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Saying goodbye

Dear Editor:I write to you today, my very first letter to the editor, with sadness and a heavy heart shared by many. We lost a friend whose passing will leave a hole.Chris Bove was a guy that everyone loved. He didn’t know a stranger, he always had a story to tell, he would never hesitate to jump in to help anyone at any time; he was a special, magnetic person. Chris embodied the Aspen lifestyle. With a molecular biology degree from Marquette University, he was a supremely intelligent and intellectual person. He had a yearning for education, yet also a longing for the mountains. Living in Denver, working in a medical laboratory doing research, Chris left skid marks making his way up I-70 to Aspen for weekends of skiing and teaching. He couldn’t wait to get to the mountains, breathe the fresh air and enjoy all the benefits our lifestyles afford.Although many that knew Chris knew him from ski racing or as an instructor for Challenge Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Co., or from the many race and event crews he worked on, I appropriately met Chris on the ski lift. It was a beautiful, bluebird day on the lift up Highlands where Chris was going to “take a few laps on the Bowl.” In typical fashion, he introduced himself, we made some small talk, and a friendship was formed. The friends Chris enjoyed met him in a similar way. Nothing better summed up the crew of friends he had like the scene at the Aspen Valley Hospital on Saturday night – a mass of people, some who knew each other, some not, coming and going into the waiting room, all holding hands and sending him love, laughing and crying together.One of the many things that makes Aspen such a special place is that everyone who calls it home makes a choice to live here. You don’t get transferred here with your job, move here to climb the corporate ladder or to get an advanced degree; you move here because it’s Aspen and you don’t want to be anywhere else. Chris didn’t want to be anywhere else. He had the spirit and lived it every day.Times like these makes us question life and how fragile it all is. Why does this happen to people with so much to offer? Everyone overcome with sadness and grief bound together by affection and memories we shared together. As cliché as it sounds, Chris died doing what he loved – tearing down the hill; living the dream.Many thanks to the team at the Aspen Valley Hospital who were first-class – they treated Chris like their family member and friend, not a patient. We are all grateful for their kindness and dedication to their work.He leaves us with heavy hearts. To his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Bove, you raised and loved an exceptional young man. He was truly a unique and wonderful person that was loved by so many people. He touched many lives and had a tremendous gift of generosity and spirit. His sister, Jackie, brother Andy and nephew Sebastian: He loved you all so much and spoke of you often and affectionately.Chris, I will miss you terribly and can’t imagine that Aspen will ever be the same without you.Lisa WeissAspen


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