By SYLVIA LOBATO
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Fred “Lightning Heart” Haberlein, 72, quietly passed away Monday, April 16, at his home near Glenwood Springs, surrounded by his wife and loved ones.
A muralist, painter and sculptor, Haberlein grew up at Conejos Ranch, a guest ranch in Conejos County. A Native American friend gave him the name “Lightning Heart,” which he used professionally.
He studied sculpture and printmaking in college, but is best known for his murals throughout the western United States, predominantly in Colorado.
Twice nominated for the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, he taught art classes at Colorado Mountain College for 18 years. His first mural was rendered in Oracle, Ariz. in 1977 and he has completed more than 130 murals since then. Haberlein has completed more single-handed murals than any other U.S. artist
Residents of Antonito consider him a hometown hero who will live forever in their hearts and through his family, friendships and art.