Anneke de Pagter
Anneke de Pagter passed away peacefully in her sleep, while spending her winter vacation with husband Jack in Palm Springs. She was 89.
Born in ‘S-Hertogenbosch the Netherlands, Anneke grew up with her parents and three sisters in The Hague. During World War II, the family was forced to endure occupation by the Nazi regime, an experience that shaped their lives.
After the war, Anneke went to hotel school in Switzerland, where she was reacquainted with childhood friend Jack de Pagter, who was also taking courses in hotel management there. Upon completion of their courses in 1949, Jack immigrated to the United States and Aspen. Anneke returned to the Netherlands. Jack asked Anneke to marry him via mail, traveling to the Netherlands from Aspen in 1952 for their wedding. They journeyed back to Aspen, where Jack had already purchased an “old house” adjacent to Ski Lift #1. Jack worked as a bartender at the Hotel Jerome and Red Onion, and Anneke worked as a waitress at the Red Onion and Guido’s. To supplement their income, they also rented “rooms for skiers” in their house, which evolved into the Holland House Ski Lodge. They built the first 15 rooms of the Holland House to the south of the “old house” in 1956, and then moved their “old house” to property they purchased on Castle Creek in 1962. They then completed an additional 15 rooms on the Holland House parcel where the house had stood. In 1983, day-to-day operations were taken over by their daughter, Yasmine, and son in-law, Jack Simmons. Anneke and Jack remained involved as host and hostess at the ski lodge. They attended the weekly wine and cheese parties, skied at the Highlands on guest picnic day, and enjoyed the weekly ski movie night at the lodge. Winterskol was part of the Holland House legacy and Anneke could be counted on as a game participant in the many years the Holland House submitted a float in the parade. It was all great fun! The Holland House was sold in 2006.
Anneke was fluent in four languages, and during off-season, the de Pagters enjoyed traveling. They often returned to visit family and travel throughout Europe. The 1968 purchase of their new VW camper bus opened up travels in Mexico, and the family spent many years exploring Mexico’s beaches and mountains.
Anneke enjoyed reading, especially novels by Michener, Ludlum and Clavell. She was a terrific cook and hostess, and the parties at the “old house” on Castle Creek were famous, lasting into the wee hours.
She is survived by her husband, Jack de Pagter, daughter Yasmine de Pagter, and son-in-law Jack Simmons, all of Aspen, sister Ria and brother in-law Wim Wouters of Doorn Netherlands, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Aspen Animal Shelter. In accordance with her wishes, no memorial service will be held.