Frank Betts, 74, died of melanoma at his home in Pinehurst, North Carolina Feb. 8, 2010. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y., May 5, 1935, and grew up in the village of East Aurora. He was graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and later obtained his doctorate at the Graduate School of Education.
Frank came to Aspen in 1987 as superintendent of schools. At the school board’s behest, he led the effort to move the elementary schools to the campus on Maroon Creek Road. His understanding of educational technology ensured that the new building would be ready for the 21st century. A by-product of the move was the creation of the Aspen District Theatre, which provides a space that is suitable for professional productions as well as fulfilling the school district’s need for a performance space.
In 1990, Frank and his family returned to the east when he accepted a position at ASCD, a membership organization that develops programs, products, and services essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. During their stay in Aspen, the Bettses bought a cabin on the Crystal River north of Redstone. When Frank retired as deputy directory of ASCD in the spring of 2000, he and his wife, Renee, moved to Redstone. It was an active retirement. He became the executive director of Computers for Kids Foundation (now Youth Network), becoming its executive director in 2003. Frank served on the administrative board of the Aspen Chapel and was active in the Carbondale Rotary Club, using his technical skills to establish their website. He was honored with the Paul Harris award in 2008.
He is survived by his wife, Renee Allard Betts; son Ian McNair Betts of Arlington, Va.; and daughters Lori Betts Calvin of Cary, N.C., Mindy Betts Vanhellemont of Birmingham, Mich., and Jennifer Betts Perdek of Basking Ridge, N.J. A memorial service is planned at the Aspen Chapel in early June.
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Aspen Skiing Co. is replacing the nearly 5-mile cable, technically a haul rope, on the Silver Queen Gondola for the first time since it was installed in 1986.