Ruth Humphreys Brown
Aspen, CO Colorado
Ruth Humphreys Brown died on Dec 30, 2010. She was 90.
She was born Nov 11, 1921 the daughter of A.E. and Ruth Boettcher Humphreys of Denver. Ruth grew up in Denver where she attended Kent School and later Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and Finch College in New York City. In 1943 she was accepted into the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots program and received, along with the other WASPs, the Congressional Gold Medal for service during World War Two.
After the War, she returned to Aspen where she had a small shop and lived until her marriage to DRC Brown, a founder and president of the Aspen Ski Corporation.
They lived on the ranch in Carbondale for more than 30 years, during which time she helped start the Tri County Medical Center, the Brown Ice Palace, the Aspen Recovery Unit, the Bold Ski program for blind skiers, and the first Outward Bound Program in the U.S.
In appreciation of her efforts to find and help fund an alternative way down the mountain, Ruthie’s Run on Aspen Mountain was named after her. In 1959 Ruth established the Ruth H Brown Foundation, which has given grants to many nonprofit organizations in Colorado and the U.S. Ruth served on numerous boards in Colorado and was a lifetime trustee of the Colorado Outward Bound School and was a participant on the first woman’s adult course. She was honored at several dinners for her contributions to that organization. Ruth was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 1995.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sister.
Ruth is survived by five children and their spouses: Darcey Brown of Moab, Utah, Boots Brown of Hesperus, Lorni Cochran of Brattelboro, Vt., Charla Brown of Creede, and Ruthie Brown of Aspen; three stepchildren, Marti Garvey of Salida, Dave Brown of Denver, and Scott Brown of Grand Junction; seven grandchildren, and sister-in-law Ruth Perry of Carbondale.
Ruth’s maternal grandfather was Charles Boettcher, who between 1900 and 1905 helped organize the Great Western Sugar Company, the Ideal Cement Company, Western Packing Company, Capitol Life Insurance Company, and several real estate and investment firms. He and his son, Claude, established the Boettcher Foundation in 1937, and family members, including Ruth Humphreys, have continued to support its many philanthropic interests.
Ruth’s paternal grandfather and father were involved in mining, oil, and manufacturing interests. Her grandfather was known as the “king of the wildcatters” and had interests throughout the U.S. Ruth’s father was president of the Humphreys Gold Corporation, Humphreys Investments, Humphreys Mining and Engineering, and the Humphreys Phosphate Company. In 1922 AE Humphreys senior founded the Humphreys Foundation, which over the years benefited a variety of social causes.
In the early 1920s, Humphreys’ mining interests took him to Creede where he built a summer mountain retreat that remains an important gathering place for generations of family and friends. Ruth will be remembered at a small gathering there next summer.
A memorial service for her will also be held in Aspen sometime in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley; P.O. Box 3768; Basalt, CO 81621. A memorial service for her will also be held at Paepcke Auditorium at 1000 N. Third St. in Aspen on Jan. 22 at 4 p.m.
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