Aspen, CO ColoradoRobin passed away in the early morning hours on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, with snow softly falling, which would have pleased him immensely.The snow and skiing were one of Robin’s deep and lifelong passions. He moved to Aspen in late 1968 to live the dream; the following year he taught skiing for Fred Iselin at Aspen Highlands.
His love of skiing took him to the French Alps in the early ’70s, and he continued to spend many winters in Chamonix, skiing by day and working in a restaurant by night. He met and became good friends with Andre Roch, the grandfather of skiing in Aspen, who lived in Geneva and picked Robin up hitchhiking one day. France became captivating to Robin and was born in him a new deep passion. He learned to speak French so well, the French often asked him which part of the country he was from, as they couldn’t figure out his slight accent. Robin was taken into the inner circles of the French, which can be hard to do. But his love for their country, love for their food, wine and language was infectious, and he was known to be more French than they.Robin also was passionate for French Citröens, and owned four of them, carefully and meticulously restoring each one and driving them around the valley. In 1997 he was able to buy some land in the Chamonix valley and set about designing and building his dream, a stone chalet built in the tradition of the Alps and left his legacy as “the most beautiful chalet in Vallorcine” claimed by all those living there.
Robin was a well-known contractor in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. He had so much creative energy and vision, and was a true craftsman – one of his former clients who became a dear friend has called Robin and his work “poetry.” He always built with integrity in mind and with special touches such as carvings and arches, and was proud of his work and honesty. He maintained a sweetly clean sense of charging not what the market would pay him, but what he thought was fair. He often gave away his work when he thought it was appropriate.Robin was born Oct. 1, 1948, in Los Angeles. He learned to play banjo at McCabe’s and with his brother, formed a bluegrass group in L.A. in the ’60s. He continued to play his banjo with great passion, and recently he played a gig in Chamonix with his friends Gary and the Crevasseholes. Robin was in love with his family and had many wonderful adventures with them all around the planet. He took great pleasure teaching French to his children and skiing the four mountains with them. He also loved his community here in Aspen and in Chamonix, and his spirit was lifted greatly by so many wonderful friends who truly care about the man.
Robin is survived by his wife of 23 years, Martha, and his two children, Taylor and Piper. He is also survived by his father, Homer, and his brother, Ren, and family. Robin’s departure has been devastating to his family but we are all so grateful he has been released from his immense challenges, which ultimately took his life. A memorial service for Robin will take place in May, to be announced.
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