Taking a run for Doug Burden | AspenTimes.com

Taking a run for Doug Burden

Dear Editor:

When it rains, it pours.

My jaw dropped when I read Doug Burden’s obituary in the paper (Feb. 7). I looked at the picture of a smiling, vibrant, handsome, amazing man. The Burden family has a deep history in our fair ski town. His brother Andy drove a school bus and lived over on Francis Street, where I used to play with his children, Douggie and Beezie. Andy’s wife, one of Aspen’s skiing legends, died in a tragic storied avalanche on the back of Ajax. Doug was no stranger to the sport of skiing, with an amazing history of high level skilled competition throughout his lifetime. He had some incredible stories. I was his lawn guy and was privy to many of them. He had a love of skiing and our town that was hard to match. I realized that more than ever when I suffered a knee injury and commiserated with him.

After two relatively unsuccessful surgeries, it looked like my ski career was beat. I was bearded, depressed, limping around on painkillers looking at, like, 100 miles of bad road. He personally made a fateful call and scheduled me to see the legendary Doc Steadman. Soon, thanks to Doug, I was back on track. They say third time’s a charm.

I had a long conversation the other day with his life partner, Marilyn Wilmerding, who struck me as his rock. Her undying support and love for him is truly inspiring.

I skied Lower Stein the last run of the day ” in his memory ” a run I know he held close to his heart. Doug was an incredible man who will always be remembered. He had a profound influence on my love of the sport, which is so important, and we both, and all, love so much. My thoughts are with each of Doug Burden’s friends and family.

Thank you, Doug. We’ll miss you.

Lo Semple


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