Darlene Rae Dodge
October 11, 2007
Darlene Rae Dodge, a former resident of Snowmass Village, passed away at her home in Santa Fe, N.M., on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, after a courageous struggle with ovarian cancer.
Darlene was born in Los Angeles on April 30, 1938, to Rae and Ada Dodge, and moved to Miami in 1949. Her mother starred in a number of Hollywood films in the 1930s, and her father was an international track star, running in the half-mile at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. He was also the founder of the Dodge Trophy Co., the original makers of the Oscar and Emmy statuettes.
She attended Ms. Harris’ School in Miami, Institut Marie-Jose at Gstaad, Switzerland, Mount Vernon Seminary, and graduated from the University of Miami.
Darlene was active and adventuresome. She played competitive tennis, loved to hike and was particularly active in the Sierra Club and Crow Club. She loved skiing, scuba diving and flying.
She was an accomplished professional pilot and flew many types of aircraft including Learjets, DC-3s, with a particular passion for sailplanes. Darlene was the first female owner/operator of charter service in South Florida, operating Dodge Air Charter, which ran a small fleet out of Miami International Airport during the 1980s. Darlene lived in Snowmass Village in the during 1980s, where she fell in love with the people and natural beauty of the village.
She is survived by her husband Rodney Keep; daughter Elise LaFontisee Thyrre and her husband Eric; son Louis L. LaFontisee, III., and his wife, Grace; and her two grandsons, Louis L. LaFontisee IV and Hugh Francis Napoleon LaFontisee; and her sister, Diane Dodge, all of whom were at her side during her final days.
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Memorial services will take place in Darlene’s home town at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Plymouth Congregation Church, at 3400 Devon Road, Miami, FL 33133.