The family of Doug McCoy wishes to share with his Aspen friends the news of Doug’s passing on Sunday, Sept. 3, following a long illness.Doug moved to Aspen in the early 1970s and found what he referred to for the rest of his life as his true home. He cofounded the Parlor Car Restaurant, opened the Return to Earth Health Food Store on Hyman Avenue, built homes on Red Mountain and in Mountain Valley and, in 1977 became the Aspen Airport manager, where he worked with the FAA and the National Business Aviation Association to develop the noise abatement departure pattern for aircraft departing downvalley. He worked with the county and the Aspen lodging community to develop procedures that would allow the airlines to fly into Aspen during evening hours, and oversaw the development of the old Sardy Field into a safer, more functional facility in those “boom” years of the ’70s and early ’80s.
In 1976, to celebrate Aspen’s Centennial, Doug brought back the Aspen Fourth of July Parade and Horse Race, often being fondly referred to as “Mr. Parade.” Doug raised horses on his ranch in Old Snowmass. He loved skiing the Ridge of Bell and, later, the terrain off the Couloir lift at Snowmass. He made television commercials for Coors Beer and donated his ranch, himself and his horses for the filming of an educational documentary about Mountain Men which was filmed on Independence Pass and in Woody Creek as well as on the ranch.Doug became disillusioned with the changes in the valley in the 1980s, and circumstances took him away from Aspen for some years; but in 1994 he returned and spent the next 10 years working and living among his closest friends. In 2005, after retiring from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Doug and his wife of 29 years, Melanie, chose to seek relief from the long mountain winters in the softer and warmer climate of North Carolina. Doug looked forward to riding his motorcycle on all the beautiful roads back here, and was able to enjoy that some before his health began to fail last spring.
Per his wishes, Doug will return to Aspen to seek his final solace among the mountains and aspen groves he loved so much. A potluck open house for all of Doug’s friends will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the home of Louisa Davidson in Old Snowmass. A small, private ceremony for family and close friends will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20. There will be no public memorial services sanctioned by Doug’s family.Should you wish to honor Doug please make a contribution to a wildlife or nature conservation organization in his name. This had become a passion of his in recent years.
Doug, this is from us to you: “Goodbye old friend. Thank you for your patience, your tolerance and your quiet dignity. May your next life be filled with joy and peace. Godspeed and enjoy the ride.”With profound gratitude to all of you who gave Doug joy during his Aspen years, Melanie Rock McCoy, Chris Douglas McCoy, Shawn McCoy Graf, Sharon McCoy Todeschini, Patricia D. McCoy Madden, and all seven grandchildren.
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A driver looking to squeeze one last four-wheel drive up Aspen Mountain discovered that it’s not the ascent but the decent that poses a challenge.