Roberta Evelyn MacArthur Paul Reed Lewis, 97, known to her friends and family as Bobby, died January 31, 2020, after a brief hospitalization in Denver. Her ashes were interred on All Souls Walk at St. John’s Cathedral.
Bobby first came to Aspen in March 1955, with her husband Yale and children Greg, Brett and Anne, to learn to ski. Bobby, Yale and Greg, then age 7, took lessons on Little Nell, side-stepping up the lowest pitch, then descending in the snowplow position. They used long, army surplus wooden skis; ankle-high, leather lace boots; bear-trap bindings, and bamboo ski poles with baskets eight inches in diameter.
The Denver-based Lewis family returned to Aspen regularly after 1955 and purchased a Town House West condominium, the second condo complex constructed in Aspen, in fall 1963, for $19,000. Yale called the purchase the “most extravagant thing I’ve ever done.”
After a knee injury caused her to stop skiing, Bobby spent most of her Aspen days preparing to feed and house her children’s friends, who invariably arrived whenever they needed a meal or a place to sleep. The one-day record for most dinners and overnight guests in the 875-square-foot condo was 19. Among those many young guests was Bill Harriman, later the founder of Aspen-based Harriman Construction.
Bobby’s two sons taught in the Aspen Ski School in the early 1970s, and Greg served on the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol during the 1970-71 and 71-72 seasons. Greg also wrote a satirical column for the then weekly newspaper Aspen Today, before going to work for Bob Beattie as director of communications for World Pro Skiing. In 1976, he became a commentator for NBC Sports. Greg, now age 72, still lives in Aspen, where his oldest son, Yale, a therapist and coach of the Aspen High School Hockey team, and granddaughter Brooklyn, 8, a fourth-generation Aspenite, also live. Son Brett owns a second home in Carbondale.
Bobby was born April 15, 1922, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, to Anne and Cecil Paul, who divorced in 1925. After moving to Los Angeles, CA, Anne Paul was remarried to Kenneth Reed, who adopted Bobby.
Bobby graduated from Hollywood High School in Los Angeles in 1938 and went to work as a secretary at a division of the General Electric Company.
She married Yale Harrison Lewis on January 18, 1942, in Reno, Nevada, when Yale, a navigator-bombardier in the Army Air Corps, was on a three-day leave while his aircraft was being repaired in Hawaii.
In 1946, Bobby and Yale moved to Evansville, Indiana, where Yale joined his father and two brothers in the oil business. After starting a family, the couple lived briefly in Midland, Texas, and Los Angeles before settling in Denver in 1951.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Yale, who died in 1998. She is survived by her three children, Greg Lewis of Aspen, Brett Lewis (Charlotte) of Denver, and Anne Lewis of Seattle; three grandchildren, Yale Lewis (Ruthie) of Aspen, Wyatt Lewis of Wilmington, N.C., and MacKenna Lewis of Brooklyn; one great-grandchild, Brooklyn Lewis of Aspen; and her sister-in-law, Simone Lewis of Menlo Park, California.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
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