Martha Downer Waterman |

Martha Downer Waterman

Born on March 30, 1912, in Leadville, Colo., Martha died peacefully at her home in Basalt on Feb. 27, 2004. She was 91.

Martha grew up in Basalt and Aspen, and graduated from Aspen High School in 1930. She attended Colorado State Teachers College, Greeley, and graduated in 1933.

Martha began her commitment to teaching in 1933, riding horseback to a one-room school in Old Snowmass. She served as a teacher in the Roaring Fork Valley for 34 years.

During her years in Aspen, she was a member of the Aspen Community Church and belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star.

Martha married Leroy Clayton Waterman on July 11, 1936. During their marriage they owned and operated the Castle Creek Cabins and Phillips 66 Service Station in Aspen for close to 20 years. When they moved to their ranch in Basalt in the late 1950s, they raised and showed American saddle-bred horses. Martha was preceded in death by her husband Leroy in 1985 and continued to run a bed and breakfast in Basalt for almost 20 years.

Throughout Martha’s active life, she was an avid skier and loved the outdoors, especially enjoying picnics in the mountains by horseback. More recently, she was an enthusiastic bridge player, bird watcher, gardener and world traveler including a trip with the Audubon Society to Venezuela on a bird-watching expedition.

In 2000, Martha and her sister, Mary Evans, authored the book “Sis,” recounting memories and experiences growing up in the Roaring Fork Valley. As co-author of the book, Martha was awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Fine Arts by the Basalt mayor in October 2000.

Martha was a committed wife, mother and teacher, whose positive attitude and hard work were an example and inspiration to many people in the Roaring Fork Valley throughout the 91 years of her life.

Martha is survived by her sister, Mary Evans of Walla Walla, Wash.; by a son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Gayle Waterman of Basalt; a daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Nick Huston of Glenwood Springs; a grandson, Jordan Huston of Hayden, Colo.; and by many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

A celebration of Martha’s life will be held on March 6, at Valley Pines, 1400 East Valley Road, Basalt, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There will be a time for friends to share a special memory about Martha if they wish. Cremation and a private family service have taken place.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Martha’s is name to Mid-Valley Seniors, P.O. Box 444, Basalt, CO 81621. For more information, call 970-704-2767.