Transitions: Olav Haarklou |

Transitions: Olav Haarklou

Olav John Haarklou, a longtime resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, died on June 7 in Bradenton, Fla. He was 58 years old.

Born in Salford, Manchester, England, Olav moved to Norway shortly thereafter. When he was 9, his family moved to Seattle, where he became an American citizen, graduated from high school and joined the Army.

Olav trained for special forces in the 101st Airborne and served in Vietnam. He was transferred to Austria to work with the U.S. ski patrol in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where he developed his lifelong love for the mountains and skiing. Joining some of his fellow patrollers from Garmisch, Olav moved to the Aspen area. He worked as a ski instructor in Snowmass in the winters and a contractor in the summers.

While a resident of the Old Snowmass Valley, he met and married his first wife, Claudia, in 1972. They had two sons, Johan and Selig.

Olav’s passion for horses led him and his wife to raise thoroughbreds. Olav was also a member of the Roaring Fork Valley Hunt. His love of horses remained with him for the rest of his life.

Olav married his second wife, Caroline, mother of Hanna, Mica, Matthew and Peter of New Jersey. He spent his last decade dividing his time between his family in New Jersey and a much beloved Christian community in Bradenton, where his fiancee, Joanne, lived. He was laid to rest in Bushnell National Cemetery in Bradenton.

He will always be remembered as a loving father, enthusiastic skier, passionate idealist and devoted Christian.

A memorial service was held in Olav’s memory at the Mountain Chalet in Aspen.

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