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Rick Carney

Aspen Times writer

Rick Albert Carney, a longtime valley resident, died quickly on May 6 after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 67.

Rick was raised in Ridgewood, N.J. He attended Duke University and the University of Vermont.

After learning to ski in Vermont, Rick and a friend headed to Aspen in 1957. Early years were spent teaching skiing for Fred Iselin, Friedl Pfeifer and later for Curt Chase.

In the summers, he was a surveyor and worked in construction, which eventually led to a full-time construction business. The early years in Aspen were his glory years. Everyone skied and worked hard, and Rick fell in love with the West.

In 1961, Rick married Janet Beck, who also came to Aspen to ski, and they had four children. Rick and Janet left Aspen in 1967 for California, where Rick organized and ran the first ski school at Mount Reba Ski Area.

They returned to Colorado and moved to Carbondale, where they have lived ever since. Rick continued his construction business and then worked in real estate, first for River Valley Ranch and then with Carol Dopkin Real Estate.

Love of the outdoors led the family to live in the country surrounded by horses, cows, beloved mule Yukon Jack and Mount Sopris. A passion for hunting and fishing was part of Rick’s life, as was playing golf with his friends. A sports aficionado, Rick was a walking encyclopedia of players and sporting events. An avid reader, he read anything he could get his hands on.

A love for fishing enticed Rick and Janet to Mexico, where they spent the last few winters, falling in love with the easy-going lifestyle of Baja. Saving the fish in the Sea of Cortez had been Rick’s most recent interest.

Rick was the beloved companion and husband of Janet for 43 years. Together they raised four children, who, along with spouses and grandchildren, have been the center of their lives. They are: Lise Carney and daughter Olivia, Jessie and Ty Baldwin and children Cole and Reiny, Richard and Jennifer Carney and son Taylor, Ian and Andrea Carney and son Gus, niece Karen Huntington, husband Robert and children Chris and Claire.

Rick loved his many friends, who were diverse and interesting. He greatly valued their friendships. He judged no one.

A fund for the purchase of computers for rural schools in San Jose del Cabo has been a project of Rick’s through the Rotary Club. Memorial contributions can be sent to: Rotary Club Carbondale, P.O. Box 426, Carbondale, CO 81623.

A celebration of Rick’s life will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Ian Carney’s home, 5372 County Road 100 in Missouri Heights, two miles up from Catherine Store on the right.


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