Longtime local Bronson Case Rumsey Jr. died at his home in the loving company of family on the morning of Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 after a year-long struggle with cancer. He was 80 years old.
Bronson was born Nov. 8, 1929 in Stamford, Conn., an unlikely birthplace.
Bronson was a man who would delight in telling stories of his childhood on a Wyoming dude ranch (UXU), of winter migrations to the Florida Keys, and of hunting in Alaska and fishing in Snowmass Creek. With strong roots in Savannah, Ga., Bronson would also dream of relaxing in the southern sun, especially in his later years when he was overwhelmed by snow in his Colorado driveway.
Bronson was tutored at home until, at the age of nine, he was sent to Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn. He then attended the Hill School in Pottstown, Penn., and briefly Yale University before finishing his BA and MBA at the University of Michigan in 1954. He was a talented wrestler, excelling both at Hill and at Michigan. His next calling was the Air National Guard. He retired 23 years later as a lieutenant colonel, having amassed hundreds of hours in his favorite aircraft, the F-100.
In 1968, Bronson married Diana Rendle Sweet, and they built their home in Snowmass Village. From his first days on this valley, Bronson was an active member of the community; He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge, a founding member of the Snowmass Club, and a member of the Aspen Board of Realtors. He was an avid skier and outdoorsman, sharing his love of the mountains with his family, and he continued to fill his years with adventures (and misadventures), even after a 1987 plane accident that left both him and Diana as bilateral amputees. Undeterred, Bronson learned how to ski again and continued to fish and hunt, which were pastimes that he shared with his wife until his last year.
Bronson is survived by Diana, his wife of 41 years; his children - Martha Elizabeth Rumsey, Bronson Case Rumsey III, Daniel Walters Rumsey, Georgina Rumsey Levey, and Elizabeth Barron Rumsey - his brother, James L. Rumsey, and seven grandchildren.
Bronson was a man of his time. He was never more alive then when he was hunting with his dogs, doing a fly-by to shoe livestock off a rural landing strip, or just messing around in the garage. These mountains are alive with memories of Bronson - stories he told and experiences we've all shared. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
A service to celebrate Bronson's life will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen, with a reception following at the Snowmass Club.
Memorial gifts may be given to Hospice of the Valley; P.O. Box 3768; Basalt, CO 81621.