Colorado stained glass artist creates unique memorial tribute

ESTES PARK, C.O. - Jay Grooters created stained glass art in Estes Park for nearly 50 years until his wife Fran was diagnosed with ALS, and then his passion became caring for her.

"We had a really good life together,” said Jay, 77. “She's a wonderful person. She was very outgoing and the kind of person that connected with everybody.”

After Fran’s diagnosis, the couple moved from their home to Good Samaritan Society’s Estes Park Village, a retirement community. In May, Fran was called to be with God.

What he couldn’t express in words, he expressed in art by making something special -- stained glass inspired by a card he gave Fran more than 20 years ago. It depicts images of a smiling, happy lion." The front of it says, ‘I love you,’ and then I open up and he says, 'something fierce,' " Jay said. "It says, ‘All my love to Fran. Happy Valentine's Day and Birthday. Love, Jay.’ "Fran gave it back to him the next year, and they passed it back and forth every Feb. 14.

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