Long-time Aspen resident John McTarnaghan, “Jack,” died September 17, 2018 at the age of 95 in Pearland, Texas. He was born on May 7, 1923 in St. Paul, Minnesota to the late John Arthur McTarnaghan and Hilma Aronson McTarnaghan. He grew up in St. Paul and learned to ski on the hill in his back yard. After graduating from high school during World War II, he joined the Armed Forces and participated in the liberation of France, and kept his fellow soldiers entertained even during the bleakest events. After the war ended, he was invited to join the Army Ski Team and spent the remainder of his time in the Army in Zell Am See, Austria perfecting his skiing techniques which would prove very useful during his long ski career.
After the war, he returned to the USA and decided that a desk job was not for him. He ventured out to Aspen where he met his wife, Ina Claire Bergeron. They built their life together in Aspen where he taught skiing for many years in the early years of Aspen as a premier ski resort, had two daughters, multiple pets, and many friends. He loved teaching ski novices, riding up in the last chairlift run of the evening to make sure no stranded skiers were left at the top of the mountain, and socializing with his many Aspen friends. After he gave up teaching, he became involved in the marketing side of the Aspen Ski Corporation. After retiring, he and Ina moved to Grand Junction where they lived until her death. He had resided in the Houston area for the last 6 years to be close to his daughters.
Jack always had a joke and a story that got laughs out of his family and total strangers alike. He loved his golf games, built many houses, and adored his children and grandchildren. He is very much missed by his family. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Ina Claire, sister Mary Pepple, and brothers-in-law Clyde Pepple and David Bergeron. He is survived by daughters Linda Martin and husband Bill, Jetta McWhirter and husband Jeff, grandchildren Justin Martin and girlfriend Jennifer Budnik, Ashley Navarre and husband Brian, and Jack McWhirter and wife Amanda, and one niece and five nephews. His remains were entombed in Houston National Cemetery for veterans.