Jane Stapleton | AspenTimes.com

Jane Stapleton

A memorial service for Jane Stapleton is planned Saturday, June 3 at the Ajax Tavern in Aspen.

Jane Lemar Idol Stapleton, born June 17, 1941, in Potomac, Md., to parents Edgar and Catherine Idol. Jane is survived by her older brother Bill, her daughters Kelly Marie Stapleton and Samantha Jane Highfield, son-in-law Allen Highfield and their daughter Abigail. Jane grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and St. Louis, where she attended an all-girls Catholic school called Villa DeShane. She always said her girls field hockey team had to play extra tough because their school uniforms had “VD” written across the top. Her mother’s Southern roots had a great effect on how she treated others – with respect and hospitality.

Jane attended college in New York City, where she earned an associate’s degree. She moved to Aspen in 1970 to work for Fred Gliden, aka Luke Short, where she transcribed his Western novels. She held several jobs while in Aspen, including working as a legal secretary, working at Bonnie’s on Aspen Mountain and writing a column in The Aspen Times for a brief stint. She had a fierce passion for books and writing. In 1972, Whitter Moore introduced her to Don Stapleton, and the rest is history, as Jane always said. They were married for 22 years. She and her family lived at the old cabin out on Owl Creek Road, where the pipes froze for an entire winter and didn’t thaw until spring. Raising toddlers in these conditions made for some vivid memories, yet with Jane’s wit and attitude, the memories were always happy.

Many Stapleton Socials took place at the ranch, and Jane said a Coors beer truck was once parked on the front lawn for three days. Considering Janie grew up in a Midwest, social family, it was quite an accomplishment for her to survive life on the ranch. But in true Janie fashion, she embraced the experience, made the most of it and even learned to enjoy it.In 1986, Jane and her family moved to Snowmass Village, and two years later she began working at The Little Nell hotel. The job as executive assistant to the general manager could not have been a more perfect fit for Janie. She thrived in this environment and became known as the “chief of staff.” Janie’s wonderful sense of humor and quick wit made her one of a kind in the hotel industry. Her co-workers will miss her incredible spirit and lightheartedness.

Janie Mae, as many referred to her, will be remembered for several things; her amazing sense of humor, great mind, quick wit and ability to liven up a room. She will also be remembered for living life to the fullest, being a warm, caring, loyal mother and friend, and an avid, voracious reader. Her favorite activity was to curl up on a Sunday morning with her New York Times while watching her Sunday morning news programs, smoking fags and chatting with girlfriends about the week’s activities. Janie Mae will be missed by so many, as she touched so many people’s lives. A memorial service will be at the Ajax Tavern deck from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2006. The family requests people bring fun photos of Janie. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Memorial Scholarship Fund benefiting the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s educational program: Scribes & Scribblers Creative Writing Camps for Kids. A scholarship will be set up in her name that will encourage young people to read and write. The Aspen Writers’ Foundation is at 110 E. Hallam St., Suite 116, Aspen, CO 81611.

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