Christine Eriksen Hart
Christine Isabella Eriksen Hart was born May 20, 1905, in Aspen, in the Ute Edition neighborhood. She died Jan. 19, 2005, four months short of her 100th birthday. Christine is the youngest daughter of M.P. “Pete” and Helen “Nell” Eriksen, who preceded her in death, as did a sister, Julia Eriksen, and a brother, Erik Eriksen.
In 1910, Pete moved the family to the ranch on Red Mountain later known as the Eriksen Ranch. Christine attended the Aspen schools, walking three miles there and back every day. She graduated from Aspen High School in 1923, and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for three years. She taught in schools in Hilton Gulch and Clark (both near Steamboat Springs), Owl Creek near Aspen and Durango. She also taught in Superior, Wyo., and Farmington, N.M. Other jobs she held were at the City Carnegie Library and the University of Wyoming’s music department. She also was a member of Alpha Chapter No. 1, Order of the Eastern Star.In 1934 she was elected county superintendent of schools for Pitkin County and during this tenure, from 1935-1936, planned and organized the Pitkin County Library with the aid of Dorothy Shaw, Louise Berg, Clarence Coffee, Paul Smith and Helen Collin. The library eventually outgrew its location at the Wheeler Opera House, and now, more than 70 years later, occupies a $3.5 million building on North Mill Street across from the Hotel Jerome. Christine took great pride in being instrumental in the growth of the library and the beautiful building that it is now.
On Dec. 27, 1936, she married Charles D. Hart, who was also born and raised in Aspen, and was Pitkin County assessor until 1943. The couple moved to Laramie, Wyo., where Charles worked for the Union Pacific Railroad until he retired in 1972.In 1973, Christine and Charles moved to senior citizen housing in Denver, where they lived for 17 years. Charles passed away in 1991. Later, Christine lost the use of her legs and arms and became totally blind and had a serious affliction with her hearing.
Survivors include her cousin Jacqueline Turner, of Placerville, Calif., and nieces and nephews Joyce Kearns, Richard Hart, Sharon Bell, Marilyn Borden, Jack Hart, Keith Hart, Kathryn Garner, Calvin Hart and Charles Hart.Interment will be in Red Butte Cemetery on Friday, May 20, at 11 a.m. She will be at rest in the family plot, next to her mother, father, sister and brother. A reception following the graveside service will be held at the Aspen Elks Lodge 224.In place of flowers, please give memorial remembrance to the Salvation Army for the tsunami tragedy.
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With COVID-19 health and safety practices in place, who is up for a road trip to see the Denver Art Museum’s hotly anticipated exhibition on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera?