Heather Hopton, a longtime resident of Aspen, died Sunday morning, Oct. 24, at her home. She was 62.Heather was born in Upper Montclair, N.J., and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with her mother.
She received her Bachelor of Science from St. Lawrence University and her Master of Science, with a major in education, from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She also did work toward her doctorate at the University of Florida.Heather arrived in Aspen in the late ’60s with lifelong friend Sharon Kahn and hit the ground running. She taught children with learning disabilities and chaired the research committee at the Aspen Historical Society. Using that research she and Lilo Shuldener wrote a book for the historical society titled “Aspen’s Early Days, a Walking Tour.”In 1971, Heather married Charles Hopton, another Eastern transplant who came and never left. Together, they were involved in many community organizations.
Heather loved children, animals and the environment. These loves manifested in many ways.She served as a fund-raiser for the Aspen Music Festival. She also served on the board of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Independence Pass Foundation, the Roaring Fork chapter of the Audubon Society and the Pitkin County Weed Management Board (for which she received a Weed Manager of the Year award from the state of Colorado). Heather was a founding member of the Friends of Hunter Creek and a steering committee member of the group. Her love of Hunter Creek led her to fight for many years for public access to the Hunter Creek Valley. Heather’s enthusiasm inspired many people to get involved. She was happiest working on community projects with others.
She loved the high country and hiked and camped with Charlie, dogs and friends. Heather is survived by husband.A memorial service will be held at Paepke Auditorium on Nov. 27 at 10 a.m., followed by a reception at the Mountain Chalet at 1 p.m.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to Wilderness Workshop, P.O. Box 9025, Aspen, CO 81612, or the Independence Pass Foundation, P.O. Box 1700, Aspen, CO 81612
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After 14 years, a lengthy lawsuit by area residents and nearly $4 million in construction costs, a half-mile trail to two school campuses in the Castle Creek Valley was finally completed this week.