Obituary: Dexter Williams
January 31, 1943 – September 4, 2021
Dexter Merwin Williams passed away on September 4, 2021 in the comfort of his home with is loved ones alongside him. Dexter was born in Utica, NY on January 31, 1943 to Gertrude and Merwin Williams and was raised in Lyons Falls, NY. His winters were spent skiing at the nearby Snow Ridge, which was owned by his Uncle Lawt. Summers were spent at the family camp on Brantingham Lake. In 1958 his family moved to Westport CT and there he attended Staples High School where he graduated in 1961. With skiing in his blood he applied to college out west, and was accepted at Denver University where he graduated in 1965 earning his BSBA. He was a member of the DU Ski Team and Sigma Chi Fraternity. During his college days of ski racing his good friend Mike Barr introduced him to the beautiful ski slopes of Aspen and he knew someday he would call it home.
After graduating he pursued a carrier in aviation earning his commercial instrument, multi-engine, and flight instructor ratings. At the same time he also pursued his full ski instructor certification, which lead to an offer from Curt Chase at the Aspen Ski School and also a job as the Assistant Alpine Coach for the Aspen Valley Ski Club under Ted Armstrong. In 1966 he spent a memorable summer teaching Aussies how to ski in Australia. Upon his return he entered graduated school receiving his MSBA in 1969. He spent his winter quarters off teaching skiing and coaching. In 1970, he and his business partner Chuck Hall purchased Sabbatini Sport in Aspen, and in 1980 they purchased the Mountain Shop from Burt Bidwell, which folded into the Sabbatini brand for the next 15 years. During this time he started dating Theresa Vonier (Speedy), also and avid outdoors women, who helped manage the 2 sport shops. Dexter was always watching for the newest and latest sports, as a result Sabbatini’s was on of the first ski shops in Aspen to introduce mountain bikes and then snowboarding. His Sab’s crew often tested his patience with outrageous pranks and jokes.
In 1995 they closed the Sabbatini doors and retired. Dexter and Speedy spent the next 25 winters in Alta skiing on many powder days and getting lots of first tracks. Summers were spent adventuring the mountains around Aspen. In the spring and fall they traveled to Moab for mountain biking, and Maui to kite sail or windsurf. One of the happiest times of his life was when he became “Opa” to his granddaughter Annika whom he taught the love of skiing, biking and hiking.
Dexter is survived by his wife and playmate Theresa (Speedy), step-daughter Brigitte Birrfelder, husband Scott Nichols, and his adored granddaughter Annika Nichols. Also his cousins Nancy Grisham from Crownsville Maryland and Betsy Shake from Marcellus New York.
There will be no memorial service just a small gathering of family and close friends to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please make donations in honor of Dexter to Hospice Care of the Valley 823 Grand Ave. Ste. #300, Glenwood, CO 81601.
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