The Board of Trustees and staff of the Buell Foundation are deeply saddened to share the heartbreaking news that we unexpectedly lost our wonderful friend and devoted colleague, Erin Binford, on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Erin was a dedicated daughter, eternal optimist and believer in justice. She was loyal member of the Buell family for 17 years and was a founding member of the Colorado Funders for Inclusiveness and Equity (COFIE). Her absence will be felt across many circles and communities. Please join us as we remember the compassionate and warm spirit of our friend, Erin, who will be profoundly missed.
If you have any memories you would like to share, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our staff. We will be sure to pass on any photos or written messages to her family. All mailed correspondence can be sent care of our office at:
1666 S. University Blvd., Suite B
Denver, CO 80210
Erin Allyson Binford, 52, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly in Denver, Colorado on January 11, 2017. She grew up in Chicago, Highland Park, and Springfield, Illinois and in Fairfield, Connecticut. After college, Erin felt the draw of New York City and joined Saks Fifth Avenue in fashion merchandising. She loved New York and the rich diversity, and that kindled in her a desire for adventure. Erin moved to Boston as a flight attendant and then manager for Northwest Airlines, which allowed her to travel all over the world. Her interest in community led her to become a Vista volunteer, and that brought her to Denver over 25 years ago, where she has made a mark on our community ever since. Erin worked at several nonprofits including Urban Peak and Harrison Animal Hospital, which aligned with her love of animals, particularly dogs. Her Calvin and Shadow were the light of her life. For the past 17 years, Erin was a treasured colleague at the Buell Foundation, and she worked tirelessly to elevate and address early childhood issues throughout Colorado.
Erin’s biggest life passion was social equity and racial equality. As an active participant in a race discussion group and a founding member of Colorado Funders for Inclusiveness and Equity, she was a lifelong learner and unwavering ally for equality in every way. She volunteered for Obama’s 2008 campaign and continued to advocate for the issues she believed in. She was a proud American, and Erin supported and appreciated veterans, especially since her father, J. Allison (Al) Binford, who is a proud Korean war veteran. Every year Erin would attend the Veteran’s Day Parade, standing on the same corner, always with her “Thank You” sign and inviting all to join her. She always attended the MLK Marade and loyally marched down Colfax to the state Capitol.
Erin is predeceased by her mother, Lois Binford and survived by her father Al, her sister Laurel A. Jordan and brother-in-law, Richard A. Jordan, Jr. of Milford, Connecticut, by her uncle and aunt, David and Mae Binford of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, cousins Brian Binford and Cheryl Binford Rashid, and her many dear friends across the country to whom she was devoted and genuinely interested in their lives, including their children and four-legged family members.
A celebration of Erin’s life will be held Sunday, February 12 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Project Angel Heart, 4950 Washington Street in Denver, 80216; to which all of her friends and colleagues are invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Erin’s honor to Southern Poverty Law Center, Colorado’s People’s Alliance, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, or Colorado Families for Fair Wage. Erin also suggested that in her memory people could consider working for social justice issues and racial equality, donating blood (she gave over 5 gallons!), going to the Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and MLK parades, voting in every election, sending a nice card or postcard to someone (“you know, with a stamp!”) and doing something generous and kind without expecting anything in return. She will be dearly missed.