Native Mel Hoaglund passed away on July 13th, 2015. Born in Aspen in 1936 he was a member of the Aspen Ski team and the Colorado State Ski team. He won 1st place in Downhill & Slalom in 1953 at the Junior National Skiing Championship in Alta, Utah.
Featured with his teammates in the magazines Life and Sports Illustrated he took many people skiing in Aspen. He was the 1st manager of the Aspen Airport. Earning his pilot’s license at age 16, he also purchased his 1st airplane that yr. He was a member of the 187th Aeromed Transport Squadron in the Wyoming Air National Guard, reserve of the Air Force.
He worked in the aviation industry most of his life flying many different types of aircraft including B-17’s on forest fires. He flew former President Reagan to campaign stops when he ran for Governor of Calif., and as a charter pilot in Aspen before that. Later on, his work in aviation required him to travel worldwide. Dad loved to fly.
His parents, Marvin and Hilma Sandstrom Hoaglund, born and raised in Aspen, owned and operated the Aspen Dairy. Between high school and working for them dad skied. He first learned to ski at age 3. Dad was a member of the Aspen High School class of 1954. He often attended the Old Timer’s reunion including the 50th anniversary of Aspen Skiing in 1997.
Dad was a member of the Aspen Ski patrol and the Search and Rescue Team. He was the 1st person to fly skiers to the top of Snowmass, (then owned by his Uncle, Johnny Hoaglund), so they could ski down the mountain. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents moved to Aspen in the 1890s and stayed. They each raised seven children. Hildur Hoaglund Anderson, (Anderson Arts Center), and dad were second cousins. In 1950, his paternal grandparents’ property became the Aspen Institute. Dad loved Aspen. As well as other family members he is survived by his daughter Cathy Hoaglund Cottle, sons Michael and Matthew, three grandsons — Michael, Marshall, Ryan and his granddaughter Morgan. Please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in dad’s name and/or send cards and letters to P.O. Box 511 Durham, Calif., 95938.
We would appreciate hearing your best memories of dad.
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