Walter Don Rathbun
December 13, 2016
Aspen lost one of its colorful long-time locals when Don Rathbun Passed away at his home in Aspen, at the age of 89. Walter Don Rathbun was born in Seattle, Washington, on June 23, 1927. He joined the esteemed Seattle Mountaineers at an early age, ran a bicycle repair shop in Seattle, crewed on the Puget Sound-based 1932 sailing clipper, Circe, then moved to Williamstown, Massachusetts as primary cinematographer for John Jay Ski Films. Don moved permanently to Aspen in the 1960s after traveling here to film ski races. He also was crew and official photographer for the Unicorn Balloon Company, and headed the bus maintenance department at Aspen School District for many years.
Affectionately known as "Buns", Don was often seen zooming down Aspen Mountain BACKWARDS, with his very large and trusty Arriflex 16mm camera perched on his shoulder, filming the likes of Ralph Jackson, ski racers and other ski notables. Many will remember gathering at The Slope on many a winter's night to watch Don's hysterical Slush Cup films.
Don is survived by his Seattle family, sister Jean Rathbun Boughner, nephews Tim, Richard and David Boughner, nieces Robyn Boughner Kim and Kim Boughner Miner, numerous grand-nephews and nieces, as well as many dear friends.
A memorial gathering will be held next summer at Anderson Lake, above the old mining town of Ruby in the Lincoln Creek Valley, where Don spent many happy times over the years. Notification will be posted here next Spring.
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