Jon James St. Andre | AspenTimes.com

Jon James St. Andre

December 8, 1939 — July 11, 2017

Jon James St. Andre peacefully passed to the other side on July 11, 2017. He was 77 years old.

Jon was born on December 8, 1939 in Ishpeming, Michigan. He was raised along with his three siblings amidst the iron mines, fishing holes and ski jumps in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Jon's earliest memory was running away from school and into the woods.

Jon graduated from Ishpeming High School in 1957. He was the Captain of the football team but he made his mark ski jumping on Ishpeming's famed Suicide Hill. He gained renown as the 1957 Junior National Ski Jumping Champion. He soared 300 feet in Steamboat Springs to win the Merrill Trophy. And, he later competed in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Jon was inducted into the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame in 2008.

Jon served two years active duty with the U.S. Army. During his year with the Army Cold Weather Mountain School at Fort Greely, Alaska he trained soldiers for mountain maneuvers and winter survival.

At Western State College in Gunnison, CO he met his wife and partner of 43 years, Roine Rowland. They were bound by their love for the mountains and by their dream for a simple life. They were married June 5, 1967, the day following Jon's graduation with a degree in Physical Education.

After a brief stint with The Peace Corps in Brazil in the late 1960s, the St. Andres began settling in Aspen, CO, Roine's hometown. Throughout the 1970s they wintered near the ski hills of Aspen and summered on their 10-acre homestead in Sandpoint, Idaho where they gardened and raised cattle, chickens, pigs and a milk goat.

During the 1980s, the St. Andre's lived in a small cabin off the grid alongside the Trappist monks at the St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, CO. Jon filled his days with ranch work and committed himself to the practice of reading, reflection, ritual and retreat.

For twenty more years Jon dwelled near Spring Creek, above Meredith, CO where he enjoyed crafting Native American inspired drums, fishing the mountain lakes and stoking his woodstove.

Jon was a gentle soul, a person of deep conviction and heartfelt intentions. His grace, grin and authenticity inspired many. He was most grounded by his connection to the natural world, and he was most encouraged by the wisdom he found in indigenous cultures. Jon wished to be remembered as a "maker of peace" and as "someone who went about doing good."

Jon is survived by his sisters, Cecile (Richard) Sleeman and MaryAnn St. Andre; sister-in-laws, Gerry (Ron) St. Andre and Jill (Jim) Boyd; and numerous nieces and nephews. Jon was preceded in death by his wife, Roine Rowland St. Andre; brother, Ronald St. Andre; and dear friend, Maike Hall.

A Celebration of Life will be held in late September. Please contact Trevor Washko at trevorwashko@gmail.com or 970-920-2653 for further details.

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