Karin Christine Speck
Karin Christine Speck (nee Schar) passed away in her home from a pulmonary embolism and will be missed very much. She was 82. She was a proud Aspen resident for 45 years!
Karin was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and grew up in St. Gallen by the Bodensee (Lake Constance), which borders Switzerland, Austria and Germany. She went to Handelsschule (the business track) for high school. She spoke fluent Swiss German, German, English and French plus conversational Italian and Spanish.
She moved to New York City in 1956 to work for National Cash Register. In 1957, she married Donald Jay Speck, whom she had met a couple years before, while he was travelling in Switzerland visiting his aunt who was best friends with Karin’s grandmother. They soon moved to Boston and then in early 1961 they moved to Dix Hills on Long Island, N.Y., where they started a family.
In 1973, Karin was widowed, and found herself having to raise their three children on her own. In 1974, she decided to move the family to Aspen as it reminded her of the mountains she used to ski in as a child. She worked at Stefan and Stasha Kaelin’s original (brand new) ski shop and then managed Mary Martin’s gallery, which had the Colorado exclusive for R.C. Gorman’s artwork.
She was very involved in the Aspen community, and enjoyed volunteering many years for the Music Festival as an usher and in the information booth, as a hostess for Food & Wine, and as an ambassador on Aspen Mountain. She was a beautiful skier and also loved to hike, play tennis and travel.
Karin was a fantastic and loving and very fun mother. She prided herself on being a single mom and she did an incredible job raising her children all by herself, giving them a fabulous childhood and providing them with everything they needed even if she had to make sacrifices for herself. She managed to send them all to excellent colleges and all three had successful international careers. We were her pride and joy.
Karin is survived by her daughters Kim Jennifer Speck (Henderson, NV and Aspen) and Leslie Christina Speck (Grand Junction, CO) and her brother Hannes and his family in St. Gallen. She was preceded in death by her husband and by her son, Brian Daniel Speck who passed away from brain cancer on 7/27/13.
Karin has been cremated and her ashes are being scattered in various places around the world that meant something to her. Instead of a memorial service — because so many friends have either already passed away or live out of town or out of the country — I would love to meet her friends individually for lunch or a walk along the river, where we can share stories and photos. You can reach Jennifer at (702) 525-7963 (cell). Condolence cards can be sent to P.O. Box 9912, Aspen, CO 81612. Donations in her memory can be made to the Aspen Historical Society or the Aspen Center For Environmental Studies (ACES).