Let the memory of Eric be with us forever
  • 57 years old
  • Born on June 30, 1960 in Long Island, New York, United States.
  • Passed away on September 13, 2017 in Louisville, Colorado, United States.

Please join us on Saturday, December 16th at 10am at eTown Hall (1535 Spruce St, Boulder, CO 80302) to remember and celebrate Eric's life.  

We would like to request that if you have any photos of Eric that we could include in a slideshow of his life, please if you could send digital copies to rememberingericammann@gmail.com 

Eric Emilio Ammann, 57, passed away in his home on September 13th 2017 in Louisville, Colorado. Eric was born June 30th 1960 in Long Island, New York. Soon after, he moved with his family to California and then to Boulder where he graduated from Fairview High School and remained for most of his adult life, spending some time in Nederland and the suburbs of Denver to raise a family. After high school, he studied in Switzerland and gained the status of master craftsman as a watchmaker, which was his profession for the majority of his life. 

Eric, along with his brother Bruno Ammann, was a co-business owner and operator of a family watch shop established in 1972 called the Swiss Chalet on Pearl Street. Eric began working there in 1979 and moved to a managerial role from 1988 until 2003. He held a private practice repairing watches for a number of years after. He later became a bus driver for the Boulder Valley School District and part-time personal fitness trainer. To give him an ordinary obituary would be doing him injustice, as his vibrant personality was impossible to capture with words and he never was a rule follower. If you knew him well, you will understand and you are likely nodding your head with a smile on your face while reading this.

As a young man in Boulder, he joined the adventurous, outdoor movement of the city, partaking in rock climbing and mountain biking while forming lasting relationships. There were three things he truly loved: people, coffee, and riding his motorcycle. He was unapologetically playful and flirtatious in conversation. At the tip of his fingers, he had jokes and compliments for women of all ages and engaged even the stiffest men in comfortable, seamless conversation. He was a master of small talk and if you hung around him long enough to become a friend, you would find his true talent was unlocking your laughter and taking a genuine interest in your life. 

His favorite drink was an Americano with room for cream, and not just room, he usually wanted to draw the line on the cup himself. Oh, and it had to be a dark roast, none of that blond stuff; he was very particular about his coffee. His form of therapeutic release was taking his BMW motorcycle up windy Rocky Mountain roads for hours on end. In one instance, he was going 125 MPH and when he was pulled over, of course, he managed to talk himself out of a ticket. The cop asked, “Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?” He replied, “Well, I hope it’s because you like my bike!”

In Boulder, Eric met his wife Zoshia Ammann. The two moved to Nederland and had their only son, Savarone Ammann. After living in Nederland and the suburbs of Denver for a short time, Eric returned to Boulder where he spent over 35 years as a longtime resident. Eric was the youngest of four brothers, Donald, Bruno, and Rick Ammann from parents Walter and Giovanna Ammann. In recent years as a bus driver, Eric became an instant favorite with the children he drove to and from school. In fact, he got in trouble on several occasions for disregarding minor regulations at the cost of letting his childlike spirit emerge to build relationships with the children, acting more as one of them than their superior. He never let the carefree qualities of a child escape him the way so many adults do.

Eric will be greatly missed by his son Savarone Ammann, a college senior living in Washington, DC who entirely idolized him, his girlfriend Jane Fastenau who adored him, his ex-wife Zoshia Ammann with whom he maintained a close and healthy relationship, his three older brothers, and many of his son’s friends who saw him as a confidant, mentor, and friend.

He was most distinguished by his insatiable personality, undeniable wit, unfiltered tongue, and unique sense of humor (that always danced on the line between hilarious and incredibly inappropriate). His ability to understand and empathize with others to an impressive degree touched each person he met. The best ways to honor Eric would be to listen to the Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd or Eat a Peach by the Allman Brothers, drink a hot cup of coffee, or spark up a meaningful conversation with an unlikely stranger —  passion for people was his brightest gift after all. 

