Obituary: Harlan “Buzz” Dopkin
April 25, 1932 – February 22, 2023
Harlan “Buzz” Dopkin, age 90, passed away on February 22, 2023, due to complications from a recent hip fracture.
Born in Baltimore, MD on April 25, 1932, Harlan Dopkin quickly became known as “Buzz” to his family and friends. After graduating from Baltimore City College, Buzz began work as a carpenter and cabinet maker before becoming a self-trained and successful design builder. Buzz built many notable buildings in the Baltimore area before moving to Aspen, Colorado in 1978. Buzz purchased several properties when he arrived in Aspen, including a lot on McLain Flats where he designed and built his current home, Dopkin Ranch, where he lived with his wife, Carol Dopkin. Buzz started Dopkin Development and designed and built the Greystones and Hopkins Roan in downtown Aspen.
Buzz was a true renaissance man, a life-long learner, an idea man skilled at all tasks he attempted and always willing to try new things. He was an animal lover and founded the Pitkin Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). He worked tirelessly to convince local government officials that Aspen’s animal shelter should become a no-kill shelter. PAWS advertised the animals available for adoption and offered free spay/neuter certificates to help in keeping the animal population down, both innovative ideas for the times.
Buzz believed in supporting the community he loved and helped in creating the Annual Thanksgiving Day community luncheon at the Hickory House. Buzz served on the Aspen Airport Advisory Board, was an original member of the Aspen Air Show, Chapter President of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Senior Council Board Member and served as a Director for the Annual Whitcomb Senior Gold Tournament.
Upon arriving in Aspen Buzz began his love of flying taking lessons at the Aspen Airport and logging over 2000 hours. Seeing the Rocky Mountains from above never got old and he enjoyed offering hundreds of rides in his Helio-Courier airplane. Buzz and his Helio-Courier participated in many airshows including the EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. A few favorite flights included heading over to Leadville, Colorado, the highest airport in North America, for lunch, visiting the Grand Canyon and even a cross country trip to Baltimore.
In his 80’s Buzz found a passion for cars and collected them over several years enjoying visits to the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. He entered many car shows and brought home a best in show at the 2019 Moab Car Show with his 1934 Chevrolet Cabriolet affectionately named “Ginger.” Buzz also found a passion for oil painting, adding an art studio to the ranch and participated in several local art shows.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Buzz served two years just as the Korean War was winding down.
Buzz is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carol Dopkin, three daughters, Melinda Hope and her husband, Chris Douglass of Baltimore, MD; Lisa Eidelberg of Pikesville, MD, and Kim Rasevic and her husband, Paul Rasevic of Bethesda, MD, two stepsons, Richard Orman and his wife, Tana Orman of Nederland, CO, Dr. Robert Orman and his wife, Dr. Melissa Orman of Bend, OR, five grandchildren, Benjamin and Jackson Eidelberg, and Elinor, William and Elizabeth Rasevic and two step-grandchildren, Tucker and Emily Orman.
Buzz is pre-deceased by his parents Phillip and Ann (Dubow) Dopkin of Baltimore Maryland, a brother Merrill Dopkin and many well-loved and loyal canine and feline companions.
A memorial service will be announced and held this summer.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Aspen Animal Shelter/Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter. 101 Animal Shelter Rd. Aspen, CO 81611 friendsoftheaspenanimalshelter.kindful.com