Dale Albert Potvin
Dale Albert Potvin, a loving, energetic and passionate member of the Aspen community, died on Thursday April 7th, 2016 at home after living with brain cancer for the past two years. As with every challenge Dale undertook, he endured every element of his treatment ambitiously and with a positive attitude. Through the hard times and triumphs, Dale never let go of the things that mattered most to him. He laughed often, played outside and eventually passed on in the loving company of those closest to him.
Dale, also known as ‘Paco,’ came to Aspen in 1969 to teach skiing and stayed to create a life admired by everyone that he touched. He was born on May 9, 1947 in Seattle, was raised in Mount Lake Terrace, Washington and grew up exploring the Cascade Mountains with his family. Dale worked his way through Western Washington State University by coming to Aspen in the winters to teach skiing before relocating permanently to the Rockies. He built his life around his greatest passions: his family, friends and a relentless pursuit of fun in the outdoors.
Dale’s love of Aspen was both full and selfless. His greatest days were defined by the quantity and variety of adventures and the friends he shared them with. His early years in Aspen were spent between the mountains and the river. During the winters, he instilled his passion for the mountains as a ski instructor and eventually became a supervisor of the ski school at Buttermilk. Summers were spent thrilling anyone that would get in a raft or kayak with him. In the 70’s Dale co-founded Aspen Kayak School and later Aspen and Vail White Water Adventures, turning his passions into his profession. He eventually moved onto real estate, and built Peak Properties of Aspen in 1985, which merged to become Stirling Peak Properties in 2012. Dale was one of the most well respected and successful brokers in a very competitive industry. He measured his success by the relationships and lifelong friendships he forged with his clients while sharing the Aspen lifestyle he loved.
The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club was the perfect way for Dale to share his passion for skiing with the community. Dale was a long time Board Member and sat as President for a term in the 90’s. He also ran the AVSC Spider Sabich Charity Ski Group for over 15 years. In 2012 Dale was inducted into the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and given the ‘Outstanding Advocate Award’ in recognition of his passionate support of the Club.
The greatest accomplishment of Dale’s life is the family that he leaves behind. He committed himself wholly to giving Sally, his wife of 41 years, and his children, Layne and Ryan, a life filled with joy and adventure. Dale instilled in them the adage that a family that plays together stays together, which they did through skiing, biking, windsurfing and countless other activities. Although last Thursday he headed off on his next adventure without them, they will carry his spirit with them into the mountains that surround Aspen and beyond. Dale is survived by his wife Sally; Layne, Michael and Henry Shea; Ryan and Maddie Potvin; and his sisters Linda and Kippy.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Dale’s family welcomes you to join them for a celebration of his life at Bumps at the base of Buttermilk Mountain on Saturday, April 16 from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Service at 3:30 with reception to follow. In place of condolences, please bring your best memories and pictures from your own adventures with Dale. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club in Dale’s name. The Potvin family would like to extend their gratitude to the entire Aspen community for all of the support and love that has been extended to them over the final years of Dale’s life.
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