December 15, 2007
Tukey Cleveland died at her home in Santa Fe, N.M., on Nov. 23, 2007. She was 84. Anyone with Aspen roots will recognize her as one who lived a full, active, productive Aspenite lifestyle. Arriving in Aspen in 1946, she palled around with the World War II warriors at the postwar beginnings of the Aspen ski town.
Tukey was Albert Sweitzer’s driver on his visit to Aspen. She lived above Hallam Lake. She is seen in a noted photo going into the Jerome pool, fully clothed, at an early design conference.
Tukey loved to design interiors and was a lifelong ASID member. She sold furniture and design elements from her stores in the downtown Benedict building and later the railway station. She also had stores in Montecito and Santa Fe. She had a knack for collecting works by emerging artist and had accumulated a valuable art collection by following her instincts. She crash landed an open-cockpit plane outside of Boulder.
Tukey liked men, boys really, and they liked her back.
She would sneak off to the fat farm with Fabi Benedict and friends, planning to lose weight, but really just to have a good time with the girls and play practical jokes.
Tukey loved champagne, cigarettes (she swore that she didn’t get the lung cancer from smoking), backgammon and a daily crossword puzzle.
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She swam with the local college team into her 80s.
She really loved a party! She had quest at her home for an evening gathering almost every week. Two days before her death, she had a party attended by an Academy Award winner and a state senator as well as other luminaries.
She was tireless in her efforts for animal protection, Kitchen Angels, the ACLU, and museum work with funding, but more important, her time.
When her time came, she waived goodbye to her friends and stepped off-planet. Her friends bundled her into a cardboard box and drove her off to the crematorium in the back of a pick-up. She would have loved it!
She was loved … and she will be missed, but not mourned! She intended to leave a “clean campsite,” and she did!