Sara Sue Kataoka
March 28, 2005
Sara Sue Kataoka died Saturday morning, March 26, after a 10-year struggle with melanoma. She was 61.
Born Sara Sue Hawks in Amarillo, Texas, into the large pioneer, ranching and oil Whittenburg family, she came to Aspen in the early '60s, already an accomplished pilot and photographer. She became assistant to Whipple Van Ness Jones, president of the Aspen Highlands Ski Association, and later the director of AspenGlow, Aspen's first vacation-package and reservation service. In the late '70s, she headed Lescan Skiwear with her then-husband Koji Kataoka. For the past few decades, she had been one of Aspen's finest real estate brokers, first with Carol Ann Jacobson Realty and more recently with Coates Reid and Waldron.
Sara Sue was an integral participant in the development of Aspen's cultural and philanthropic community. She was a founding member of the Aspen Art Museum and a longtime supporter of the Aspen Arts Council, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Ballet West as well as Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet, the World Cup, Ski the Rockies, Aspen Country Day School and Grassroots, and she was very proud of her role as an officer of AIDS Aspen Cares.
Most importantly, Sara Sue will be remembered best for her indomitable spirit and generous heart. Though she was very entrepreneurial and successful in her business life, her greatest accomplishments lie in the hearts of her friends and family who are richer and happier for having had Sara Sue's presence in their lives.
She is lovingly remembered by her children Victoria Kataoka Rebuffet and Koji Kataoka II, her son-in-law Jean-Philippe Rebuffet, her daughter-in-law Alix Brown, her grandson Mateo Kataoka, her siblings Georgia Swift, Lillie Holder, Helen Benton, Janis Grey, William Hawks and their families, as well as countless devoted friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in her honor to the Melanoma Research Fund (c/o Dr. Rene Gonzales, Cutaneous Oncology, P.O. Box 6510, Mail Stop F703, Aurora, CO 80045-0510).
A service will be held to celebrate Sara Sue's life on Wednesday, April 6. Further information will be forthcoming.
March 31, 2005
Former Aspen resident Tom Kearney died in Denver on March 4 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was born May 15, 1950, and grew up in Winnetka, Ill., just north of Chicago. He attended New Trier High School, where he had a band, "Mersy Side Skiffle."
While in Aspen, from the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, he bartended at places including The Mine Company, The Study Hall, Paddy Buggati's, Andre's, The Aspen Bar & Grill and The Red Onion, to name a few. He was one of the proud early members of the Aspen State Teachers College.
After leaving Aspen, he co-owned and operated a very successful bar and restaurant in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for eight years. Tom then moved to Arizona to be near his mother and other family.
He had been living in Denver for the past several years. He was supported by an incredible network of friends and family, all of whom will miss his wit, humor, gentleness and concern.
A celebration of his life will be held in Denver this spring, tentatively scheduled for May 14, as well as a memorial service in Chicago sometime this summer. Contributions in Tom's name can be made to Hospice of Metro Denver.
Friends may call Skip and Michelle Sanchez for more information on the memorial services and to make contributions.
April 1, 2005
Clif Taylor, fondly known by his co-workers and family as �The Legend, � died peacefully on March 6 in Evergreen. He was 82 years old.
Clif was born with an identical twin, Mark, on Dec. 29, 1922, in Providence, R.I. Older brother Richard and the twins joined the armed forces in 1943. Clif trained for the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale near Leadville in 1943. He fought in World War II with the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment in the decisive battles at Riva Ridge and Mount Belvedere in the Northern Italian Apennines. He received the Purple Heart medal of honor in April 1945. Clif was deeply moved by his experiences in Italy and eventually took his family there to revisit many of the locations of his tour of duty.
After the war, Clif enrolled in Western State College in Gunnison, where he raced for the Western State Ski Team but unfortunately broke his leg just before the team won the championship in 1947-1948.
