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Patti Seifert

Beloved former Aspen schoolteacher Patti Seifert passed away July 27, 2008, after an 11-year battle with cancer.

Patti was born and raised in Denver, and graduated from the University of Colorado with a teaching degree. She later received her master’s from Leslie College in Boston. Patti moved to Aspen in 1972 and spent 30 years as a kindergarten teacher at Aspen Elementary.

Patti’s professional life was a journey beyond her kindergarten classroom. She attended Colum­bia University Teacher’s College Writing Project in New York City in the ’80s. This creat­ed new profession­al horizons and fostered many last­ing friendships. She worked with and learned from literacy professionals such as Lucy Calkins, Diane Snowball, Shelley Har­wayne, Stephanie Harvey and more.



Her professional relationship with Sue Smith Slavin and Judy Davis became a lasting friendship. Patti began doing con­sulting work in Colorado and in the New York area. A few highlights include a pres­entation at an International Reading Con­ference in Australia, authoring education­al children’s books and co-authoring a professional book on inquiry teaching and learning. Patti cared deeply about chil­dren and teaching, and has left a legacy of a love of learning. She was a valued col­league from West to East.

Patti loved being outdoors and was an avid skier. She loved every aspect of Bell Mountain, especially the Back of Bell, in the trees between One and Two. She called it the “back to the back to the back.” Anoth­er favorite run was first tracks on Christ­mas Tree (old-timers never call it anything else!). She had a passion for powder and the cowboy cookies at Bonnie’s.



Patti’s summertime love was hiking. Some of her favorite hikes were Grizzly Lake, Difficult, Midway and Hunter Creek. She always found a secluded rock, where she would spend hours reading a good book, and she was always accompanied by one of her devoted dogs.

Patti is survived by her beloved dog of 15 years, Nanook; her sister, Elaine (Ron) Soy, of Denver; and nieces Lysa ( Tim) Reed, of Aspen; Dana Hussey, of Arizona; and Tammie ( Tom) Burns, of Massachu­setts. She is also survived by her grand­nieces and nephews, whom she loved so much: Taylor and Brenon Reed, Cody and Savannah Hussey, and Corey, Hayley and Jamie Burns.

Patti touched the lives of so many peo­ple. She is leaving behind amazing friends, students and colleagues who loved her tremendously and have been such an integral part of her life in Aspen.

A memorial service will be held in Aspen in late August, and donation infor­mation will be announced shortly.


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