Nikki Kim Moss
January 30, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoNikki Kim Moss, the vibrant Korean and Aspen resident from the mid-’70s through the mid-’80s, died Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif. She was 57 and had been living in Sacramento for the past six years.”Nikki died of an infection after being hospitalized for multiorgan failure earlier this January,” said David Moss, Nikki Kim’s former husband and friend.Nikki, or Nae Kyung Kim, came to the United States in 1968 as a musical prodigy and studied cello at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 1970, while attending the Aspen Music School, she met David Moss, an Aspen resident since childhood and member of the Cantrup family. They married in 1974.
Moss said Nikki had celebrated New Year’s at home, then was not answering her phone. She was found two days later in grave condition. In spite of the grim outlook, Ms. Kim beat the odds until an infection caused her death.A planned member of the San Francisco Symphony, Nikki left a professional classical endeavor for a life in Aspen but commuted to do annual musical commitments and to play pop concerts with stars such as Isaac Hayes.Nikki was one of the first Asian businesswomen in Aspen. David and Nikki are best known for the legendary Chinese restaurant they created from a bankrupt breakfast house. Arthur’s of Aspen won more national awards then any other, then and now, Aspen Restaurant. Nikki could be seen many nights after work, on the dancefloor of the couple’s notorious Paradise Theater … Ewu’s Paradise.
Socially Nikki was friend to the famous and infamous and was, as Dr. Ruth said, the real star of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Gala Ball.In the mid-’80s, David and Nikki’s nationally publicized divorce – the likes of which Aspen had never seen – brought an end to the marriage and the business. Nikki left Aspen but was a frequent return visitor to the valley.Nikki went on to promote and manage notable businesses such as Yoshi’s in the Bay Area, and was a popular Sacramento real estate agent when struck down.
In Sacramento, Nikki married Don Graber but had separated. David and Nikki, who had been in close contact throughout the years were in preparatory talks to reconcile.David and Allen Moss, their son, and two lifelong friends, Byrne and Harriet Newhart, were at her side when she died.Nikki was buried at Oakmont Memorial Park just outside of San Francisco, next to her parents. Allen Moss of Denver, 27, is her only son and survivor.A tribute to Nikki is available at http://www.myspace.com/rememberingnikki.