Margaret Lorraine Letey Darien | AspenTimes.com
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Margaret Lorraine Letey Darien

Margaret Lorraine Letey Darien, a well-known teacher, died in the early morning hour of her 100th birthday, July 24, 2008, in Carbondale, surrounded by her family. She enjoyed a long and fruitful life in the Roaring Fork Valley and, with the assistance of her daughter, Shirley Darien, was able to continue to live in her home in Basalt until February 2008.

Margaret was born to G. Major Letey and Pascaline Cerise Letey on July 24, 1908, on their farm, which is now known as Aspen Glen. She married Ben Darien Nov. 7, 1927, and they raised four children: Shirley Maye, Sonny, Jerry and Bobby.

In 1944, the Dariens purchased the Kelley building in downtown Basalt, which housed a hotel and bar. They renovated the building and created Basalt Supply, a general grocery and merchandise store that supplied ranchers with everything from nails to a loaf of bread. The Dariens operated the business for 24 years. The lower portion of the building is now occupied by Mason and Mason Real Estate while the upper portion remains as the family residence.



Margaret graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in 1926 and, in 1927, began her teaching career. She continued her education over the years and obtained her teaching degree from the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, in 1964. She taught in various one-room schools, including Emma, Snowmass, Catherine and El Jebel, and concluded her 30-year teaching career at Basalt Elementary, retiring in 1977.

Margaret was an avid sports fan and gave her time as a pep club sponsor for 15 years. She followed all her children’s and grandchildren’s athletic endeavors, and, at the age 93, could still be found on the sidelines at basketball games.



In addition to her teaching career, she was a mayor of Basalt and served 15 years on the Basalt Town Council and 10 years on the Regional Library Board. She was also a charter member of the Eagle’s Auxiliary, a member of the Catholic Daughters of America in Glenwood Springs and a Lioness in Basalt.

Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Ben; her parents; two sisters, Orsola Cerise and Emily Letey; and her brother, Major (Pat) Letey Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Shirley Darien, of Basalt; son Sonny Darien and his wife, Bernie, of St. George, Utah; son Jerry Darien and his wife, Debbie, of Covina, Calif.; son Bobby Darien and his wife, Jamie, of Glenwood Springs; and six grandchildren: Jay Darien and his wife, Wendy, of Longmont; Debbie Darien Baird and husband, Ken, of Fort Collins; Darlene Darien Dion, of Longmont; Dana Darien Rodriquez and husband, Phil, of Denver; and Logan Darien and Lacey Darien, of California; as well as seven great-grandchildren ” Christopher and Kyle Baird, Kaylee and Caden Dion, Drew Darien, and Eric and Krystal Doganay.

There will be a rosary Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m., at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs and a funeral mass at St. Stephen’s Tuesday, July 29, at 1 p.m., with father Tom Bradke officiating. Margaret will be laid to rest beside her husband in the Rosebud Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Margaret’s name to the Basalt Elementary School.


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