Dr. Carlos Mellizo Cuadrado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, loving husband, father and friend, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully in his sleep on February 12, 2019. He was 76 years old.
Carlos was born on October 2, 1942 in Madrid, Spain, the youngest of four children. After his compulsory military service, he attended the Universidad Complutense de Madrid for his BA 1964, MA 1966 and PhD in Philosophy with high honors in 1970.
A longtime Laramie resident of 51 years, he immigrated to the United States in 1968 as a faculty member in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Wyoming, earning promotion to full professor in 1977. He later became a joint faculty member of the Department of Philosophy. He retired in 2010.
It was shortly after his arrival in the US that he met the love of his life, Esther Vialpando. They married on July 24, 1970 in El Escorial, Spain.
Professionally, Carlos was a prolific scholar and writer. He published scores of philosophical essays, prologues, works of fiction, collections of poetry, in addition to a significant body of translated work that brought the ideas of many of his intellectual heroes, including David Hume, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Edmund Burke, George Berkeley, Thomas Reid, Thomas Hobbes, among others, to the Spanish-speaking world. Beyond translations, Carlos’ fiction was recognized with the receipt of numerous literary awards including, the Hucha de Plata Literary Award and the Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros. He was also appointed as an Honorary Consul to serve his native Spain as its representative for the Rocky Mountain Region.
In 2013 he was recognized by King Juan Carlos I of Spain for his extraordinary professional contributions with the receipt of the Medalla Cruz de Oficial, de la Orden de Isabel la Católica; one of the highest awards bestowed upon civilians by the Spanish government.
More important to Carlos, however, was his genuine love of teaching where he could share his passion for literature and philosophy with his students. He frequently commented on the joy his students brought him throughout his 42 years of service at the University of Wyoming.
Aside from his professional life, Carlos had a deep appreciation for the arts. Music was a huge part of his life. An accomplished pianist himself, Carlos loved to sing and play the piano with his family. Several days a week, Carlos would take time to enjoy the beauty of Wyoming in his drives around the countryside and in his walks around Laramie. He loved to write literary letters to friends and family. His love for soccer was second only to his love for tennis; a hobby and community that meant a great deal to him. In retirement, Carlos would spend hours listening to music at full volume, writing poetry and prose, fishing, hunting, and indulging his pastime painting in Wyoming-inspired themes, wildlife, vistas, and portraits. For those who knew him well, his greatest attribute lay in his sense of humor, most generously shared among his inner circle where it was received with endless laughter.
Above all else, however, the principal focus of Carlos’ life was his family. Carlos’ family always ate dinner together, sang together, traveled together, went to concerts together, and more; all of which created a rich and close family bond. He instilled many traditions and gave generously of his time and love; prioritizing time together with his wife, children, grandchildren, and relatives in Spain. His passing will leave a profound void in the lives of those who loved him.
Carlos is preceded in death by his parents, Felipe Mellizo Contreras, and Asunción Cuadrado Lucas; and his brother, Felipe Mellizo Cuadrado. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Esther Mellizo; his children, Olga Mellizo (Stephan Kroll) of Fort Collins, CO; Carlos Mellizo (Jennifer) of Laramie, WY; Marisa Mellizo Astras (Philip Astras) of Louisville, CO; and Philip Mellizo (Katie Hagan) of Lakewood, OH; his sisters, Paloma Mellizo Cuadrado (Spain) and María Remedios Mellizo Cuadrado (Spain); seven grandchildren; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be held at St. Paul’s Newman Center Catholic Church on 1800 Grand Avenue in Laramie, WY on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 10:00AM. Immediately following a private burial, a reception will be held at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Laramie Soup Kitchen or Interfaith.