Aspen Hall of Fame announces inductees | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Hall of Fame announces inductees

Staff report
Dick Merritt

The board of directors of the Aspen Hall of Fame announced Thursday the nominations of Charles and Fonda Paterson, Richard Merritt, and John and Cynthia Callahan.

All five will be honored during a banquet ceremony Jan. 21. January marks the Aspen Hall of Fame’s 30th anniversary.

“As we celebrate our roots, it is fitting that we are recognizing the contributions of two of Aspen’s ski-industry pioneers, two dynamic women and a stalwart in the veterans community,” said Aspen Hall of Fame founder and co-President Jeanette Darnauer.

Nominations are solicited from the community throughout the summer. Honorees were selected by the 18-member Aspen Hall of Fame Board of Directors in August.

John and Cynthia Callahan

John and Cynthia Callahan moved to Aspen in 1965. After stints as a bartender and lodge front-desk manager, John began his 20-year career with the Aspen Ski Corp. (now Aspen Skiing Co.) at Buttermilk as one of the first Spanish-speaking ski instructors and then moved to ski patroller, helping cut Racer’s Edge, Magic Carpet and Rabbit Run trails.

He was a founding member of Aspen Savings and Loan. He spent 25 years with Mountain Rescue Aspen, serving as one of its original members. He helped build two of the Braun Huts, served on the board of the Aspen Ski Club in the early ’70s and was instrumental in the formation of the Nor-Am ski races. He helped found and was race director of the annual Aspen Mini Marathon, now the Golden Leaf Marathon.

Cynthia, who died in 2005, was an active volunteer with The Thrift Shop of Aspen, the Aspen Historical Society, Pitkin County 4-H Club and St. Mary Catholic Church. She was involved with the Roaring Fork Kennel Club and was president of the Western Colorado Watercolor Society. Her art was featured in many local art shows. Over the years she worked for Skico and the Continental Inn.

Charlie and Fonda Paterson

Charlie and Fonda Paterson have been giving back to the Aspen community for decades. Charlie began his service to the community when he arrived in 1949 from Austria. As an architectural apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, he designed and built one of the earliest ski lodges in Aspen, the Boomerang Lodge. He was a ski packer, waiter, restaurant owner, ski instructor, lodge owner, architect and volunteer. He served on the board of the Aspen Chamber and Aspen Lodging Association and spent 40 years on the Board of Adjustments. He was hired by Friedl Pfeifer, worked for Fred Iselin, and was influenced by Walter Paepcke and Fritz Benedict.

In addition to her role as lodge owner and manager, Fonda has been chairwoman of the Aspen Community Church trustees and board member of the Aspen Valley Foundation and The Thrift Shop of Aspen. Both Charlie and Fonda have been on the board of the Aspen Music Festival and School for years.

Richard (Dick) Merritt

Richard (Dick) Merritt is a retired lieutenant colonel who served in the United States Marine Corps and has been active in all aspects of the military community in the Roaring Fork Valley. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and has dedicated his life to helping other veterans afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder by taking them on Huts for Vets backcountry trips. He also has participated in the winter sports clinic for disabled veterans, and worked with the Aspen Institute and Colorado Mountain College to focus on veterans’ issues. He completed the We Honor Veterans Volunteer Training program by Hospice of the Valley and became instrumental in the Roaring Fork Veterans History Project that began in 2007 and memorializes the stories of local servicemen and women.

Banquet invitations will be sent out in December. More information is available at http://www.aspen halloffame.com.


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