Mary Elizabeth Bacon Desmond
November 20, 2006
Mary Desmond, a former resident of Snowmass Village for 33 years, died in Green Valley, Arizona, on November 6, 2006, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.She was born the daughter of Robert and Ruth Bacon, in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 27, 1923, and lived in Wilmette, Ill., for 50 years. She met her husband, Phil, in August of 1944 and they eloped four months later, on Dec. 16, 1944, the day the famous World War II Battle of the Bulge commenced.
After vacationing in the Aspen area for many years, Mary and Phil moved permanently to Snowmass Village in 1972. Mary led an active mountain life, enjoying cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backpacking, golfing and traveling extensively. She and Phil built, with others, a cabin on the Crystal River above Marble and enjoyed many stays in their own “wilderness.” Mary was an active long-time member of the Aspen Community United Methodist Church and the League of Women Voters.Mary was a vibrant personality, as her many friends attest. She loved music, especially opera, which she supported in Chicago, Denver and Aspen, fancying herself a latter-day Mimi from “La Boheme,” whose composer, Puccini, was her all-time favorite.
It was through her interest in music that Mary hosted several chamber music concerts in her Snowmass Village home. A dear friend was Curt Baar, a long-time Aspenite and accomplished classical pianist, who, along with a violinist and cellist, performed many lovely chamber trios at these soirees, which some say provided the inspiration for the current Aspen Music Festival home concerts.Mary and Phil founded the Aspen Great Books program in 1974, which they led for 25 years. Her verve, dedication and weekly refreshments no doubt contributed to the longevity of this group.
Mary is survived by her husband, Phil, of Snowmass Village and Green Valley, Ariz.; her daughters, Leslie of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Lucie, of Phoenix; a sister, Shirley Bacon Mountz of Winter Park, Fla.; a brother, Robert “Tubby” Bacon, of Chicago; and four granddaughters.A memorial service will be held in Aspen, at 1 p.m. on May 26, 2007, at the Aspen Community United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mary may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, at 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60601-7633, with a notation on the check that the funds are to be used for research.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.