Marian Rubey Lyeth Davis
Marian Neal Rubey Lyeth Davis was born July 5, 1918 in Houston, Texas to Marian and J.R. Neal. She was the first of three children, raised in their house on Lazy Lane.
She attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington Connecticut and graduated as her class valedictorian. After returning home to Houston she made her debut and soon after married entrepreneur and investor William (Billy) Rubey in 1938
They had their first son, William, shortly before Billy enlisted in the Navy in 1941 before Pearl Harbor serving as a naval aviator in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the war Marian and Billy had three more children: Marian (Mitten), Robert, and Christina (Tina).
In 1958 the family moved from Houston to the small mountain town of Aspen. They settled in a Victorian house in the town, right across from the public school. Soon Marian became an important member of Aspen society in the growing town. She and Peggy Rowland were instrumental in establishing Christ Episcopal Church and helped organize the Music Festival that still distinguishes Aspen today. For more than forty years Marian volunteered as a Blue Lady at Aspen Valley Hospital.
One legend, which when once asked she would neither confirm nor deny, was that it was she who gave the name Buttermilk its name. In any case, it is easy to imagine that this charming lady from Houston might have once looked at the snow on the mountain and exclaimed, “Why, it looks like buttermilk!”
In the early sixties, Marian and Billy began work on their house on lower Red Mountain. Billy had painstakingly assembled a 40-acre lot, and Marian worked with Fritz Benedict, a renowned local architect, to design a chalet-style home with beautiful accents and views. With the children moved out or in college, the house was built for entertaining. Annual garden parties for Marian’s birthday and a black-eyed peas party on New Year’s day became staples of the social scene.
Billy passed away in 1967, and following his death Marian transferred ownership of a parcel of land to the City, which was named Rubey Park in Billy’s honor. She subsequently married twice more, to Munro Lyeth who passed away in 1984, and then to Flavy Davis, who subsequently died as well.
In 2009, Marian was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame. By that time she had been suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease for several years. However, her love for life and her family’s and caregiver’s love for her kept her with us for almost another decade. She fell asleep in the Lord peacefully in the early hours of Saturday, May 26. She is survived by two of her children and her six grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who have always called her Dama, which of course means Lady. Those of us who knew and loved that beautiful lady will always remember her style, her generosity, and her dazzling smile.
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