasn’t climbing, he was developing his skills as a woodworker and furniture maker, eventually becoming a master craftsman, and devoting his life to the building of beauty.
More than climbing or woodworking, what Glen loved most in the world were his family and friends. His connection to those around him was steeped in curiosity and love. His kindness and warmth were palpable to all who knew him. His humor and vivaciousness were slow-burning and highly contagious.
He thrived in one on one conversations with close friends, as well as those he barely knew. He also came alive in crowds, listening to all kinds of music, and then going out for pancakes at 2am, after the music was over.
He loved motorcycles. He loved surfing. He loved moving fast. He also loved slow walks at midnight, gazing at the stars in that silent part of the night.
In 2003, Glen’s cabin and wood shop burned down in a forest fire. Within 9 months of the fire, and with the help of friends and his wife Joanna, Glen rebuilt his shop, as well as a straw bale home.
There are no straight lines in the house Glen built – only curves – and the timber frame was made from the trees that burned in the fire. It is an off-grid home, run by the sun. This means the house is quiet. No buzz, clicks or current running through. No beeps or hums. No swish of sound. Glen was nourished by this quiet, and by the solitude of the land where he and Joanna lived.
Glen took the world in, and felt all of it. So much so, that sometimes he had to turn it off and retreat to his shop — his refuge, his solace, his creative center.
Before he died, Glen asked that his shop be transformed into a dance space for Joanna so that the thread of imagination could continue on, beyond his own life, in a different form.
This was Glen, through and through: generous, open-hearted, and visioning.
For those of you who loved him and who are changed by his passing: know that his life was more abundant because of you.
Glen, your legacy is one of beauty. You made the world a sweeter place to be.
You are survived by all of us who knew, cared about, and loved you — deeply, madly, everything.