Obituary: J Robert Weien |

Obituary: J Robert Weien

J Robert Weien
J Robert Weien
Provided Photo

February 7, 1944 – March 24, 2023

Rob passed away unexpectedly on March 24th, after spending a nice evening at home in the company of his beloved wife Mary and their dog Zeus.
Rob was a warm and welcoming guy that lived life with a style-of-his-own; whether it was his sense of humor, his assortment of big dog companions, his collection of fine motor vehicles or his haircut!
Rob grew up in northern California, having graduated from San Jose State and Stanford University, later earning his Professional Engineer (PE) license in Colorado. As a young man he was a lifeguard on the Russian River, surfed in Santa Cruz, and learned to ski while in BC Canada, working on a large construction project, where the workers made their own ski run and rope tow, for night-time entertainment. As dam construction didn’t pique Rob’s interest, he joined a friend who was traveling to Colorado, where Aspen was meant as just a stopover, not the final destination.
Back then, Aspen was a simpler place, and Rob knew how to enjoy his time. He worked at the Holiday Inn, travelled to Europe, slept on couches, rode motorcycles, spent summers working construction in the Colorado high country or California, and continued to surf in north county San Diego.
Rob was hired onto the Snowmass ski patrol in 1974, where he was “always searching for the perfect turn.” He had over 40 years on patrol, where he rode slow chairlifts, knew where to ski on windy days, and established lifelong friendships that Rob considered his family. He loved being on the mountain and deeply missed being a patroller after his retirement in 2018.
Rob was also a helpful and familiar face in local construction community, where he assumed several positions during his tenure. He worked for the Aspen-Pitkin Regional Building Department (1983 – 1991) Town of Snowmass Village (1993 – 2023) and ran his own firm: Code Analysis and Design.
Rob met his life partner, Mary Lynne Lackner, while working at the County in 1989. For the past 34 years, they shared a full life together with their dogs, at home, camping, boating, biking, skiing, and simply enjoying each other’s company.
Rob spent many reflective afternoons walking shelter dogs at the old Aspen Animal Shelter. Ultimately, with his engineer’s intellect, he studied dog breeds to find a breed that suited his lifestyle. He settled on a gentle-giant water rescue dog: The Newfoundland, and raised Neubur and Zeabear from puppyhood. From that point on, his home was rarely empty as it was inhabited with the likes of Togo, Max, Elsa, Millie and Zeus, who were all large breed rescues.
In his late 50’s Rob began training at the Aspen Mountain Dojo learning Cuong Nhu martial arts. Rob knew that he didn’t have natural abilities in the martial arts, but, he was attracted to this martial art style as it teaches it’s not our physical limitations which stumps us, but often it’s the mental ones. Perseverance and dedication to his training, it’s philosophy, the wisdom of his Sensei and fellow students, eventually led him to earn his Black Belt at age 68. It wasn’t easy for him, he wasn’t a natural, but, he considered it a journey of personal growth. And Rob certainly demonstrated the values of Cuong Nhu throughout his life with an Open Heart, Open Arms and an Open Mind philosophy.
Rob had the biggest heart, the bluest of eyes and the warmest of smiles. He was an intelligent, sentimental, private and quiet person – stubborn at times, but also very witty and great fun! Rob, you were one of a kind; We will always love and miss you until we can meet again. Sending our love wherever you are on your new journey x.
A celebration of Rob’s life is being planned for later this spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local animal rescue or food bank.