Born: Denver on 28 October 1933

Passed away: Denver on 02 September 2016

Aged: 82 years

Funeral Date: 01 October 2016

Service Details

The main event will be a celebration of Lawrence's life at the Quarter Circle Bell near Elizabeth, CO on the afternoon of Saturday, October 1. Please read more details and RSVP at

The Story

The eclectic life of Lawrence C Phipps III - realtor, rancher, horseman and flamenco guitarist - ended on Friday, September 2, in Denver at the age of 82.

Born in Denver on October 28, 1933 to Lawrence C Phipps, Jr. and his second wife Bertha "Tooney" Richmond, he spent his early childhood years growing up in Denver and then at Highlands Ranch in Douglas County. Following his parents divorce in 1938, he moved with his mother to Wyoming, living his teenage years working on cattle and sheep ranches near Sheridan and Buffalo.

Lawrence attended Pomfret School in Connecticut and then Princeton University, where he focused on Russian and Turkish language studies. After graduating in 1955, he served in Army Intelligence, stationed primarily in Frankfurt, Germany and additionally working as a translator during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. He was a natural polyglot, with a knack for languages throughout his life, speaking German, Spanish, and French with proficiency, in addition to Russian, Turkish and Arabic. He was a lifelong student of history, which developed his gifts for storytelling.

Following his service in the Army, Lawrence returned to Denver to begin his career as a realtor and pursue other entrepreneurial ventures. He eventually started his eponymous brokerage, Lawrence Phipps Real Estate, specializing in commercial real estate, and worked more recently as a broker for Rocky Mountain Realty.

He encountered flamenco music during his college years and it quickly became one of his many lifelong passions. He studied guitar under gypsy prodigy Rene Heredia for 25 years in Denver. In this era, he travelled to Spain annually to seek out flamenco artists and collect guitars. As a patron of the flamenco arts, Lawrence hosted travelling flamenco guitarists, singers and dancers at his Victorian house in Capitol Hill across the 1970s and 1980s. These years are remembered for lively Wednesday night parties every week, attended by people from all walks of life, where flamenco jam sessions would spontaneously fire up in the early hours of the morning.

Lawrence was committed to the life of a horseman since his teenage years. He was appointed in 1968 as Joint Master of the Arapahoe Hunt, a fox hunt revitalized by his father at Highlands Ranch and then relocated to Lowry Bombing Range. Polo was another of his pursuits. He played for the Cheyenne Polo Club, one of the earliest teams on the Front Range, as well as for other local clubs. In both the fox hunt and polo communities, he is remembered for introducing and welcoming an abundance of new members to the clubs.

He moved in the 1980s to the Quarter Circle Bell ranch in Elbert County, where he raised Limousin cattle until his death. At the ranch, he and his wife Marie resumed the tradition of weekly events by hosting Tuesday evening dinner parties for friends and neighbors over the last 12 years.

He owned and operated the Red Ram Restaurant and Saloon in historic Georgetown, CO in the 1980s. A man of many hobbies, he was an avid photographer and restored classic cars, notably Lancias, a Citroën Traction Avant, along with Diamond T and International trucks. He was a member of multiple social clubs, including the Denver Club, where he played squash, the University Club and the Alliance Française.

Lawrence is survived by his second wife, Marie-Pascale Foucault, a stained glass painter and conservateur from France to whom he was married for the last twenty years of his life, and his only son, Lawrence IV, from his first marriage to Suzanne Newton.

He is remembered by many extended social circles of friends and family for his sharp wit, animated spirit, and gift for telling stories. Most of all, he possessed a cultivated curiosity about other people’s lives, continually making new friends by engaging any recent acquaintance with his inquisitive sense of humor.

The family welcomes remembrances made online at this site.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate directly to the American Heart Association:
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I met Mr. Phipps in between classes at C.U. Denver at hotdog stand by Larimer Square. He was wearing a Brown plaid jacket. We talked for a little while and then went about our ways. Two weeks later my roommate and I had dates from D.U. to go to a ranch outside of Elizabeth to ride Polo ponies, and see Limousine Bulls. After riding we walked toward the house and there he was inviting us into a party where Rene Heredia was playing. Quite the day.