--By Savarone Ammann 

Please also consider donating to one or several of the organizations below. As a family we value these issues and your contribution goes a long way:

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

https://donate.bbrfoundation.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1

International Bipolar Foundation

http://ibpf.org/donate 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

https://secure2.convio.net/dabsa/site/Donation2?1222.donation=form1&df_id=1222

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

https://afsp.org/take-action/give-a-gift/

If you would like to write directly to the Ammann family, please send a private email to rememberingericammann@gmail.com

 

Posted by Jane Fastenau on 30th June 2018
One of Eric’s greatest joys was riding his motorcycle. He described to me the feeling he got while on his bike, he said, “it requires complete concentration, I can’t allow myself distraction, but within that, I find absolute freedom and peace.” I read a quote from a motorcyclist who said, “4 Wheels Transport the Body, Two Wheels Transport the Soul.” Much was the case with Eric. The additional caveat is that he loved to go really, really fast, always safe, but fast! About 2 years ago, I decided to take a ride with Eric, and what a ride it was! I loved Eric very much, I loved every ride we took. Today I’d like you to hold on and join me while I share some of our rides. THE WILD RIDE The time I had with Eric was exhilarating, enchanted, infatuating and surreal. He showed me how to wake up to a small, ordinary day and make it bigger, explode it with passion and animation, wriggle my toes in status quo like it was mud, put butter on absolutely everything that was edible, find humor in the most mundane, and begin every single moment like we were Lewis and Clark, on the very first day of their explore, with motorcycle helmets on! THE LOVE RIDE ERIC had a heart that when fully stretched to it's maximum, which is the way he liked it, housed a universe of colossal joy, goodwill and empathy. More than anybody I've ever met, he truly wanted everyone in his life to seek and find their greatest contentment. His generosity was boundless, he would help anyone, at anytime, in anyway. No paybacks, that’s not the ride he was on. And the thing is, at memorial services like these, people stand up and say, “He was the kindest person I’ve ever known”, but this time it’s REALLY, REALLY, REALLY true! THE FUN RIDE Eric’s sense of humor was unparalleled. He had comebacks and quips that were lightning fast and perfectly on target. He was uniquely unfettered and sometimes it was just as much fun watching the reaction of someone he was joking with as listening to what he was saying. So many times, I saw this look from those who were experiencing Eric’s wit for the first time, “Did he really just say that?” “Can you say that?” I was once out of town for a week and he would text me every day, “I miss you Jane” and that would be the caption of the photo he sent with him wearing various articles of my clothing, skirts, underwear, tights, bras……. And the school bus radio! Wow, many of you can attest to his radio comedy! My Dad, whose nick name was “Swede” had a stroke leaving him paralyzed on his right side. He was leaving the nursing home for the first time, my siblings and I were all there, Eric too, and we were trying to get him out of the car, into the wheel chair……..it was stressful for us, humiliating for my dad. At just the right moment, Eric said to my dad, “Swede, did you have a stroke or something”! Perfect ice-breaker, perfect start to a wonderful Thanksgiving. THE GAMBLING RIDE Eric was a gambler, but a smart one. He knew the odds, and he played them. And when he was ALL IN, baby he was ALL IN! Eric was bi-polar, he was aware the odds were against him, but he played his hand with valor and grace and genius. He played his life brilliantly with the cards he was given, sometimes the Ace remained elusive, sometimes a Royal Flush. He accepted it all and played on. THE REAL ERIC RIDE This is the Eric I knew and the Eric I miss every day. I miss how he poured coffee. When he would make a fresh pot of coffee, he would pour it into a cup like it was liquid gold, a rare exotic, life changing fluid that may never be encountered again. I miss the way he lifted his chin and smiled when something engaged him. I loved all his variations on chicken salad. I miss the way his face softened and glowed when he talked about how proud he was of Savi, or what Savi was doing or experiencing. “I love that kid”, he would say so often. I miss the way he talked to me in his Barry White voice. I miss his giggle. I miss the way he sang a Bob Dylan song. I miss the way he flossed. I miss walking hand in hand with ERIC and feeling like I was absolutely the luckiest person on the planet. THE JANE AND ERIC RIDE Eric flirted with reality like it was his script to write. I never edited. I let him ride his ride. He let me ride mine. But together, well sometimes maybe an editor should have stepped in! One time he asked me if I could help him stop saying FUCK so much. I told him, “Eric, you are the most eloquent, prolific swearer I have ever known, I won’t do it.” To which he replied, “Oh Fuck it, you’re right.” “Fuckity, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck”! When we went on bicycle rides neither