Edsel Sam Pete Stapleton
Sam Stapleton died on Saturday, April 1, 2006. He was 79 years old.Sam was born on his family’s Owl Creek ranch on Jan. 9 ,1927. He was one of nine children born to William F. Stapleton and Sally Lewis Stapleton. Sam and his brother Bernard purchased the family ranch from his mother in 1945 and continued to raise cattle, sheep and hay until 1991.
On Nov. 21, 1948 Sam married Elizabeth Hammerich, the Owl Creek schoolteacher from Glenwood Springs.Sam was an active member of the community for many years. He joined the Aspen Elks in 1962 and served as exalted ruler in 1972. He was the lodge secretary for 16 years, starting in 1975. He was Elk of the Year for 1989.
He served on the Aspen School Board for 12 years during the 1960s and ’70s. He also served on the multicounty agricultural and conservation district board for 25 years. At the time of his death he was president of the Aspen Fire Protection District, a position he had been elected to for 52 years. He had served on the Red Butte cemetery board since 1978. Sam retired from the Aspen Skiing Co. in 2005 after working there for 48 years.Sam was deeply loved by his family and friends, and will be missed immensely. His humor, his wisdom and his enthusiasm for life touched all those he met and knew. He loved the outdoors and was never happier than when hunting, fishing or gardening. He was the life of the party wherever he was, and many friends suffered the brunt of his humor over the years. Since retiring from ranching, his energies have been focused on his grandchildren and enjoying life.
He was proceeded in death by his brothers William C. and Elmer Stapleton and sisters Bemice Taylor, Hazel Hepler, and Lurleen Stapleton. He is survived by his brothers Francis and Bernard Stapleton and sister Nicki Seavey; his wife Elizabeth; three daughters: Connie Kenney of Ridgway, and Shannon Stapleton and Sydney Tofany of Aspen; and four grandchildren: Lucas Kenney, Barton and Kelsey Tofany and Taylor Quist.Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 7, at the Aspen Chapel (Prince of Peace). A reception will follow the services at the Aspen Elks Club.In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Roaring Fork Hospice or to heart and lung research.
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