William Deveraux Ward

William Ward


Lawrence was a young man of about 25 (ballpark measure) and I was a mere 10 when our acquaintance began, which has remained steady from that time on. A really grand thing happened during our early acquaintance; He asked my mother Joan and my father Jack Pechman and our family to come and have dinner with him out at Highlands Ranch. He used that big kitchen to cook it up in, with that island stove, and there was just tons of food, sack fulls of groceries. It looked like he was preparing a feast for about 20 people. After showing us all the food, he said: ”And now Josie and Judy are going to help prepare the food with me and then we’ll eat it”. He started putting out 3 huge frying pans and made deep fried crispy tacos – He made a huge Mexican meal. We had plenty to eat and drink and a wonderful visit. The thing that surprised me was that this visit was so nice, I didn’t know on my way there that I was going to enjoy it, since I didn’t know him. This was my first early impression of him, his hospitality and his interest in other people. Who would think that I as a 10 year old would be included in his plans to having a good time? The feast he prepared was like a seed, something that he had in him all his life, this hospitality and curiosity about people. I knew from this very beginning that Lawrence would be my special friend, my story here includes that feeling.

In the years to come, about 5-10 years later Lawrence invited my sister Judy and I to go and fill bullets full of shot at his special firing range. It certainly sounded exciting to me! We would sit around one afternoon and fill up all the cartridges. We would then, the next day go to the firing range and practice hitting clay doves. Then there was something very special that happened; We were looking directly west in the afternoon sun and Lawrence told us a story that you will always see a green flash just before the sun goes under the horizon, if you look really closely. We would stand there looking at the sun, waiting for it to turn from red or yellow to green. I didn’t see it, but it was one of those things, that he was always involving people in experimenting. Green flash or not, we were enthralled with this man! Around this time we also used to go out hunting on horseback with him. One day he rode his horse up beside me and said: ”Josie, I’m going to call myself Millfrog. What do you want to be called?”

He involved us in a lot of new things, and even in adulthood, going out for a picnic at his ranch was a real feast. Under that big tree of theirs, we’ve had such wonderful picnics in recent times. What interested me so much is that in spite of being so busy and having so much to do, he always found time for his relatives, friends and neighbors (like the Tuesday night parties). He has been such a fantastic host and encourager with a great sense of sharing. These stories give a glimpse of what an amazing and generous personality Lawrence had throughout his life, part of what made him such a fascinating person to know. - Lawrence, we are deeply missing you!”

Judy Hendricks


Thank you everyone who joined us at the Quarter Circle Bell to celebrate my father's life. Seeing so many familiar faces from the past, especially those of you who travelled a great distance, filled me with nostalgia. The festive gathering of so many eclectic souls was a fitting tribute, and thanks also to Rene Heredia and Katy Moffatt for sharing their talents.

Lorenzo Phipps


A wonderful account of his life. A man of many eclectic talents. Thank you for sharing.

Gwin Coleman


Lawrence made the "most interesting man in the world" look boring by comparison. He always had a twinkle in his eye and something kind or funny to say. Thanks to Lawrence, Tuesday nights were always filled with wine, laughter, foreign languages, and mystical stories about his days catching sharks and putting Gatsby's dinner parties to shame. Every moment with him was an adventure - he taught me about fox hunting and Colorado history during an Indiana Jones-style ride through the countryside, explained Flamenco guitar and dance from a table filled with friends at a local haunt, and tirelessly answered my questions about polo from the field side as the ponies cantered by. I will always be grateful to Lawrence for his warm, welcoming spirit and all that I learned from him about horses, happiness, friendship, and life.

Hannah Andrews shared a photo.


Lawrence will be missed by so many. He was such a great friend. I have many great memories of Tuesday nights, polo and being a guest on the hunt. RIP Lawrence

Maria Root shared a photo.