Katharine Thalberg died Jan. 6 at the age of 70. She was the owner of Explore Booksellers and Bistro in Aspen and a longtime Aspen resident. She first visited Aspen in the 1950s and moved there with her three daughters in 1973.
Katharine founded Explore Booksellers in 1975, and in 1989 expanded the bookstore to include Explore Bistro, a vegetarian restaurant. Katharine was at the forefront of the animal rights movement. In 1989, she and her husband, Bill Stirling, led the fight to prohibit the sale of fur in Aspen. They introduced a ballot initiative that drew worldwide attention and raised public awareness about the immense cruelty to animals in the fur trade.Katharine was born June 14, 1935, in Los Angeles to Irving Thalberg and Norma Shearer. Her brother, Irving Thalberg Jr., died in 1986. At the age of 3, Katharine learned to ski in Sun Valley, Idaho. During childhood ski vacations, she schussed with some of the people who would later help shape modern Aspen.
Katharine was previously married to ski champion Jack Reddish. In 1961, she married film and television actor Richard Anderson, with whom she had three daughters – Ashley Anderson, Brooke Anderson and Deva Anderson. Her marriage to Richard Anderson ended in 1973, but they maintained a lifelong friendship.In 1977, Katharine met Bill Stirling. They married in 1986 and lived in Aspen’s West End with their beloved dogs. Sukie, Glenda, Celeste and Kanoot are with her now. Pearl and Pansy continue their walks with Bill.
A memorial celebration of Katharine’s life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Paepcke Auditorium, with a reception to follow. Everyone is welcome.In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Katharine’s name to PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510.
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