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Bud Brownell

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Former Aspen resident Richard “Bud” Ronald Brownell, 79, died Jan 20, 2013 at the Veteran’s Nursing Home in Rifle, Colo.

Bud was born May 29, 1933 in Syracuse, N.Y., to Ronald and Mary (McKibben) Brownell. He attended elementary, middle and high schools in Utica, N.Y. After serving in the Korean War, he married Lois Marilyn Brooks of South New Berlin, N.Y on Aug. 21, 1957. He attended Utica College and was then employed by Adressograph as a serviceman for several years.

Bud grew up as an avid outdoorsman and he loved horses and he lived to ski. He worked as a golf caddy, he taught skiing at Snow Ridge in upstate New York, and he ran a yacht club in the summers in the Adirondacks.

Deciding to teach skiing full time on big mountains, Bud brought his family to Aspen in 1964, where he worked as a ski instructor for the Aspen Skiing Co. for over 20 years. Bud loved to be doing anything outside. He was an explorer with an amazing sense of humor. He worked in the offseasons as a builder, crafting his own log homes and he prided in doing all of the building, plumbing and electrical himself. He was an amazing mechanic; he especially loved antique car shows, tinkering in his garage, and fixing up and restoring Thunderbirds. He felt at ease in the air as he became a pilot and flew himself and his family around the country and often to the Bahamas, where he had a sailboat named “Seatoy.”

In recent years, Bud enjoyed dealing in real estate, fixing up investment homes and doing “flip-its.” He also loved building creative Adirondack furniture. He was always very active and spent most of his time riding his bicycle in Florida, hiking up mountains and being out on 4Th lake in upstate New York in his canoe or in the vintage Chris Craft he had restored.

He is survived by his daughter, Belinda Brownell; grandchildren Wylie Brownell-Patty and Dani Brownell-Patty; his ex-wife, Lois Vagneur, all of Carbondale, Colo.; sister Susan Kipen of Florida; and brothers Thomas Brownell of Florida and David Brownell of Oregon.

Bud’s family reflects: “Bud’s love of the outdoors (especially skiing), and his “GO FOR IT” attitude continue to be a daily inspiration for our entire family.”

Special thanks go to Lisa Adams and her wonderful caring staff at The Veteran’s Home in Rifle, Colo. Also, a huge “thank you” to Smokey and Sue and the Team at Alpine Hospice for helping Bud and his family believe that death is “OK.” In lieu of flowers, please send tax-deductible donations to: Sopris Therapy Services, PO Box 2080, Carbondale, CO 81623.


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