Skip to content

Couple’s Impact on City Remains Strong

Celebrating a milestone birthday this month, Eva Mitchell and her husband Dick Lichtenheld reflect back on decades of community service and the birth of the City of Castle Pines. Looking forward, the couple’s priorities are focused on family and travel and gratitude for the community in which they live.

The City of Castle Pines wouldn’t quite be what it is today without the dedicated involvement of longtime residents Eva Mitchell and Dick Lichtenheld.

The married couple moved to the community in 1996 and quickly became a public-service powerhouse, serving on numerous boards and committees, including the ones that helped incorporate what was then known as Castle Pines North to the City of Castle Pines in 2008.

Eva, who turns 90 this month, grew up in Germany and moved to the United States in her twenties, going on to become a prominent real estate agent in the Denver metro area. In the late 1970s, she sold the land on which Highlands Ranch was eventually developed and worked closely with Denver homebuilder George Writer, who founded Writer Square in Denver and developed HOA 1 and HOA 2 in Castle Pines.

Dick, 86, grew up in Denver, went into Army intelligence as a young man, earned a doctorate from the University of Washington, worked in fisheries, and later became a partner in a management consulting firm. The couple met in the early 1990s when Eva was a student and Dick was the teacher for a management and salesmanship class.

“She asked all of the tough questions,” he said. “I took notice of her immediately.”

Eva and Dick have six children between them from previous marriages and eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, who keep them busy.
But it’s nothing new; “busy” might as well be both of their middle names.

Arguably, there are few people who have had a greater impact on the Castle Pines community than Eva and Dick. They deflect adulation and bestowed titles associated with their part in founding the city government, among many other roles, but the mantle in their living room betrays their humble modesty: it’s lined with lifetime achievement awards and other recognitions for their contributions.

The couple has long taken an active role in church leadership, served in several positions for the Republican Party, and even drew the boundaries of the city’s three districts. Additionally, their home in the Knightsbridge subdivision served as the ballot pickup location for the election for incorporation, since there were not yet any official city offices.

Their home sits on a lot that was handpicked long ago, in spite of initially being covered by trash and water, and it was the first house built in Knightsbridge. Friends warned that the site, which is next to a community center with a swimming pool and tennis court, might be the source of commotion, but they didn’t mind.

“Even though we’re old, we love being in a neighborhood that has so many young people; that keeps you fresh,” Dick said. “They told us, ‘it’s next to a swimming pool and it could be noisy,’ to which Eva replied, ‘yes, but it’s happy noise.’”

Then-Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Jack Arrowsmith (left) swears in Eva Mitchell and Dick Lichtenheld (among others) as Interim Municipal City Clerks for Castle Pines North in December 2007.

The environment is in stark contrast to the atmosphere where Eva was raised. She grew up in Nazi Germany and had to take shelter during Allied bombings as a young teen. She made it through, thanks to her mother’s resilience and sense of “survivability.”

It’s perhaps one of the reasons why Eva has been so set on creating a safe, enjoyable community in Castle Pines. She negotiated with builders and “powers that be” to create setbacks to create the buffer between Monarch Boulevard and the backyards of existing homes that back up to open space parcels along the corridor, Dick said. When she served on the master association’s board of directors, Eva and a colleague convinced the leaders of the Douglas County School District to relocate the site of a planned school that was going to be built beneath power lines.

“The place where Timber Trail (Elementary School) is now located is thanks to Eva,” Dick said, adding his wife even has a garden in the neighborhood that’s named after her.

These days, the couple often goes to their mountain cabin near Nederland, attends shows at the Lone Tree Arts Center and still travels out of state for family functions. Their road trips have put a whopping 326,000 miles on their Acura MDX. They’ve retired from their many posts in recent years, but remain devoted to the cherished community they helped create.

Article and photo by Chris Michlewicz




Recent Stories