Retired Rev. Anderson of Aspen Chapel finds perfect way to wed
The Rev. Gregg Anderson estimates he had married 1,400 couples over 37 years before he retired in June as chaplain at the Aspen Chapel.
He oversaw nuptials for local residents, visitors, second-home owners and even a few children of couples he married decades ago.
Anderson also was well-known for holding an Easter-morning service, usually on Aspen Mountain. He was involved in the service for 42 years, even before joining the Aspen Chapel.
Given all the marriages and all the Easter services, he figured it would be fitting for him to get married at this year’s Easter service — with the whole community invited to attend.
Anderson will marry Carolyn Ethridge atop Aspen Mountain at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. The Rev. Nicholas Vesey of the Aspen Chapel will lead the Easter service. The Anderson-Ethridge wedding will be a 10-minute service during the Easter gathering.
“The service will reflect an Easter theme of new life and new beginnings,” Anderson said.
Anderson and Ethridge were engaged about 10 years ago. While they waited to set the date, they came up with the idea some time ago to “fling the doors open to the whole community” and get married at the Easter service, Anderson said.
Anderson’s history with weddings and Easter services aside, their service will have another special characteristic. Gregg’s brother Tom Anderson will lead the wedding service. Gregg and Carolyn got engaged at Tom’s house during a Thanksgiving celebration. Tom always said he wanted to do their wedding when the time came.
Tom was diagnosed with leukemia a couple of years ago, Gregg said. He went through treatment, and it was in remission, but he learned this winter it was back.
“When I visited him in the hospital during a blood transfusion about two months ago, Tom said he wanted me to lead his memorial service,” Gregg said. “My immediate response was, ‘I will do your memorial service if you will do my wedding service.’”
That prompted Anderson and Ethridge to set a date.
While Tom will lead the wedding service, all the attendees will help with the union, including a community pronouncement that they are man and wife.
Gregg Anderson, who is chaplain emeritus at the Aspen Chapel, has a friendly reminder for anyone attending: The Silver Queen Gondola will start operating at 7 a.m.; don’t wait until the last moment to board, he urged. All ski passes will be honored. A reduced-price foot pass also will be fore sale.
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