Martin Raphael Flug — Brooklyn born, Harvard and Yale educated, and, in the end, Aspen to his very core — died at his home on Tuesday, Feb. 10, after a brief illness.
He was 84.
Marty, as everyone knew him, left his mark on the world as an entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist. He pioneered innovations in the food processing and handling business and his list of charitable contributions was long, including many that were made anonymously.
In the world beyond Aspen, he was the benefactor of the Martin R. Flug Professorship of International Law, the Ernest Rubenstein Scholarship and the Samuel S. Flug Memorial Scholarship, all at Yale Law School, and the Samuel S. and Evelyn R. Flug Scholarship Fund at Harvard College.
In Aspen, he was a trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics, a life trustee of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and founder and supporter of the Evelyn R. Flug Children’s Library in Aspen.
But his Aspen presence and commitment went further and deeper than financial support for causes that mattered to him.
A visitor here since the early 1960s, he moved to Aspen fulltime in the 1970s. Deeply influenced, as he often said, by Aspen Times publisher Bil Dunaway, Marty Flug dived headfirst into mountain life, enjoying the spirit of Aspen with the same intensity he brought to all his endeavors. He bicycled all summer, through the mountain and around town — including his iconic rides in Aspen’s Fourth of July parade, dressed in an Uncle Sam suit. And he didn’t let his bicycling life get sidetracked even by a fractured femur suffered in a high-speed crash coming down from Maroon Lake. He skied with abandon every winter and was an early aficionado of uphill skiing, long before it enjoyed its current wave of popularity — skiing up Buttermilk and then descending with glee. His skiing adventures extended to heli-skiing in Canada, where (as he loved to tell the story) he once brought an end to a season-long snow drought by leading his skiing party in an American Indian rain chant.
His driving spirit and restless intelligence were insatiable to the very end. He fought fiercely for what he believed in and encouraged others to do the same. His home – high on Red Mountain, but carefully designed to be invisible from town – was open to an endless and varied list of musicians, artists, writers and physicists, whose company and intelligence he especially treasured.
Martin Flug was born January 6, 1931, to Samuel S. Flug and Evelyn R. Flug of Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Harvard College (1952), Yale Law School (1955), and Harvard Business School (1957).
He is survived by his wife, Sarah Kennedy Flug; his son, Jeremy J. Flug of Denver, and daughter, Eliza Flug of Seattle; grandchildren Matthew, William, Benjamin and Henry Flug of Denver and Lauren Coburn of Seattle; daughter-in-law Angela Murray Flug of Denver; his brother James F. Flug of Washington DC; and sisters Barbara Flug Colin of Roslyn Estates, N.Y., and Victoria Flug Sterling of Denver. He was predeceased by his brother Robert K. Flug of Portland, Ore.
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