d. January 16, 2024
George (“Georgie” to his little brother) Florian Woerndle, 70, of Red River, New Mexico, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 12:06 CMT at UC Health Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO after a brief battle with lung cancer that quickly spread to his liver, lymph nodes and bones. George was the son of the late Anton (“Toni”) Woerndle and the late Ilse Spemann Woerndle, and was born in Aspen Colorado on January 28, 1953. After graduation from The Abbey School in Canon City, CO in May of 1971, George spent his freshman year of college at the University of Denver, and then transferred to the University of New Mexico, where he was an integral member of the UNM Ski Team and completed his B. A. in business.
George’s first passion was skiing. He had his own style and technique and never ceased to amaze his family and friends in his ability to ski every terrain effortlessly and at full tilt. He and his wife, Carol, took many ski trips together and enjoyed skiing with Carol’s grandchildren. He was an avid mountain-climber and hiker, planting a NM flag on the peak of Mt. McKinley in 1996, and leading many an expedition from the Upper Red River Valley over Mt. Fraser to Taos Ski Valley in time to eat lunch and enjoy a few beers at the Bavarian with his wife Carol, his buddies and occasionally his nephew, Chase. He loved construction, and always looked for opportunities to use his skills, his tools and his equipment to help anyone undertaking a DIY project. If you needed a tool or piece of equipment that you didn’t have or couldn’t find, you could almost always count on George to come up with it. He had a passion for flying, and was heart-broken when he could not maintain his private pilot’s license and had to sell his plane due to a Parkinsons diagnosis in 2018. George was an avid snowmobile enthusiast and loved riding at full speed with his buddies, Randy Lyles, Chuck Fettinger and many others including his brother’s late in-laws, Bill and Yvonne Sampson, once almost losing an ear after riding into a barbed wire fence late at night while riding without a helmet. He was a sucker for buying time-shares on the Mexican Riviera (usually after a few beers too many), which he never hesitated to share with his family and friends.
George was a volunteer fire-fighter with the Red River Fire Dept., and served several years on the Red River Town Council and on the Board of Ski New Mexico. He loved Red River and wanted it to remain true to its roots and to remain a mecca for so many generations of Texans and Oklahomans that had been vacationing in Red River for so many years. George was an owner of the Alpine Lodge in Red River until its sale out of the Woerndle family in 1992. Upon graduation from UNM in 1975, George took over the Alpine ski shop in Red River and in 1977 moved it across Main Street from the Alpine Lodge by purchasing an old store and then laboriously building what became Sitzmark Sports & Lodging in Red River (most of which he built himself). George remained the owner of the Sitzmark until its sale to his “adopted” son, Mark Martinez and wife, Stephanie in 2018. Perhaps most importantly, George was a Christian and professed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. In spite of the many challenges that life and personal relationships can bring, George served the public in his business and as a volunteer, served his friends, and served his family as a son, brother, uncle, husband, step-dad and step granddad honorably, with courage and integrity, and with all of the capabilities that he possessed.
George is survived by his wife, Carol, her son, Daniel Madewell, and Daniel’s children, Jade, Enoch and Xandra Madewell of Red River; his brother, Rudi Woerndle (Sandra) of Midland, Texas and their sons, Graham Woerndle (Jenni) of Midland, Texas and Chase Woerndle (Judy) and their children, Julian Woerndle and Henry Woerndle, all of Austin, Texas; and cousins, Gerdi Boser Smink and her daughter, Kelly Burman (Steve) of Frankfurt, Germany; Hanni Schuster and her son, Mannfred Schuster of Zorneding, Germany; Jutta Spemann Iverson of Radolfzell Germany, Astrid Spemann Schulz of Nuernberg Germany, and Dorothee Spemann of Pennzberg Germany. The family wishes to thank the hundreds who supported George and Carol with prayers, well-wishes, visits, phone calls, and with emotional, physical and spiritual support, especially Jessica Cross, Red River EMS, Dina and Ron Burnham, Deke Willis, Ed Hampton, and the incredibly capable and compassionate staff, nurses and doctors at UC Health Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, especially Dr. Matt Szymaszek, Dr. Pei Zhang, and Dr. Mario Fadila, who did all they could to keep George alive and help him recover. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Red River Fire Department, Faith Mountain Fellowship Church, or a charity of your choosing.