ROELAND PARK, Kan. - Marge and Jack Gladbach are mourning the loss of their son, Steven, who fell to his death Saturday while climbing a mountain near Aspen, Colo. His parents, who live in Roeland Park, Kan., are reflecting on his life and legacy.
Relatives said Steven was climbing Thunder Pyramid Saturday with two friends when he decided to separate and try a different trail on his own. The National Guard Search and Rescue found his body Monday afternoon.
The 52-year-old was an avid mountain climber. His dad, Jack, said Steven loved being at the top of the mountain because he felt closer to God there.
"He was sensitive and loving and always caring," Jack said. "He was always helping other people learn to climb and helping them make it to the top of the mountain."
"He was a good boy, and a good person. I will miss him," Marge added.
Relatives said they are broken-hearted, but they find comfort knowing that Steven died doing what he loved. His parents will treasure the picture Steven gave them of the Colorado state flower.
"He knew everything about climbing and about rocks and flowers," Marge said. "He was very smart and caring."
Hundreds of his fellow climbing friends have posted remarks online.
Steven is survived by two daughters, 16-year-old Linda and 13-year-old Alise.
There will be a visitation and funeral for him on July 3 at St. Agnes Church in Roeland Park.