Updated: Monday, 26 Sep 2011, 11:09 AM MDT
Published : Saturday, 21 May 2011, 3:31 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Balloon Fiesta organization is mourning the loss of one of their own leaders in the world of hot air ballooning.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta founder, Sid Cutter, has passed away.
Cutter helped create what is now a world-famous event as part of a promotional campaign for a local radio station in 1972.
What began as a small event with 19 balloons in the parking lot of the Winrock Shopping Mall literally ballooned into an annual event involving hundreds of balloons from across the globe.
This year the balloon fiesta celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Cutter passed away in his sleep early Saturday morning, after a long battle with stomach cancer.
He was 77 years old.
In lieu of funeral, a living reception was held for Sid in April. Hundreds of friends from far and near attended to have “…one more laugh and beer with Sid”.
Sid is survived by his wife Jewel Cutter, grandson Christopher Forehand and granddaughter Whitney Forehand in Albuquerque and predeceased by his daughter Cyd Cutter Forehand. Sid is also survived by his brother Bill Cutter, niece Kay Cutter, and nephew Will Cutter in Phoenix, his daughter Sheryl, son-in-law Phil, grandsons Cody, Wade, Chad and granddaughter Blake Weireter, in California.