Melanie died peacefully at Valley View Hospital during the night of Tuesday, Feb. 5. She left us with peace in her soul and love in her heart. Her time on Earth was filled with light and inspiration, boundless energy and optimism, all of which persisted through her six years of living with lung cancer. Melanie smoothly integrated her talents, values and charm into her life's pursuits and employment, sharing her curiosity, interest and effervescence with family and clients alike.
Everett and Freddie Peirce brought their family of three young children to Aspen in 1960 where Melanie graduated from high school in 1974. She received a degree in Business from the University of Denver and went on to manage restaurants in Northern California and Oregon in the early 1980s. Soon thereafter, she began working with her brother Tom in his adventure/educational travel business, High Country Passage. She guided trips during the winters and managed the Selway Lodge in Idaho with her husband Carrington Brown in the summers. The end of the '80s brought Melanie and Carrington back to the Roaring Fork Valley where their sons Trevor and Dylan were born in 1989 and 1992.
The family flair for life was well expressed in Melanie. Once in Basalt, she tapped into her Spanish fluency, working as a medical assistant and director at the Indigent Clinic of Aspen Valley Hospital and, ten years later, added a realtor license to her repertoire, specializing in bilingual representation.
What can be said to honor her sufficiently? She was clear in her intent to support and cherish those she loved, to embrace each challenge, live every day with gratitude, and to share her enthusiasm with all whom she encountered. Experienced as she was already with the loss of her mother and a brother, she forged ahead with her own diagnosis, empowered by the wisdom and compassion she had cultivated through loss. Her spirit expanded in this time of illness and she accepted her new role, allowing her love to flourish and that light of hers to expand into radiance. It was palpable and powerful and she left us all with that invaluable gift.
Melanie is survived by her husband, Carrington Brown; her sons Trevor and Dylan; her brother, Fred Peirce and father, Everett Peirce.
The memorial service will be held at Grace Church located in Emma at the junction of East Sopris Creek Road and Emma Road on Friday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. A potluck, your favorite salad or desert. Celebration will take place following the service at the Brown home located at 53 Cherry Lane in Basalt through 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Pathfinders of Aspen.