Gunn Agell 1933-2013
Not many people can boast of having lived in a penthouse as well as a teepee, but then again, there was only one Gunn Agell.
Gunn, a former Aspen resident, mother of three and grandmother of two, passed away in Seattle on Nov. 2, 2013. She was born in Sweden in 1933 to Gosta and Anna Frohm. An avid cross-country ski racer, broad jumper and runner in her early days, she went on to become a nurse in the Swedish Air Force and then a model at the renowned Ford Agency in New York. Gunn added hotel owner and chef to her resume, followed by interior designer.
Gunn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, at which time she threw herself into studying alternative and holistic medicine — spending thousands of hours researching how to strengthen her immune system, a topic on which she authored a book. She ultimately left Aspen and the trappings of the glitter city’s infamous lifestyle behind to take a metaphysical journey to such places as Santa Fe, Vancouver, Peru, Hawaii and Montreal. She eventually settled on a farm with llamas, swans, bald eagles, elk, deer and a goat — and her children — at the base of Mt. Rainer in Washington.
She particularly relished spending time alone meditating in her teepee on the farm — referring to her 12 years on the farm as her “Tibetan cave-sitting years.” A constant and consummate entertainer, she delighted her family with Swedish pancakes for Saturday lunches and entertained the masses who flew to Aspen specifically each Christmas solely to partake in her Swedish smorgasbords. Her life was marked early on by her own physical beauty, but Gunn went to define her life by helping create loveliness in other people’s lives through her interior design business as well as investing much of her time and efforts into appreciating the magnificence and soulfulness of nature.
Following a stroke in late October, Gunn passed away in Washington with her daughters by her side.
She is survived by daughters Linda Israel (and husband Greg Zimmerman) of Grand Lake, Gunilla Asher and (husband Mark Asher) of Aspen, grandsons Charlie and David Asher, and a sister, Eva Jossefson, of Stockholm. She was preceded in death by her son David and her parents. Gunn and her then-husband Charles Israel brought their family to Aspen in 1974, and they plan to bring her remains back next spring so she can rest among the splendor of the Maroon Bells.
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