of us would give in and say, “We’ve gone out far enough, maybe should head back.” We would just keep riding! On the way back it would be all kinds of groaning and swearing and laughing through the exhaustion. When we got on his motorcycle, he’d open it up wide and I would scream in speed drenched Euphoria. We’d fly up the mountain to Nederland for an Americano at The Train Cars and then fly back down, now fueled with both adrenaline AND caffeine! Let’s get some chocolate, SURE. That hitchhiker needs a ride, YES HE DOES. One more episode? WHY NOT. Is it too early? NO. Is it too late? NEVER. Should we try that? ABSOLUTELY! ERIC’S LAST RIDE Hunter S. Thompson shared this experience about riding a motorcycle, “Faster, Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” That was Eric’s Ride. In August of this year, Eric told me he was thinking about selling his motorcycle. This is what is so devastating to me. We should all be meeting here today, Eric should be standing in the front, and we should be asking, “Hey Eric, what’s going on?” “Why would you ever want to sell your motorcycle?” We could drink coffee and talk about it. That’s what we should be doing today. WHAT’S YOUR RIDE? Today I wanted to celebrate Eric, but I also wanted to ask you, Eric’s people, an important question. Toward the end of Eric’s life he began to question his worth. This magnificent man, who had lived the life of a gallant, sovereign soul, began to examine himself under a lense of cultural standards and expectations that had seemed to never matter to him before. He lamented that he hadn’t done enough, been enough, made enough. He tried to cram himself into the ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL-BECAUSE-WE’RE- ALL- THE- SAME-SUIT, and it didn’t fit. He tugged at it. He wrestled the discomfort. He tried so very hard. I want you to get on your motorcycle right now. Get on your motorcycle! Clutch is on the left, Brake is on the right. Close your eyes, do it, please play along with me. I want you to think about your worth, YOUR RIDE……… Put your motorcycle into first gear, one click down. Before you let out the clutch, let me ask you this. Is this the ride you want to be on? Are you happy with your direction? Is there another path you want to take? Now is the time, today is your day. And if your journey seems too overwhelming, too arduous, please, please, please, ask for help. Because really, we’re all on the ERIC RIDE now. We have to be, or there is no purpose or direction to any of this. If we see someone in need, we must help. If there is joy to be had, we must seize it. We must forgo judgement, and embrace differences, equality and acceptance. We must save room in our motorcycle saddlebags for a good joke, a dark roast coffee, a safe journey and infinite love. LET’S RIDE!
Posted by Sue Palmer on 14th December 2017
I didn't know Eric very well. I knew him through Bruno while helping out during the dissolution of the store. I remember the energized, warm, charismatic way about him, always fun to talk with. My heart goes out to the family for your loss.
Posted by Jon Becker on 2nd December 2017
Eric was not a normal guy. There, I’ve said it. People who didn’t really know him might be bothered by this. But the people who did know him, who loved him, they’re all nodding their heads in agreement with me. And I didn’t even know him so well. Not like my son, who became Sav’s brother and hence Zoshia’s and Eric’s son too. We got in some time together - hanging with the kids, getting beat up at the gym by him, a surf trip to Costa Rica. Time for the real Eric to show up. And it wasn’t normal. And I’m not using normal in a value driven way, like normal was inherently good or bad. Eric Ammann was a deeply, thoroughly unusual person. He was a kid in a grown up’s body. Now most of us, unless we’re really unfortunate, can still pull out our inner child with some regularity. With the right surroundings and the proper timing and adequate support we’re capable of getting young, maybe even innocent and kind of free for snippets of time. We have some fun. Then we remember the things on our to do list, all the stuff they’re counting on us for at work, at home, at wherever - and we revert to the (semi) responsible adult grown up that many of us manage to represent ourselves as with some degree of facility. I believe Eric had a different relationship to this way of being. He had to do the hard work of accessing his inner grown up, because the child: the playful, fun-loving, irascible, trickster kid, that was at the heart and the soul and the reality of Eric. And I also don’t mean this as inherently good or bad. Certainly not bad. OK, I mean it as good. He sure was a kid with his kid, and with my kid, and this I mean as very good. He loved to play. And play and play. And it was meant so honestly and playfully and lovingly, just like it would when a bunch of kids get dropped in the sandbox together. His famous poker nights. Super Bowls, JV soccer, and everything in between. He was game for all of it. And all the kids were invited, sometimes even me. Really not normal - how he got along with Zoshia. Divorces happen, to half of all marriages, and they happen because there’s trouble. Which usually involves some feelings of heartbreak and anger and betrayal and abandonment and loss. And that’s just one person’s experience. It can require