He went on to teach skiing with Klaus Obermeyer in Aspen in 1950. There he met and married Mary Pratt and moved to Brattleboro, Vt., where he developed GLM while working for the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper. He started Shortee Skis with the help of philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller.
He is survived by his three children, Mark, Louise and Laura; and grandchild Morgan Taylor, all of whom he taught to ski before they could walk (well, almost).
Clif was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1979 for his contribution to the ski industry as inventor and champion of GLM (Graduated Length Method), which teaches direct parallel technique on short skis. Many other honors followed, including induction into the Colorado and Vermont Ski Hall of Fame (1999 and 2003).
Clif�s buoyant personality was infectious and he took great joy in making the art of skiing easy and fun for all ages to learn. Some of Taylor�s most distinguished students were Gary Cooper, Lowell Thomas, Art Linkletter, Jack Paar, Lorne Greene, Tim Conway, Ann Miller and Laurance Rockefeller.
After tirelessly promoting GLM at more than 300 ski schools around the world, Taylor returned to Colorado to work as a real estate broker for Intrawest at Copper Mountain from 1988-2004. There he made many lifelong friends by treating his real estate clients to a personal Clif Taylor Instant Ski Lesson: �Just bend your knees and turn your skis!� Clif was proud to be teaching skiing on the slopes until he turned 80.
Kitty Baldwin Weese
April 2, 2005
Kitty Baldwin Weese, wife of the late Chicago architect Harry Weese, died of natural causes on Friday, March 18, in Chicago. She was 87 years old.
Kitty started coming to Aspen in 1947, and since 1969 she was a part-time resident of the West End. She ran an interior design business with Aspenite Jackie Green Wogan for a number of years. In the early '80s, she began painting watercolors, studying with Anstis Lundy. Kitty had numerous exhibitions of her work in Chicago and Aspen.
Kitty was a great friend of Aspen old-timers Elizabeth Paepcke, Fritz and Fabi Benedict, Mirte and Ferenc Berko, Dick Durrance, Herbert and Joella Bayer, Jimmy Smith, Betty Moore, Pat Moore, Ellie Brickham, Johnny and Laurie McBride and Tukey Koffend, among others.
She is survived by two sisters, three daughters and five grandchildren. A memorial service will be announced in the spring.
R. William Ayres Jr.
April 8, 2005
Retired businessman and active member of the Aspen community Bill Ayres died in Denver on March 30 after a lengthy illness.
Ayres was born in New Hartford, N.Y., on March 8, 1926, to Russell William and Helen Gates Ayres. In 1948, he graduated from Yale University with a degree in electrical engineering and married Rebecca Thatcher, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn. They had four children.
His career took him to Schenectady, N.Y., then to Philadelphia, where he worked as an engineer for General Electric. After a brief stint with Arthur D. Little in the Boston area, he took executive management positions with Westinghouse Air Brake Company, in Pittsburgh; Mosler Safe Company, in Hamilton, Ohio; and J. I. Case Company, in Racine, Wisc.
A lifelong skier, Bill first came to Aspen in the 1960s. He and his wife purchased a vacation home here in 1970 and became full-time residents in 1988 upon his retirement from J.I. Case. In Aspen, as in his previous homes, Bill believed in participating in the community. Throughout his life, he was an active member of the Episcopal Church and served on numerous hospital boards.
In Aspen, he served on the finance committee of the Aspen Valley Hospital and was then elected to the board of directors. Bill was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen and a founding member of a new mission, St. Peter's of the Valley in Basalt. Additionally, Bill served on the Pitkin County Planning & Zoning Commission and was an active Rotarian.
Bill Ayres is survived by his wife, Becky, of Aspen, his sister, Ann Borner, of The Village, Fla., and four children: Russell W. Ayres III (Kathy), of Pittsburgh, Carolyn Newell of Denver, the Rev. Stephen T. Ayres (Lisa) of Boston, and Nancy Friel (Michael) of Sacramento. He is survived by seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, April 29, at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the St. Peter's of the Valley Building Fund, 200 Elk Run Road, Basalt, CO 81621, or the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, 455 Sherman St., Suite 500, Denver, CO 80203.
