RIP Papa Jack Weil, 1901–2008


Papa Jack Weil, owner of Rockmont Ranch Wear in Denver, Co, died last Wednesday. He continued to show up for work every day, even when he was 107 years old.

We lost the oldest CEO in Colorado, and probably in the U.S., this week. Rockmount Ranch Wear founder Jack A. Weil died Wednesday at the age of 107.

Grandson Steve Weil, Rockmount's 49-year-old president, recently told Rocky contributor Bill Gallo that "Papa Jack" had reduced his work schedule in recent times from 12-hour days to five mornings a week. "But he was still active. He loved being the greeter. He talked to 50 people a day."

"My grandfather was to Western shirts what Levi's was to blue jeans," Steve Weil told Gallo. "One of his most remarkable traits was an ability to live on his own terms. That's probably the result of growing up in the early 1900s and enduring the Depression. He was self-made and self-educated, and he had a strong code of ethics."

RIP Papa Jack Weil, 1901–2008


  1. Lately I’ve noticed that people who are still bouncing around at age 100+ have far fewer wrinkles than I’d expect. Look at this fellow–other than crows’ feet and the lines defining his cheeks and chin, it’s like a baby’s butt. What centenarian beauty secrets are these old codgers hiding?

    This is important somehow, probably!

  2. Funny how people who live that old always seem to make effort to keep their eyes open, like a lil’ kid fighting sleep.

    Happy trails sir.


  3. Reminds me of Dave McCoy, the founding patriarch of Mammoth Mountain. Granted, he sold the mountain a few years back (they wanted to do it while he was still kicking around, so it wouldn’t be messy), but he was there practically every day and I’m sure he’s there a quite often these days. He’s also probably the oldest dude to ever ride a dirtbike. He’s in his 90s now, and I don’t know if he’s still riding, but he was tooling around on motocross tracks at 89!

    Remember all those cheesy ski movies from the 80s with the classic old man founding patriarch. The whole class of characters was based on Dave McCoy.

    Check out “Mammoth: The Sierra Legend” Warren Miller is credited as one of the co-authors and it details the fascinating story of the genesis of Mammoth Mountain. McCoy put his Harley Davidson up as collateral for the first loan. No joke!

  4. As I read this, and I mean no disrespect to the departed, I read:

    “died last Wednesday. He continued to show up for work every day”

    Given the guy’s work character, I’m sure his employees would not have been surprised. 12 hours a day. For 80 Years.

  5. CBS Sunday Morning said at the time of his death, he was the oldest working CEO in America. They showed him handing candy out to kids in his store and straightening out merch from a fairly recent interview. He was old, but he was mobile and looked as happy as could be. It’s people like him that make me believe in the human spirit.


  6. @2 — that was awesome. worth it for two reasons: 1) because ernest has reached that age where he doesn’t care what he says, or to who he says it; and 2) the look on those awful fox news people’s faces was priceless.

  7. Happy trails to this fellow.
    Do not underestimate the value of doing work that you love, for keeping you alive, I mean beyond just the $$.
    After all we do not live by bread alone.
    I take it this fellow’s emporium can also supply the requisite string ties to go with the shirts? that is what he’s wearing in the photo is it not? Or do I have the terminology wrong? oddly cannot find any in Rockmount’s online tie section…although the scarves look interesting…

  8. Jack only worked in the mornings in his later years. I always meant to go see him but could never get to the store on time. We went this weekend and I added a few more to my collection.

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