Richard B. Walbert Jr. | AspenTimes.com

Richard B. Walbert Jr.

Richard B. Walbert Jr. passed away Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, with his loving family at his side, at Valley View Hospital after a brief illness.

He was born in Wheaton, Ill., on July 18, 1950. After earning a degree from the University of Denver, he and his wife, Paula, settled in Aspen in 1976.

Rich began a successful career as a self-taught chef, and was instrumental in the popularity of several local restaurants. His career culminated with owning and operating Milan’s restaurant from 1990 to 2002. He retired shortly after, and was able to pursue his passions: spending time with his family, cooking, golfing and giving back to the community.

Rich was a most kind and humble man. He would spend hours in the kitchen, happily preparing a delicious meal and always shied away from the compliments that followed. For years, he graciously managed the boys hockey teams, which required endless hours of work and organization. His fellow volunteers at the Shining Stars recall his kind and gentle touch with the most fragile children. He would drop anything to help a friend, he was quick to laugh and generous with his time and energy for all the friends and family blessed to know him.

Rich will be sorely missed and remembered with love.

He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Paula; two sons, Andy and Jamie; brother David (Ellen and son, Danny); sisters Ann Schwandt (Max and son Max) and Nancy (Randy and children, Libby and Alex).

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A memorial service will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Aspen Glen Club. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Shining Stars Foundation, P.O. Box 1308, Aspen, CO 81612.