Herculean effort to remain civil with an ex, to forcibly substitute restrained good manners for the raging “truth” that so wants to be vented. But Eric and Zhosia sure did it differently. They truly acted like friends, like best friends. I have no idea about when they went through with their divorce, maybe they were best friends right through that too? Not normal, but a beautiful thing. So now we’re all missing our not normal friend. The way he left us was not normal either, and I’m still too confused and upset and grief stricken to feel like I can begin to make any sense of it. I refrain from judgement. None of us should judge - when you get down to it none of us can know the suffering that another might be going through. A lesson here maybe? LOVE your friends and family. You say you already love them a lot? LOVE THEM MORE! Have one (or two or three) with whom you have a spoken (written?), deeply understood agreement with, that no matter how bad or confused or upset things ever get, you are there for each other, to talk each other off of the ledge. I wish Eric had had that person. I was available that evening. Another lesson, this one from the croc fighter (and Winston Churchill, and the Dalai Lama) - never never give up. I’m sad, so sad. Eric - you should be here for your son’s college graduation. For other happy days and celebrations that are coming. Maybe even more for the inevitable times of sadness, disappointment, and tragedy that are also inescapable facets of our human beingness. Sav - I’m sorry that you’ll have to reach out across dimensions to get that connection and council that you desire and deserve. But reach - I can tell you from my own experience that the ancestors, all of them, remain there for us. And in the meantime, we the living, are here to embrace you and share with you the joys and sorrows that are this life.
Posted by Randy Jensen on 8th November 2017
How do i describe the loss, Eric and I were great friends. I've wrote stories on another page. Eric was a buddy for years. His passing is more than a surprise. His personality was awesome and wont' be forgotten. I have so many memories that define a great buddy. I'm truly bummed with his passing and wish his family the best during this loss. I'm here in any capacity needed. Wish you all the best. Love you Eric!!! Randy.
Posted by Edmond Sade on 2nd October 2017
Words cannot describe the sorrow we are experiencing for our dearest friend Eric. He was an extraordinary man, the memory of whom will remain in our hearts and minds forever. We met Eric, Zoshia and Sav when we first came to Colorado in 2001. I barely knew how to speak English at the time, but Eric sure knew how to read people. He understood how to make a difference in people's lives and to see them for who they really are instead of overlooking them based on an initial impression. He had the power to be a beacon of light in the dark - no one could ever do what he did for us... He made me part of his team work when others were unable to even consider me for a job. He invited and welcomed our family to his home and life with open arms and a smile. Eric together with Z helped not only transition our family into American culture, but showed us that compassion and love will always pull you out of whatever situation you may find yourself in. His larger than life laugh always brought happiness in our hearts. We will miss him dearly and are very grateful we had the chance to know him and spend some really great time with such a wonderful man! Rest in peace our dearest friend. We will miss you more than you would ever know!
Posted by LucyBell B on 29th September 2017
I was introduced to Eric through Zzzzz, many years ago. All that you have said about him rings true ~ I'm sorry for your loss and for family and friends who loved him, also. Sav, you have shown the very essence of your strength, courage and faith while you have been confronted with these circumstances, and chosen to respond as the young man your father dreamed of you becoming. Lovingly...
Posted by John Tuttle on 25th September 2017
As I am sure anyone learning of this tragedy has experienced, putting into words our feelings for Eric, Sav, Zoshia and other family members is truly a difficult proposition. I am inspired, however, by those attempts before me to do just that. Eric and I met early in his relationship w/ Z and became fast friends. We both loved motorcycles, and had a bit of a "bad-boy" side that we relished. As others have shared, he was easy to talk either dating or quantum physics with - always showing interest and humor. We had at least one memorable bike trip - i think we were headed to Sturgis - but never got farther than Fort Collins because my Harley was deconstructing itself on the road. We still had fun and made the best of it - he never indicated disappointment or otherwise. We got to reconnect in recent years and it felt as if no time had passed. I am grateful we had those moments. His larger than life persona is especially exemplified in Savarone - and it is for you - Sav - that I am most heartbroken. Your recent words, however, suggest you have and will continue to handle this with a mature quality beyond your years. The other times when you don't feel like handling it so well - those are equally if not more important spiritual moments and hopefully will be shared with the closest of friends and family. The silver lining is that Eric lives on - in our hearts, our memories, and in you. I am sure you will carry the torch with pride, admiration, and verve - just as Eric taught you to do. With love - Johnny Ray
