David R.C. "Darcy" Brown Jr.
Aspen, CO Colorado
David Robinson Crocker Brown Jr. (“Darcy”) passed away on Monday, March 10, at the age of 95. Darcy was the son of David R. C. Brown, an Aspen pioneer, and Ruth McNutt, daughter of a prominent San Francisco physician. Darcy dropped the Jr. from his name some years after his father’s death in 1930. DRC Sr. came to Aspen in 1880 where he purchased several silver mines and established the first water, power, and electric companies in Aspen. Ruth McNutt and DRC Sr. were married in Paris in 1907 after meeting on a ship and traveling by horseback over the Andes to avoid passage around the Horn of South America.
Darcy graduated from St. Paul’s School in 1931 and Yale University in 1935 with a degree in economics and a minor in French. After graduation, he worked as an oil field laborer for Continental Oil Company, then as a scout, a lease man, and finally, a land man. He left the company in 1940 and was a partner in a small oil production business in Kansas. In 1942 he joined the Civilian Pilot Training program and, some months later, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, hoping to become a Navy pilot. After enlisting, he learned that he was too old to be a Navy pilot and ended up as a PT boat skipper. He served in Panama, then on detached duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and then in the South Pacific.
He was divorced from his first wife in 1946 and in 1947 married Ruth Humphreys of Denver, daughter of A.E. and Ruth Boettcher Humphreys, well known philanthropists in the Denver area. Following his marriage, he went into the ranching business in Colorado and Utah. He was elected a Colorado State Senator in 1952. At the end of his term of office, he took over as CEO of the Aspen Ski Corporation in 1957, having served as a founding member of the Board of Directors since 1946. The Corporation was then a small ski area with three lifts on Aspen Mountain. When he retired, 22 years later, the company was operating Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Snowmass, Breckenridge, and two ski areas in Canada as well as one in Spain. The Aspen Ski Corporation was sold to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation in 1977.
During his term with the Aspen Ski Corporation, he served as president of Colorado Ski Country USA and the National Ski Areas Association. He also served as chairman of the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board, the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Board, the Advisory Committee to the State Department of Commerce and Development, and the Pitkin County Airport Authority. He was a member of the board of directors of Mountain States Employers Council, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, Ideal Basic Industries, Colorado Public Expenditures Council, the Bank of Aspen, and the Boettcher Family holding companies. He was inducted into the U. S. National Ski Hall of Fame, Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, Colorado Business Hall of Fame, and the Aspen Hall of Fame.
After his retirement from the Corporation, he and his wife bought a ranch in Australia, which they operated for 16 years and later they wintered in Hawaii and, recently, Arizona.
He is survived by his wife, three children by his first marriage: Margaret Garvey, David R. C. Brown III, and Charles Scott Brown; and five children of his marriage to Ruth Humphreys: son Albert H. Brown, and four daughters, Darcey B. Brown, Laurene B. Cochran, Charla B. Brown, and Ruth L. Brown. He is also survived by two grandchildren from his first marriage, and seven grandchildren from his second marriage.