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Rose Stanton dies at 88

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Rose Stanton, a longtime Aspen resident who was instrumental in getting Aspen Valley Hospital built, died on Feb. 17 at her home in Tucson, Ariz. She was 88 years old.

Originally from Chicago, Stanton and her husband, Henry, were among the first visitors who came to Aspen for skiing. They vacationed here first as guests of Walter Paepcke in 1946 and returned in 1953 as full-time residents.

The Stantons’ only daughter, Roddy Stanton of Santa Fe, N.M., said her parents told her Walter Paepcke begged them not to visit Aspen in 1946 because the ski area was not developed enough. But they borrowed the key to his house, hopped on a train and arrived in Aspen in a snowstorm.

“The next morning my mother stood on the stoop in the sun and looked at the mountain, and she knew she was looking at the rest of her life,” Roddy Stanton said. “For my father it took a little longer, like maybe 10 minutes.

“But my mother knew the direction her life would go in.”

In 1954 the Stantons built the first big, modern house on Red Mountain, Roddy Stanton said, until her father could no longer live there. They moved into the Clarendon Condominiums in 1979 or 1980, and she said her parents began going to Tucson during the winters in the early ’80s and spending summers in Aspen.

Edgar Stanton became a trustee for the Tucson Symphony before he passed away in 1991. Rose Stanton spent a year on the board of the Tucson Symphony after her husband’s death.

Rose and Edgar Stanton were both inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 1990: Rose for being a guiding force behind Aspen Valley Hospital and forming the hospital district, and Edgar for helping to form the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Roddy Stanton said her mother was on the hospital board for more than 20 years.

“She was a wonderful woman – very instrumental in building and designing and finishing up Aspen Valley Hospital,” said Eve Homeyer, a former Aspen mayor who was the first chair of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation. “She did wonderful work in the hospital making it a beautiful place, so it didn’t look like just any other hospital. It had color, and it was cheerful.”

Before then, the former hospital in Aspen sat at the foot of Red Mountain, Homeyer said. It was a crowded facility in need of many improvements.

“She was very generous. She gave to everybody, and she was very well-liked. People will be very sad that she died,” said Jeanne Jaffee, who was a close friend of Stanton’s after moving to the valley in 1959. “Rose was very important at the hospital. She was most attractive. She was quite beautiful.”

Rose Stanton was born May 9, 1914, in Lake Forest, Ill., to parents Edward Larrabee Baker and Frances Pratt Baker. She attended the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and married Edgar in 1933 when she was 19 years old.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]


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