Aspenite George Vicenzi dies
ASPEN Longtime Aspenite George Vicenzi – familiar to many locals as he pedaled around town on an ancient one-speed bicycle – died May 4 at Aspen Valley Hospital of a rare form of cancer.
His death at age 63 has shocked many who knew him. Many were unaware he had been battling the disease for years, and he continued to the end to react to questions about his welfare with his characteristic response: “Never better!”Vicenzi and his former wife, Sandy (now Carris), came to Aspen from Connecticut in spring 1968, driving out for a ski vacation in a new Volkswagen minibus that still sits in the driveway of his West End home. After quickly deciding to relocate to Aspen permanently, the couple returned home to tie up their affairs and was back in the Roaring Fork Valley by the following September, Sandy said.An avid outdoor enthusiast, Vicenzi immediately embarked on a real estate investment business. He earned his real estate license and set up partnerships with other local entrepreneurs, including former Aspen Times owner Bil Dunaway. Among his better-known properties were the old Takah Sushi building on Hyman Avenue, and the former Aspen post office, which now houses The Wienerstube restaurant, also on Hyman.
With vacation homes in Maine in Moab, Utah, Vicenzi pursued a growing list of outdoor adventures, ranging from hiking and biking to sailing and skiing.According to friends, he remained active until this year. He was skiing here as late as January, before his illness took a turn for the worse, forcing him to seek rigorous treatment.Always an active citizen, Vicenzi was instrumental in getting the power lines buried in the West End, and was an early champion of walking and cycling around town instead of driving.
Although a real estate investor and speculator himself, he is recalled as opposing development that he considered out of scale or somehow harmful to the Victorian character of the town.There is to be no public memorial service, according to the family, simply a private gathering of family and friends at a future date.John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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