Stephen Kirk Mackin died at his Manitou Springs home on September 5th, 2012. He was a four-year five-month survivor of pancreatic cancer.
Stephen was born on January 1st, 1947, at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. He was the son of Wayne & Dorothy Mackin, long time owners of the Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek and founders of the world –famous melodrama in the Gold Bar Room Theatre. Stephen and his wife, Bonnie, took over management of the Imperial in the l980’s and continued until it was sold in 1992.
Stephen enjoyed doing various jobs at the hotel and many times you could find him waiting tables or even washing dishes, his favorite job! In 2000 after the City of Cripple Creek restored the beautiful Butte Opera House in Cripple Creek, Steve & Bonnie brought melodramas back to Cripple Creek at that new venue. Along with their daughter, Stacy, they produced the shows there until 2006. At the time of his death, he owned and operated the Cripple Creek Hospitality House and RV Park, which was the former Teller County Hospital and has been owned by the Mackin Family since 1964.
Stephen was a man of many talents and varied interests. He was a 1970 graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson. He was an accomplished jeweler who had The Crucible Shop as part of the Imperial Hotel complex on the corner of Third Street and Bennett Avenue. When the Imperial sold, he moved his shop to the Hospitality House where he continued to do custom jewelry work. He designed many religious pieces of jewelry and sculptures for churches in Colorado. Steve was a past president of the Two Mile High Club and the Cripple Creek Chamber of Commerce. He served on both the Pikes Peak Country Attractions and the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce Boards. He was a member of the Cripple Creek-Victor School Board and also served three terms at different times on the Cripple Creek City Council. He was on the Cripple Creek Planning Commission during the formation of legalized gambling in the town and helped establish growth and zoning regulations. Stephen was a member of the Cripple Creek Volunteer Fire Department for 21 years serving as chief for 17 of those years.
He was President of the Cripple Creek District Museum Board of Directors and a lifetime member of Cripple Creek Elks Lodge #316. Stephen was Senior Warden at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Cripple Creek and had attended that church all 65 years of his life where he, his children and grandchildren were baptized. The numerous stained-glass windows in St. Andrew’s were designed by him and he also made the tabernacle door and silver chalice used there.
Stephen was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jeffrey. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Bonnie, son Kirk Mackin and wife Cindy of Ft. Collins, daughter Stacy McLeod and husband J.T. of Colorado Springs, grandchildren Mackenzie and Andrew Mackin, John Wayne and Samuel Chester McLeod. Other survivors include his sister, Susan Mackin Anderson and husband Lewis of Atlanta, brothers-in-law Bob Diehl and wife Joy, Gary Diehl and wife Linda of Salina, Kansas and sister-in-law Donna Wartman and husband Lon of Garden City, Kansas. He has two aunts, Frances Mackin Smith of Paradise, California , Virginia Mackin of Portland, Oregon and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Stephen was an inspiration to others especially on his cancer journey with his positive attitude and words of encouragement to persons in similar situations. He was a mentor to many of the young people he worked with each summer and they often expressed how he had helped them develop and grow so they could be successful in their career choices and relationships with other people.
He liked to fish, dance, listen to the blues, drive his Model A and laugh! He had the gift of being able to talk to anyone of any age about any subject and that is what he will be remembered for, especially his Cripple Creek Stories. Words being used to describe Stephen in numerous tributes include mentor, hero, awesome inspiration to many, great, warm, conscientious, fighter, humorous, kind, loving, selfless, sensitive, outspoken, sharpwitted, hardworking, artistic, generous, dear friend, good soul, good and faithful servant, wonderful, special, angel, man of honor, grace and grit. Some have said he was the king, the gold, the gem and the embodiment of Cripple Creek. A celebration of Stephen’s life will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek on Thursday, September 13th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, P. O. Box 458 in Cripple Creek, 80813, Cripple Creek District Museum, P. O. Box 1210 in Cripple Creek, 80813 or Pikes Peak Hospice, 2550 Tenderfoot Hill Street, Colorado Springs 80906.