Glenwood Springs resident Michelle Alford (“Mitch”), 58, passed away on Thursday, March 21. The daughter of Earl and Sandra Alford, Michelle was born in Yakima, Washington, on August 6, 1960.
After graduating from Pennridge High School, Michelle completed a bachelor’s degree in forestry at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. Upon completing her degree, she moved to Snowmass, Colorado, where she followed her love for environmental conservation at the Windstar Foundation.
While living in Snowmass, Michelle worked as a ski lift supervisor for many years, and was known as the “pin lady” for the assorted decorations she wore on her jacket. She sang as a founding member of the Aspen Choral Society, and was an avid angler and gardener.
She relocated to Glenwood Springs, where she met her dream of living on a mountain property with a creek running through it. There, Michelle fostered numerous dogs, some of which became members of her family. Michelle loved all creatures great and small, and nurtured an endless list of furry friends including horses, birds, dogs, cats and bunnies.
While in Glenwood, Michelle worked at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs. In her spare time she volunteered in a paleontology lab in Fruita, CO, and traveled to England on several occasions where she participated in various archaeological digs.
Michelle had a close relationship with God, and was a Lay Pastoral Leader and a member of the Vestry at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glenwood Springs. She will be dearly remembered by her friends at St. Barnabas, St. John’s Episcopal Church (New Castle), All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Battlement Mesa) and St. Benedict’s Monastery (Snowmass).
Michelle is survived by her step mother Carol; her uncle and aunt, Raymond and Jackie Hopkins; siblings, Michael Alford and his wife Bonnie of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Leanne Valentine and her husband Robin of Delaware, Ohio; and Ryan Alford and his wife Samantha of Laramie, Wyoming. Michelle also is survived by her nephews Dustin, Christian and Daryl, and her niece Kristine.
A funeral service will be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glenwood Springs on Saturday. May 4 at 2 p.m. A reception with opportunities to remember Michelle will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Michelle’s name to a charity of your choice.