The Passing of Damon Phinney

Posted: 10/22/2001 by Will Swetnam


It is with mixed emotions that we bring the news of Damon's passing. While we are sad at his passing, we are glad to have been benefitted by his wisdom and kindness over the years. He fought the fight better and with more dignity than anyone else I know, setting a very high bar for selflessness and giving. His pain has now ended, and we are sure he is still with us in a better place, sharing his spirit of family, life, and cycling.

His straight-forward style, and refusal to beat around the bush was refreshing in this day and age of over-political correctness... you always knew where the self named "Old Haranguer" stood on any point.

He founded the CCC after writing a letter to Velo News which talked about his belief that his cycling had greatly extended his life and more importantly his quality of life, after being diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 1987. The folks that responded to his letter were the original CCCers.

Now with over 95 members, we carry on the tradition of support that Damon began. Please leave a comment in our guestbook if you were touched by Damon, we will pass them along to his family.

To read a bit more about this amazing man, please read his account of his first 40,000 miles after being diagnosed with cancer, here.

He will be missed.

- Will

His obituary, as published in the Boulder Daily Camera:

Damon Dodge Phinney
March 4, 1928 - Oct. 21, 2001

Damon Dodge Phinney of Boulder died Sunday, Oct. 21, 2001, in Louisville of prostate cancer. He was 73.

The son of Adelbert Phinney Jr. and Mariah Theresa Burnham Dodge Phinney, he was born March 4, 1928, in Pittsfield, Mass. He married Dorothy Welsh in Alexandria, Va., on March 21, 1956.

Mr. Phinney graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1951.

He worked for five years for Westinghouse, 10 years for Sundstrand Aviation and more than 30 years for Ball Aerospace. He specialized as a design and project engineer on rotating machinery.

Mr. Phinney enjoyed bicycling and used it to offset some of the side effects of his cancer treatment. He formed a national e-mail discussion group for cyclists with cancer. The group, Cyclists Combating Cancer at, is part of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Survivors include his wife of Boulder; a daughter, Alice Phinney of Boulder; a son, Davis Phinney of Boulder; three brothers, Davis Phinney of Connecticut, Arthur Phinney of Massachusetts and Warren Phinney of Wisconsin; and three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Marion Phinney Perkins of Connecticut.

A memorial service will be at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Masonic Temple, officiated by the Unitarian Fellowship at Pine Street and Broadway in Boulder.

Contributions may be made in his name to the Nature Conservancy, 1991 Ninth St., Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302, or to the Hospice of Boulder County, 2594 Trailridge Drive East, Lafayette, CO 80026.


Home :: About Us :: Members :: Stories :: Pictures :: Guest Book :: CCC Stuff