Robert W. 'Bill' Seawell
April 10, 2005
Robert W. "Bill" Seawell, 69, passed away Tuesday, March 29, at his residence in Aspen. Bill was born in Baltimore, the fifth child in a family of 13. He grew up in Turner Station, Md., and attended Sollers Point High School for several years; however, he graduated from Burlington High in Campton, N.J. Bill then graduated from LaSalle University, in Philadelphia, with a bachelor's degree in pre-med. He then attended Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., for two years.
Bill was an adventurous traveler who moved to Aspen in the winter of 1969-70. He was an avid outdoor man who loved the mountains; he was a cross-country skier, snowshoer, hiker, distance runner, windsurfer and swimmer. Bill was an advocate to anyone in need of help.
With his insatiable intellect, he was a prolific free-spirited individual who esteemed the outdoors. He loved people and was a stranger to no one.
Bill was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia H. Seawell; his sisters Barbara, Peggy, Marion and Jeanette; and his brother Herbert. He is survived by his daughter, Cheryl Griffin; sisters Constance V. Franklin and Betty E. Seawell; brothers Leroy J., Marco D., Joseph and Jesse Seawell; grandchildren Jimmie F., Cherita R. and Christina Y. Ware; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
A memorial service will be held on April 30 in Baltimore. A memorial service for Bill's friends in Aspen will be scheduled at a later date.
April 16, 2005
Granville Taylor Gamblin Sr. died April 11 in his home at Truscott. He was 75 years old.
Taylor originally moved to Aspen in November 1966 to work for the Janss Corp. as a real estate broker, marketing residences in what is now Snowmass Village. Gamblin would later become general manager of Aspen Square and vice-president of the Hodge-Oliver Management Co.
Taylor was born in 1930 in Salem, Mo., and graduated from the Country Day School of St. Louis in 1948 and Washington University with a B.S. in business administration in 1952. He became active in St. Louis real estate development in the late 1950s and continued his career after moving to Colorado in the late 1960s.
In addition to his work in Aspen, Taylor was a founding partner in the Glenwood Springs real estate firm Valley Realty. He returned to Aspen during his retirement and was known for his many letters to the editor to the local papers, where he would reflect on numerous subjects from historic Aspen tidbits to personal political views.
He was preceded in death by his son G. Taylor Jr. Survivors include his former wife, Katherine Hoffmann-Gamblin; his children Briggs A.H., J. Bradford, Marquard, John Estes, Christian F., Paula Burkey and Mary Hackmann; and his 12 grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be held Friday, April 22, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen, with Father O'Brien officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be sent to the Pitkin County Senior Center or St. Mary Catholic Church.
John David (J.D.) Kapustka
April 22, 2005
John David (J.D.) Kapustka of Sidney, Neb., died Wednesday, April 6. He was 44 years old.
J.D. was born on Dec. 15, 1960, in Burwell, Neb., to E.P. (Spud) and Iryne (Iwanski) Kapustka. He was raised in Elyria, Neb., attended grade school there and at St. Mary's Catholic School at Ord, and graduated from Ord High School in 1978. He then attended Kearney State College.
J.D. married Susie Hessel on July 29, 1989, in Basalt. He worked for Western Sports from 1985 to 2001, and for Invisible Fence from 2001 to 2003. At the time of his death he was a purchasing specialist for Cabelas Corp. in Sidney.
J.D. was a member of Ducks Unlimited and the J.D. Hunt Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and skiing.
Survivors include a son, Daniel Kapustka of Basalt; a daughter, Julia Kapustka of Basalt; and two brothers, Robert Kapustka of Huntsville, Ala., and James Kapustka of Wilton, Conn.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Billy and Danny.
Funeral services were held Monday, April 11, at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at Ord, Neb. Burial was in the St. Mary's Cemetery at Elyria.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Susie Kapustka FBO Daniel and Julia Fund at Alpine Bank, 711 E. Valley Road, Ste. 101, Basalt, CO 81621.