Posted by Loren Jones on 24th September 2017
I can't begin to put into words my sorrow. One of the funniest most generous people I have ever met. Sadly, my brother Chip, also a friend of Erics passed away in much the same way 11 years ago. Sadness fills my heart. Eric, rest in peace now and go find Chip and Malcolm. They are always good for a laugh.
Posted by Avi Becker on 24th September 2017
To most he was Eric, but to me he was Ric. What he did for me and my progression into adulthood could never be captured in words, but I'll give it a shot. He taught me life lessons every time I hung out with him, and when we left each other it wasn't a "goodbye" but it was a "see you soon". He inspired to be a better person every day and always used personal experiences to display what he had learned and what he knew was important for me to know. He always said it like it was, without a sugar coating, when I asked for advice and mentorship. Somedays this happened at the breakfast table, on the phone, and often the poker table. Ric inspired me to be the best version of myself, and I will pay forward his mentorship and continue his legacy of genuine love, laughter, and positivity.
Posted by Ted Krawczyk on 21st September 2017
I’ve been fortunate to have known Eric for quite a few years and have shared many good, fun times with him, Zoshia and Sav. I’ve spent several extended visits in Boulder and it was always great to see Eric. He was a good, genuine friend – always happy to see me and find out what’s going on with my life. Eric was such a big hearted loving person. I really enjoyed the times I would make a nice dinner for us “guys” – me, Eric and Sav. I just saw him on my last trip to Boulder in August and the night before I was leaving , he came over to say good bye. I still remember how fit and good he looked and that big heartwarming smile. Eric gave me a big hug and told me he loved me like a brother. I will always cherish that memory and that feeling. My heart goes out to Zoshia, Sav and everyone who was part of Eric’s life. I'm so sad he's gone. I will miss him dearly and I’m thankful I was able to share some really good times with such a wonderful man.
Posted by Brette Petway on 20th September 2017
Blessing you Zoshia and your son, family and friends at this time. I always admired the beauty of your connection with your ex and the beautiful energy you both shared. You're smiles together are contagious. I'm sharing this beautiful Hawaiian prayer with you, your loved ones and Eric. These 4 phrases are sharing the beauty of love and forgiveness during difficult moments. Repeat them and feel a peace that surpasses all understanding. I love you girlfriend and I'm holding you close in my heart. I love you I'm sorry Please forgive me Thank you
Posted by Caroline Wolfe on 20th September 2017
Dear Amman family and Zoshia, I'm so very sorry to hear of Eric's passing. You've all been our thoughts. When I first met Eric a long, long time ago, we was the most charismatic, charming person. Over the years as we got to know Savvy, I've seen Eric shining through him. I hope your pain eases with the passage of time. Love you guys- Carrie and family
Posted by Terry Wolfe on 20th September 2017
How lucky Henry and I were to spend time with Eric on our last visit to Colorado! Every time we connected was a chance for him to share his great love and pride for Sav. He always made me laugh and left me looking forward to the next communication. I will miss knowing we share this world under the same big sky. Rest In Peace, my dear cousin.
Posted by Cathy Peterson on 20th September 2017
There are no words to express my sorrow. Eric will continue to be a part of my life. I am so glad for every second I shared with him, Z and Sav. Watching his love for life and family was unparalleled and I appreciated being able to see it. Thanks for beimg you, Eric, it was amazingly wonderful.
Posted by Ming Chanaud on 20th September 2017
Eric was always a kind "soul full" person that would drop what ever he was doing to help you in any ways! We grew up together in Boulder. Eric was my best man in 1980 when I got married on top of Flagstaff. I moved away and we reconnected our friendship with Eric, Zoshia and Sav. in 2000. My heart is very sad for such a needless lost of such a wonderful human being and friend! My thoughts and wishes go out to Zoshia and Savarone. Our family witll truely miss you!!
Posted by A Brown on 20th September 2017
About six years ago Eric came to my house to pick Sav who was probably 14 years old. I had been teaching Sav some basic cooking skills and Eric started up a conversation with me that lasted nearly as long as the cooking class. We talked about everything from food to politics to dating. He was so happy that Sav was learning how to cook because he was certain that would be the most honest way to win a woman over!
Posted by Stuart Bollig on 19th September 2017
Eric was a great friend and an even better person! You will be missed! Our lives took different paths but he took the time to stay in touch we even got together for a drink a few years ago! My heart is heavy!

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