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Local service planned for former Teller County sheriff

By: DANIEL J. CHACON daniel.chacon@gazette.com
May 14, 2013 Updated: May 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm
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photo - Teller County Sheriff Frank Fehn speaks during a press conference at the Federal Building in downtown Denver Thursday morning, Jan. 25, 2001, presenting some of the weapons and other items taken from the Texas Seven.
Teller County Sheriff Frank Fehn speaks during a press conference at the Federal Building in downtown Denver Thursday morning, Jan. 25, 2001, presenting some of the weapons and other items taken from the Texas Seven. 

Frank Fehn knew how to handle pressure, a skill that would prove invaluable after he became Teller County sheriff in 1997.

During his tenure, a dangerous group of escaped convicts known as the Texas Seven holed up in an RV park in Woodland Park. Fehn, who used his own RV and posed as a tourist to get closer to the crew of criminals, was instrumental in their capture.

The following year, in 2002, the Hayman Fire burned 138,000 acres, destroyed 133 homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of people. Fehn made sure the evacuations went smoothly and that property owners were not only informed, but also out of harm's way.

Fehn, who retired as sheriff in 2003, died April 23 at his home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. He was 84.

His wife of 27 years, Lucile, a former Teller County commissioner, said she wants her husband to be remembered as a "caring friend" who would do anything for anyone.

"He always wanted to do things right, and that goes to his strong belief in God," she said. "He knew that God was his companion all the time."

Teller County Undersheriff Stanley Bishop called Fehn a "good guy" who was well-liked by employees in the sheriff's office.

"He was fair to everybody," Bishop said.

"Frank was a great person and an excellent law enforcement professional," Kevin Dougherty, who served as Fehn's undersheriff, told the Pikes Peak Courier View.

Fehn was born Oct. 25, 1928 in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was a World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Corp from 1945 to 1947 and during a short period in 1950.

Fehn worked for AT&T until 1957, when he joined the Nassau County Police Department in New York.

"He wanted to do more than what he was doing at the phone company splicing cables," Lucile Fehn said.

Frank Fehn and his first wife, Madeline Ward, moved to Woodland Park in 1984 after he retired as a homicide detective. Ward died just days later, Lucile Fehn said.

Frank Fehn was appointed and then elected Teller County coroner before he was appointed sheriff and then elected to the post months later, his wife said.

"He liked doing the right thing for people and he felt in law enforcement, he could help people do the right thing," she said.

In addition to his wife, Frank Fehn is survived by two daughters and two stepsons.

The family plans a memorial service at Holy Rosary Chapel in Cascade at 10 a.m. May 20. Interment with military honors will follow at 2:15 p.m. at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

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Contact Daniel ChacOn: 476-1623 Twitter @danieljchacon Facebook Daniel Chacon

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