Robert ‘Bud’ Nicholson |

Robert ‘Bud’ Nicholson

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Robert “Bud” Nicholson passed away peacefully on Sept. 18, 2010 with family and friends at his side at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. He succumbed to multiple injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on Sept. 2.

Buddy was born Sept. 8, 1947 in Manchester, Conn. After a year at the University of Hartford, he served in the Navy in the Philippines. He moved to Summit County in 1970 and spent several years working at Keystone before he bought the Old Dillon Inn in 1973, with partners Dick Klaudt and David “Wabs” Walbert. His time at the ODI became a tremendous legacy of love, friendship, loyalty and success. Bud and Wabs continued to grow the restaurant business in Aspen with Pablos (1976-1985) and The Red Onion (1984-2007). Bud stayed in Frisco and married Trish in 1992. Together they continued to grow the success of the ODI as it became their mutual love and passion.

Bud was a remarkable character of contradictions. Always hilarious and full of energy, he might be feisty and impatient one moment, laughing and partying the next. He never knew a stranger and couldn’t do enough for anyone in his huge circle of friends. His success in the restaurant business is testimony to his kind and loyal heart. Employees rarely quit (there were hundreds over the years) as Buddy embraced every one as family. To this day, former employees claim they never had a better boss. In truth, all ceased to be employees, as they simply became cherished friends and family.

Memories of Bud’s irreverent sense of fun and adventure are endless. The employee parties, sailing in the Virgin Islands, golf tournaments, Super Bowl parties, Fourth of July, birthdays, holidays and travel; any gathering became a hilarious party if Bud was present. After the closing of the ODI in 2007, Bud continued to enjoy his love of golf, riding his Harley and motoring around the country with Trish in the RV or simply puttering in their home in Frisco. Buddy adored his nieces and nephews and bragged shamelessly about their many accomplishments. He became a beloved father, uncle, grandpa, mentor and best friend to anyone blessed to be in his life.

Bud leaves his wife, Trish, of 19 years, sister Sandy (Paul and children Kevin and Shannon), nieces Kayla and Marissa, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. He will be sorely missed but remembered with love and laughter by family and a tremendous number of friends. Bud’s life will be celebrated at Loveland Ski Area at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2. The family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to: The Bud Nicholson Memorial Fund at U.S. Bank, P.O. Box 839, Dillon, CO 80435 for an education fund to be established for his nieces and nephew.

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