Kent Petre, who as the longtime president and CEO of Nor’wood Development Group in Colorado Springs helped oversee development of one of the city’s best known master-planned communities, died unexpectedly Tuesday. He was 75.
Nor’wood officials said the cause of death was a brain aneurysm. He died near his Castle Rock home.
Nor’wood Chairman David Jenkins, who worked side by side with Petre over the last three decades, described him as a caring individual and a man of integrity whose contributions extended beyond Nor’wood and the development industry to the larger community.
“His humility and caring for people was absolutely apparent in every conversation, transaction, decision with homeowner groups or the city, the school district folks or other community people,” Jenkins said. “His interest was truly for a win-win for everybody. His integrity was above approach. If he told you he was going to do something, he did it. His word was his bond.”
David’s son, Chris, Nor’wood’s current president, described Petre as “someone I aspire to live like. He was a consummate gentleman. He was an example of a graceful gentlemen and like nobody I ever met.”
Born in Tucson, Ariz., Petre started his real estate career in 1966 with Wood Brothers Homes. He later started KAP Development, a suburban Denver brokerage before joining Nor’wood in the early 1980s.
Petre and David Jenkins, along with others, oversaw the 3,000-acre Nor’wood mixed-used development — thousands of residences, schools, parks and stores shopping that took shape on the city’s northeast side over the last three-plus decades.
Nor’wood and other such communities were the centerpieces of master-planned living forColorado Springs’ population as the city grew rapidly to the north and northeast and residents looked for new places to live and work.
Petre no longer worked full time, but was at Nor’wood every week and took a hands-on role in other company projects, Chris Jenkins said.
In addition to his work with Nor’wood, Petre was active in the community, including volunteering in various capacities over several years with Colorado Springs School District 11, David Jenkins said. His honors included a Person of the Year award from the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs.
Petre is survived by his wife of 52 years, Christen; daughter Cyd; sons Kelly and Kirk; and six grandchildren.
A viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary & Cemetery, 7777 W. 29th Ave., in Wheat Ridge. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at Cherry Hills Community Church, 3900 Grace Blvd., in Highlands Ranch.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kent Denver Student Scholarship Fund in memory of Kent A. Petre, 4000 E. Quincy Ave, Englewood, CO, 80110.
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