Robert A. Stanger
April 24, 2005
Robert A. Stanger, 65, recognized as the nation's pre-eminent expert on partnership and other direct participation program investments (DPPs), died April 18 in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Stanger, whose wife is an Aspen native, was a part-time Aspen resident.
Mr. Stanger founded and built the firm which bears his name, Robert A. Stanger & Co. located in Shrewsbury, N.J., into one of the nation's leading investment research and real estate investment banking firms.
Prior to the founding of his company in 1978, Mr. Stanger was first vice president in White, Weld & Co.'s investment banking department and later a vice president at Merrill Lynch, where he was among the first to recognize the potential appeal of DPPs to a broad investor base.
Mr. Stanger built his company into the leading consulting, research and publishing firm specializing in DPP investments. Within five years, virtually every securities brokerage office in the United States carried a copy of The Stanger Report, the monthly newsletter providing Mr. Stanger's advice and commentary on this investment niche.
An advocate for improved quality of DPP investment products, Mr. Stanger was frequently quoted in the financial press, was featured in a Money Magazine cover story, and he appeared on Wall Street Week. He provided advice to Congress and numerous federal and state regulatory agencies and founded the Investment Program Association, the industry's trade group.
Mr. Stanger also created one of the largest circulation magazines designed solely for investment professionals, Investment Advisor magazine, and produced professional educational materials for the College of Financial Planning and the American Society of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated in 1961 from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in economics.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Stanger's company played a significant role in the rebirth of the real estate investment trust, or REIT, industry, providing financial advisory and investment banking services in more than $20 billion of real estate mergers and consolidations that ushered in a new generation of publicly traded REITs.
Mr. Stanger's philanthropic activities benefited such organizations as The Pingry School, Rumson Country Day School, Princeton University, and Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Mr. Stanger was also a member of the Rumson Country Club and Seabright Beach Club in New Jersey, the Maroon Creek Club and Aspen Mountain Club, and Querencia in Mexico.
Mr. Stanger was predeceased by his parents, Wesley and Sarah. He is survived by his wife, Gail Stanger of Aspen; his brother, William Stanger of Tucson, Ariz.; three daughters, Dr. Catherine Stanger of Charlotte, Vt.; Karen Stanger-Johnston of Fair Haven, N.J., and Amanda Stanger-Read of Ann Arbor, Mich.; his son, Robert A. Stanger Jr. of Calif.; nine grandchildren; and his stepmother, Natalie Stanger of Summit, N.J.
Memorial services will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Robert A. Stanger to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, PO Box 27106, New York, NY 10087.
Jean Marie Mobley
May 3, 2005
Jean Marie (Klossner) Mobley was born in New Ulm, Minn., on March 25, 1961, to Harvey Klossner and Lorraine (Sellner) Zimdahl. She died Friday, April 29, at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. She was 44 years old.
Visitation will be today from 5- 9 p.m. at Farnum-Holt Funeral Home, 405 W. 7th St., in Glenwood Springs. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 4, at 1 p.m. at Farnum-Holt Funeral Home, with Pastor Mark Bintliff officiating. Internment is at the Marble Cemetery.
Jean was a member of the New Creation Church of Glenwood Springs. She is survived by her husband, Terry Mobley; sons Cale and Travis; stepsons Josh and Jeremiah; daughter Melissa; stepdaughters Sheena and Scarlett; parents Harvey W. Klossner and Lorraine V. Zimdahl; stepfather Claus B. Zimdahl; brothers Dale Klossner and Lee Klossner; stepbrother James Zimdahl; sister Deborah Klossner; stepsister Cindy Anton; grandfather Hillard Klossner; many nieces and nephews and four grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents Edna Klossner, Leo Sellner and Mathilda Sellner.
The family suggests memorials be sent to: Alpine Bank, Attn: Jean & Terry Mobley Family, 350 Highway 133, Carbondale, CO 81623.