Feb. 16 gathering set for Marci Benton | AspenTimes.com
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Feb. 16 gathering set for Marci Benton

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A memorial gathering for Marci Benton will take place at 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Aspen Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard House.

The gathering is expected to feature stories and memories from friends and co-workers of Benton’s. Food and beverages will be available, according to Georgia Hanson, director of the historical society and organizer of the event.

Benton, 56, died between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Christmas Eve day after her vehicle went off an embankment and into the Fryingpan River, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Benton was driving about 5 miles up the Fryingpan Valley from Basalt when the accident occurred. She was eastbound, or traveling upvalley, and less than a quarter-mile from her home.

According to friends, Benton came to the Aspen area in 1972, when she was known by her maiden name, Rothberg, and worked as a housekeeper at Rick’s Racks, where she also lived.

Through the 1970s she worked at several local restaurants, including the Mountain Chalet, the original Little Nell and the Cooper Street Pier, according to her longtime friend, Kim (O’Brien) McNerney. In the 1980s, she worked at the Hickory House.

Benton married Ross Griffith in about 1980, McNerney recalled, in a ceremony performed by local artist and match-book minister Tom Benton ” the man Marci later married after separating from Griffith. She stayed with Tom until he died April 27, 2007, at the age of 76, after a brief but fierce battle with cancer.

Marci lived at numerous address around town and became a well-known member of the town’s sub-stratum of hard-charging survivors from the days when Aspen’s reputation as a party town at least equaled its fame as a ski resort.

After marrying Tom, she took over the business of managing sales of his artwork, at first over the telephone and through print publications and later on the Internet. She also worked with local gallery owners to arrange shows of Tom’s art but, for many years, did not hold a regular job.

After her husband’s death, Benton assisted in coordinating an exhibition of his art at the Wheeler/Stallard House.

Benton, whose health had been declining, also strove to make changes in her lifestyle to improve her health and enable her to find a job, which she did at the Aspen Historical Society. She had just begun working there when she died.

“During her time in Aspen, Marci touched many lives, made many friends and shared many good times,” stated an announcement of the celebration. “The Aspen Historical Society encourages anyone who knew Marci to join us for this celebration of her life and to bring along and share any anecdotes, insights and tales (tall and otherwise) you might have.”

For more information, call the society at 925-3721.

jcolson@aspentimes.com


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